Theatre Talk Thursday: Which musical would you most like to see made into a film?

The line between the stage and the silver screen has always been a fairly fine one, with both film adaptations of favorite musicals and video recordings of stage productions having been a common sight for decades.  Today, with so many musicals being adapted to film – from Sweeney Todd and Les Miserables to Pippin – one has to wonder just which musical Hollywood will decide should be picked up next as having “film potential.”  This week, we’ve put on our own film producer hats and asked: Which musical would you most like to see made into a film?

Aaron Tveit, Alice Ripley and J. Robert Spencer in "Next to Normal."

Aaron Tveit, Alice Ripley and J. Robert Spencer in “Next to Normal.”

Sam, founder and editor-in-chief

Next to Normal would be a fantastic film. The rock musical about a mother struggling with bipolar depression and the affect her illness has on her family is one that would appeal to all demographics. Whether an audience member identified with one of the five main characters, or even the two doctors Diana visits during her treatment, it would be a high-energy film that would blend romance, humor and drama in a neat package. Not to mention the words and lyrics written by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt have already proven to be an international success; a good sign that a film adaptation would also be a success. The only thing that would be changed, and perhaps to the dismay of many fans would be the lack of “pole dancing” from Gabriel. But I can imagine the slew of young audiences walking out of the theatre quoting the show, both the spoken words and lyrics, and insisting valium is their favorite color.

Alan, managing editor

Peter and the Starcatcher would be a wonderful film. It’s already a play with music, which would adapt very well to the big screen. It would be a chance for each of the one-hundred plus characters portrayed in the play to be fully realized, and pirates, locals, orphans and shipwrecks always seem to be a good combination for summer movies. I know that Peter and the Starcatchers (the movie adaptation of the novel) is already in the works, but why not let the stage version influence the upcoming film? It would be really exciting, but some things may just be better as an imaginative stage experience.

Monte, creative director

This one might be a little bit obscure, but I think if I could have any musical adapted into film, it would be Return to the Forbidden Planet.  There’s just something about delightfully campy sci-fi, pop music and intentionally slaughtered Shakespeare that lends itself to really, really fantastic film.  Ideally a film version would wry, self-aware comedy in the style of Mel Brooks (I’m thinking Robin Hood: Men in Tights…in space), though honestly, if we ended up with something entirely surreal and bizarre, I might not object to that either.  Worst case scenario, maybe the SyFy channel can find a new niche market.  B-grade science fiction musical movie night anyone?

"Newsies."

“Newsies.”

Josh, columnist

I think having Newsies turned into an updated movie musical would be amazing. The original film version is fantastic, but the newer one would feature updated choreography, new characters like Katharine Plumber and brand new songs! The idea of standing up to a government system that is unjust permeates many of the current films being made and with its positive spin on fighting for the common man, Newsies would definitely be a winner at the box office.

Claire, senior reporter

I would love to see Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party turned into a film. With the 1920s costumes and party scenery, it could make an amazing movie. The plot is dark and interesting, and the score is great. It’s based on a piece of writing that people already know and love, and some incredible talent was in the original cast. If the right person came along to direct it, The Wild Party could be a great film.

Wendi, multimedia reporter

This is kind of cheating, but I would love to see Newsies remade into a movie. The original wasn’t very successful but the Broadway version has been a huge hit and is fantastic. Adding the new songs and writing a new script would make this an incredible movie available to an entire new generation. Of course, the original Broadway cast (here’s looking at you, Jeremy Jordan and Andrew Keenan-Bolger) would reprise their roles, and the unparalleled choreography would have to stay. I’d also love to see Spring Awakening turned into a film, and the ongoing (untrue) rumors about that happening break my heart every time they are proved false. Get ready, Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele – it’ll happen someday.

"Ragtime."

“Ragtime.”

Amelia, writer

Ragtime! The overwhelming excitement I feel just imagining a film version of Ragtime is enough to make me weep a river of tears. Ragtime is one of the most powerful, beautiful, and epic musicals of all time. It is based of off E.L. Doctrow’s novel of the same title, and is about the prevalent race and class divisions and the struggles that result from them in a time of otherwise peaceful prosperity before WWI. There are several characters who represent different walks of life during this time and I think a film version might be able to focus on and elaborate the importance of these various characters. On the other hand, a film could cut out all the minor characters and totally botch it. I guess we’d just have to wait and see!

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2 Responses

  1. I would love to see She Loves Me made into a Hollywood movie.

  2. I’d LOVE to see new musical-movie adaptions of Ragtime and Next To Normal.