Fox Stage Execs Exit Under New Disney Theatrical Structure


Upcoming musical projects developed from Fox properties, including 'Mrs. Doubtfire,' 'The Devil Wears Prada' and 'Working Girl,' now come under the Buena Vista Theatrical division.

As part of the ongoing absorption of 21st Century Fox assets under the Walt Disney Company takeover, Fox Stage Productions this week will be officially folded into the Disney Theatrical Productions stable.

Theater industry site BroadwayNews was first to report Wednesday that Isaac Robert Hurwitz, the senior vice president of the Fox theatrical arm since 2015, will exit the division, along with fellow executives Connor Brockmeier and Bob Cohen. 

All projects developed or licensed through Fox Stage Productions will now come under the Buena Vista Theatrical banner, a new division of Disney Theatrical Productions, which is headed by Thomas Schumacher.

Titles licensed by Fox include Moulin Rouge! The Musical, which began previews Friday on Broadway, playing to capacity houses; Anastasia, which wrapped a two-year Broadway run in March and is currently on the road in a national tour; and the nonmusical All About Eve, which premiered in London earlier this year to mixed reviews, starring Gillian Anderson and Lily James.

Fox projects in the development pipeline being targeted for Broadway include the stage musical adaptation of Mrs. Doubtfire, which is scheduled for a fall tryout at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre, with four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks directing. The show features a book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O'Farrell, with music and lyrics by Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick. While no casting has yet been confirmed, a recent reading starred Rob McClure, Kate Baldwin, Mario Cantone and Michael James Scott.

Further down the track is the musical version of The Devil Wears Prada, which will feature music by Elton John, lyrics by Shaina Taub, book by Paul Rudnick and direction by Anna D. Shapiro, a Tony winner for August: Osage County. A reading of the show is taking place in New York this week, with Emily Skinner in the Meryl Streep role of imperious fashion magazine editor Miranda Priestly and Krystina Alabado stepping into Anne Hathaway's heels as fledgling assistant Andy Sachs.

A production timeline has not yet been set for that show, or for Working Girl, which was announced in 2017, with Cyndi Lauper on board to write the score and New Girl writer Kim Rosenstock on the book. Disney has licensed that Fox title to Robyn Goodman and Josh Fiedler's Aged in Wood Productions, which initially had been billed as co-producers with Fox Stage. Original producer Kevin McCollum remains on board both Mrs. Doubtfire and Devil Wears Prada

While Disney had no official comment on the restructuring, the creation of Buena Vista Theatrical would appear to indicate that stage properties developed from the studio's own library will remain separate, including current Broadway titles The Lion King, Aladdin and Frozen, and that BVT would function primarily as a licensing arm.