With the recent announcement of the beloved musical Cats becoming a motion picture event next year, it really got me thinking which other beloved Broadway musicals should get the Hollywood treatment. Embarrassingly enough, this is a topic I think of quite a bit, down to the cast. With that being said, here are 5 musicals I think would be great with the Hollywood treatment. I based my choices on popularity (meaning with theatre fans on social media and how they’re received in general), the music and story. Of course not, everyone is going to agree with these, but these are a few I’ve seen garner a huge response and gathering for. Without further ado!
5. Spring Awakening (2006)
Spring Awakening is just awesome, truly. Set in Germany in the late 1800’s, it’s a story of teenagers coming to terms with their sexuality, their inner battles and struggles, and what they believe to be, love. It’s set to a rocking (quite literally) score that will have these tunes stuck in your head for days. Spring Awakening is also a story that will stick with you far after you experience it, and with talks of the musical being turned into a film since 2013, there’s no time like the present to do it. In a day and age where sexuality is not only a wonderful and fluid thing, it’s an open discussion and to see a movie musical that could help someone come to terms with it if they are struggling, would be wonderful. It also shows the typical teenage angst that is set to a rock score, it is sure to make us laugh and break our hearts. To see this musical put out on the big screen in such a modern day and age would be as revolutionary as this musical.
4. Next to Normal (2009)
Next to Normal, the story of a mother who is currently struggling with bipolar disorder and how it is effecting the lives of her daughter and husband. This show addresses many mental and physical struggles that many people do have to face on a daily basis, and it is done respectfully and beautifully. In the modern day and age, in which topics such as mental illness, suicide, abuse of drugs and many more of the like are being acknowledged more and are being talked about, there’s no time to put this real, raw and beautiful musical up on the big screen. Next to Normal resonates with many fans because they feel they can relate to seeing the struggles displayed on a platform they love and use to deal with their own struggles, so to see this done and up in the public’s eye can keep the conversation going. With beautiful songs such as “Light”, “There’s a World”, and “Maybe”, this adaption will leave no viewer with dry eyes, but will also have them leave with a new outlook on life and these topics. This is also one of the shows I have seen a huge demand for on social media to have some form of a Hollywood film/live showing of, so it would do phenomenally well.
3. Miss Saigon (1989)
Oh Miss Saigon, set to the final days of The Vietnam War and the aftermath of one soldier’s decisions while there, this show has garnered its fair share of supporters and haters. While back with the Original London Cast they did very unfortunately do yellow face, but thankfully as they realized their very poor course of action, the show has been done better. With the recent Broadway and London revivals, and current UK and US Tours, an interest among newer audiences is being displayed, so why not put it on the big screen while it’s being toured nationally. Like how they did with the timing of Les Miserables in 2012, with the film being released with a simultaneous US Tour, it could be a huge benefactor in selling it. The newer staging of the show is also so elaborate and beautiful, to see how it’s translated onto film is something I would LOVE to see, especially that helicopter scene! I believe Miss Saigon is one of those rare musicals that would be done so precisely, it could end up being better on the screen than the stage, due to what the magic of bigger Hollywood sets/cameras with it. Miss Saigon could be captured a million different ways, but like the show, I know it will be taken such good care of and it will be done with such care, that any Saigon fans would be proud of it. The music is also hauntingly beautiful and so well crafted, to see the public’s reaction to it and the heart wrenching ending would be a smash hit for the movie musical crowd.
2. Kinky Boots (2013)
Kinky Boots being one of the two most modern musicals on this list is, dare I say, very important. Kinky Boots is a musical that is a big bundle of happiness with a side of acceptance, it’s just such a feel-good musical that’s important to our modern society. Kinky Boots is all about feeling good about who you are and accepting yourself, and in a day where that message is so important, and acceptance is a thing we all favor, having this huge hearted musical up on the big screen is very well needed. Shoe salesman Charlie befriends a glamourous drag queen Lola, and they create an unlikely friendship that not only sells shoes, but helps them come to terms with who they both are and creates acceptance from the both of them. Set to amazing tunes, this show will guarantee to make you leave the theatre with a huge smile on your face, good feelings, and songs you’ll guaranteed to be singing for weeks to come. Kinky Boots whole message is literally “Just Be Who You Wanna Be” and to have that message displayed in a Hollywood movie, in a time where we are working towards accepting and acceptance of ourselves without any judgement, this would be what is drastically needed. Plus, I feel everyone can relate to Lauren and her ”History of Wrong Guys”.
1. Hamilton (2015)
Yes, we all knew this was going to be number 1, but Hamilton is just that important of a musical that it needs to be adapted for a Hollywood musical. Hamilton follows the life of Alexander Hamilton, the ups and downs of his life, and ultimately what he accomplished. It’s also set to the non-traditional style of musical theatre music, but the rap fits in the modern telling of the story. Hamilton is also important as it includes people of color in the roles of the main characters and gives them a voice and prominent role in this blockbuster. The entire world has fallen in love with Hamilton, the music and the message of not only the musical but what the musical and cast represent, so to see it given the big screen adaption is something I, many musical theatre fans, and quite honestly the world can agree on. It has taken the world by storm, so why not dominate Hollywood. For some people, Hamilton was their introduction to the wonderful world of theatre, so this also gives everyone a chance to witness it’s brilliance and importance. Seeing Hamilton on the big screen is something I can see in the near future, but until then, we can only hope we will be seeing it. But when it does get it’s big screen slot, it will be a relief to many fans, and considering how beloved it is, it will be taken care and done so creatively, we know it will be well worth the wait.