Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Another Dracula, Another Flop

Summary: This week Warner Brothers joined the Walt Disney company in attempting to transform Broadway from a venue with a whisper of hope for social relevance into one that presents works that are the intellectual equivalent of a Mickey Mouse caper. As even the blind could foresee, the critics went for the jugular. As we often say about working with an idea that doesnÆt have a life of its own, you can stand up a dead body, but you canÆt make it sing and dance, and, once you let go, its bound to fall back down.
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This week Warner Brothers joined the Walt Disney company in attempting to transform Broadway from a venue with a whisper of hope for social relevance into one that presents works that are the intellectual equivalent of Mickey Mouse caper. If Disney could do it with, for example, The Lion King, why couldnÆt Warner Brothers find a property to achieve Broadway fame and fortune with? Unfortunately, their imaginations never soared higher than redoing the Dracula legend, based on a contemporary authorÆs odd novelistic take on it. In order to hew to DisneyÆs proven path to moronic megabucks, Warner hired the same songwriting team Disney did for The Lion King, Elton John and his comparatively invisible lyricist Bernie Taupin. Fortunately, the show was a no-go from the start. The word of mouth was devastating and the reviews turned out to make the word of mouth sound brilliant. The question is, why would anybody, given the entire world of properties to choose from or, on a wild bet, even to create an entirely original one, choose the exhausted and irrelevant legend of Dracula? As we of say about trying to work with an idea that doesnÆt seem to have a life of its own, you can stand up a dead body, but you canÆt make it sing and dance, and, once you let go, itÆs bound to fall down.

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