All in Broadway Musical Musings
Recently, a Facebook friend of mine started a debate over which people preferred: escapist musicals that transport us to a happier place or thought-provoking musicals that evolve our minds to new perspectives. I found this debate startling because I always thought the answer to this question was obvious. It surprised me to see how many people were dismissing the value of the lighthearted musical comedy. Of course, musicals that transport and musicals that transform are equally essential to the world of musical theatre and it all depends on what you need and when you need it.
Generally, I am a proponent of the trend in producing musicals “live” on television, with the proviso that they are done well and that they don’t besmirch the reputation of musical theatre. The renaissance of live musicals started a few years ago with The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood. It was an underwhelming effort to say the least, but it was popular enough with audiences for NBC to turn live musicals into a perennial event. Peter Pan came next and that was even more painful than The Sound of Music, especially with an under-rehearsed Christopher Walken wending his way through the role of Captain Hook. Then something miraculous happened: Musicals Live! suddenly came up with a great idea and chose a musical that didn’t already have a beloved film version and then cast it with powerhouse talent. The Wiz Live! was a exciting, bursting with energy and heart, and was also just plain good.
A few years ago, I wrote a piece on Broadway poster art, an assessment of the ten most effective posters that advertised their products well. It turns out that this has been one of the most popular articles to run in my blog. It appears that my readership is as excited about this topic as I am.
Since the piece's popularity continues to astound me, I decided to write a part 2. For this round, I am assessing poster art that may or may not be effective, but is so stunningly gorgeous that its effectiveness is irrelevant. The poster is a stunning piece of art.
In celebration of Disney’s Aladdin celebrating it’s 1,001st performance on Broadway, I thought it might be fun to speculate what other films in the Disney canon might be worth looking at for the stage musical treatment. Here are some ideas I have, admittedly some are longshots or require some major rethinking. Would you want to see any of these reach the stage, or do you have some ideas of your own?