Earlier this week it was announced that Broadway would remain closed at least until early September. Following this news, Disney Theatrical revealed that when they return, Frozen won’t be coming back to the Great White Way.
- The New York Times is writing that Disney on Broadway’s newest production, Frozen will not be reopening this fall. The company has made the decision to close down the show altogether in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Disney Theatrical’s Thomas Schumacher shared the news with employees in a letter stating that was a “difficult decision.” He also suggested that running “three Disney productions will be one too many” in a post pandemic Broadway setting.
- Frozen opened in 2018 and had recently welcomed new principal actors Ciara Renee and Mackenzie Kurtz. in February of 2020.
- Along with their new cast debut, the show had been slightly revised. Shortly after, Frozen was forced to cease production as Governor Andrew Cuomo limited gatherings to no more than 500 people to stop the spread of the virus.
- The Times points out that by the numbers, Frozen was the weakest of Disney Theatrical's Broadway shows.
- At this time, Disney has no plans to close down The Lion King or Aladdin.
Other Disney Theatrical Productions in Development
While saying goodby to Frozen does put a damper on things, Disney Theatrical is focusing on the future and already has several shows in development. Schumacher shared some of the domestic and international production already in the works:
- Beauty and the Beast
- The show will feature the same creative team that worked on the 1994 original.
- Beauty and the Beast is slated to open overseas in the spring of 2021 and in the United States in 2022
- The company is working on a new, smaller, touring production.
- No dates or locations have been announced yet.
- The Jungle Book
- Christopher Gattelli is attached to direct this adaptation.
- Rajiv Joseph is writing the book.
- The show will feature new songs by Richard Sherman.
- Lear deBessonet is directing the stage adaptation.
- Robert Horn, Alan Menken and David Zippel are writing the story expanding on the Public Theater version that was performed last year.
- The previously announced production will be directed by Schele Williams.
- It is expected to open in Germany in the spring of 2022.
- The Princess Bride
- Bob Martin and Rick Elice are writing the book.
- David Yazbek is working on writing the show’s songs.
- Bedknobs and Broomsticks
- Candice Edmunds and Jamie Harrison are on board to direct.
- Brian Hill is writing the book and Neil Bartram is composing new songs.
What they’re saying:
- Thomas Schumacher, the president of Disney Theatrical Productions: “This difficult decision was made for several reasons but primarily because we believe that three Disney productions will be one too many titles to run successfully in Broadway’s new landscape.”
- Thomas Schumacher: “We remain committed to developing and producing stage musicals for a long time to come.”