Let’s Discuss: Has Disney Saved Broadway?

Photo courtesy lionkingocpac.com

Greetings chums!  I recently read a post on The Awl (NSFW) in which the author claims that Disney’s commitment to live theatre has by and large saved Broadway.  He gives a several reasons for this, but mostly it boils down to this:  Disney’s got the dough to put on a big show.  (Yes, I realize that rhymed.  Yes, I realized that before I wrote it. And yes, I posted it anyway.)

Aside from his douchey comments about “In the Heights,” he makes some good points:

They don’t waste their time with “pared down” productions where the orchestra is reduced to two actors playing recorders and a keyboardist plinking out orchestrations designed for at least 24 real musicians . No, these folks always put mad cash behind their productions—and they still turn a profit. 
With the recent news that “West Side Story” plans to downsize its orchestra, I can’t help but think that maybe he’s right.  In many cases the only way that the art survives in hard times is by drawing in non traditional theatre goers. But is the Disney-fication of theatre (pronounced the-ah-tah) a good thing?  

I’m inclined to say yes, because of their draw for young viewers.  Viewers who (hopefully) turn into old viewers.  With lots and lots of money.

What do you think?  As an adult, would you have seen a puppet show if not for The Lion King? Has Disney saved Broadway?  

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About hezaire

I am a Singer/Actor who enjoys writing about music, food, and fashion. View all posts by hezaire

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