It was only a matter of time.
ANAHEIM, CA — The Hyperion Theater at Disney’s California Adventure & Spa has struggled for years to find an audience. The current production, Frozen – Live at the Hyperion, has been running since approximately 1972 (oddly predating both the movie Frozen and the park it’s in). And yet Frozen is deeply unpopular. Its showings are mostly empty, with only a few lost stragglers staying to watch the adventures of Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and Skippy the Wonder Lizard.
So it comes as no surprise that Disney has been looking for a more popular show to bring in kids and their parents. And they think they’ve found the perfect show: Broadway’s Les Misérables.
Toning down the violence?
Of course, bringing Les Mis to a family theme park will require some story modifications (just like when they staged Cats at the Magic Kingdom). The three-hour Broadway run time will be collapsed to a mere 55 minutes, for example. (Our sources say the whole subplot featuring Jean Valjean will be cut.)
We’ll have to wait for the press previews to give more details, but we can report some rumors. First, Collette will gain a talking animal sidekick, possibly a cat. Also, the iconic flag-waving from the barricade will feature Mickey Mouse himself in a surprise appearance (don’t tell anyone!).
Interestingly enough, our sources say the violence in Les Misérables will not need to be toned down for the Disney theme park crowds. Guests are already used to gunfire and sword play from such attractions as Pirates of the Caribbean (and indeed from the Anaheim streets around the park). Also, bad guy Javert’s means of death, falling from a high place, is already the way most Disney villains die.
Are you excited to see Les Mis at the Hyperion? Let us know in the comments below!
Cover photo: The newest stage production at Disney’s Hyperion Theater. Photo by VillageTheatre [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia.