In celebration of Disney Theatrical Productions’ 20 years on Broadway, the ABC Television Network will air Backstage with Disney on Broadway: Celebrating 20 Years, airing Sunday, December 14 at 7 p.m. ET and hosted by Broadway veteran Jesse Tyler Ferguson, star of ABC’s Modern Family. This one-hour special, produced by Lincoln Square Productions, takes viewers on a journey through the creation of Disney’s eight Broadway musicals: Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, AIDA, Tarzan, The Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins, Newsies and Aladdin. The special features new commentary and revealing anecdotes by the stars and theatre professionals about the creation and long runs of these beloved titles.
Backstage with Disney on Broadway: Celebrating 20 Years also features music from the Disney on Broadway catalog, including special musical performances from Sir Elton John, Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen (ABC’s Nashville), Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins) and Adam Jacobs (Aladdin).
For the first time, viewers have unprecedented access to the fast pace and high stakes world of Broadway. Cameras are backstage during an actual performance of Aladdin during the show-stopping production number “Friend Like Me.” Composer Lebo M leads the ensemble of The Lion King in a special rehearsal, celebrating the show’s South African roots and themes that are the very heart of this landmark musical. The cast of the North American tour of Newsies takes viewers on the road as the tour prepares for its official opening night in Philadelphia, as they “carry the banner” of this unlikely Disney smash hit musical.