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November 16

November 16, 2006 – The Broadway Production of Mary Poppins Premieres at the New Amsterdam Theatre


“I’m so practically perfect in every way.”

On November 16, 2006, the Broadway production of the hit stage musical Mary Poppins premiered at the Disney-owned New Amsterdam Theatre. Based on the hit Disney film of the same name and the books by P. L. Travers, the show was a joint production by Disney and Cameron Macintosh, and opened on the London stage on September 15, 2004. The Broadway production featured Ashley Brown as Mary, and Gavin Lee as Bert, reprising his role from the London production. The show would go on to be nominated for seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for Gavin Lee; it would go on to win the Tony for Best Scenic Design. The musical had its last performance on March 3, 2013, after running for six years and 2,619 performances.

October 19

October 19, 2008 – The Disney Musical Tarzan Debuts in Hamburg, Germany


“Du hörst etwas aus der Ferne rufen, zwei Welten, eine Familie.”

On October 19, 2008, the third international production of the musical Tarzan opened in Hamburg, German, at the Neue Flora Theater. It was jointly produced by Walt Disney Theatrical and Stage Entertainment. The first run of the musical featured Anton Zetterholm as Tarzan and Elisabeth Hübert as Jane; the pair were the winners of the reality program Ich Tarzan, Du Jane, with producers looking for the leads of the show. The production ran for five years, and a cast album was released.

October 18

October 18, 2008 – The First Foreign Production of Mary Poppins Premieres at Sweden’s Göteborg Opera


“The unconventional governess from the children’s books, which were made into a film and then a musical, now flies into the Göteborg Opera with her magical umbrella.”

On October 18, 2008, the first international production of the hit musical Mary Poppins opened in Göteborg, Sweden, at the Göteborg Opera. The production was externally licensed by Disney Theatrical to Josef Weinberger Limited, with the production being translated into and fully performed in Swedish. The original Swedish production featured Linda Olsson as Mary Poppins and Magnus Borén as Bert. The production closed on March 14, 2009.

September 8

September 8, 1991 – Beauty and the Beast Plays 1,000 Performance


“Song as old as rhyme, Beauty and the Beast.”

On September 8, 1991, the Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast joined the ranks of less than 80 musicals to reach 1,000 performances with its Sunday matinee. The musical reached this milestone after almost two and a half years in the Palace Theatre, with the show opening on April 19, 1994. The musical would continue to run until July 29, 2007, having 5,461 performances overall.

September 5

September 5, 2004 – Aida Has Last Performance on Broadway


“This is a story of a love that flourished in a time of hate, of lovers no tyranny could separate.”

On September 5, 2004, the Disney musical Aida played its final performance at the Palace Theatre, ending after 1,852 performances in four and a half years. The Tony Award winning musical, originally entitled Elaborate Lives: The Legend of Aida and based on the opera by Verdi, had an interesting journey to Broadway, as the musical was very different when it previewed at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as a set mishap during a Chicago performance in 1999 where lead actors Heather Headley and Adam Pascal sustained minor injuries. The final performance featured Deborah Cox as Aida and Adam Pascal returning as Radames.

August 30

August 30, 2009 – The Little Mermaid Has Final Performance on Broadway


“We are closing the Broadway production to concentrate on the long future life of this title – beginning with next year’s national tour and upcoming international productions.” – Producer and President of Disney Theatrical Productions Thomas Schumacher

On August 30, 2009, the Broadway musical The Little Mermaid had its final performance in the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, closing after 685 performances. The production, which began with previews on November 3, 2007, received positive reviews from family audiences, but a rather lukewarm response from critics. The musical was scheduled to begin its national tour in 2010, and was retooled by Glenn Casale after the show closed on Broadway. The final run featured Chelsea Morgan Stock as Ariel, Faith Prince as Ursula, Drew Seeley as Prince Eric, Norm Lewis as King Triton, Rogelio Douglas Jr. as Sebastian, Eddie Korbich as Scuttle, Jonathan Freeman as Grimsby, Tyler Maynard as Flotsam, Eric LaJuan Summers as Jetsam, Robert Creighton as Chef Louis, and Trevor Braun, Major Curda, and Brian D’Addario alternating in the role of Flounder.

August 28

August 28, 2001 – Beauty and the Beast Celebrates its 3000th Performance


“Tale as old as time…”

On August 28, 2001, the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast celebrated a milestone of 3000 performances, with the musical shortly after being named the 10th longest running musical on Broadway of all time. The production had been through many changes since its first performance on April 18, 1994, including special guest stars playing lead roles (such as Toni Braxton playing Belle), new songs added, and new wardrobe stylings. The musical ran until July 29, 2007, reaching 5,461 performances, and reaching the peak of the 9th longest running musical on the Great White Way, with fellow Disney musical The Lion King surpassing it and standing at 3rd.

August 24

August 24, 2014 – Newsies Has its Final Performance on Broadway


“From our first performance, we have been humbled by the spontaneous and genuine outpouring of affection from fans and the theatre community alike.” – President and Producer for Disney Theatrical Productions Thomas Schumacher

On August 24, 2014, the Broadway musical Newsies had its final performance, capping a successful two and a half year run with  1,004 performances. The show was profitable for Disney, recouping its $5 million investment in the first seven months of the show’s run; Disney had a strong need to recover after the disappointments of Tarzan and The Little Mermaid, and went on to win two Tony Awards: Best Score and Best Choreography. Although the Broadway show came to an end, the national tour would launch later that year in October. At the production’s end, the show featured Corey Cott as Jack Kelly, John Dossett as Joseph Pulitzer, Liana Hunt as Katherine Plumber, Ben Fankhauser as Davey, Chapathia Jenkins as Medda, Andy Richardson as Crutchie, and Luca Padovan and Zachary Unger as alternating actors for Les.

August 8

August 8, 1995 – The Canada Premiere Production of Beauty and the Beast Begins in Toronto

Kerry Butler BatB

“It’s the biggest, most spectacular musical to come to Toronto, ever.”

On August 8, 1995, the Canadian production of the hit Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast opened at the Princess of Wales Theater in Toronto, Canada. It was one of the earliest international productions of the show, following Australia’s version in July of the same year. The original cast included Kerry Butler as Belle, Chuck Wagner as Beast, Dan R. Chameroy as Gaston, Cliff Saunders and Lefou, and Terry Doyle as Maurice. The musical ran until 1998.

May 8

Posted on

May 8, 2006 – The Leads for the Broadway Version of the Mary Poppins Musical Are Announced

Mary Poppins ABGL

“We are delighted that Ashley and Gavin will bring these two legendary characters to life at the New Amsterdam Theater.”

On May 8, 2006, the American production of Mary Poppins officially announced its leads: Ashley Brown as Mary, and Gavin Lee as Bert. Brown had previous experience with Disney Theatrical, starring in the touring show On the Record, and making her Broadway debut as Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Lee had originated the role of Bert in the West End Production, and was brought to Broadway thanks to his charming interpretation of the character. It was also announced that the official Broadway production would open November 16.