What Stage Shows Have You Seen?

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Lizzy_B's picture
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What Stage Shows Have You Seen?

I confess: I've never seen a Disney stage show. (I'm talking Broadway, London, Vegas, etc, or touring.) What shows have you seen? Did you love them?

I would love to see Beauty and the Beast and Mary Poppins, and I'd like to take my daughter to see The Little Mermaid.

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I've seen Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid and Mary Poppins all on Broadway and loved them all. I started crying when little mermaid was ending because I didn't want it to end, I loved it so much. We got engaged the night we saw Beauty and the Beast. We made a donation to Broadway Cares for Mary Poppins and got a signed poster and got a huge backstage tour and got to meet some of the cast. We love disney stage shows! I'm still not sure why they yanked little mermaid so quickly from broadway.
We never saw Tarzan.

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Good question, Katrina, on why they pulled Little Mermaid so quickly. Do you think it was in any way sub-par?

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I've never seen one either..sad..I would LOVE to see Mary Poppins. It's my favorite Disney movie and I have heard such good things about the show!

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We've never seen one. My Mom always raved about The Lion King and told us we needed to see it someday. We're not big stage show people.

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I feel kind of left out that I haven't seen the Lion King yet. I even really enjoy musical theater so I have no excuse.

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SpaceAce wrote:
Good question, Katrina, on why they pulled Little Mermaid so quickly. Do you think it was in any way sub-par?

Yes. it was sub-par and by sub par I mean not very good at all. Most of the "new" songs SUCKED (Posituvity and Human Stuff, blah), a lot of the staging was very poorly done (they added one really pretty song but just had Eric standing onstage and singing it), the sets were not the quality of many other shows on Broadway, and the original Ariel was not superb like she should have been. She finished "Part of Your World" and we went "eh".

Not up to standards they had set with previous shows (I only saw bootlegs of Lion king and B&tB, but it was obvious they were much better even through there).

It may seem that I am being nit-picky, but with the budgets Disney has, the shows should be the best there is with the best performers.

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I was always wondering how they could do a show where a girl wore the mermaid costume the entire time.

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Bella wrote:
I was always wondering how they could do a show where a girl wore the mermaid costume the entire time.

Umm...it was those stupid skate shoes. Yeah could have been SO much better

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caitiesus wrote:
SpaceAce wrote:
Good question, Katrina, on why they pulled Little Mermaid so quickly. Do you think it was in any way sub-par?

Yes. it was sub-par and by sub par I mean not very good at all. Most of the "new" songs SUCKED (Posituvity and Human Stuff, blah), a lot of the staging was very poorly done (they added one really pretty song but just had Eric standing onstage and singing it), the sets were not the quality of many other shows on Broadway, and the original Ariel was not superb like she should have been. She finished "Part of Your World" and we went "eh".

Not up to standards they had set with previous shows (I only saw bootlegs of Lion king and B&tB, but it was obvious they were much better even through there).

It may seem that I am being nit-picky, but with the budgets Disney has, the shows should be the best there is with the best performers.

I had heard it wasn't very good. But judging from the clip we saw on one of E's DVDs (Mermaid II I think) she was enthralled...however, if it's not great, I certainly don't want to shell out the money on it when/if it tours (it was supposed to, but maybe it won't if it's bad.) She would be just as pleased with Mary Poppins - she loves that one. I'll have to see if there are any plans to tour it, since we won't be getting to NYC anytime soon. Thanks for the info!

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caitiesus wrote:
SpaceAce wrote:
Good question, Katrina, on why they pulled Little Mermaid so quickly. Do you think it was in any way sub-par?

Yes. it was sub-par and by sub par I mean not very good at all. Most of the "new" songs SUCKED (Posituvity and Human Stuff, blah), a lot of the staging was very poorly done (they added one really pretty song but just had Eric standing onstage and singing it), the sets were not the quality of many other shows on Broadway, and the original Ariel was not superb like she should have been. She finished "Part of Your World" and we went "eh".

Not up to standards they had set with previous shows (I only saw bootlegs of Lion king and B&tB, but it was obvious they were much better even through there).

It may seem that I am being nit-picky, but with the budgets Disney has, the shows should be the best there is with the best performers.

I totally disagree, I thought Little Mermaid was amazing! Like I said I was crying when it was over because I didn't want it to end. My family saw it in Denver when they were doing practice shows before it hit broadway and they all loved it too. Also, I thought the new songs were great, and the woman who played Ursala was outstanding. But I guess, others sided with Caitie, since it was gone so quickly.

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katrina1122 wrote:

I totally disagree, I thought Little Mermaid was amazing! Like I said I was crying when it was over because I didn't want it to end. My family saw it in Denver when they were doing practice shows before it hit broadway and they all loved it too. Also, I thought the new songs were great, and the woman who played Ursala was outstanding. But I guess, others sided with Caitie, since it was gone so quickly.

That is the one thing I will give it, Ursula was phenomenal...but that is to be expected since it was a Broadway veteran and superstar Sherrie Renee Scott. Well, the one who played King Triton was great too, but he barely had anything to sing (why cast one of the best voices on Broadway and not use it???).

It is two completely different sides of theater experience though, Jason and I are kind of Broadway snobs and expect everything that makes it there to be high quality and meaningful. Obviously, that is not what most people are looking for since Mamma Mia has been running for years, but all the inventive shows like Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Passing Strange barely get any time. I know there needs to be a mix between commercialism and quality, but Disney proved they could do both with Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. I couldn't believe they didn't bother to try with The Little Mermaid. It could have run for years if they put the right amount of work into it (and actually had the person who wrote the songs originally, who is a Broadway composer, write the NEW songs!).

Jason actually has his undergraduate degree in theater - dramaturgy which means that he learned about what makes a show work and how the elements work together. He also knows the history of theater and about more shows than almost anyone I know. It has rubbed off on me, so even when we do enjoy a show, we are still super critical about it (for example, we saw The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at a local theater with Katrina and really liked it, but once everyone got out of the car, we started talking about all the problems in staging, some casting, and a few things with direction), and when we don't like a show, we tear it apart. I hope for everyone's sake, Jason doesn't come on here and talk about Tarzan!

Our other issue is that you pay a LOT for the shows. Even discount tickets are over $70. For that kind of money, things need to be amazing. Not just Disney shows, but all shows. I liked Wicked a lot originally (now I think their casts aren't as good, but that is beside the point) partially because with that show, you are getting your money's worth!

I do wish we could go see Mary Poppins though. I have heard great things, but again, I don't know if they are great enough to justify the price. I wish we didn't live so close to NYC because then we could see more tours

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I guess I have to jump in on this, now, don't I?

There is a raw emotionalism that can be a factor in enjoying a show. Sometimes the technical aspects don't need to come together as they necessarily should in order for a show to be enjoyable to most people. For example, take The Little Mermaid show in WDW. Technically, it's OK. The lip synching drives me crazy, and some of the effects could be a little better (though some are indeed spectacular). There's very little unique or ultimately creative in it - yet we go EVERY time we go to WDW because the show is just raw entertainment. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. As snobbish as I am for myself (and by extension Caitie) about theater, I do think there's value in that. That's why Mamma Mia has run as long as it has. There's nothing to it, but damn it, it's entertaining as hell.

Stephen Sondheim has said, and I'm paraphrasing here, that theater has changed drastically in the last couple of decades because the prices have gone up so much. It used to be sufficient to see a show with great songs, great story, and great character. Now, because we pay so much, we want to see our money on stage. In fact, that's why every show you see on Broadway now gets a standing ovation. People drop, even at a discount, 70 + dollars a ticket, plus transportation, dinner, and sometimes a baby sitter, and you're looking at 300+ for a night at the theater. For that, it better be a good show!
(To put this into perspective, when Fiddler on the Roof opened in 1964 a ticket to the show cost $9.50. When it closed some seven years later, it still cost $9.50 a ticket. Granted, with inflation that could still be a lot then, but when you compare it to the figures I gave above, you can see why people expect to be blown away by the theatrical experience now!).

The problem with The Little Mermaid, for me, was that I didn't feel like the money spent was on stage. As Caitie said, Sherie Renee Scott and Norm Lewis are phenomenal performers, two of my favorites really. The trouble I had was the new songs were pretty subpar, ESPECIALLY when compared to the originals from the movie. Sierra Bogges, who played Ariel, was good. She wasn't great. Wheelies for movement and set pieces that looked more like abstract art were more distracting to me than anything else. In fact, one of the biggest problems, in retrospect, is that for me the show just wasn't that memorable, again especially compared to the movie. I've seen a lot of shows in my theater going career, and unfortunately Little Mermaid just wasn't one of the ones that stuck with me.

The NY critics felt much the same way I did. Combine the critical drubbing the show got with the simple fact that 70+ dollars is a LOT of money to drop on a kids' show that just isn't as good as The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast (which I think was still running at the time - I could be wrong about that), and it's not particularly surprising the show closed early.

I have not seen Lion King on Broadway (I know, I know) though I have seen bootlegs of it and it looks VERY impressive. I did see Beauty and the Beast and thought it was spectacularly well done - and even more importantly, the added songs are excellent. They were built off themes you can hear in the original movie's score, and so sound exactly like they fit in with the show. The Little Mermaid's songs didn't do that - they FELT shoe-horned in.

Don't even get me going on how terrible Tarzan was....

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For the record, Caitie says I do pick TOO much -- but I did go to school for it, so...

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I know it's not Disney, but the last stage show I saw (apart from at the parks) was We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre in London. Simply incredible, the show, the story, the music and the performance was amazing. I understand it's being done on Broadway now, I hope it's up to the same standard and reccomend it to anyone (unless they really can't stand Queen).

Trying to get back on topic... Has anyone seen the Disney on Ice shows? they seem to tour the UK quite regularly, should I go and see one?

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I've seen the Lion King 3 times and Mary poppins once. Probably wouldnt see it again, it was my fav film as a child and it just didnt live up. I would have loved to have seen the Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast but we havent had them here Sad

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Tony wrote:
I know it's not Disney, but the last stage show I saw (apart from at the parks) was We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre in London. Simply incredible, the show, the story, the music and the performance was amazing. I understand it's being done on Broadway now, I hope it's up to the same standard and reccomend it to anyone (unless they really can't stand Queen).

Trying to get back on topic... Has anyone seen the Disney on Ice shows? they seem to tour the UK quite regularly, should I go and see one?

I'd be interested to hear opinions on Disney on Ice as well. I get the impression that they aren't as broadly appealing as say the stage shows.

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When they performed Circle of Life in the opening scene of the Lion King show I have to confess I did well up a little...! It was so powerful!

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Tony wrote:

Trying to get back on topic... Has anyone seen the Disney on Ice shows? they seem to tour the UK quite regularly, should I go and see one?

You know, I haven't seen one! They come around here quite a bit, too. I'm afraid that the food in the concession stand will be the best part. laugh

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