By Bill Hirschman, FloridaTheaterOnStage.com, Special to EyesOnNews.com, Jan 15, 2015 – For millennia, the tragedy of all theater as an art form was that it was ephemeral. Few people alive today saw Laurette Taylor’s legendary performance in The Glass Menagerie and even if they did, they cannot recreate for us the visceral experience of the moment.
When it’s filmed, most theater works lose 88 percent of its unique magic no matter how good the movie. As iconic as Marlon Brando was in the cinematic A Streetcar Named Desire, those who saw him on stage said the film version couldn’t compare with his electrifying presence in the theater.
But Disney, for all its theatrical sins, deserves credit for at least one benefit of its long, long, long-running Broadway shows and tours: You can see what your parents were talking about when they raved about the magic of some theatrical piece from back in the day.
Because as the current Broadway Across America visit of The Lion King to the Broward Center shows (and indeed Beauty and the Beast’s stop at the Arsht Center last month) Disney knows how to keep that magic alive.