Disney Theatrical Productions, the division responsible for such smash Broadway hits as The Lion King
, Beauty and the Beast
and Mary Poppins
will debut a new touring stage version of High School Musical
, the 2006 Emmy® Award-winning Disney Channel Original Movie, on June 26, and will tour the production to over 60 cities across the United States and Canada, it was announced today by Thomas Schumacher, president of Disney Theatrical Productions. This new touring stage adaptation of the hit musical movie features a book by David Simpatico (adapted from the original movie script by Peter Barsocchini) and a score including all the songs from the original soundtrack plus two new songs. The production, which will feature a new cast of talented theatrical performers, will be directed by Jeff Calhoun (Big River
Originally presented earlier this year at Theatre of the Stars in Atlanta, this new touring production will play at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit from June 26–July 8, and continue on to the Academy of Music at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia (July 11– 22), and the LaSalle Bank Theatre in Chicago (July 25–September 2). The official opening will be Wednesday evening, August 1, in Chicago at the LaSalle Bank Theatre. Ticket on sale dates for these cities will be announced locally in each market; future dates for the tour will be announced later this spring. The touring company will include a live orchestra and 35 actors; casting will be announced shortly.
Commenting on the announcement, Thomas Schumacher, President and Producer of Disney Theatrical Productions, said, "Our stage version of this great property has been mounted as a direct response to overwhelming demand. As someone who has been passionate about theatre since I was a kid, I am thrilled that we will be touring this remarkably popular title as a fully realized stage production, and most certainly introducing countless young people to the world of theatre for the very first time. You can't ask for more than that."
Continued Schumacher, "It is a great joy and privilege for us to be able to produce and present Disney Channel's enormously popular property on stage."
Rich Ross, president, Disney Channel Worldwide, said, "To have the great characters, movie and music from our Disney Channel Original Movie adapted for this professional theatre tour is an honor and we hope it will provide an opportunity to introduce kids to the arts."
The creative team for this new touring stage production of High School Musical
," in addition to aforementioned director Calhoun, will be choreographer Lisa Stevens, scenic designer Kenneth Foy, costume designer Wade Laboissonniere, lighting designer Kenneth Billington, sound designer Duncan Robert Edwards, and music supervisor Bryan Louiselle.
Additionally, Disney's High School Musical: The Ice Tour
, being produced by Feld Entertainment in cooperation with Disney Theatrical Productions, will hit the ice starting on September 29. That tour is being produced by Tony® Award-winner Kenneth Feld, his daughter Nicole Feld, and Kenny Ortega (director of the two Disney Channel Original Movies). The show will include music from the original High School Musical
, as well as from High School Musical 2
, which is scheduled to premiere on Disney Channel in August. High School Musical
premiered on Disney Channel on January 20, 2006, and became the highest rated original movie up until that time. It won the Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Children's Programming, and received two Emmy Awards (of its total 6 nominations), a DGA Award, an Imagen Award for Best Children's Program, and a Humanitas Prize nomination. The soundtrack received a Billboard
Music Award for Soundtrack of the Year, and was nominated for an American Music Award in the Favorite Album (Pop/Rock) category. The film even earned an entry in the Guinness World Record Book as the first TV movie to deliver nine concurrent singles on the Billboard
Hot 100 chart. High School Musical
is a contemporary musical comedy about a popular high school basketball star and a shy, academically gifted newcomer who discover they share a secret passion for singing. When they sign up together to audition for the lead roles in the school musical, it threatens East High's rigid social order and sends their peers into an uproar. In a desperate effort to maintain the status quo, the "jocks," the "brainiacs" and even the drama club regulars are soon hatching convoluted plots to separate the pair and keep them offstage. By defying expectations and taking a chance on their dreams, however, the couple inspires other students to go public with some surprising hidden talents of their own.