Written by: Danelle Go / Gifs by: Kathleen Yap
This year marks the 72nd annual Tony Awards – that’s 72 nights of honoring some of the best and most talented thespians, producers, stage hands, and creatives that New York (and the world) has to offer. With Broadway‘s biggest night having come and gone, a lot of buzz is centered on this year’s nominees and winners, as well as on the Broadway community as a whole.
One particular musical that led the pack this year was Mean Girls, holding a total 12 nominations including Best New Musical. For those who haven’t been keeping tabs (or have been living under some sort of rock), Mean Girls, the 2004 pop culture classic film, was recently revived in musical form and brought to the Broadway stage.
This is just one of the most recent examples of movies-turned-musicals in a long line that spans decades, with so many iconic and timeless movies hitting the stage and being brought to a whole new kind of audience. So in honor of the Tony Awards and this fetch new sensation, here are 8 Movies-Turned-Musicals that you should all feast your eyes (and ears) on.
8 Movies-Turned-Musicals to Feast Your Eyes and Ears On
8. Bring It On: The Musical
In the mood for just some old fashioned teenage high school cheerleading drama? Or in the mood for some epic flips and a glimpse of the work of a young Lin-Manuel Miranda? Well, both the musical and movie versions of Bring It On are ready to provide!
Though the musical version of the film may not be as iconic as the original 2000 movie, it still brings some great spirit to the Broadway stage with its killer choreography and score (it actually has Hamilton and In The Height traces if you listen closely enough!), even scoring a few Tony nominations back in 2013.
7. Kinky Boots
This 2013 Tony Award Winner for Best New Musical actually originated as a movie. Kinky Boots (2005), starring Red Sparrow’s Joel Edgerton and 12 Years A Slave actor Chewitel Ejiofor, is the story of an English family-owned shoe shop on the brink of closing. But when it finds a new niche target market in drag queens, it undergoes a drastic change in identity.
The musical follows a similar plot, but this time incorporates an original score written by Grammy Winner Cyndi Lauper, who has produced iconic songs like True Colors and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Locally, Atlantis Theatrical Company did a run of Kinky Boots starring Nyoy Volante, and until now, the musical is still entertaining Broadway audiences five years after it first hit the stage.
The original Newsies film, starring a young version of Batman himself, Christian Bale, came to life back in 1992 and was actually deemed as a bomb at the time. However, it did gain some sort of a cult following that contributed to its production as a full-fledged, incredibly choreographed stage musical.
The story is loosely based on the Newsboy strike in the late 1800s and takes place in New York City. Its classic story topped with a Tony-winning score and choreography, plus the amazing Philippine production done by 9 Works Theatrical Group back in July 2017 makes this musical a true favorite!
Leave it to this Disney classic to bring you from the cinema to a whole new different world on stage! Hard to believe that the film came out back in 1992, introducing us to young Aladdin who wished for nothing more than having a better life for himself and his lovely princess, Jasmine.
Despite the transition from screen to stage, Aladdin still manages to keep its magic. From its extravagant sets to its talented cast, there’s no doubt this classic remains beloved in the hearts of all.
4. Legally Blonde
It’s hard not to love Legally Blonde. It has so much life, and spirit, and pink! Not to mention, Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods. Everything about it seems to work (so much so, that they’ve even decided to do a third movie! But that’s another story). Now add a bit of music into the mix and you get a high-grossing critically-acclaimed Broadway musical!
Though its run was short, and it may not have the same legendary status as some of the rest on the list, we still think this legend of a comedy-turned-musical deserves a good listen!
3. Mean Girls
Who would’ve thought that you could turn an iconic 21st century movie like Mean Girls into a similarly iconic musical, while keeping all the same wit, charm, and hilarity in it? No one did – except for the masterminds of Mean Girls, I guess. And now, the 12 Tony nominations speak for themselves as to how incredibly it is!
Just give the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Mean Girls a listen (it’s available on Spotify!) to see how they’ve managed to turn this 2004 teen comedy film about high school drama into a musical with just as much drama, spunk, and heart as the original!
Back in 2016, the stage musical version of Waitress opened its diner doors to Broadway audiences and lured us all in with incredible music written and composed of course by Grammy-award nominee Sara Bareilles. The original Waitress movie came out back in 2007, starring Keri Russell, and followed a similar plot to that of the musical: a young waitress in a hopeless marriage who gets pregnant, among other obstacles.
Until now, Waitress still sells out to excited audiences, and even features notable cast replacements like Sara herself, and Smash’s Katharine McPhee. Soon enough, local audiences will be able to witness this amazing show as Atlantic Theatrical Company prepares to do their own run of this Broadway hit!
1. The Lion King
Definitely one of the highest grossing Broadway musicals (and one of the most extravagant) ones out there, The Lion King is a classic. Whether you’re talking about the original movie or the stage version, everything about this story comes together so well that it’s impossible not to love it.
In fact, The Lion King (musical)’s international success even brought it to Manila as part of its world tour! I mean, how can you not fall in love with young Simba? It’s just a circle of life!
What’s your favorite movie-turned-musical?