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The journey of Moses out of Ancient Egypt is taking the West End stage route.
The new musical based on The Prince of Egypt, the 1998 feature with which Jeffrey Katzenberg inaugurated DreamWorks Animation, will open early next year at London’s Dominion Theatre for a 32-week engagement, beginning previews Feb. 5 ahead of a Feb. 25 official opening.
The show will be produced by DreamWorks Theatricals, Michael McCabe and Neil Laidlaw. It features music and lyrics by Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz, who has added 10 new songs to the existing five heard in the film. Those include the Oscar-winning “When You Believe,” which became a hit duet for Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.
The musical’s book is by Philip LeZebnik, a writer on the film version as well on Disney’s Mulan and Pocahontas. Scott Schwartz (the composer’s son) will direct, with choreography by Sean Cheesman. Casting and additional creative team are to be announced.
The Prince of Egypt is an adaptation of The Book of Exodus, centered on the Hebrew foundling child Moses and the Pharaoh’s son Rameses, raised as brothers, whose bond is broken when secrets of the past come to light, leading them to divergent destinies that change history.
The film’s voice cast featured Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Danny Glover, Patrick Stewart, Helen Mirren, Steve Martin and Martin Short. It grossed $101.4 million in domestic release and $117.2 million overseas.
The stage musical premiered in 2017 at the San Francisco Bay Area’s TheatreWorks Silicon Valley (winner of this year’s Regional Theatre Tony Award) and the Fredericia Teater in Denmark. An earlier concert reading announced in 2016 at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, Long Island, where Scott Schwartz is artistic director, was canceled following a social media backlash over lack of diversity in the casting.
No plans for Broadway or other commercial engagements to follow London have been set.
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