The “Billboard on Broadway” pre-Tony Awards performance series enjoyed a rare treat when storied composer Alan Menken sat down at the piano and performed a selection of songs from Aladdin, the Broadway show (and original Disney movie) for which he wrote the music with lyricists Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.
Aladdin’s original motion picture soundtrack reached No. 6 on the Billboard 200 in February of 1993, and its mega-single “A Whole New World” (sung by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle) stayed at No. 1 on the Hot 100 for a week. The soundtrack yielded four Grammys for Menken, including song of the year for “A Whole New World,” along with two Oscars for the film’s score and for best original song for “A Whole New World.”
Though the songs on the movie’s award-winning soundtrack have become classics, the musical features several previously unheard (Chad Beguelin wrote the book and new songs' lyrics for the Broadway show). “Every project has the songs you know, and the songs that get cut. And probably more than any other project of mine, Aladdin had a treasure trove of songs that were cut,” Menken says.