Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Vash01, Nov 23, 2012.
On the other hand- Billy Elliot works very well as a musical (AND a movie!)
How about "Oliver"? I saw the movie but not the theatrical production. And there would be a slug of old operettas, originally for the stage that were turned into movies; "Rosemarie", "The Desert Song", "The New Moon", "The Student Prince", etc.
I liked 'Oliver' the movie. Never saw it on stage. I had not heard of the others you mentioned.
Movies and TV shows - Footloose, The Addams Family, Nine to Five, Shrek, Sister Act, Christmas Story, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mary Poppins and some that others have mentioned. I have a friend who made a rule after too many disappointments, that she would never see musicals based on movies or TV shows any more.
I have to say that I've generally been underwhelmed by the ones I've seen. I wasn't a big fan of Catch Me if You Can, but Butz was awesome in it. Of course, since Seattle has become a big out of town try out for many of these, what I see isn't always what ends up on Broadway.
Let's not forget State Fair. 1933 non-musical movie, with Will Rogers and Janet Gaynor 1945 musical movie with Jeannie Crain and Dana Andrews, 1962 musical movie with Pat Boone and Ann Margaret and finally to the stage in 1996 with - John Davidson and Kathryn Crosby
Agree, it translated well. Though I did like the movie better.
Me too. I was rather underwhelmed by the music -- esp. given who wrote it! But it did have some nice staging in parts, esp. the 2nd act opener (Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher), the fantasy sequence in the gay friend's bedroom, and the duet with child and grownup Billy.
I did see it in London, though. I can't imagine an American cast with those Geordie accents ...
Here's a musical I'd pay to see!
I'm surprised no one has mentioned 'Cabaret', one of my favourite musicals made into a movie.
It's only after I saw the Broadway revival, in which the role of Sally Bowles was first played by the late Natasha Richardson, that I understood why Liza Minnelli was so miscast in the movie version.
I love Liza in Cabaret and will defend her Oscar to my dying day, but even I saw how they had to change the character to fit more with Liza.
Funnily enough, Kander and Ebb (who wrote the music and lyrics) originally want Liza for the original Broadway production. But Hal Prince, the Broadway director, vetoed the idea because he thought she was too good of a singer and had too much stage presence to fit the character as he envisioned. Obviously, Bob Fosse disagreed. Hal Prince, I read, hated the critically-lauded 90s revival saying they misinterpreted or didn't understand what the show was really about.
I also loved Liza in Cabaret. The movie is the only version I've seen so I can't imagine Natasha Richardson in the role. Are you sure she wasn't the one who was miscast? It sounds similar to the genius casting that put Vanessa Redgrave in Camelot.
In the original stage incarnation, Sally Bowles is British and doesn't have a good singing voice at all. She's sort of delusional about her own abilities which is why she's stuck singing at the Kit Kat Club and not doing better things. Here's Jill Haworth (the original Sally Bowles on Broadway) singing "Cabaret": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC4g4wkiN_I to get an idea of what the original director was going for.
Apparently, Natasha Richardson was phenomenal and even won a Tony for it.
You can judge for yourself:
Sidenote: Did you know the original staging of the title song was her pregnant and by the end of the song, she decides to have an abortion. Life is a cabaret, old chum and Sally isn't going to miss it for the world.
Loved the play with Gwen Verdon, and found the film a major disappointment.
Hello Dolly - Loved the play - saw it with Ethel Merman, Pearl Bailey, Carol Channing - disappointed in the film
Mame - never watched the film
Brigadoon - absolutely loved loved loved the play when I saw it at City Center many decades ago - was disappointed in the movie
On A Clear Day - liked it
Funny Girl - saw it on stage with Streisand and loved it - and also loved the film
Sweeney Todd - fabulous play - the film disappointed me
And are you read for the remake of GYPSY starring Streisand as Mama Rose? maybe 2013? (who will be cast as Gypsy Rose Lee?)
And are you ready for "Into The Woods" - Meryl Streep is cast the witch.
Here is The New York Times press night review of the Broadway revival, which may shed some light as to how the character of Sally Bowles was initially conceived, both by Christopher Isherwood in 'Berlin Stories' and Kander & Ebb for the musical.
The producers subsequently cast other actors who could sing (as opposed to singers who could act) in the role following Richardson's departure - Jennifer Jason Leigh, Molly Ringwald and Jane Leeves come to mind. I also remember reading an article in Newday where Susan Egan (who created the role of Belle in 'Beauty and the Beast' on Broadway) mentioned that one of the hardest things she had to do when playing Sally Bowles was rein in her voice and not sing like she was in a conventional Broadway musical due to the limited vocal abilities of the character.
Thanks for the links. Jill Haworth looked like she would have been fabulous in the role but I didn't enjoy anything about her singing. It was unpleasant. Natasha looked like she was "rode hard & put up wet", much like the girls in the chorus, & her singing didn't hurt my ears as much as Jill's. It would definitely be a different take on the story. But I'm glad I saw the film. It generally annoys me when I see musicals & someone in the cast can't sing. It's usually a big name star who mangles the part, like Elizabeth Taylor did in A Little Night Music.
Love the thread, especially the youtube links.
Really enjoyed Natasha Richardson. Quite often a "regular theatre" actor who does musical theatre has a way of looking at word's differently; they have fewer trappings of musical theatre conventions and compensate the vocal defficiencies with interpretive, emotional variety.
I was going to mentioned "Sweeney Todd", but it's been done upthread. Decent movie, but one of the greatest musicals ever written. Much stronger impact on stage.
Has "Chorus Line" been mentioned? I enjoyed the movie ( have not seen in theatre).
Cole Porter is such a genius. He boggles my mind ( that is in relation to Mary Martin video ( "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" )
Marlowe, is Gypsy slated for a Broadway revival or a movie remake? Didn't see it on Broadway, but can't imagine anyone playing Gypsy better than Natalie Wood. those will be big shoes to fill.
A Chorus line - saw it on Broadway twice. Never saw the movie. Loved it!
The movie version of A Chorus Line isn't all that great. Given the subject, it really loses something when you take it away from the immediacy of the stage, and try to open it out. Also, Michael Douglas? Not so much.
One of my lasting images from the movie version of Camelot is Vanessa Redgrave's wet nostrils in all those close-ups.
Well, FWIW, they also dubbed Harry Belafonte's singing in that movie, which, given his position in the music world at the time, as well as his talent as a singer, was beyond idiotic. I have just about every movie he ever made, except that one (and Bright Road, which I still have to get). He mentions in his autobiography, which was published last year, that he ran into the man who provided the vocals some years after the film was made, and the guy was working as a either a doorman or a waiter in some hotel. So, so much for his claim to fame!
I thought it was totally ridiculous. Yes, Cinderella is fantasy, but still...
One of the worst musicals-to-movies was The Wiz. The broadway play was excellent. Stephanie Mills brought down the house, and the movie could have been great if not for Berry Gordy buying it for Diana Ross.
Both Dandridge and Belafonte are known singers. However, I think the operatic score required sopranos of a higher register than what Belafone and Dandridge could provide. I love Belafonte's voice, but I don't know if he could have sang the score the way Otto Preminger wanted him to. If it's true that Belafonte wrote about Levern Hutcherson in his book only to demean him, then I think that's a very classless act. Obviously, Belafonte is a star and has had success, so there is no need to demean Hutcherson.
I agree 1,000,000%!
Stephanie Mills was brilliant!
I didn't remember the wet nostrils...I just think that if a character is supposed to inspire instant adoration & cause a young man to abandon his principals, she should at least be marginally pretty & if she's in a musical, it would be nice if she could sing.
And the ones who can't sing AND are decades too old for the role are completely ridiculous. On the stage you can get away with it a little bit but in movie close-ups it's a bit jarring.
I love the original cast recording of The Producers with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. The film version chacked one of the best songs, The King of Broadway, and other things like the satirical "credits ebbry mornin' and debits ebbry eve-nin, until them ledgers be right" blues section of the musical's title song. Presumably they were trying for a more family-friendly rating, but it was a shame that they "cleaned it up." Sadly, the DVD did not offer a "director's cut" but at least it did have the deleted scenes.
I really should take a look at the Roz Russell/Natalie Wood version of Gypsy. I absolutely adore the Bette Midler TV movie version.
Another film musical I love is On the Town. This was changed a lot from the stage version (many songs were dropped and new songs were added) but both the film and theater scores were great.
I finally saw the stage version of the show. Very different, as in the stage version it's much more divided. You basically have the singing leads and the dancing leads. So the character that Gene Kelly plays in the movie, doesn't really have any songs. Of course, you had to give Ann Miller a number too.
As much as I like "Let's Go To My Place", from the movie, I really loved "Cookin' With Gas", although I understand why they changed it.
Anyone who loves A Chorus Line (or musicals in general) should really check out Every Little Step. It's a documentary about the casting of the Broadway revival of ACL a few years back, and it is just magnificent. Especially anyone who has ever gone through a serious audition process in any way will totally relate to everyone in the film. It's remarkable, and I was crying on and off through most of it.
This. I loved this documentary and felt for one of the women auditioning for Sheila and wondered how often her predicament occurs during the casting process. I don't want to say more but it was something that was new to me regarding casting calls. The entire film was wonderful imho.
If we're thinking about the same woman, that particular moment blew my mind, too. I'd never even consider that particular predicament existing before, but it made so much sense.
Some of us didn't see the documentary. I'm not sure why you would bring up this incident & then not give details.