‘Aladdin’ to become newest Disney Broadway show, will replace ‘Mary Poppins’

By Daniel S Levine,

As one Disney Broadway musical comes to an end, another one will replace it. After Mary Poppins closes in March, a musical based on the 1992 animated hit Aladdin will open.

Sources for The New York Times confirmed that Aladdin will replace Mary Poppins at the New Amsterdam Theater, which is owned by Disney. The show based on the P.L. Travers book and the 1964 film of the same name, will close on March 3 and the theater will undergo extensive renovations to prepare for the new show.

Mary Poppins has been on Broadway since November 2006 and ended up turning a profit for Disney and producer Cameron Mackintosh. It will finish with over 2,600 performances.

According to Entertainment Weekly, an early version of Aladdin premiered in Seattle in 2011, but the Broadway production will be very different. The Seattle Times gave it a mostly positive review, writing that the show’s better moments came when it wasn’t aping the animated film. Composer Alan Menken and lyricist Tim Rice added new songs with contributions from book writer Chad Beguelin. Unused lyrics by the late Howard Ashman were also used during the show.

The Times’ sources noted that the Broadway production is likely to not open until 2014. Disney would not comment on the Times’ story.

Aladdin featured the voice of Robin Williams and scored two Oscars for Menken’s score and the song “A Whole New World.” It was also nominated for “Friend Like Me.”

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