July 7, 2011 – The Stage Musical Aladdin Premieres at the 5th Street Theatre
“New musicals have become a large part of the mission of The 5th Avenue Theatre and we are thrilled that Disney has selected our theatre to produce the premiere of this new work they have developed.” – Artistic Director and Executive Producer David Armstrong
On July 7, 2011, the stage musical version of the animated feature film Aladdin premiered at the 5th Street Theatre in Seattle, Washington. This version of the musical, which ran through July 31, 2011, was a pilot production to see if it proved itself worthy of a transfer to the Broadway stage. Also notable about this version is that it was a return to the original pitch from Alan Menken and Howard Ashman that was deemed not suitable for the original hit film, but ended up working on the stage. The cast and creative team was a mix of Broadway veterans and members of the Seattle theatre scene, including Tony-nominated director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw, a veteran of the 5th Avenue Theatre. The musical eventually proved popular enough and was well-received by critics that it began the process of being retooled for the Great White Way; Broadway previews were almost three years later, with an opening date of March 20.