With Aladdin slated to make its Broadway debut in little more than a month, as well as the confirmation that "Frozen" will be the next film to be adapted for the theater stage, I can't help but think of what other films from the beloved company would do well on stage. To be clear, to me there is a difference between a story simply being adapted for the theater and the Walt Disney production company taking one of its films and making it a Broadway hit. In the latter scenario, there is something magical that happens when the finished product is ready for the stage.
Here are four other films I'd like to see turned into productions that could rival The Lion King and Mary Poppins.
Alice in Wonderland
What the 1951 film lacks in songs, it more than makes up for in visual effects. The mad tea party, the shrinking and growing of Alice, the magical forest, and the Queen's court would all make incredible sets on stage. Then there are the characters, such as the White Rabbit, Cheshire cat, Caterpillar, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the Mad Hatter and March Hare, and the Queen of Hearts, who would be fun to see live. The costumes would be bright, over-the-top, and probably a bit like a Dr. Seuss book.
After the announcement that Broadway is willing to take a chance on a show like "Rocky the Musical," it's not too surprising to learn that "Back to the Future" is the latest famous film to get an on-stage adaptation.
The musical will celebrate the 30th anniversary of "Back to the Future" starring Michael J. Fox. It is slated to open in London's West End come 2015, with a possibility for it to also make an appearance on Broadway.
Robert Zemeckis will write the plays book, along with Bob Gale and Jamie Lloyd, while music and lyrics will be composed by Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard. Lloyd, who will also direct the show, said, "The production will include illusions, skateboarding and many other surprises that will capture the spirit of the film but freshly interpret it for a new audience."
Relive the trailer behind the cut!
If you're a fan of Disney's newest animated film, "Frozen," you're in luck — a musical adaptation is heading to Broadway. Bob Iger, Walt Disney CEO and Chairman, confirmed the announcement yesterday.
"Frozen," which took a Golden Globe award for Best Animated Film at this year's show, is said to be in early development for the stage. According to Iger, who spoke to Fortune magazine about the endeavor, "We're not demanding speed. We're demanding excellence."
The Disney film has already been a huge hit since its release Nov. 27. The film features the voices of Kristen Bell, Broadway star Idina Menzel, Johnathon Groff, Josh Gad, and Santino Fontana. Its soundtrack features 22 different pieces, making it a perfect story to adapt to a Broadway musical. The title song, "Let It Go," is performed by Idina Menzel (who you may remember as the original Elphaba in a little-known musical called Wicked); "Let It Go" has received a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and a Critics' Choice Award for Best Song.
With Disney debuting its latest Broadway production, Aladdin, come March, and with this one in the works, it seems like the company will continue to morph its kid-friendly films into Broadway successes.
This week, it was announced that comedians (and pals) Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David are hard at work on a Broadway play. The reveal comes after Seinfeld did a Q&A on Reddit where he hinted at a "big, huge, gigantic project" he was working on. According to new reports, David has already written a play, and it's possible Seinfeld will star, direct, produce, or be involved in the production in some way.
Seinfeld has previous Broadway experience. In 2011, he produced and directed Colin Quinn's one-man show, Long Story Short (which later went on to be shown on HBO). Similarly, Seinfeld and David have worked closely together on various projects over the years, including "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
Although nothing has been confirmed just yet, the possibility is still pretty exciting for most Seinfeld/David fans, who have been eagerly awaiting their next project. Would you see a play involving these two comedians?
While the start of each year tends to inspire a lull on Broadway, there are lots of shows to look forward to in 2014. Shows about the French revolution; shows about German rockstars; shows about poor-beggars-turned-princes; and shows about... Rocky Balboa? Here are a few Broadway productions to look forward to this year.
Type of Show: Musical
Previews: February 11, 2014
Opening Date: March 13, 2014
Synopsis: A debt collector turned club fighter gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he's offered a chance at the world heavyweight championship.
Why Non-Theater Lovers Should Care: Curiosity's sake will probably drive a few to check out Rocky. Rocky Balboa is a character you can root for and it'll be weirdly interesting to see how they managed to turn the film into a musical. Plus, Sylvester Stallone — the writer, director, and star behind the original "Rocky" film — is involved in the project. It may sound bizarre in theory, but the musical could work.