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Comics and theatre..unlikely allies

I am currently at a comic book convention in San Francisco. This may seem like a departure from theatre related things, but it’s really not. Theatre and comics have a lot more in common than you might think.

Do you know how many Broadway actors are in comic book related shows? Hugh Jackman played Wolverine (both in “Wolverine” and in all the “X-Men” movies), Liev Schrieber played Sabertooth in “Wolverine”, Peter Sarsgaard will play the villain Hector Hammond along side fellow Broadway alums Angela Bassett and Geoffery Rush in the soon to be released “Green Lantern” movie. Three of those names have won Tony Awards and the other two have been nominated for them!

Spiderman: Turn off the Dark is playing on Broadway (don’t let the 5th push back of the official opening date sway your feelings on it’s comic book origins) Warner Bros. and DC Comics are currently in process of creating Batman Live a stage spectacular touring production and every year Broadway and off Broadway theaters have musicals based on comic books, one of the most recent being a collaboration of actual comic books from the 1950’s as a source material called My Comic Valentine: A Comic Book for the Stage.

Add to all of that the basic form of a comic book tends to follow the structure of the ancient Greek theater and explores all of the same subjects that theater does, which is why it so easily translates to stage. Revenge, love, heroes, villains, people who come to realize that “With great power comes great responsibility” are all plots that have been used by playwrights from Shakespeare to Stephen Sondheim to Stan Lee.

OK, gotta go…. Next panel is about to start J

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