Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation
Winnie the Pooh The New Musical Adaptation poster.png
Broadway promotional poster
MusicRichard M. Sherman
Robert B. Sherman
LyricsRichard M. Sherman
Robert B. Sherman
BookJonathan Rockefeller
BasisWinnie-the-Pooh
by A. A. Milne
Productions

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[1] 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.

Development

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.[2] 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.[3]

Productions

Off-Broadway (2021)

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.[4][5] Jonathan Rockefeller adapted the characters, while utilizing several pieces of music and lyrics from the Sherman Brothers.[6] 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.[7] After an open call for young actors, Kaydn Kuioka, Max Lamberg and Cooper Lantz were cast to share the role of Christopher Robin.[8] The production closed January 30, 2022.[9]

Chicago (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.[10]

Off-Broadway Revival (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.[11]

National Tour (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.[12]

West End (2023)

In August 2022, a UK premiere was announced. Performances are set to begin Spring 2023 in London's West End.[13]

Cast

Character Off-Broadway (2021)[14] Chicago (2022)[15]
Pooh Jake Bazel
Tigger Chris Palmieri
Piglet/Roo Kirsty Moon Emilie Rose Danno
Tina-Kim Nguyen
Carolyn Plurad
Eeyore/Owl/Rabbit Emmanuel Elpenord
Kanga Kristina Dizon Emilie Rose Danno
Tina-Kim Nguyen
Carolyn Plurad
Christopher Robin Kadyn Kuioka
Max Lamberg
Cooper Lantz
William Daly

Musical numbers

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

Reception

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."[16] Alexia Fernández of People commented on the production, saying the life-sized puppetry was "stunning".[17] 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.[18]

References

  1. ^ "Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation Will Premiere Off-Broadway This Fall". Playbill. Retrieved January 21, 2022.
  2. ^ Why Disney’s Winnie the Pooh and Dumbo never hit Broadway The New York Post, April 11, 2019
  3. ^ WINNIE THE POOH: THE NEW MUSICAL ADAPTATION Will Open Off-Broadway This Fall Broadway World, May 25, 2021
  4. ^ VIDEO: "Winnie the Pooh – The New Musical Adaptation" Coming to New York in October 2021
  5. ^ Harms, Talaura (October 21, 2021). "Check Out Photos of Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation". Playbill. Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  6. ^ Winnie the Pooh Stage Musical, Featuring Disney's Sherman Brothers Songs, to Open This Fall
  7. ^ Rabinowitz, Chloe (September 17, 2021). "Cast Announced for Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation". Broadway World. Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  8. ^ Rabinowitz, Chloe (September 24, 2021). "Disney's WINNIE THE POOH to Hold Open Call for Young Actors for the Role of Christopher Robin". Broadway World. Retrieved September 3, 2022.
  9. ^ Rabinowitz, Chloe (January 11, 2022). "DISNEY'S WINNIE THE POOH: THE NEW MUSICAL STAGE ADAPTATION to Celebrate its 100th Performance". Broadway World. Retrieved September 3, 2022.
  10. ^ Rabinowitz, Chloe (January 4, 2022). "Tickets on Sale for Disney's Winnie the Pooh in Chicago". Broadway World. Retrieved April 12, 2022.
  11. ^ Wild, Stephi (February 16, 2022). "WINNIE THE POOH Musical Will Return Off-Broadway This Summer". Broadway World. Retrieved September 3, 2022.
  12. ^ Rabinowitz, Chloe (June 17, 2022). "DISNEY'S WINNIE THE POOH: THE NEW MUSICAL STAGE ADAPTATION Announces National Tour". Broadway World. Retrieved September 3, 2022.
  13. ^ "Winnie The Pooh The Musical - In the West End for Spring 2023". London Box Office. August 31, 2022. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  14. ^ "Cast Announced for WINNIE THE POOH: THE NEW MUSICAL STAGE ADAPTATION". BroadwayWorld. September 17, 2021. Retrieved July 14, 2022.
  15. ^ "Chicago Cast of WINNIE THE POOH Musical Announced". Theatre in Chicago. February 28, 2022. Retrieved July 23, 2022.
  16. ^ Reif, Alex (October 21, 2021). "Theater Review: "Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation" is Full of Charm for Audiences Young and Young at Heart". Laughing Place. Retrieved October 23, 2021.
  17. ^ Fernández, Alexia (October 21, 2021). "Disney's Winnie the Pooh Is Debuting Its Musical Adaptation Off-Broadway". People. Retrieved October 23, 2021.
  18. ^ Fernández, Alexia (October 21, 2021). "Disney's Winnie the Pooh Is Debuting Its Musical Adaptation Off-Broadway". Yahoo!. Retrieved October 23, 2021.