Alan Menken and Tim Rice collaborated on an adaption of the biblical story of “King David” for the inaugural production at Disney’s New Amsterdam Theatre in May of 1997.
King David was presented in oratorio form (“in concert” with costumes) and limited staging and direction. A live audio recording was made and released of selections from the show after its limited engagement ended.
The show begins with David’s death and then flashes back to when he is discovered and anointed by the prophet Samuel. David wins the respect of King Saul, the friendship of the King’s son Jonathan and the hand of the King’s daughter Michal in marriage. Saul’s resentment and jealousy of David’s fame results in David’s exile into the wilderness. David’s forces overpower Saul’s, and upon Saul’s death David becomes king. David’s affair with Bathsheba results in the birth of Solomon who David chooses to succeed him.
“This New Jerusalem”
“Warm Spring Night”
Tim Rice and I had worked on 2 projects together before “King David”. He had come in to help complete the score to “Aladdin” with me, after Howard Ashman’s passing. He did the same, when we brought “Beauty and the Beast” to Broadway. In each case, the new songs we wrote together were a tremendous success; songs like “A Whole New World”, “If I Can’t Love Her” and “A Change In Me”. So, when the Jerusalem 3000 committee approached me about writing a musical to commemorate King David, to be performed at The Sultan’s Pool, outside the walled city of Jerusalem, it was a perfect opportunity for the first Menken/Rice musical.