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Broadway used to be about exciting and thought-provoking new theatre that appealed to both the creative and rational sides of the audience. The most exciting event was the new play by an aspiring artist, and the traditional Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera were always around for support. Then Disney came in and turned Broadway into a theme park that the whole family can enjoy.

Disney is steadily infiltrating Broadway; right now it has three shows playing, all of which are making obscene amounts of money. The Lion King is by far the hottest ticket in New York, and Aida is right behind it. These shows will continue to make more money than any competitor could ever dream of. The point is, Disney will never run out of money, so these shows are going to be running for a very long time; they will not recede into the cannon of classics and allow newcomers to take their places in current theatre. If Disney continues to produce plays at this rate, they will take over most of the theatres; there will be no room left for the others.

The Disney shows themselves are just one big heap of live propaganda for Disneyland and its merchandise (I cannot say this of Aida because I have not seen it yet). The Lion King is just a very expensive hint of the grand daily parades at Disney World; the elaborate costumes and pole dancers and acrobats are reminiscent of the Magic Kingdom. All over the theatre you can buy the same toys that you find at the Disney Store. The theatre isn't just about the play anymore, its about marketing schemes.

Disney has opened Broadway up to little kids, thus destroying the sense of elegance and maturity unique to live theatre. You can no longer expect to watch the show in peace; there are always several 4-year-olds running around and screaming during the intermission (and sometimes during the show). Disney has brought the cartoons to the stage and its audience with it.

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