When You Wish, Musical About Walt Disney, Opens Oct. 16; Tim Martin Gleason, Andy Umberger, Brandi Burkhardt Star
By Andrew Gans
The life and times of Walt Disney are explored in the new musical When You Wish, which officially opens Oct. 16 following previews that began Oct. 11 at the Freud Playhouse at UCLA.
Directed by Larry Raben with choreography by Lee Martino, performances continue through Nov. 3.
When You Wish features an original score and book by Dean McClure. The cast includes Tim Martin Gleason as Walt Disney, Andy Umberger as Roy Disney, Brandi Burkhardt, Melissa Fahn, Norman Large, Louis Pardo, Kade Pait as young Walt and Jake Davidson as young Roy.
The ensemble comprises Jennifer Brausell, Kate Harvey, Aurore Joly, Lorenzo King, David Michael Laffey, Morgan Marcell, Garett Marshall, Louis A. Williams (Dance Captain), Thomas Adoue Polk, Kirklyn Robinson, Nick Tubbs and Salvatore Vassallo.
When You Wish, according to press notes, "tells the inspiring story of how a young dreamer became the Walt Disney who changed the world. The journey begins in 1906 with Walt as a six-year-old, drawing cartoons on the family toilet paper and concludes with his biggest dream of all, the opening of Disneyland in 1955. Roy Disney, Walt’s older brother and business partner, serves as the story’s narrator, taking us on a journey of struggle, heartache, and enormous triumph; including the opening and bankrupt closing of Laugh-0-Gram Studios in Kansas City; the formation of Disney Brothers Studios in Hollywood; the marriage of Walt and Lillian Disney; the departure of his best and closest animator Ub Iwerks; and the creation of a mouse named 'Mickey' which ignited his career and the legacy that would forever be Walt Disney."
The production also features musical direction by David Siebels; scenic design by Tom Buderwitz; costume design by Kate Bergh; lighting design by Tom Ruzika; projection design by Adam Flemming; sound design by Philip G. Allen; hair, wig and makeup design by Jenna Huffman; and properties design by John M. McElveney.
The production stage manager is John W. Calder, III, and the assistant stage manager is Cate Cundiff; casting is by Michael Donovan, CSA and Peter Matyas, CSA.
Pat Boone co-produces with Dean McClure and Robert Rudolph.
Tickets, starting at $65, are on sale at ticketmaster.com, or by calling UCLA Central Ticket Office at (310) 825-2101. Performances are held at Freud Playhouse at UCLA, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA.
For more information visit whenyouwishmusical.com.
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