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PR: Disney Theatrical Productions Announces Plans for 2007: on Broadway, on the Road,

by on January 25, 2007

THE LITTLE MERMAID Begins Performances in Denver July 2007 In Preparation for Broadway Premiere in December 2007

MARY POPPINS Broadway’s Newest Hit Opens to Critical Acclaim, London Production Celebrates Third Year

TARZAN (R) Broadway’s High-Flying Adventure Launches First International Production in Holland

ELTON JOHN & TIM RICE’S THE LION KING AIDA Broadway Blockbuster Celebrates Show Enjoys Ongoing 10th Anniversary with Productions Success With Productions in Johannesburg and Paris in Germany & Japan

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Historic 13-year Run On Broadway Coming To A Close

NEW YORK, Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ — Following an historic 2006 marked by
tremendous growth and unparalleled success on Broadway, in touring markets,
and internationally, Disney Theatrical Productions (Thomas Schumacher,
Producer, Disney Theatrical Productions) is preparing for a 2007 which
promises exciting collaborations with some of theatre’s most talented
artists, the addition of THE LITTLE MERMAID to the canon of Disney
Theatrical’s titles, and an expanded slate of productions across the globe.

2006 AT A GLANCE …
Thomas Schumacher, producer said, “2006 was a year of spectacular
growth for Disney Theatricals with the world premiere of TARZAN(R) and the
Broadway premiere of MARY POPPINS. In addition to these new productions,
our long- running shows BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and THE LION KING saw
continued success in New York and across the globe. We set some lofty goals
in 2006, and I’m pleased to say upon reflection that we achieved them and

Disney Theatrical Productions started 2006 with the world premiere of
Broadway’s high-flying adventure, TARZAN(R), one of the most artistically
innovative shows to come to Broadway in recent memory. Featuring direction,
set, and costume design by multi-Tony Award(R) winner Bob Crowley, and
music by Academy Award(R) and multiple-GRAMMY(R) winner Phil Collins,
TARZAN(R) has thrilled audiences since opening in May 2006. Heralded by
Time Magazine as “sensational” and by The Financial Times as “the only show
of the [2005-2006] season that places us joyously in a world of wonder,”
TARZAN(R) has proven to be a hit, having set the box office record at the
Richard Rodgers Theatre an impressive five times in 2006. Audiences have
responded enthusiastically with over 368,000 people having seen the show on
Broadway to date.

Fall 2006 saw the Broadway premiere of MARY POPPINS, the most eagerly
anticipated show of the season, which quickly proved to be a hit with
audience members and critics alike. The Broadway production was heralded by
New York critics as, “a roof-raising, toe-tapping, high-flying
extravaganza” (The Daily News) and led one critic to exclaim, “I loved the
movie, but I have to confess I love the Broadway musical even more”
(WABC-TV). MARY POPPINS, produced in partnership with Cameron Mackintosh,
has become the biggest hit to open during the 2006-2007 season and is the
must-see new musical for theatregoers of all ages. The London production
continues its record-setting run as it enters its third year at the Prince
Edward Theatre in the West End.

THE LION KING is Broadway’s most popular destination for theatergoers,
having set new box office records six times in 2006, positioning it to
become the longest running show in the Minskoff Theatre’s history. On the
road, THE LION KING’s two national touring productions have experienced
unprecedented success in cities across the country including a recent
triumphant return engagement to Los Angeles’ Pantages Theatre.
Internationally, THE LION KING celebrated continued success as an
English- language production made its premiere in Shanghai, China. The
limited engagement marked an historic event for THE LION KING, having
played 100 performances at Shanghai’s Grand Theatre. In addition, THE LION
KING had record-setting runs in Amsterdam and Australia: the Amsterdam
production was seen by almost 2 million guests during its two-year run,
while the Australian production celebrated 1,000 performances and over 2.2
million guests during its stops in Sydney and Melbourne. THE LION KING has
become a global phenomenon with a total of seven productions currently
running worldwide: New York, London, Hamburg, Tokyo, Seoul, and two U.S.
national tours.

After enchanting audiences for more than 13 years, Disney’s BEAUTY AND
THE BEAST, the inaugural Broadway musical from Disney Theatrical
Productions, will take its final bow at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on
Sunday, July 29. The production will have played 46 previews and 5,464
regular performances.
Schumacher said, “For many theatergoers, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST has been
their first introduction to the magic of Broadway musicals, and we’re glad
to have another six months to allow even more people to see the show before
it must end. That’s a wonderful legacy for all of us at Disney Theatrical,
and we’re so proud of the show’s record-breaking run on Broadway,
throughout the country, and around the world. Though the Broadway
production is coming to a close this summer, through our relationship with
Music Theatre International (MTI), BEAUTY AND THE BEAST will continue to
live on in regional and high school productions around the world.”
Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is the longest-running American musical
currently on Broadway and the sixth longest running show of all time. The
production has logged more performances than other landmark shows like Miss
Saigon; 42nd Street; Fiddler on the Roof; and Hello, Dolly! Around the
world, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST has played in a total of 13 countries and 115
cities, making it one of the most successful musicals of all time alongside
such titles as Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, and Les Miserables.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST originally opened at the Palace Theatre in 1994
and played there for the first five years of its run. The show subsequently
reopened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in 1999. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is the
longest running production in the history of both the Palace Theatre and
the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST has celebrated record-breaking box office runs in
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Ireland, Japan,
Mexico, South Korea, Spain and the United Kingdom. In 1999, BEAUTY AND THE
BEAST became the first Broadway musical to be performed in Beijing, China
in Chinese. The show has been translated into six languages: Chinese,
Spanish, Japanese, German, Portuguese and Korean.

Led by director Francesca Zambello, some of the theater’s most
innovative artists will gather this summer in Denver to create THE LITTLE
MERMAID, based on the beloved Disney film and the classic fairy tale by
Hans Christian Andersen. Casting is nearly complete with rehearsals set to
begin May 2007. Then, beginning Thursday, July 26, 2007, the process
continues with seven weeks of previews and performances at the Ellie
Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
Following Denver, the team moves back to New York where Broadway previews
are set to begin Saturday, November 3, 2007 ahead of a planned Thursday,
December 6, 2007 opening at the Lunt- Fontanne Theatre.
Schumacher said, “What excites me most about developing new projects is
taking people who have never worked on Broadway such as Elton John, Julie
Taymor, Phil Collins, and now Francesca Zambello and giving them an
opportunity to create new work alongside theatre’s most talented artists
such as Alan Menken, Bob Crowley, Tim Rice, and Richard Eyre.”
With a score composed by eight-time Academy Award(R) winner Alan Menken
and his frequent collaborator, the legendary Howard Ashman, THE LITTLE
MERMAID will feature the classic songs “Part of Your World,” “Kiss the
Girl” and the Academy Award(R) -winning Best Original Song, “Under the
Sea,” as well as 11 new songs by Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater. The book
for the new musical is by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award(R) -winning
playwright Doug Wright. Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID will come to life
thanks to Menken, Slater, Wright, Zambello and a visionary team of artists
including Olivier Award winner Stephen Mear (choreography), George Tsypin
(scenic design), Tatiana Noginova (costume design) and Tony Award(R) winner
Natasha Katz (lighting design).
Dick Cook, Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, said, “THE LITTLE
MERMAID will be the perfect addition to our Broadway division, and it’s a
fantastic opportunity for entirely new audiences to experience the magic of
this beautiful story and these timeless songs. Of course, everyone will ask
‘How will they do that?’ and I can promise you that this new production
won’t disappoint. It’s been a fantastic journey to watch the Broadway
division grow, mature and take enormous risks, and we are very proud that
Disney has four musicals on Broadway, more than any other single producer
on Broadway today.”
Composer Alan Menken said, “BEAUTY AND THE BEAST has meant so much to
me, both in remembering the joy of creating the animated film and seeing
how audiences have embraced it on Broadway for all of these years. I have
had the pleasure of watching so many diverse and talented performers sing
these roles in the past 13 years. While it saddens me to say goodbye to
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, I am excited to watch THE LITTLE MERMAID take shape
as a Broadway musical, and to be a part of its exciting journey to the
Schumacher said, “It’s extraordinary that our team will have brought
three unique new productions to Broadway in three successive seasons:
TARZAN(R), MARY POPPINS, and THE LITTLE MERMAID. We’ve been working on
these projects for many years, some for over a decade, and each has been
nurtured at a different pace. The stars aligned and all three of them will
have come to Broadway by the end of 2007.”

Disney’s award winning musical, THE LION KING is celebrating its 10th
anniversary on Broadway with an historic Johannesburg, South Africa
production to launch in June 2007. The production will feature a local
South African cast, many of whom have been in other productions of THE LION
KING around the world and are now coming home to perform in their native
country. To date, THE LION KING has employed almost 100 native South
Africans in its productions worldwide. THE LION KING will perform in the
Montecasino Theatre in northern Johannesburg, which is being built for this
production. In October 2007, a French-language production of THE LION KING
will premiere in Paris, marking the 11th country the show will have played
during its first decade. On the road in 2007, THE LION KING will premiere
in Appleton, Austin, Ft. Myers and Jacksonville, and play return
engagements in Ft. Lauderdale, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Louisville,
Charlotte, Dallas, Memphis, and St. Petersburg.
Disney’s first international production of TARZAN(R) is currently in
rehearsals and will open April 15, 2007 at the Circustheatre near
Amsterdam. The production is a continuation of a long-standing partnership
between Disney Theatrical Productions and Stage Entertainment, the
collaboration that has mounted six Disney musicals in Europe, grossing over
$400 million in ticket sales.
Elton John & Tim Rice’s AIDA continues its success globally with
productions currently running in Fukuoka, Japan and a national tour
continuing through Germany. These productions join AIDA’s past productions
including a triumphant four-and-a-half year run on Broadway, a 53-city U.S.
national tour, a two-year Dutch language production, and a year-long run in

Disney Theatricals also continues its unparalleled success in the
nation’s schools and amateur theatrical groups through its relationship
with Musical Theatre International (MTI). In fall 2006, MTI introduced a
version of the wildly popular Disney Channel movie HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL. The
MTI version of HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL is one of the most popular titles in
MTI’s history, receiving an unprecedented number of license requests since
the show became available. HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL joined BEAUTY AND THE BEAST,
Elton John and Tim Rice’s AIDA, and other Disney Collection titles which
have been top performers for MTI since the relationship with Disney
Theatricals was launched in 2003.
Schumacher said, “I’m thrilled with the Disney titles available through
MTI. Developed through a unique collaboration with Disney Theatricals,
MTI’s Musicals from the Disney Collection also includes musicals developed
especially for students. Aladdin Junior is a 60-minute show appropriate for
middle-schoolers to perform. Cinderella Kids, 101 Dalmations Kids, and The
Jungle Book Kids are 30-minute stage versions of classic Disney films aimed
to introduce elementary school children to the joys of putting on a musical
and introducing them to the thrill of live theatre in their own community.”
For more information on Disney Theatrical Productions on Broadway and
around the world, visit http:https://www.DisneyOnBroadway.com.
POPPINS can be obtained the following three easy ways:
* Online at http:https://www.disneyonbroadway.com,
* Ticketmaster at (212) 307-4747 or http:https://www.ticketmaster.com
* In person at the respective Broadway theatre box offices.
Ticketing and additional details for THE LITTLE MERMAID will be
announced at a later date.
The original cast recordings of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE LION KING
(RIAA certified Platinum), AIDA, TARZAN(R), and MARY POPPINS are available
on Walt Disney Records at retailers nationwide.
(C) 2006 Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., and Disney Enterprises Inc. All
rights reserved.
TARZAN(R) owned by Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. and used by permission.


Sunday, April 15 TARZAN(R) opens first international production
in Amsterdam.

Thursday, May 10 TARZAN(R) celebrates first anniversary on

Wednesday, June 6 THE LION KING opens in Johannesburg, South

Thursday, July 26 THE LITTLE MERMAID begins pre-Broadway
engagement in Denver.

Sunday, July 29 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST to play final performance
at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

Thursday, October 4 THE LION KING opens in Paris.

Saturday, November 3 THE LITTLE MERMAID begins previews at the Lunt-
Fontanne Theatre.

Tuesday, November 13 THE LION KING celebrates 10th anniversary on

Friday, November 16 MARY POPPINS celebrates first anniversary on

Thursday, December 6 THE LITTLE MERMAID opens on Broadway.
(C) 2006 Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., and Disney Enterprises Inc. All
rights reserved.
TARZAN(R) owned by Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. and used by permission.

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