Tuesday, July 3, 2012

From Movie to Musical

The discussion of what makes a Broadway musical has been talked about for years. When I was in the BMI Musical Theater Workshop, we had to write songs for well-known movies to create certain moments in a 'fake' musical. (I wrote a mean I Have a Head for Business & A Body For Sin from "Working Girl".) I for one have a love/hate relationship with turning movies into musicals. I completely understand that you have a ready-made story with an audience attachment to a movie. But as someone who has written original musicals, I wish more producers would take a chance with those. (That said: I'd love to have any of my books adapted into a movie, so I can't complain 'too' much.)

Look back on the past few years and there have been numerous musicals on Broadway that started as a movie (and then, now and again we'd get a "Next to Normal" to balance it). But I just had to share the amount of movies I've found that are being worked on as Broadway musicals. I'm sure you'll find yourself recalling the movie and sometimes saying to yourself "what are they thinking?" (And then others I find myself going: hmmmm...that looks interesting.)



ANIMAL HOUSE
Score by Barenaked Ladies

AUSTIN POWERS
Mike Myers is reported to be working on an adaptation.

BACK TO THE FUTURE
Robert Zemeckis is reported to be working on a musical.

BIG FISH
Susan Stroman (“The Producers”) is directing and choreographing; John August, who wrote the screenplay, is writing the book; Andrew Lippa (“The Addams Family”) is doing the music and lyrics.

BULLETS OVER BROADWAY
Woody Allen is working on an adaptation.

DINER
Barry Levinson, the film’s writer/director, is doing the book, Sheryl Crow is doing the music and lyrics, and Kathleen Marshall (“Anything Goes”) will choreograph and direct. 

FLASHDANCE
Was scheduled for Toronto...closed, but sure will show up again.

HONEYMOON IN VEGAS
Tony Danza’s set to star in this one. Andrew Bergman, the film’s director and writer, is doing the book; Jason Robert Brown (“Parade”) is doing the music. 

KINKY BOOTS
Cyndi Lauper’s writing the music and lyrics (and I already heard one of the songs on Sirius Radio) Harvey Fierstein’s writing the book; Jerry Mitchell (“Legally Blonde”) is set to choreograph and direct. 

THE NOTEBOOK
Nicholas Sparks confirmed this one.

REBECCA 
Yes..that great old movie in Manderley

ROBIN AND THE 7 HOODS
The 1964 movie has already had workshops done

ROCKY 
Flaherty & Ahrens & Thomas Meehan ("The Producers") book

SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE 
Rumored to be in works as the creative team keeps changing

SOMEWHERE IN TIME
Richard Matheson (author) is writing book, Ken Davenport is driving force behind it - and yes...this is one of my favorite movies (I wrote my OWN version of this musical in the early 90s and then couldn't get the rights - so I look forward to hearing the music by the composer they got).




And of course...another holiday favorite of mine is coming to Broadway this winter.

A Christmas Story, The Musical (I've listened to the CD and this is definitely on my "GO SEE" list!)





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