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When You Wish: The Story of Walt Disney Prepares for Its World Premiere at UCLA's Freud Playhouse

The story of entertainment mogul Walt Disney receives a musical treatment in Los Angeles. logo
(Promotional artwork, courtesy of the production)

When You Wish, a new musical featuring an original score and book by Dean McClure, will enjoy its official world premiere on October 16 at the Freud Playhouse at UCLA.

The production, directed by Larry Raben, follows the tumultuous life and career of the man behind one of the world's greatest entertainment empires. Roy Disney, Walt's older brother and business partner, serves as the story's narrator, tracing his journey from childhood, drawing cartoons on pieces of toilet paper as a six-year-old boy, to adulthood, opening the world-famous Disneyland in 1955.

Tim Martin (Sleepless in Seattle: The Musical) leads the 20-person cast as Walt Disney, with Andy Umberger (Silence! The Musical) costarring as his brother Roy. The main cast also includes Brandi Burkhardt (Hart of Dixie) as Lilian Disney; Melissa Fahn (Wicked) as Flora Disney and Edna Disney; Norman Large (Les Misérables) as "Character Man"; and Louis Pardo (West Side Story) as Ub Iwerks. Also featured are Kade Pait (Nickelodeon's Kids Choice Awards) as young Walt, and Jake Davidson (Mrs. Sweeney), who makes his Los Angeles theater debut as young Roy. Ensemble members include Jennifer Brausell, Kate Harvey, Aurore Joly, Lorenzo King, David Michael Laffey, Morgan Marcell, Garett Marshall, Louis A. Williams, Thomas Adoue Polk, Kirklyn Robinson, Nick Tubbs, and Salvatore Vassallo.

Lee Martino lends his choreography to the musical. The creative team also features music 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 prop design by John M. McElveney. Pop recording superstar Pat Boone co-produces with Dean McClure and Robert Rudolph.

For tickets and more information, click here.


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