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A new musical ‘Winnie the Pooh’ headed to off-Broadway stage

“Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation,” featuring life-sized puppetry, opens Oct. 21 at Time Square’s Theater Row. Tickets go on sale June 1.

This image released by Disney Theatrical Productions shows promotional art for “Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation,” featuring songs by the Grammy-winning Sherman Brothers with additional music from A.A. Milne, and will be told using life-size puppetry.
This image released by Disney Theatrical Productions shows promotional art for “Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation,” featuring songs by the Grammy-winning Sherman Brothers with additional music from A.A. Milne, and will be told using life-size puppetry.
AP

NEW YORK — Disney’s iconic “Winnie the Pooh” will travel from the forest to find a home off-Broadway this fall.

“Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation” will bring together Pooh, Christopher Robin, Eeyore, Tigger, and the gang in a new production developed by Jonathon Rockefeller.

The show will feature songs by the Grammy-winning Sherman Brothers with additional music from A.A. Milne, and will be told using life-size puppetry. Richard and Robert Sherman have written music for Disney classics “Mary Poppins,” The Jungle Book” and “The Aristocrats.”

“Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation” opens Oct. 21 at Time Square’s Theater Row. Tickets go on sale June 1.

Away from the Great White Way, shows have already opened with socially distanced audiences, but that’s not possible for the 41 Broadway theaters. The financial demands simply don’t favor keeping many seats purposefully empty.

“Hamilton,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked” return Sept. 14, as does “Chicago.” “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations” restarts Oct. 16, “The Phantom of the Opera” on Oct. 22, “Jagged Little Pill” on Oct. 21 and “Come From Away on Sept. 21. “Six,” which had planned to open officially on the day of the 2020 shutdown, will restart Sept. 17, as will David Byrne’s “American Utopia.” “Mrs. Doubtfire” will return Oct. 21. More are expected to announce new dates soon — for the fall.

Broadway shows can’t just restart like flipping a light switch, especially big musicals. Cast members may have left, requiring new hiring. Orchestras and ensembles must re-learn their parts, choreographers need the cast in the room to synchronize and costumers need to check fittings. Producers say the task is like opening a show from scratch all over again.

Contributing: Mark Kennedy, Associated Press