|Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation|
|Music||Richard M. Sherman|
Robert B. Sherman
|Lyrics||Richard M. Sherman|
Robert B. Sherman
by A. A. Milne
Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation is a 2021 musical based on the film franchise of the same name. The music and lyrics were written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman with a book by Jonathan Rockefeller. The production also borrows elements from the short stories of the same name.
Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, the musical had its debut at the Theatre Row Building in New York City in October 2021 and was met with a positive critical response.
In 2019, it was reported that there had been plans to adapt the Winnie the Pooh stories into a Broadway musical with a book written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), but those plans were put on hold when Albee became busy. In May 2021, Disney Theatrical Productions announced that the Winnie the Pooh stories would be adapted as a musical, utilizing puppetry to portray the characters.
Previews occurred Off-Broadway at the Theatre Row Building in New York City from October 21, 2021, until its world premiere on November 4, 2021. Jonathan Rockefeller adapted the characters, while utilizing several pieces of music and lyrics from the Sherman Brothers. In September 2021, the cast was revealed to consist of Jake Bazel as Pooh, Chris Palmieri as Tigger, Kirsty Moon as Piglet/Roo, Emmanuel Elpenord as Eeyore/Owl/Rabbit, and Kristina Dizon as Kanga, while Sebastiano Ricci served as an understudy. After an open call for young actors, Kaydn Kuioka, Max Lamberg and Cooper Lantz were cast to share the role of Christopher Robin. The production closed January 30, 2022.
A production began playing at Mercury Theatre Chicago in Chicago for a limited 13-week run lasting from March 15 to June 12, 2022.
The production returned to the Theatre Row Building in New York City for a limited 6-week run lasting from June 18 to July 31, 2022.
In June 2022, a US touring production was announced. Performances began on September 16, 2022, at Irving Arts Center in Irving, Texas, and conclude May 7, 2023, at Marcus Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In August 2022, a UK premiere was announced. Performances began on March 17, 2023 in London's Riverside Studios, and will run through September 2.
|Character||Off-Broadway (2021)||Chicago (2022)|
|Piglet/Roo||Kirsty Moon||Emilie Rose Danno|
|Kanga||Kristina Dizon||Emilie Rose Danno|
|Christopher Robin||Kadyn Kuioka
The show features songs from several Winnie the Pooh films, including Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, The Tigger Movie, and Piglet's Big Movie; all songs were written by the Sherman Brothers, except where otherwise noted.
† Music and lyrics by Carly Simon
Alex Reif of The Laughing Place gave a positive review, saying the show "captures the charm and whimsy of A. A. Milne's timeless stories and Disney's memorable animated adaptations." Alexia Fernández of People commented on the production, saying the life-sized puppetry was "stunning". Writing for Yahoo!, Fernández also said the show "has already broken theatre box office records for the largest advance of any show at Theatre Row in New York City.