'Mary Poppins' to Close on Broadway, Making Room for New 'Aladdin' Musical

4:41 PM PST 01/07/2013 by David Rooney, Joshua Stecker
Joan Marcus/Disney
Steffanie Leigh as Mary Poppins in the Broadway production

The musical based on Disney's 1964 film will end its six-year run on March 3 as "Aladdin" gears up for a 2014 debut.

Disney is trading in its magic umbrella for a magic carpet.

Broadway's Mary Poppins will be flying off the Great White Way on March 3 to make room for Disney's latest animated feature-turned-musical, Aladdin, according to the New York Post.

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Produced by Disney Theatrical and Cameron Mackintosh, Mary Poppins has had a successful six-year run on Broadway since opening in the New Amsterdam Theater on Nov. 16, 2006. With a cumulative box office gross of $288 million, the family musical will have played more than 2,600 performances by the time it closes.

While box office for Mary Poppins has been up and down during its run, the show consistently draws large crowds over holiday periods. During the recent Christmas-New Year fortnight, the production grossed a tidy $2.5 million.

The show continues Disney's long string of Broadway musical hits that started with Beauty and the Beast in 1994 and continued with The Lion King (1997), Aida (2000) and Newsies (2012). Only two productions from the studio's theatrical division, Tarzan (2006) and The Little Mermaid (2007), have failed to turn a profit on Broadway. The Lion King recently celebrated its 15th anniversary, becoming Broadway's fifth-longest-running show and its highest earner of all time, taking in more than $925 million to date.

The Aladdin production is a brand new show featuring the same musical team behind the film -- Alan Menken on music and Howard Ashman and Tim Rice writing lyrics. New songs by Menken will be added to the stage version, the book for which was written by Chad Beguelin. It remains unclear, however, if new members will join that core creative team for the Broadway production.

Different stagings of the musical have been mounted in Seattle and St. Louis, but the one arriving on Broadway will be a fresh take, according to sources close to the production.

The animated film of Aladdin featured the voices of Scott Weinger, Gilbert Gottfried and Robin Williams, who voiced the genie. The film would go on to win two Oscars in 1992, for best original score and best original song (“A Whole New World”).

While Disney has not yet confirmed plans for either the current or future tenant at the New Amsterdam, Aladdin is reportedly scheduled to open in spring 2014. 

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