This story was updated at 9:23 a.m. EST on Thursday, November 10, 2011, to reflect that this production is a play.
Another Disney production is headed to Broadway. “Peter and the Starcatcher,” a prequel to the story of Peter Pan, will open on Broadway in spring 2012, its producers said last week.
Disney Theatrical Productions has enjoyed great success with shows such as “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King” and “Mary Poppins.” It hopes to duplicate that success with the Broadway staging of this critically acclaimed production, which consistently sold-out its spring run Off-Broadway at the New York Theater Workshop.
The play is based on Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s popular 2004 children’s novel that tells the tale of the young orphan Peter. That story is a predecessor of J.M. Barrie’s beloved children’s classic “Peter Pan,” about the legendary boy who would not grow up.
This stage version was written by Rick Elice, whose Tony Award-winning “Jersey Boys” and “The Addams Family” continue to enjoy successful Broadway runs.
Tony winner Roger Rees (“Nicholas Nickelby”), now starring in “The Addams Family,” and Tony nominee Alex Timbers (“Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson”) will co-direct the show. A theater for the production is expected to be announced soon.
While casting has not been set, the producers told the New York Times they’re confident that much of the original cast from the Off-Broadway production, where 12 actors portray about 50 characters, will return. That includes Adam Chanler-Berat as Peter, though he is currently starring in an Off-Broadway revival of “Rent.”
The return of Christian Borle is more uncertain, due to his starring role in NBC’s upcoming Broadway-based series “Smash.” Borle had portrayed the dual roles of the pirate Black Stache and the familiar Captain Hook in the Off-Broadway production of “Starcatcher.”
In his spring review of “Starcatcher,” New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley said the show combines “grown-up theatrical savvy and a child’s wonder” and has a “a cocky confidence in its powers to enchant that eludes most family oriented spectacles now on Broadway.”
Broadway audiences continue to be enchanted with shows drawn from children’s works. “Wicked,” based on the contemporary novel of the same name about the witches from the land of Oz, was the No. 1 show last week in TicketNews’ exclusive theater rankings, while “The Lion King” was No. 4.