disney plus musicals
Broadway At Home, Theatre Online

Is Disney+ Vying for King of Streaming Musicals?

Disney is a huge corporation that seems to be trying to control all aspects of the entertainment world, and its entry into the world of streaming is no different. While their streaming service, Disney+, has all the Disney animated movies and TV shows that you would expect, it seems like they are trying to take the crown in another media form: musicals.

You can already stream a couple of musicals on Disney+, whether it’s an existing movie musical, the Disney musical Newsies that was filmed live, or, of course, Hamilton. But did you know that Disney+ is currently working on adding more musicals to the service?

After Hamilton‘s massive success on the platform, Filmed on Stage reported that Disney+ is apparently planning on releasing their West End version of Aladdin as well. It was previously filmed and apparently Disney had planned on releasing it earlier this year, which changed because they decided to release Hamilton instead. A Disney representative confirmed that Aladdin had been filmed live, and that details of its broadcast will be coming soon. According to Filmed on Stage, the cast that was filmed in 2019 was composed of various cast members from different productions as well as Trevor Dion Douglas, who originated the role of the Genie in the West End.

But musicals filmed live are not the only way that Disney+ is attempting to corner the musical streaming market. Just days after the above news was revealed, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Disney+ is developing a live action adaptation of the 1990 musical that was turned into the 2017 hit revival, Once on this Island. Disney confirmed that this will be a traditional movie musical as a opposed to a stage recording. Playwright Jocelyn Bioh and director Wanuri Kahiu are already on the team, and Marc Platt (you may know him as producer of Wicked, or Ben Platt’s dad) is set to produce. We’ll have to wait for further details about casting and release dates, but so far it seems pretty exciting.

Whether you love or hate Disney, you have to admit that right now is an exciting time to be a theatre fan. With the two existing theatre streaming services (BroadwayHD and Broadway on Demand) and more services like Disney+ adding theatre content, things are looking great for those who love theatre and wish it to be more accessible. And now, after the massive success of Hamilton, we may begin to see even more theatre on streaming services as more companies realize there is a huge market here. I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

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