×

‘Monopoly The Musical’: Hasbro Partners With Broadway Producer for Live Entertainment (EXCLUSIVE)

Hasbro is getting into the live entertainment game. Their first move: “Monopoly the Musical,” targeted for Broadway and the first of a series of stage projects to be announced out of a new partnership between Hasbro and the Araca Group, the Broadway producing and merchandising company.

The expansion into live theater seems a natural extension for Hasbro. The Rhode Island based company has already become a Hollywood player with film franchises like “Transformers” and TV titles including “My Little Pony,” and the company’s move toward Broadway comes as movie studios and other entertainment conglomerates increasingly recognize the revenue potential in having a stage hit like “The Lion King” or “Wicked.”

The new partnership between Hasbro and Araca will dig into Hasbro’s library for inspiration for stage fare across all theater markets, including Broadway, national tours, amusement parks and cruise ships, as well as licensed content created for use by high schools, colleges and community theaters. For their first announced project, the partners will develop “Monopoly,” one of gaming’s biggest global brands, for the highest-profile theater market in the country, Broadway.

No creative players have yet been locked in for “Monopoly the Musical,” and decisions regarding plot, setting and music style are still in flux. “I can tell you this: It’s not going to be a musical about people sitting around playing Monopoly,” said Matthew Rego of the Araca Group. “What turns us on is creating something that explores the world of Monopoly, kind of like the Lego movies have done with Legos.”

Araca, which produced the Broadway run of Pultizer-winner “Disgraced” and is on the producing team of shows including “Wicked” and “Shuffe Along,” first connected with Hasbro through Araca’s successful merchandising division. Beyond handling merchandise for musicals including “Wicked,” “Matilda” and “The Book of Mormon,” Araca also does brand extension work for music acts like Beyonce and Britney Spears, and for Hollywood conglomerates like Disney, for which Araca helped spearhead the Her Universe line of apparel.

A merchandise deal for “Magic: The Gathering” first brought Araca into contact with Hasbro, after which the two companies began to discuss the potential for collaborating on stage work. “Our businesses are quite similar,” said Simon Waters, Hasbro’s general manager and SVP of entertainment and consumer products. Waters’ description of Hasbro’s gaming experiences — immersive — has become a trendy signifier in the theater industry in recent years. “We’re expanding our franchises and building immersive experiences. To bring our properties to life onstage is just the next level of immersion.”

No timeline for “Monopoly the Musical” has yet been set, with the premiere of the full production looking at least three or four years away. Further stage projects from Hasbro and Araca will announced in the coming months.

More Legit

  • Ain't Too Proud review

    Broadway Review: 'Ain't Too Proud'

    In the wake of the long-running “Jersey Boys” and the short-lived “Summer,” director Des McAnuff is back on Broadway with another show built around the song catalog of a music act — and although “Ain’t Too Proud” has all the right sounds and slick moves, this bio-musical of the R&B vocal group the Temptations is [...]

  • 'White Noise' Theater Review: Suzan-Lori Parks

    Off Broadway Review: Daveed Diggs in 'White Noise'

    Any new play by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (“Topdog / Underdog”) demands — and deserves — attention. And in its premiere production at the Public Theater, her latest, “White Noise,” opens with a burst of brainy energy that lasts through the first act. But it takes a nosedive in the sloppy second half, [...]

  • Alexander Dinelaris

    'Jekyll and Hyde' Movie in the Works Based on Broadway Musical

    The Broadway musical “Jekyll and Hyde” is getting the movie treatment from Academy Award winner Alexander Dinelaris. Dinelaris, who is writing and producing the adaptation, won an Oscar for the “Birdman” script and was a co-producer on “The Revenant.” He is producing “Jekyll and Hyde” as the first project under his New York-based development company, [...]

  • Sam Mendes

    Listen: The 'Balls-Out Theatricality' of Sam Mendes

    If you find yourself directing a Broadway play with a cast so big it includes a goose, two rabbits, more kids than you can count and an actual infant, what do you do? If you’re Sam Mendes, you embrace the “balls-out theatricality” of it all. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “There is a kind [...]

  • James Corden Tony Awards

    James Corden to Host 2019 Tony Awards (EXCLUSIVE)

    James Corden has been tapped to once again host the Tony Awards, Variety has learned exclusively. “The Late Late Show” host previously emceed the annual theater awards show in 2016, and won the Tony for best actor in a play for his performance in “One Man, Two Guvnors” in 2012. “I’m thrilled to be returning to [...]

  • Frozen review Broadway

    ‘Frozen’ the Musical Opening in London in 2020

    “Frozen” the musical is coming to London and will open in the West End in fall 2020. The Michael Grandage-directed Disney Theatrical Productions stage show has been on Broadway for a year. Grandage’s production is now set to re-open Andrew Lloyd Webber’s refurbished Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez are behind the [...]

  • Nantucket Sleigh Ride review

    Off Broadway Review: John Guare's 'Nantucket Sleigh Ride'

    Anyone who doesn’t have a cottage on the Cape or the Islands, as they say in Massachusetts, might be puzzled by the title of John Guare’s new play.  “Nantucket Sleigh Ride” is no Revere Beach amusement park ride, but an old whaling term for the death throes of a whale that is still attached to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content