Friday, February 20, 2004

All Disney, all the time

There's getting to be something a little scary about all the teen performer synergy going on at the Disney Channel. The stars of the TV shows meet up in different combinations in the TV movies, sing together in the TV videos, appear in or sing theme songs for Disney movies, provide the voices for animated sitcoms, appear in inspirational ads, pop up on ABC Saturday mornings, and for all I know serve lunch and park cars on the Disney Studio lot. These kids are multi-taskers. As Disney Youth go, they make Mousketeers past like Britney, Christina and Justin look like pikers.

Now it appears that plans are afoot to move those fresh young overworked faces from the Disney Channel to Disney's Broadway: Christy Carlson Romano -- better known to parents forced to endure hours of Disney Channel broadcasting as Ren on "Even Stevens," Jennifer in "Cadet Kelly," and the voice of "Kim Possible" -- is taking on the role of Belle in Disney's long-running, oft-stunt-casted musical "Beauty and the Beast." Ms. Romano is being heard in radio ads in the greater NYC area gushing about how being a Broadway baby is a dream come true, and while I'm happy for her, I can't help but imagine this is opening the floodgates to a casting blitz of Disney Channel chattel in Disney Channel Musicals on the Disney Channel Way ... I mean, the Great White Way.

I guess it's all just a wonderful way to get a new generation hooked on theater, and that can't be bad, but there's got to be an end to this somewhere, doesn't there? When I see the ads for Raven in "Aida," I'm really going to start worrying.

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