The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

From Movie To Musical

Sometimes a good story can be told in more than one way.  A best-selling book might be adapted into a movie; but every now and then a hit movie is reimagined into a stage play or musical. The following list contains classic movies that moved from the big screen to the Broadway stage.  In most cases, the library owns the original movies, the soundtrack of the resulting Broadway show, and in some cases, DVDs of a live stage performance.  

 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman.

"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" the musical, based on the 1968 film of the same name, opened in London in 2002.  The legendary Sherman brothers of Disney fame, returned to add six new songs to the musical production.  The Sherman brothers have written more movie scores than any other song- writing team in history.  


   The Color Purple: A New Musical Music & Lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, Stephen Bray; Book by Marsha Norman.

Based on the book by Alice Walker, and the 1985 film starring Whoopi Goldberg, the musical opened on Broadway in 2005.  Oprah Winfrey, who appeared in the original film, produced the musical.  Since its 2005 premiere, the Color Purple has had three national tours and most recently opened July 17, 2013 in London to rave reviews.


  Elf, The Broadway Musical Music By Matthew Skylar; Lyrics By Chad Beguelin (Book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin.)

Buddy the Elf, a six-foot-tall human raised by a kindly elf at the North Pole, knows instinctively that he doesn't fit in.  So he decides to journey to the magical kingdom New York City in search of his human father.  Who could resist his infectious optimism and irrepressible Christmas spirit?  Now Buddy, who just could not resist singing in the 2003 film, is free to sing his head off in the musical that opened on Broadway in 2010.  The show is currently on a national tour.   


  Hairspray Music By Marc Shaiman, Lyrics By Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman; Book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan.

"Hairspray" the musical is based on John Water's 1988 film of the same name.  It chronicles the journey of Tracey Turnblat, an overweight girl struggling to break free of societal norms. Tracey questions not only the standards of beauty and behavior, but also the segregation and discrimination so prevalent during the 1960s. The musical opened in 2002, won eight Tony awards, and played for 2500 performances.


   The Lion King: The Landmark Musical Event Music by Elton John and Tim Rice.

"The Lion King" was the first musical adaptation of a Disney animated film and is still a Broadway sensation.  Based on the 1994 film, the show has been running on Broadway since it opened in 1997.  It is the fifth longest-running Broadway show of all time and as of 2012 is the highest grossing Broadway show in history with sales totalling $853.8 million dollars.


  Mary Poppins Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman; Additional Music and Lyrics By George Stiles and Anthony Drewe; Book by Julian Fellowes.

This theatrical production is a hybrid of the 1964 Disney film and the series of children's books by P.L. Travers.  The show opened in London in 2004 and the show has been seen by audiences all over the world.  In 2014 it will open in The Phillippines.    


   Monty Python's Spamalot Music by John Du Prez and Eric Idle; Book and Lyrics by Eric Idle. 

"Monty Python and the Holy Grail" is a cult hit film from 1975 that continues to thrill people of all ages.  Created by the British comedy team Monty Python, the film and subsequent musical follow the quest of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table on a quest for the Holy Grail.  Filled with endlessly quotable lines, the film includes a battle with a killer bunny, the use of weapons like the Holy Hand Grenade, the Trojan Rabbit, and a merciless taunting by French knights.  Eric Idle, original Monty Python member, wrote new material and songs and took the name of the show from a line in the original movie that around Camelot ..."we eat ham, and jam and Spam a lot."  In the 2004-2005 season the musical received 14 Tony nominations.    


   Newsies: The Musical Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Jack Feldman; Book by Harvey Fierstein.

"Newsies" is a 1992 Disney live action film with a strong cult following.  It features future Batman star Christian Bale.  The film chronicles the strike of young newspaper boys, known as newsies, in a battle against one of the most powerful newspapermen in America, Joseph Pulitzer.  A national tour of the musical is tenatively scheduled to begin in October 2014. 


   The Producers Music and Lyrics by Mel Brooks.

Based on Mel Brooks' 1968 film of the same name, the show chronicles the adventures of two conmen seeking to make a fortune by producing a Broadway flop.  What might be the subject of a sure-to-fail Broadway box office disaster?  Why, Hitler of course!  One line from this show within a show encourages people to, "Don't be stupid, be a smartie, come and join the Nazi Party!"  But rather than boos and hisses, audiences love it.  The 2001 Broadway production brought in a record-breaking 12 Tony wins and resulted in a feature film starring the principle Broadway cast in 2005.


  Shrek: The Musical Music and Lyrics by Jeanine Tesori; Book by David Lindsay-Abaire.

"Shrek," the 2001 animated film that turned classic fairy tales onto their heads, is now on Broadway in an imaginative production featuring puppetry and impressive costumes and makeup.  Starring Sutton Foster and Brian D'Arcy James this is sure to be a favorite of the whole family.  The library's collection includes a live filmed performance as well as the show's soundtrack.




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