Grassroots movement (and Bette Midler) hopes to see ‘Hocus Pocus’ on Broadway

hocus pocus

Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica in ‘Hocus Pocus’

Hocus Pocus is the greatest movie ever made. Well, sort of. If nothing else, one would be hard-pressed to find a person who’d say it doesn’t have a special place in their childhood memories. Just about everyone and their cousin has a dusty old VHS copy of this classic tucked away in their basement.

For those unfamiliar with Hocus Pocus, the 1993 film tells the story of witches who are brought back to life on Halloween night to steal children’s souls. What makes the movie particularly magic is that the mega-talented Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy star as wicked sisters Winifred, Sarah and Mary. What’s not to love?

It’s hard to pinpoint what it is that makes this film so contagious. Could it be the quirky chemistry between Midler, Parker and Najimy? Is it the movie’s festive Halloween atmosphere? Above all, Hocus Pocus’s almost cult-like fan base is what brings its supporters together and keeps it as the subject of Halloween celebrations (and many a Tumblr meme) so many years after its release.

Seeing the trend of films making their way to Broadway adaptations, many fans would like Hocus Pocus to be the next show to hit the stage – and they’re doing something about it. The Hocus Pocus grassroots movement is steadily growing and has dreams of seeing it light up Broadway. Few things could be more fun than watching the witches sing “I Put A Spell On You” live on stage.

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Bette Midler

We are living in the age of Kickstarter and Indiegogo and the idea of fans making a Broadway production happen – and even helping to fund it themselves through donations – isn’t all that improbable. The hope of Hocus Pocus supporters is that their online enthusiasm will attract the attention of people with the big bucks to make the show happen.

Besides being cherished as a childhood favorite by, well, pretty much everyone, the film also has some very theatre-savvy alumni that could help garner the attention of producers. It just so happens that Bette Midler herself is a producer (alongside having performed in many Broadway shows as well) and is responsible for bringing the much-loved Priscilla Queen of the Dessert to the Broadway stage. Even without her help producing, Midler’s public support alone could help the endeavor gain enough momentum to seek out Broadway bigwigs who are willing to help. Sarah Jessica Parker, another star of the film, is a Broadway veteran. She has been performing onstage since she was a child and has a strong influence not only as a Broadway star, but as a New York City icon. Kathy Najimy has also made her mark on Broadway when she appeared in Dirty Blonde. If these ladies were to speak out in support of a stage version of the film, they could help get this movement off the ground and onto the Great White Way.

Grassroots movements have the proven potential to make things happen, both in the entertainment world and elsewhere. This spring, motivated fans took action to ensure that a film version of the television series Veronica Mars will be produced. By using a Kickstarter campaign and raising over $4 million, fans got film studios’ attention and proved just how much success the film would see if they were to take it on. In a completely different vein, most Americans are well aware that widespread grassroots movements are also responsible for the election of President Barack Obama. If grassroots movements can elect the leader of the free world, they can certainly bring Hocus Pocus to Broadway, right?

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About Claire H.

Writer, performer, picture-taker, New Yorker. Find me on Twitter at @Claire_Hannum.

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