5 films stalled on the way to Broadway
Doesn't it feel like every movie is being turned into a Broadway musical? Three of last season's four nominees for the Tony Award for Best Musical were based on films (including "Newsies" and "Once") and musicals based on movies premiering this season include "Hands on a Hardbody," "A Christmas Story," "Diner," and "Kinky Boots," in addition to the now running "Bring It On."
But some musicals based on films have been stalled in development for years. Here are just a few examples.
'Honeymoon in Vegas'
Jason Robert Brown, whose impressive scores for "Parade" and "The Last Five Years" have countless admirers, has yet to achieve a genuine hit. His adaptation of the 1992 film comedy starring Nicolas Cage and Sarah Jessica Parker was supposed to finally premiere in Toronto this fall but got postponed allegedly due to "scheduling conflicts," but it's more likely money issues. Tony Danza is still onboard to star as gambler Tommy Korman and all the songs I've heard from the musical sound terrific.
Although "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella" will reach Broadway for the first time this season, a musical based on this 1998 reinvention of the fairy tale has long been in the works. Songwriters Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich, best known for the cabaret standard "Taylor the Latte Boy," penned the score. With director-choreographer Kathleen Marshall now onboard, it could premiere as soon as next season.
'The Princess Bride'
This 1987 swashbuckling romance was set to be made into a musical with a score by the inventive Adam Guettel ("The Light in the Piazza") and a book by the film's screenwriter William Goldman. However, it went up in flames due to a feud between Guettel and Goldman over how they would share the rights. Here's hoping they can resolve the legal issues and ultimately bring this very promising project back to the table.
Right after the premiere of Baz Luhrmann's extravagant movie musical, it was announced that Luhrmann himself would stage it on Broadway. He was also slated to helm a show based on his dance film "Strictly Ballroom." But after his very expensive 2002 production of "La Bohème" fizzled despite critical acclaim, all of these plans disappeared into thin air.
John Patrick Shanley, who won an Oscar for his screenplay of this 1987 romance starring Cher, was expected to write the book for a musical adaptation with a score by Henry Krieger ("Dreamgirls"). But despite Shanley's recent success with the Pulitzer-winning drama "Doubt," nothing has come of the project. But Cher fans will be relieved to learn that a musical about her life is now in the works.
Flicks we'd like to see adapted
Since Broadway is clearly going to continue to mine film for future shows, here are a few films that I think have the potential to make great stage musicals.
1. 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'
2. 'The Royal Tenenbaums'
3. 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'
5. 'That Thing You Do'