If you ever heard or sang along with a Disney song in the past twenty years, there is a good chance that song was written by Alan Menken. He is a household name amongst Disney fans for his contributions to the Disney musical library this past weekend at the D23 Expo 2017 we were able to attend his one man show: ” A Whole New World of Alan Menken”.
I first had the opportunity to see this show back in September at the Segrestrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. The running time for that show was two and a half hours but for the D23 Expo he mostly focused on Disney to fill the shorter 90-minute slot.
Before starting the show Susan Egan the voice of Megara in HERCULES and the original Belle on Broadway came out to introduce him. She was truly touched with the honor of introducing him for the special event.
If not familiar with the show, Menken would tell a little bit about the song or movie and then go right into playing the song or medley from the film. He would get up and engage with the audience, and the behind the scene pictures, audio, and footage was just fantastic.
The show was updated a bit since September since BEAUTY AND THE BEAST had since been released. But he played his classic songs from, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, THE LITTLE MERMAID, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, NEWSIES, ALADDIN, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, POCAHONTAS, HERCULES, HOME ON THE RANGE, ENCHANTED, TANGLED, SISTER ACT, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and of course GALAVANT.
There was a lot of focus on his work with Howard Ashman and his death right before finishing BEAUTY. Menken wrapped up his performance with “Proud of Your Boy.” This truly enchanting tune was cut from the final film version of Aladdin but now appears in the Broadway adaptation. The song has always been near and dear to his and Howard’s hearts.
And for one more surprise Menken announced his was working with Lin-Manuel Miranda on the live action version of THE LITTLE MERMAID. He also teased about HERCULES possibly coming in a stage version.
More to See!
We were at the D23 Expo 2017 the entire weekend with plenty to see! Check it all out by clicking below!