Films/books that would make good musicals?

Discussion of musicals other than Les Misérables.
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Films/books that would make good musicals?

Postby Enjolvert » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:57 am

Out of interest, are there major films or books out there you can see as stage musicals but that haven't been made into them yet?
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Lamarque-is-Dead
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Re: Films/books that would make good musicals?

Postby Lamarque-is-Dead » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:06 am

Maybe Dead Poets Society? It just occurred to me that the DPS are pretty much Les Amis. :P
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Re: Films/books that would make good musicals?

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:38 am

I love the DPS idea. :) But they are an apolitical Les Amis, so oh well.

I'd love to see a musical of "In the Time of the Butterflies" or "In the Name of Salome" by Julia Alvarez. Or even anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
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Re: Films/books that would make good musicals?

Postby MmeBahorel » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:15 am

One day, there will be a musical version of Tipping the Velvet, right?

It was written with a 3 act structure, so that's going to make adaptation more difficult, but the thing is crying out to be a musical. So what if it's a lesbian love story and perhaps not that marketable: it desperately wants to be a musical. The BBC did a television adaptation that was actually pretty good - the end of the novel is kind of amateurish and the BBC version attempted to fix that up a bit, so it isn't 100% accurate, but it proved someone was interested enough to push it mainstream. And I suspect Sarah Waters wouldn't mind an adaptation, since the music hall is so important to the themes, not merely the plot, of her novel.
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Re: Films/books that would make good musicals?

Postby LaserUnicornJedi » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:23 am

Lately, I've been wanting a Tangled musical. It better not come until after I graduate college and get into equity because I want to be the original Broadway Rapunzel and consider myself a Disney princess like Sierra Boggess.
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Re: Films/books that would make good musicals?

Postby Rachel » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:17 am

I thought about Tangled too!

Really, any Disney movie would work. I think Monsters Inc. has the potential to be really cool, if something creative was done with the doors. And I think Toy Story would be great too, if it's not already one.
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Re: Films/books that would make good musicals?

Postby MmeBahorel » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:25 am

Why haven't they tried a real stage Mulan yet? We still have loads of asian actors in the Equity pipeline thanks to Miss Saigon (not to mention Lea Salonga did the singing in the film anyway). The only hard to stage bit would be the avalanche, and even that isn't tremendously difficult. It just seems so obvious to me.

Still can't believe they did Tarzan before Aladdin and still no Mulan. Do producers think audiences are really that afraid of Asian leads? Is that what was really behind the Nightingale mess?
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Re: Films/books that would make good musicals?

Postby Acaila » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:30 am

Nightingale mess?
Having directed the kids version of Aladdin, I'm rather pleased that's on the horizon :D
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Re: Films/books that would make good musicals?

Postby MmeBahorel » Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:01 am

A new musical based on Hans Christian Andersen's story The Nightingale was being workshopped at La Jolla Playhouse. The show, like the original story, is set in a fantasy of medieval China (because let's be honest, Andersen was not exactly doing anything historically or culturally accurate in his story). But definitely China. Out of ten characters, only two were played by Asian actors, and both of those were supporting. The main character, the Emperor of China, was a young white guy.

This from the LA Times is a good run down of what was at issue and the way the creators did and did not think things through. I think the key was the question "If your show was set in Africa, would your main character Emperor be played by a white guy?" The fact that that never got answered is pretty telling about the way race is constructed in America and how we are and are not dealing with multiculturalism. And that the Asian community is always pushed to the side because they're small in numbers and are not viewed as socioeconomically disadvantaged.

It was legitimately a mess. Big press. Good press. Some things needed to be said. Not sure if the piece is going to be salvaged without a significant resetting, however, because if the creators don't want an all-Asian cast, they should really pull it out of China and just call it a fairy tale kingdom. But this will be remembered.
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Re: Films/books that would make good musicals?

Postby Acaila » Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:15 am

Interesting! And surely there aren't so few Asian actors in the US that people would be able to use that as an excuse?

Thinking about it, I suppose it happens with Eastern set pantomimes (Aladdin which is traditionally Chinese in panto, etc.) over here every year and nobody bats an eyelid... I wonder if that has any sort of case to being "different"
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Re: Films/books that would make good musicals?

Postby MmeBahorel » Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:31 am

Exactly - there's a lot of Asian actors in the US, many who got their Equity cards thanks to Miss Saigon but certainly not all. There are of course fewer Asian actors than there are white actors, but there shouldn't be any trouble finding people for a workshop in California, of all places. Highest Asian-American population in the US outside of Hawaii, and San Diego is not that far from LA, with all the necessary implications for finding actors.

There's definitely a cultural aspect to it: panto is a very old tradition, and all pantos are really set in Pantoland, anyway, right? It's harder to muck with a fantasy-based tradition (it isn't like "China" in the Arabian Nights is China any more than Andersen's "China" is China unless you deliberately try to make it so - both source stories use "China" as an idea of a far away exotic kingdom where rich trade goods come from but without any sense of it having its own particular culture). And it also may be the nature of US civil rights movements v. UK ones. The Asian-American community is getting a lot more vocal these days, sick of being the quiet "model minority", so there's been a deliberate push for more visibility when things go wrong. And for notice in non-traditionally-Asian fields: General Eric Shinseki at Veterans Affairs and Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, who was an Army helicopter pilot before losing her legs when shot down in Iraq, are huge wins for visibility when the stereotype is still wimpy math nerd.
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Re: Films/books that would make good musicals?

Postby Acaila » Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:40 am

Yes, I certainly would have thought with California it surely wouldn't have been that hard a casting job.
And yes in panto, the setting is largely irrelevant. And there is also the factor that in most pantomimes, the main cast will stay the same year after year - people are coming to see their dame and villain far more than for the story. So with that, it's hard to change up races in a more sensitive way. I guess too that there are only a certain number of well known panto stories and especially the commercial ones are not keen to go outside of those.
It did get me thinking though, reminding me of a big debate that started on a pro-theatre forum I used to be on where a noted transexual playwright criticised the portrayal of panto dames as transphobic. Equally, I always liked an idea a friend of mine put forward that Britain is more progressive as regards LGBT acceptance because we grow up seeing men in dresses marry other men and women in boys' clothes marrying other women every Christmas! :D
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Re: Films/books that would make good musicals?

Postby LaserUnicornJedi » Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:46 am

A musical based on Anastasia is currently in rehearsals.
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Lamarque-is-Dead
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Re: Films/books that would make good musicals?

Postby Lamarque-is-Dead » Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:03 am

LaserUnicornJedi wrote:A musical based on Anastasia is currently in rehearsals.


Can't wait for this (even though Aaron Tveit won't be playing Dmitri :( ). I love Anastasia.
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Re: Films/books that would make good musicals?

Postby Rachelle » Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:13 am

Lamarque-is-Dead wrote:
LaserUnicornJedi wrote:A musical based on Anastasia is currently in rehearsals.


Can't wait for this (even though Aaron Tveit won't be playing Dmitri :( ). I love Anastasia.


Anastasia was the first film I saw in the cinema and I absolutely love it.
Aaron Tveit would have been an amazing Dmitri!
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