THE AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATER IS DOOMED
Disney is both
the musical symptom and the disease, a brightly colored cancer poisoning
your children's minds and what there is left of American "culture."
Einstein products turned out to be a fake, a mere marketing ploy
designed to get you to spend your money with them in the hopes
of a smarter child.
executives saw that "childhood musical development" was
selling well to the American mind, and looked for a profitable
product they could hang it on.
a nice use of buzz words like Mozart, was really all marketing
and no substance, and headed by a marketing genius. So Disney
went all the way with a childhood development project.
marketing does not necessarily make a product good for your
child's musical development.
And that is
Disney's modus: worthless products marketed as education and
They have done
the same for Broadway, with Disney and other corporations taking
over almost all production and putting out of work the real
theater artists who took lifetimes and decades to master the
craft, substituting talentless Hollywood yes-people who will do
their bidding and make the most profitable show, regardless of
real theatrical quality.
Broadway show may fool kids but it doesn't fool me.
the least talented artists who will:
their line and turn out bland, meaningless material that
they can SELL
at the lowest possible, sweatshop rates
When they hire
theater composers now, they hire the blandest, most conventional
hacks who turn out Shrek 8 in the perfect knowledge that it will
sell almost as well as Shrek 7.
The public has
no idea of the wealth of American musical talent, which has been
disenfranchised by mega entertainment companies like Disney.
about, "But where are the Bernsteins and Richard Rodgers of
I'll tell you
where: they're either dead from starvation or sitting by their
phone trying to figure out how to get SOMETHING produced and
But the "Circle of Life" for theater composers today is CLOSED, open
only to the weak talents and minds willing to turn out the
corporate slop Disney creates, unless of course you're a
celebrity, in which case Disney is eager to present your
anything you dare to call your "work."
What is the
difference between a musical of today and the classic period of
Let's take a
musicals are written by celebrities and performed by other
celebrities. Go ahead and see an Elton John musical about
the life of Elvis starring Tony Danza. The real musicals
were written by NOBODIES who had talent. Talent and
integrity were qualities composers actually possessed,
regardless of their social position and tabloid credentials.
about it: you are a Disney executive and are presented with
two possible projects:
an Elton John musical about the life of Elvis
starring Tony Danza OR an original, worthy piece of theater
written by an utter, desperate nobody. Even an idiot knows
which project the executive chooses. This has been going on
since the 1980s, and the pool of real talent is GONE from
Broadway, replaced by tinseled yes-men who promote the
Disney celebrity show model or its clones. (And by the way,
that original, worthy piece of theater presented by the
nobody above will probably appear as a clever piece three
years later starring or written by a celebrity. At the top,
people like Disney steal your material because they know you
are too poor to sue, and they are smart enough to change the
material and cover their tracks. The next time you think a
CONTRACT will enforce your rights in the shobiz-theater
world, think again: your opponent will have more lawyers
than you, and far more money to protect their rights. You
will lose, my friend. Goliath wins in shobiz, sorry,
new Disney model has zero social or artistic
adventurousness. They often take a movie that has sold and
make it into a musical, regardless of the appropriateness of
that setting, because they can people it with celebrities
and those phonies that cater to celebrity. The PACKAGE is
far more important to the Disney executive than the actual
content of the musical. Do you honestly think you can
produce another WEST SIDE STORY in that production
musicals were written by teams of writers, usually two.
Disney musicals are written by committee, with a money man
calling the shots. In the words of my friend, Rupert Holmes,
the author of a fine musical, EDWIN DROOD, and the composer
of the pop song PINA COLADA, "The production of a musical
nowadays is the process of dilution. Whatever composerly
idea you had in the beginning better be very strong indeed,
because the Disney guys will file off the edges, sand down
the detail, all in an effort to make it saleable and please
ALL the members of the committee. What you get is mush, but
it sells because Disney can make anything sell." Pardon my
Americans have only the culture that Disney has paid for them to
should not whine about "There are no more Leonard
The Bernstein's of today are out there, silenced by the idiot
production methods of the big corporations and gangsters that
now control Broadway and ALL of the pitiful American culture.
In the old
days, you could walk in off the street, and if you had a good
idea, you might have a shot at getting it produced in the
Today if you go
into Disney the same way, and they will look disdainfully at you
(if you can get that far past the agents and the cronies and the
sycophants and the flacks, all wanting their piece of your pie) and
say, "It's a wonderful show, but you're a NOBODY. We're
doing Eminem's Shrek 9 with Tony Danza."