As previously announced, Disney is expecting to bring Beauty and the Beast back to Broadway in honor of the show and Disney on Broadway's 25th Anniversary. We also just realized another one of THE MOUSE's smash hit shows is also in the works of returning to the Great White Way in 2021…. the cult classic love story AIDA the musical.
For AIDA, the production is expecting to launch a National Tour and then come to Broadway in 2021. It will be directed by Schele Williams (an original Broadway cast member from the original production).
AIDA features a score by Elton John, lyrics by Sir Tim Rice, and a book by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls, and David Henry Hwang. It's a pop-rock retelling of the classic Verdi opera of the same name. Set in Ancient Egypt, the story centers on the forbidden romance between an enslaved Nubian Princess and an Egyptian solider. The show features notable songs including EVERY STORY IS A LOVE STORY, FORTUNE FAVORS THE BRAVE, MY STRONGEST SUIT, NOT ME, ELABORATE LIVES, EASY AS LIFE, I KNOW THE TRUTH, and more.
AIDA was originally conceived as an animated film for Disney (following the success of The Lion King in 1994) but Elton John decided on having it as a stage musical. After many years of readings and workshops under the working title ELABORATE LIVES: THE LEGACY OF AIDA, the musical had it's world premiere at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia in 1998 before having another Pre-Broadway engagement at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago, Il that following year.
FUN FACT: During it's pre-Broadway runs, AIDA was known for having some technical problems. For the original World Premiere in Atlanta, the staging was a lot different than from how the show was when it came to Broadway. The set was nearly an empty stage with only a six-ton gold pyramid-shaped piece in the center featuring hydraulic controls where the "Pyramid" could be turned and rotated to suggest various locations including a ship stern or a tomb. However the set piece (which cost $10 million) constantly kept breaking down.
During the show's run in Chicago (prior to Broadway), both original stars Heather Headley and Adam Pascal were injured on Opening Night during the show's climax scene where (SPOILER ALERT) their characters die alive together in the tomb. They both were inside a conveyed boxlike "tomb" that was raised a few feet above the stage. The set piece broke from it's support and plunged 8 feet to the stage. Both Headley and Pascal were sent to a local hospital and released a few hours later suffering from minor injuries. From that moment on, the "tomb" was kept on the ground.
It officially arrived on Broadway at the Palace Theatre in 2000 where it played a total of 1,882 performances. Under the direction of Robert Falls and choreography by Wayne Cilento, the cast starred..
The reviews were mixed but still went on to be nominated for 5 Tony Awards that year. Even though the show was snubbed for Best Musical, it went on to still win 4/5 of it's nominations including Best Leading Actress in a Musical (for Heather Headley) and Best Original Score (for Elton John and Tim Rice). It also went on to win a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album (renamed Best Musical Theatre album).
A film version was originally in the works for 2007 with Beyonc? playing the title role and Christina Aguilera as "Amneris". However, the film was canned.
No official date for the start time, theater, or casting has been announced.
For BEAUTY, no creative team, start time, theater, or casting has been announced either?
Who is excited for 2 of the best Disney shows returning to Broadway?
The New York Post has reported that a national tour of Elton John and Tim Rice's 'Aida' could be in the works for 2021.
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