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Tag: Disney (21-30 of 94)

'Aladdin': The original Jafar talks musicals, hanging with Ursula, and the 'brutal' scene you didn’t see

Last month, an incredible story hit the web about a young autistic child who was able to connect with his father because of a shared bond over Disney movies. The story went viral, but there was someone behind the scenes who is perhaps the reason it was ever written in the first place—Jonathan Freeman, a celebrated member of the Disney family who met the father and son after a performance in Broadway’s Mary Poppins.

While chatting with EW about his role in Disney’s latest Broadway outing Aladdin (in which he’ll reprise his original voice part as the villainous vizier Jafar), the story of Owen and Ron Suskind was just one delightful anecdote that Freeman offered when it comes to his Disney roots. And in fact, the veteran stage actor has kept his Mouse House relationship close to his heart.

Since voicing Jafar in 1992, Freeman has frequently returned to reprise the role whenever the villain pops up in the Disney realm (which is, surprisingly, fairly often). On stage, Freeman has appeared in three of Disney’s Broadway musical endeavors, but his fourth outing is particularly special as he takes up Jafar’s iconic turban once again in the big-budget live-action musical Aladdin, which opened on March 20 at Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You said when you first were presented with the idea of reprising Jafar on stage, you were apprehensive. What was your initial hesitation?
JONATHAN FREEMAN: Except for Alan Menken, there wasn’t going to be anybody on the project from 23 years ago, and although that seemed like a great thing for the show and a challenge even for me, I wasn’t sure that I had anything new to bring to the table. And I think that was all it was. And then the first time we had a read-through with the company in Seattle three years ago, I heard all these new voices with all these new ideas. I heard things differently.

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How do you really feel about those Tinker Bell rumors, Miley Cyrus?

Miley Cyrus really doesn’t want to play Tinker Bell. In fact, her lack of desire for the part is so strong that before sprinkling pixie dust around on a stage, she’d rather choke on her own famous tongue. Dramatic? Just a bit.

A tabloid recently published a blurb saying that the star is “going for her dream role” as “Tinker Bell in a live broadcast of Peter Pan,” NBC’s planned follow-up to 2013’s incredibly successful The Sound of Music Live. A “friend” of Miley elaborated to the magazine, saying, “With her short haircut, she does resemble Tinker Bell! She could nab this role.” Oh, so that’s how casting is decided. By haircuts.

Unfortunately, Cyrus as Tink is about as likely as Justin Bieber playing Captain Hook. First of all, the musical’s version of Tinker Bell is played by a tiny flashing light rather than an actual person. And secondly, the pop star herself has no intention of strapping on fairy wings anytime soon:

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Make way for Prince Ali: The cast of Disney's 'Aladdin' previews magic carpet ride of a Broadway musical

With the colorful world of Agrabah, an Academy Award-winning score by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, and some of the most memorable lyrics of Disney’s golden age, it seems like Aladdin — the 1992 animated classic about a street rat and his magic lamp — was always destined for stage treatment. And next week, the flying carpet will soar at the New Amsterdam Theatre, when Aladdin begins previews ahead of its March 20 opening.

At a recent “meet the press” event, EW chatted with the show’s director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw, co-lyricist/book writer Chad Beguelin, and principal cast — including Adam Jacobs (Aladdin), Courtney Reed (Jasmine), Jonathan Freeman (Jafar), and James Monroe Iglehart (Genie) — about bringing the musical to Broadway.

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'Frozen': For the first time in forever, you can watch the cast sing live -- VIDEO

After Sunday’s magical Frozen concert, fans were left itching to see footage from the once-in-a-lifetime event. Good news: The wait is already over!

Check out the video below to check out some clips from the performance as well as interviews from the cast and creative team. READ FULL STORY

On the Scene: 'Frozen' cast performs live for the first (and probably only) time ever

It’s rare to be a part of a true once-in-a-lifetime experience. But on Sunday night, I was lucky enough to be in the audience for Disney’s Frozen live cabaret, featuring cast members of the animated hit singing songs from the film’s No. 1 soundtrack. Though the event was timed perfectly (and purposely) in the middle of Oscar voting to promote the movie’s two nominations, including one for Best Animated Feature, it was the music that owned the night.

Josh Gad, who voiced the snowman Olaf in the film, hosted the evening and joked that though he was happy for the film’s huge success, he was no longer getting live-action film offers any more. “Apparently Disney didn’t realize they have a concert hall named after them, so we’re here at this bat mitzvah venue,” the funny guy quipped about the intimate Bel Air venue. Gad said co-star Jonathan Groff — who was supposed to co-host — couldn’t attend because he was trying to boost the ratings for his HBO show Looking. Of course, he was again joking and said that Groff was actually sick. Though it doesn’t really matter since he only has one song in the film, “Reindeers Are Better Than People” — or, as Gad referred to it, “The only Disney song without a beginning, middle, or end.”
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Pentatonix covers 'Frozen' with musical medley -- VIDEO

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Admit it. You love Frozen just as much as we all do.

The animated Disney musical has been enchanting audiences young and old alike since it came out in November, and on Monday, Disney confirmed plans to adapt the musical, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, into a full Broadway production! There have been many covers of Frozen songs throughout the Internet, mostly done by adorable little girls, a.k.a., the film’s target demographic. But now some members of the a cappella group Pentatonix have put their own chilly spin on the movie’s score.

But with so many great songs to pick from, which would they choose? Silly snowman, that’s what medleys are for!

Check it out below:
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Disney confirms 'Frozen' stage musical in development

With Aladdin set for a Broadway premiere this February and The Hunchback of Notre Dame long in the works, Disney is looking further ahead to another candidate to bring from the screen to the stage: Frozen.

Disney Theatrical Productions has confirmed to EW that Frozen is in early development for the stage. Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger dropped the hint to Fortune that discussions have begun to develop the wintry 2013 musical—which is breaking box office records and inspiring all kinds of ebullient fan reactionsinto a full-fledged theater production, though he did not specify whether the show would be built for Broadway or as one of the many theatrical attractions at Disney’s parks (where things like Aladdin: A Musical Spectaular and Finding Nemo – The Musical have wound up). READ FULL STORY

Shia LaBeouf's TV sister weighs in on his shenanigans: 'This is not just some breakdown'

Need further proof that life imitates art? Try this: While troublemaker Shia LaBeouf was releasing a series of plagiarized mea culpas in order to “apologize” for copying the work of artist Daniel Clowes, his former Even Stevens costar Christy Carlson Romano was busy doing something mature and responsible — that is, getting married to her longtime boyfriend at a Canadian castle. Classic Louis and Ren, am I right? (In case you’re not up on your ’00s Disney Channel sitcoms: LeBeouf’s Louis Stevens was “immature, rude, and selfish.” His older sister Ren, played by Romano, was “an intelligent, well-behaved perfectionist.” It’s uncanny!)

Just don’t expect Romano to join the chorus of famous voices who have piled on LaBeouf in the wake of the scandal. “He has always kind of regarded me as his big sister,” the actress told EW. And even though the two of them don’t keep in touch, Romano said she’s still “a huge supporter” of LaBeouf.

Romano, who can be seen next in the TV movie thriller Where Fates Meet and the indie flick Prism, noted that other former child actors often have trouble rebranding themselves as adult artists. In her mind, LaBeouf hasn’t had that problem: “He’s always just honored his artistic instincts, even when he was 12 years old to about 15 or 16 as we worked together,” she said. “So this is him experimenting with his artistic instincts. This is not just some breakdown, like some other child actors. This isn’t some emotional neediness. This is something that he’s actively doing.”

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Retroactively Relevant: Shia LaBeouf singing about lying on 'Even Stevens' -- VIDEO

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“No one can produce an excellent excuse like you.”

Disney fans likely remember that line from the iconic-to-millenials musical episode of Even Stevens. And now the song “I Always Find a Way,” sung by a preteen Shia LaBeouf about talking/lying his way out of anything, takes on new relevance in the wake of LaBeouf’s long-running plagiarism scandal.

It’s exhausting to keep up with: First, LaBeouf admitted he plagiarized Daniel Clowes’ comic Justin M. Damiano in a short film, then he unleashed a series of also-plagiarized apologies culminating most recently in a sky written one that also randomly drew the attention of Lena Dunham. And as over it as you, a person who was done with LaBeouf right around the time of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, might be, he’s clearly not anywhere close to done with infuriating the Internet.

So instead of us saying anything more, we’ll just let LaBeouf give his very own statement, straight from the lyrics of his 2002 Even Stevens tune: He’ll always find a way to get out of something, whether it’s gym class or consequences for lying. Check out this old musical clip below: READ FULL STORY

Eight unexpected trends inspired by Disney's 'Frozen'

Friends, reindeer, ice harvesters, lend me your antlers: I have been tumbling through the wormhole that is the Internet fandom of Disney’s marvelous blockbuster Frozen. I have trudged through the snowy hills of fan-fiction, braved the icy winds of Deviantart, and prowled hashtag upon hashtag devoted to the greatest thing to happen to Disney musicals since July 22, 1949 (Alan Menken’s birthday, whaaat).

Beyond my Tumblr-inspired downward spiral, my social media feeds have abounded with proclamations of Frozen love following the film’s release in the now-ancient November 2013. The sprightly little musical has topped the box office charts, rivaling Avatar and Titanic, and gifted the world with a top-notch soundtrack that I haven’t been able to “let” “go” (get it? GET IT?) for weeks. But most interestingly, Frozen has given birth to some pretty bizarre trends—let’s examine. READ FULL STORY

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