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Tag Archives: Tony Award Winning

February 21

February 21, 2010 – The Lion King Becomes Eighth Longest-Running Broadway Show

“Let every creature go for broke and sing, let’s hear it in the herd and on the wing.”

On February 21, 2010, the Broadway production of The Lion King hit a milestone 5,125th performance, making it the eighth longest-running show in Broadway history. With this performance, the show surpassed the musical Rent in number of performances. The musical has been highly acclaimed since its debut on November 13, 1997, winning six Tony Awards (including Best Musical) and eight Drama Desk Awards for the Broadway production alone. As of 2018, the production is the third-longest running Broadway musical, behind Chicago and The Phantom of the Opera.

March 20

March 20, 2014 – The Broadway Musical Aladdin Officially Opens

“Proud of your boy, I’ll make you proud of your boy, believe me.”

On March 20, 2014, after a little over three weeks of previews, the newest Disney Broadway musical Aladdin officially opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre. The musical, based on the hit 1992 animated feature film, includes several of the popular musical numbers; it also features three songs that were originally cut from the film: “Proud of Your Boy,” “Babak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim,” and “High Adventure.” Four new songs were also introduced in the narrative: “These Palace Walls,” “A Million Miles Away,” “Diamond in the Rough,” and “Somebody’s Got Your Back.” The show would go on to be nominated for five Tony awards, winning Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for James Monroe Iglehart’s performance as Genie. The original Broadway cast starred Adam Jacobs as Aladdin, Courtney Reed as Jasmine, James Monroe Iglehart as Genie, and Jonathan Freeman as Jafar.

November 16

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

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“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.

September 5

September 5, 2004 – Aida Has Last Performance on Broadway

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“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 24

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

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“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.

March 9

March 9, 2011 – The Off-Broadway Production of Peter and the Starcatcher Opens

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“In relating the back story of how a sullen, skeptical orphan became the eternal boy known as Peter Pan, ‘Starcatcher’ celebrates the leap of faith that occurs when we tell and believe improbable tales.” – The New York Times

On March 9, 2011, the Disney Theatrical Off-Broadway Production Peter and the Starcatcher opened at the New York Theater Workshop. Based on the bestselling book by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, the play gives the account of how Peter Pan became Peter Pan. It received mixed to positive reviews from critics, and was transferred to Broadway and opened on April 15, 2012. It garnered five Tony Awards, including one for Best Featured Actor in a Play for Christian Borle, and was nominated for Best Play. It starred Adam Chanler-Berat as Peter, Celia Keenan-Bolger as Molly, and Christian Borle as Black Stache.

 

February 22

February 22, 1971 – Actress, Singer, and Disney Legend Lea Salonga is Born

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“I’ve been listening to Disney music my whole life…the whole Disney experience has been great fun.”

On February 22, 1971, Maria Lea Carmen Imutan Salonga was born in Manila, in the Philippines. In 1978, at the age of seven, Salonga had her professional stage debut in a performance of The King and I. Her first album, Small Voice, was released at age 10, and would go on to be certified gold. She continued her theater career with parts in Annie, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Sound of Music. Through the GMA Network, Salonga was a teen idol, hosting her own music show called Love, Lea, and winning several awards for her performances in other family-oriented entertainment shows, including Ninja Kids and Pik Pak Boom. In 1982, her international breakthrough came when she was cast in the West End’s Miss Saigon as Kim; Salonga would win the Olivier Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical. The accolades continued when Miss Saigon transferred to Broadway, and she won the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Theater World Award. In 1992, Disney asked her to perform as the singing voice for the character Jasmine in the film Aladdin, performing alongside Brad Kane’s Aladdin. The song would go on to be nominated for (and would win) the Academy Award for Best Song; Salonga and Kane were asked to perform the song on the telecast of the awards. She was asked back to the studio to sing the song “Reflection” for the titular character in the 1998 film Mulan; she has continued to sing for both Jasmine and Mulan in several other projects featuring the characters. In 2011, Salonga was honored as a Disney Legend, and continues to tour all over the world through her solo career and with several productions.

October 16

October 16, 1925 – Actress and Disney Legend Angela Lansbury is Born

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“Oddly enough, children recognize my voice. They’ll hear me and say, “Mom, that’s Mrs. Potts!” It’s the timbre of my voice that they pick up on.”

On October 16, 1925, Angela Brigid Lansbury was born in Regent’s Park, London, England to actress Moyna MacGill and politician Edgar Lansbury. Her talent manifested at the age of nine, when she took to playing characters as a way to cope with her father’s death of stomach cancer. She immersed herself in film, and in 1940, she began studying acting at the Webber Douglas School of Singing and Dramatic Art; her formal education was cut short by the Blitz, where she and her family immigrated to the United States, ending up in New York City. While there, Lansbury gained a scholarship to study at the Feagin School of Drama and Radio. In 1944, she got her big Hollywood break when she was cast as the maid in the film Gaslight, which not only scored her a contract with MGM, but an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The following year would see another Academy Award nomination for Lansbury after her work in The Picture of Dorian Gray, and a third nomination would occur in 1962 for her role in The Manchurian Candidate.

Lansbury is better known for her roles on the stage, beginning with her debut in 1957 in the short-lived Hotel Paradiso. Her first musical was Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents’ Anyone Can Whistle, which closed after 9 performances. This was followed with Mame in 1966, where she was cast as lead Mame Dennis. Lansbury not only gained near universal praise for her performance, but received her first of five Tony Awards for the role. She would then win Tony Awards for her roles in Dear World (1969), Gypsy (1975), Sweeney Todd (1979), and Blithe Spirit (2009). Despite this success, Lansbury is probably best known for her role as writer and amateur sleuth Jessica Fletcher in the long-running television series Murder, She Wrote. For her role, she was nominated for twelve Emmy awards.

Lansbury’s association with Disney began in 1971, when she was cast as the lead character Eglantine Price in Bedknobs and Broomsticks. She would go on to be nominated for a Golden Globe for this role. Her second main role with the studio came in the 1990s, where she voiced the role of Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast, and sang the title song, which would go on to win an Academy Award. In 2006, she would also be featured as a host in Fantasia 2000, introducing “The Firebird Suite.” Known as a Disney icon to children everywhere, she was inducted as a Disney Legend in 1995. Among her numerous other awards and honors, Lansbury was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2014.

September 6

September 6, 1972 – Actress and Disney Legend Anika Noni Rose is Born

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“I always dreamed of being a voice in a Disney movie…I feel like what an honor that this is how the dream comes true, bigger and stronger than I had even imagined it.”

On September 6, 1972, Anika Noni Rose was born in Bloomfield, Connecticut. After graduating from Florida A&M University with a degree in theater, she moved to San Francisco to study at the American Conservatory Theater. After this, Rose moved to New York, where she landed a role in the Broadway production of Footloose, playing the character Rusty. Her big break, however, came with the musical Caroline, or Change, playing the role of Emmie Thibodeaux, and winning the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical. Rose also starred in a string of films, with her best known role being the character Lorrell in Dreamgirls; for this role, she was awarded several nominations. In 2009, she won the coveted role of Tiana in the Disney animated feature The Princess and the Frog. She continues to work in television, film, and theater, including a Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun in 2014, and continues to voice the character of Tiana in special Disney projects. In 2011, Rose was named a Disney Legend for her work as Tiana.

March 14

March 14, 1948 – Actor, Writer, Producer, Comedian, Director, and Disney Legend Billy Crystal is Born

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“When we thought of Billy Crystal, we thought, this was going to be great. Of course, he just added his own unique spin to it.” – Pete Docter, Director of Monsters, Inc.

On March 14, 1948, William Edward Crystal was born in New York City. His father was a music promoter, and his uncle was Milton Gabler, a legendary music producer. Displaying a love of performing at an early age, Crystal and his older brothers would perform their own variety show for family members and at local events. After graduating from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 1970, Crystal began his career in improv comedy, leading to a sketch on the first season of Saturday Night Live!. His breakout role was as Jodie Dallas on the sitcom Soap, which he played from 1977 through 1981. He rejoined Saturday Night Live! as a cast member during the 1984 – 1985 season, and then had an appearance in the series All in the Family, where he would meet actor and director Rob Reiner. Reiner hired Crystal for small parts in two films, This is Spinal Tap and The Princess Bride, which led to his being cast as the lead in When Harry Met Sally…. This film gave Crystal his first Golden Globe nomination for best actor.

Crystal was asked to be the voice of Buzz Lightyear in Pixar’s first full-length computer animated feature Toy Story, but he passed on the role, calling it one of the biggest regrets of his career. When he was offered the role of Mike Wazowski in Monsters, Inc., he jumped at the chance. He has since reprised the role in a short film, a cameo in Cars, and the prequel film Monsters University. Crystal also voiced the character Calcifer in the film Howl’s Moving Castle. Crystal continues to be active in entertainment, hosting the Academy Awards nine times, directing a made-for-television movie, and writing and starring in a one-man play called 700 Sundays. Crystal was named a Disney Legend in 2013.