Read the book before you see the…play
When an author writes a book, one possible source of future income is an adaptation.
Most people think of movies, or TV shows, and certainly, there can be significant money there.
When we look at the top ten US all-time box office champs, it turns out that not that many of them are based on books (if we don’t include comic books/graphic novels).
- Avatar (original)
- Titanic (original: based on a real event)
- Jurassic World (ultimately based on a book)
- Marvel’s The Avengers (based on comic books)
- The Dark Knight (based on comic books)
- Star Wars – The Phantom Menace (original)
- Star Wars (original)
- Avengers Age of Ultron (based on comic books)
- The Dark Knight Rises (based on comic books)
- Shrek 2 (ultimately based on a book)
It occurred to me, though: many of the longest-running Broadway shows (and other plays) are based on books.
Let’s take a look at those longest-running Broadway shows:
- The Phantom of the Opera (based on a book)
- Chicago (based on another play based on a reporter’s writings)
- Cats (based on a book)
- The Lion King (based on a movie)
- Les Misérables (based on a book)
- A Chorus Line (original)
- Oh! Calcutta (original)
- Mamma Mia! (based on songs)
- Beauty and the Beast (ultimately based on a book)
- Rent (based on an opera)
As you can see, a lot more plays are based on books…if I kept going, I’d run into more. 🙂
Why is this?
I think attending a play is more like reading a book than when you go to a movie.
Reading is largely imagination (even though they do cheat with things like italics and bold). 😉
So are plays.
They are inherently pretty unreal…you can see a lot of things when you are in a theatre (all the time), that requires a willing suspension of disbelief.
Now, movies also are unreal…the way that time tends to jump around, for instance.
I suppose one could also argue that movies are two dimensional, and plays are real people…so plays are closer to reality.
I think that you are almost always aware that the stage actor is not actually the character…I think you are more actively engaged watching a play.
That’s just an idea, though. 🙂
I do like the idea of it being reality based. Plays can be very representational, unrealistic. They can compress time, and audiences accept that.
If a movie has a significant time jump (forward or backward) they usually explicitly explain what happened.
What do you think? Is watching a play more like reading a book than watching a movie is? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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