Let’s be real, for a lot of people a night out to watch a musical isn’t always their first choice when it comes to making plans. Here at Vocalzone, we take a more open minded approach to our arts. While we love a great film, we’re partial to a great show too, however ridiculous it may be. What we love more is when the two are combined. In most cases, films based on books are rarely as great as the original material (an example being this, let’s be honest) yet with the stage, taking a film and putting it live in front of audiences often has fairly awesome results. Here are our top five films to stage adaptations. Read with an open mind!
5) Billy Elliot the Musical
The Academy award nominated, BAFTA winning film was a triumph for British cinema so it came as no surprise when the musical adaptation won numerous awards (including Laurence Olivier Award’s and several Tony Awards) and was hailed by critics as a success. Still running productions around the globe, Billy Elliot the Musical is fantastically heart warming and brilliantly done, one of our faves for sure.
4) Legally Blonde the Musical
A success with critics and the buying public alike, this hilarious film was seen as a breath of fresh air to the often stagnant chick flick genre. The stage show, well it’s certainly on the fluffy side of theatre but looking at its list of accolades might surprise you. Well cast and wickedly funny, it’s not going to be the new Othello but that’s kind of okay for us, any show that can’t put a power song as epic as THIS in it has thumbs up from (most of) us.
The journey of Hairspray is maybe less conventional, a film in the late 80’s turned into a musical in the early 00’s then turned into a remake film based on the stage show in the later 00’s. It’s as camp as tents in summertime and complete with a middle-aged man playing a middle mother, this may sound like a cliché ridden mess. However, among its productions it’s won an incredible number of awards and is a real fun factor musical with a massively serious message within it (the basic premise of the show is racial equality).
2) Carrie the Musical
Okay, this is one will be controversial to musical fans, it’s usually cited as one of the biggest flops in Broadway history. The film is a cult classic and the stage show isn’t far off being the same thing. Ridiculous production and a frankly bizarre soundtrack meant it was mauled by critics and closed after only 5 performances, probably not one you’d expect on our list. In reality, that is probably why it is here. By being so ridiculous, it was met with cheers and boos alike, it is infamous and it’s gone down in history, making it a classic show, if not the best example of Broadway turning a profit.
1) Lion King
Anyone who comes to us and says they dislike this movie is assumed to be heartless, literally without heart. The soundtrack makes it, set it among an African landscape and we we’re hooked. Our favourite by far. NO. DOUBT.
That list is not comprehensive, we recently saw Matilda the Musical and loved it, for example, but is fair (if theatre students wish to quote us in dissertations the reference is Vocalzone, 2011). Go and see them, open your mind to a musical, if all that happens is you leave and scream for 17 minutes straight, at least you’ll have a Vocalzone for your poorly throat and anyway we reckon you might just enjoy yourself, in fact we’re sure of it.