Apr 21, 2020

Musicals That Became Movies, Vice Versa, and Everything in Between!

By: Devon Sherepita

With the news that the musical Mean Girls is headed to the big screen to become a movie musical, we're taking a deep dive into musicals that became movies, vice versa, and everything in between!

As the crossover between film and theater continues to become more and more common, we are seeing a rise in musical movies: films based on stories that have been now twice-adapted to provide a fresh new twist as they make their way from the stage back to the big screen. Each time a new adaptation is released, we get the chance to re-excite our senses as if we are experiencing the plot for the very first time all over again. 

We have broken down many of the well-known adaptations of crowd-pleasing movies, musicals and musical movies both from the past and coming soon. Check out some of our favorites below!


The Lion King

The original 1994 film, directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, was adapted into a musical that first debuted on Broadway just three years later in November, 1997, with music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice and book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi. The musical was a great success, and still remains a Broadway favorite today, with rave reviews from critics.

 

 

Elf

This original 2003 film, directed by Jon Faureau, quickly became a Christmas favorite, due to its charming humor that the entire family could relate to! The film’s success led to its musical adaptation that had its Broadway run during the 2010-11 and 2012-13 Christmas seasons, with music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin and book by Bob Martin and Thomas Meehan. Check out these clips from the musical below!

 

Rent

The musical originally debuted on Broadway in 1996 with music, lyrics and book by Jonathan Larson. The film adaptation, directed by Chris Columbus, was released many years later in 2005, and fans were left moved by the modernized production. To get a little taste of the transformation, take a look at footage from the original Broadway musical cast on stage, as well as the 2005 movie trailer below!
 

 

The Sound of Music

This classic favorite originated as a musical that debuted on Broadway in 1959, with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. The 1965 film, directed by Robert Wise, became a huge success with lead actress Julie Andrews wowing fans with her charming performance. Check out this nostalgic clip of her singing “Do-Re-Mi” below!

 

A Bronx Tale

The original one-man-show not only written, but also performed by Chazz Palminteri, debuted in Los Angeles in 1989. Palminteri's successful story went Off-Broadway before hitting the big screen in the 1993 film directed by Robert DeNiro. The original one-man-show had its Broadway debut in 2007, and was later adapted into a musical that opened on Broadway just nine years later in December, 2016, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater and book by Chazz Palminteri. A Bronx Tale has been an on-going success as fans continue to follow the rich story through its many adaptations. Chazz Palminteri's one-man production is coming to Playhouse Square this October, but until then, check out the clip below to hear from Chazz himself as he chatted with our very own Gina Vernaci!

 


Mean Girls

The iconic film, directed by Mark Waters, was released in 2004. It quickly gained a great fan base due to its ability to relate to younger generations facing societal issues, while still remaining relevant as the years continue to pass since its original release. The film’s success lead to a Broadway musical adaptation with music by Jeff Richmond, lyrics by Nell Benjamin and book by Tina Fey that debuted in 2018. Because both adaptations did so well with such a vast audience, news was released that we can expect to see a Mean Girls musical film soon, celebrating many years of success! Check out this great footage from the Broadway cast below!

 


 


Matilda

This popular film, directed by Danny DeVito, was first released in 1996, giving audiences an inside look into the life of a young girl with unique powers that helped her through her problems both at home and at school. The film hit home with fans, and Matilda’s success story went on to be debuted on Broadway in 2013, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, and book by Dennis Kelly. Audiences showed lots of love for the Broadway adaptation, a reaction that inspired the plan for a musical film to be released in the near future! A date has not yet been set, but we are waiting eagerly to see what’s in store! Check out the article below for more details!

 

 

We hope to continue seeing musical and film success stories that will lead to many more years of entertainment to come.