So Many Movies Are Becoming Musicals!
Here's our incomplete list of the screen-to-stage adaptations currently eyeing a Broadway run.
With recent casting news about the UK production of the Back to the Future musical and the pre-Broadway tryout of Mrs. Doubtfire, Story of the Week is going to take this opportunity to list the movies currently being developed into Broadway musicals. There are a lot, and the list seems to be constantly growing (the latest edition of Forbidden Broadway has some fun with this in a song titled "It's Got to Be a Musical").
It's sometimes hard to know which movies-turned-musicals are real, and which ones are still in the "funny idea" phase. We admit our part in muddying these waters, so here's where we set the record straight:
13 Going on 30
It was announced in 2016 that First Date songwriters Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner were working with the screenwriters to turn the 2004 rom-com starring Jennifer Garner into a musical. It has been radio silence since then, but last month Deadline reported that Revolution Studios CEO Vince Totino (executive producer of Rent: Live) was speculating about a future live TV run for 13 Going on 30 — after its stage run, of course. No word on when or where that will be.
This is another Zachary & Weiner collaboration. It's based on the 2009 movie in which Matthew Perry wakes up in his 17-year-old body (which we're supposed to believe is the spitting image of Zac Efron) in order to have a second chance at his teenage dreams. Last year, a concert reading was presented as part of the 30th Annual Festival of New Musicals. No future runs have been announced, but you can listen to music from the show here.
Mixing rock hits with new songs by Tom Kitt, this adaptation of Cameron Crowe's 2000 movie about a young writer working for Rolling Stone in the early '70s is currently having its world premiere at San Diego's Old Globe. Expect the announcement of a Broadway transfer imminently.
Back to the Future
This musical adaptation of the 1985 Michael J. Fox-Christopher Lloyd film about time travel is totally happening — and in the near future. It will make its world premiere at the Manchester Opera House with Roger Bart playing Doc Brown. You can have a listen here.
This stage adaptation of the 1988 tearjerker starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey was most recently seen at Chicago's Drury Lane Theatre in 2015. There has been talk of a Broadway transfer since then, and last year, book writer Iris Rainer Dart said that she expected a London run for 2019. Well, it's October and nothing has been announced yet; but while you wait, you can listen to Shoshana Bean sing "Wind Beneath My Wings."
It has played in London and New Jersey, and is currently on a seemingly endless world tour, but this musical adaptation of the 1992 Whitney Houston vehicle has not played Broadway…yet! New England audiences can catch a short run at North Shore Music Theatre at the end of October, and Philadelphia audiences can see it next spring at Walnut Street Theatre. As for me, I'm saving all my love for Broadway.
Will Swenson starred in the 2014 Alliance Theater staging of this adaptation of the 1988 Ron Shelton film about minor league baseball. Bull charged toward a Broadway run after that, but last year investors were caught allegedly stealing from the production. Producers aren't ready to call a rainout yet, though: Earlier this year, they were speculating about a Broadway run in 2021.
The Flamingo Kid
This musical adaptation of the 1984 Garry Marshall film made its world premiere at Hartford Stage this past spring. It features book and lyrics by Robert L. Freedman (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder), score by Scott Frankel (War Paint), and direction by Darko Tresnjak (Anastasia). With this A-list creative team, we can expect to hear talk of a future Broadway run. In anticipation, you can watch a weird music video from the Connecticut production above.
Based on Dori Berinstein's 2008 documentary Gotta Dance, Half Time is about a dance team of senior citizens hired to perform a routine in the middle of a New Jersey pro basketball game. The writing team includes Matthew Sklar, Chad Beguelin, and Bob Martin (the guys behind The Prom). It also includes Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line) and Nell Benjamin (Mean Girls). It made its world premiere last year at Paper Mill Playhouse where it starred Broadway talents Lillias White, Donna McKechnie, André De Shields, and Georgia Engel in her final performance. No Broadway run has been announced, but the original cast recording dropped in August.
This musical based on the beloved stripper movie starring Channing Tatum hit a roadblock when half of the creative team quit and it was forced to cancel its Boston world premiere. Thankfully, fans can still see Magic Mike Live in Las Vegas and London – surely a more entertaining way to bring the franchise to the stage.
Helllloooooo!!! Rob McClure and Jenn Gambatese are all set for the Seattle world premiere of this stage adaptation of the 1993 Robin Williams movie about a dad who masquerades as a British nanny in order to spend more time with his kids. With a score and book by the Something Rotten! team, it will be on Broadway next March, and I can't wait.
Grammy winner Melissa Etheridge is writing the score for this new musical based on the 1988 Julia Roberts rom-com. It's about three young women working at a pizza parlor in Mystic, Connecticut. This will be Etheridge's debut as a Broadway composer, but not her Broadway debut: That happened in 2011 when she temporarily stepped in for Billie Joe Armstrong in American Idiot.
Vanessa Hudgens and Jelani Alladin starred in a reading of this surefire tearjerker this past summer at New York Stage and Film. Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, which became the date-night movie starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, it's about a star-crossed romance in 1940s South Carolina, the memory of which is increasingly imperiled by the sands of time. Our writers have a lot of feelings about this property, and you can read some of them here.
The Preacher's Wife
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess has penned a gospel score for his stage adaptation of the 1996 Denzel Washington-Whitney Houston movie The Preacher's Wife. Loretta Devine starred in industry readings in 2016 and 2017, the latter helmed by Michael Arden (Once on This Island). Two weeks ago, Burgess revealed to Forbes that he was readying a commercial tour, either in the US or the UK.
Some Like It Hot
This stage adaptation of the 1959 Marilyn Monroe-Jack Lemon-Tony Curtis cross-dressing laugh-riot is aiming for a Broadway premiere in 2020. It will feature a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the team behind Hairspray. The book is by Matthew Lopez, who trod similar territory in his off-Broadway comedy, The Legend of Georgia McBride. Lopez is making his Broadway debut this season with his two-part drama The Inheritance.
This spring, Public Theater audiences will get to see an adaptation of the 2007 film about a college professor who forges an unlikely bond with two undocumented immigrants. The score is by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal), with a book by Yorkey and Kwame Kwei-Armah (Twelfth Night). Kitt and Yorkey have been talking about bringing the musical to Broadway since at least 2014 and a run in the theater that produced Fun Home and Hamilton might be just the ticket.