Saturday, March 29, 2014

Aladdin, The Musical

Disney's theatrical department deserves more credit than it gets. The kids who fell in love with Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and other Disney films followed them to Broadway, and dragged their parents along. Family-friendly shows like The Lion King have become the biggest box office hits in Broadway history. More important, Disney has shown a lot of respect for creative artists. Nearly every Disney show has featured innovative staging to turn animation into theatrical entertainment. Most of all Julie Taymor’s groundbreaking puppetry and set design for The Lion King. Disney recruits artists, not hacks; spends years developing its shows; and turns out product that may be formulaic but never looks cheap or half-baked. The person who started all this was Stuart Oken who has left Disney by now and has become an independent and successful Broadway producer (The Addams Family). Judging from New York's reviews, Disney's latest show, Aladdin, is another demonstration of Disney professionalism.

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