Alan Menken Will Offer Tales and Tunes at Disney’s D23 Expo

Tony and Academy Award winner Alan Menken will present his solo show, A Whole New World of Alan Menken at Disney’s upcoming D23 Expo. The composer will offer audiences performances and anecdotes capturing his illustrious career July 16 at 1:30 PM and 5 PM in Hall D23 of the Anaheim Convention Center.

The show, written and performed by Menken, will be directed by Richard Kraft, who helmed The Little Mermaid in Concert and the upcoming La La Land in Concert: A Live-To-Film Celebration—both at the Hollywood Bowl.

D23 Expo—billed “The Ultimate Disney Fan Event”—will take place July 14–16. The annual event offers unprecedented access to presentations, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, and more. For tickets and more information, visit

With eight Academy Awards, Menken holds the record for most wins for any living individual. He picked up Oscars for both Best Original Score and Best Original Song for his work on Pocahontas, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid. In 2012, he won a Tony Award for his score for Newsies, based on the 1992 movie musical. His additional credits include Little Shop of Horrors, Leap of Faith, Sister Act, and the new musical A Bronx Tale on stage, as well as Tangled, Enchanted, Hercules, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Galavant on screen.

A Whole New World of Alan Menken received its world premiere in September 2016 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California.

From Playbill


Lin-Manuel Miranda & Alan Menken to Score Live-Action Little Mermaid

With so many of Disney’s live-action fairy tales being successful, it’s actually surprising how many of them still haven’t been officially announced. However, we can now reduce that number by one. A live-action The Little Mermaid is on the way, and it’s bringing along some musical heavy hitters. Alan Menken, the man who scored the original Disney animated hit will be returning, and alongside him will be Hamilton creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

This news is a one-two punch that will likely make Disney fans, and musical fans in general, incredibly excited. Alan Menken won two Academy Awards for his work on the 1989 animated feature, and Lin-Manuel Miranda is the hottest thing on Broadway, and possibly in all of music, right now. This is the third Disney project that Miranda has become part of. The writer and singer contributed to the music in Disney’s newest princess feature, Moana, and he’s also set to co-star alongside Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns. As Deadline points out, the actor has an abiding love for this property. He named his own son Sebastian, after the crab from the original film.

While details are scarce, the word is that Lin-Manuel Miranda will supervise the story, though he won’t be writing the film. Bringing in Miranda certainly makes a statement that the live-action The Little Mermaid will be a full musical, more like the upcoming Beauty and the Beast, and less like Maleficent. It would also appear that with both Alan Menken and Miranda on board, the plan will be to combine some new music alongside the old classics. We can also guess the old favorites getting a bit of Lin-Manuel polish. We can only image what “Under the Sea” will sound like in this new film.

Since The Little Mermaid doesn’t have a writer yet, we can assume it will be awhile before things get moving on the project. As it stands, Disney has announced a slew of live-action fairy tale movies, and also a number of release dates for those films, however, thus far only next year’s Beauty and the Beast actually has a set release date. Beyond that, it’s anybody’s guess which movie Disney is planning for which date. Mermaid could grab any existing date, or get another one added to the calendar, depending on how quickly the studio plans to move.

It appears that Lin-Manuel Miranda is planning on hanging around the Disney lot for the long term. What do you think of him becoming part of the Walt Disney Company’s talent pool? From here it looks like a perfect match. We’ll get our first taste of the collaboration with Moana is released November 23.

From CinemaBlend

Disney Cruise Line Premieres Brand-New ‘Tangled: The Musical’ Stage Show

Tangled The Musical

Endearing characters and captivating music from the animated film “Tangled” are enchanting audiences once again. This time they’re part of an original Disney Cruise Line stage spectacular aboard the Disney Magic—the first time the beloved Disney tale has been adapted for the stage.

“Tangled: The Musical” immerses audiences in Rapunzel’s fairytale world through lavish production numbers and spellbinding music. Three new songs created exclusively for the show by Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken and Grammy Award-winning lyricist Glenn Slater bring the story to life onstage.

The show stays true to the storyline from the hit feature film—with a few special twists to create a live stage production—featuring favorite characters like Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, the villainous Mother Gothel and Maximus the guard horse.

The story follows the thrilling adventure of Rapunzel as she escapes the confines of her tower and the clutches of Mother Gothel, who wishes to shield the secret of Rapunzel’s magical golden tresses and royal roots. Rapunzel strikes up an unlikely friendship with the suave, crown-stealing bandit Flynn Rider, and together they face ruffians, thugs and a budding romance on a hair-raising journey filled with classic Disney playfulness and whimsy that will delight audiences of all ages.

New Songs Debuting with Film Favorites

Acclaimed composer Alan Menken (“The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast”) and lyricist Glenn Slater, the prolific pair behind the original soundtrack for “Tangled,” teamed up again to adapt the score and story for the stage. Complementing the score from the film, three new songs weave a delightful combination of narrative, humor and theatrics into the performance.

In addition to new melodies, audiences enjoy live performances of favorite songs from the movie, including “When Will My Life Begin,” “Mother Knows Best,” “I’ve Got a Dream” and the Grammy Award-winning ballad, “I See the Light.”

Adapting “Tangled” from Screen to Stage 

Elaborate costumes, groundbreaking puppetry and stunning set designs transform the 977-seat Walt Disney Theatre into a fanciful Bavarian kingdom, immersing audiences in Rapunzel’s world and making them feel a part of her story. Disney assembled an all-star creative team to develop this extravagant production, with director Gordon Greenberg and choreographer Connor Gallagher joining Menken, Slater and a bevy of top-notch theatrical talent.

Master puppet designer Michael Curry, whose extraordinary creations are featured in Disney’s Tony Award-winning musical “The Lion King” on Broadway, bred a brand-new pedigree of puppetry in Maximus, the rambunctious guard horse. The “mane” attraction of every scene he steals, Maximus’ exaggerated demeanor becomes even more hilarious through the talents of the whinnying puppet performer within.

Dazzling costumes created by Tony Award-winning designer Paloma Young bring the flair and vibrancy of the animated world to life onstage. The townspeople’s bright hues and Rapunzel’s feminine florals are perfectly balanced by the bristly browns of the rugged thugs and royal regalia of the kingdom officials, creating a sensational fusion of colors, patterns and textures.

Remarkable set designs by scenic designer Bradley Kaye (Disney’s “Aladdin—A Musical Spectacular”) transport audiences to storybook locales that include Rapunzel’s tower home, the outlandish Snuggly Duckling tavern, a brightly adorned kingdom town and the resplendent lakeside setting of the iconic floating lanterns scene from the film.

New Show Joining Line Up of Exclusive Stage Productions 

“Tangled: The Musical” is the newest addition to the line-up of Disney Cruise Line-exclusive live entertainment performed every voyage aboard the Disney Magic. It joins “Twice Charmed: An Original Twist on the Cinderella Story” and “Disney Dreams… An Enchanted Classic,” which features a new segment from the blockbuster animated hit “Frozen.”

“Tangled: The Musical” premiered aboard the Disney Magic during the Nov. 11 four-night Bahamian sailing. The ship will continue to sail four-night Bahamas and five-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami through the new year.

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Live-Action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Set for March 17, 2017


From Variety

Disney has set a March 17, 2017, release date for its live-action “Beauty and the Beast.”

The film stars “Harry Potter” actress Emma Watson as Belle, “Downton Abbey” alum Dan Stevens as the Beast and Luke Evans as Gaston. Josh Gad has also been cast as LeFou.

“Beauty and the Beast” is the first film set for the date. Lionsgate will open “The Allegiant Series, Part 2″ a week later.

Bill Condon is directing, with David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman of Mandeville Films producing. The script was written by Evan Spiliotopoulos and rewritten by Stephen Chbosky.

Alan Menken, who won two Oscars for the 1991 animated version of “Beauty and the Beast,” will score the new film which will include new recordings of the original songs in addition to new songs written by Menken and Tim Rice.

Production will begin later this year.

Walt Disney Records To Release Aladdin Original Broadway Cast Recording Featuring Exclusive Bonus Content

Aladdin - Broadway CD

The cast of the new Broadway smash, Disney’s Aladdin is currently in the studio laying down tracks for the Original Cast Recording of the show, to be released by Walt Disney Records digitally on Tuesday, May 27th.  The physical album is set for release on Tuesday, June 17th and will also be available for purchase in-theater.  The Aladdin Original Broadway Cast Recording will be produced by Alan MenkenMichael KosarinFrank Filipetti and Chris Montan and executive produced by Kurt Deutsch.

Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, Aladdin features music by Tony Award® and eight-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken(Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Sister Act), lyrics by two-time Oscar winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), three-time Tony Award and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (Evita, Aida) and two-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), with a book by Beguelin, and is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon).   This new production features a full score, including the Oscar and Grammy® winning hit “A Whole New World,” and four other cherished songs from the film and multi Grammy-winning original motion picture soundtrack.  The cast album also includes four Menken/Beguelin songs written especially for the stage and three Menken/Ashman songs that were cut from the original film, plus exclusive bonus content created especially for the album.

Disney’s Aladdin, the new musical comedy based on the Academy Award®-winning animated film, opened to critical acclaim onMarch 20th, 2014 at Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre. USA Today raves, “Pure GENIE-US! Aladdin delivers a rush that will surprise you.” The Associated Press exclaims, “Disney hits magic again…a wonder to behold!” while The New York Times hails the show as “Fabulous… Extravagant!” and the Daily News declares, “Seriously, it’s amazing!”

Aladdin stars Adam Jacobs (Les MiserablesThe Lion King) in the title role, Courtney Reed (In the HeightsMamma Mia) as Jasmine, James Monroe Iglehart (MemphisThe 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) as Genie, and, as Jafar, Tony Award nominee Jonathan Freeman (Mary PoppinsThe ProducersShe Loves Me) brings to the stage the role he indelibly created in the animated film.  The show also stars Brian GonzalesBrandon O’Neill and Jonathan Schwartz as Aladdin’s sidekicks Babkak, Kassim and Omar, Clifton Davis as Sultan and Don Darryl Rivera as Iago.