Calling the lobby before last night's New York premiere of R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet an awkward scene wouldn't do it justice: PR reps ran around, security locked down our electronics and scores of media folk shuffled about as all of our abilities to tell time went dark. But then something magical happened: Eric Lane walked in. He was followed by La Donna Tittle, and suddenly everyone stood around in awe of the two actors who are better known in this strange world as Twan and Rosie the Nosy Neighbor.
Newsies on Broadway has entered the national consciousness, so now I get to say this to all the rest of you: FINALLY. Join me, Fansies, in watching Oscar- and Grammy-winning composer Alan Menken tickle the ivories to a number of his best Newsies tunes from the 1992 cult movie and the Harvey Fierstein-penned Broadway adaptation, and consider: Did he really deserve that Razzie award?
The off-Broadway musical adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie may have outlasted its 1988 stage predecessor by four times the stage run, but it died nonetheless last weekend -- two weeks early! The NYT has the post-mortem: "Several theater producers contacted recently said that Carrie, no matter how well acted and sung, presented far more than the usual share of difficulties, the most insurmountable being that nearly every character is dead at the end....Several reviewers complained about certain songs and a one-note blandness in the high school scenes, but the sharpest criticism was that Carrie had been de-camped to the point of dullness." Chloe Moretz, you're our last hope! [NYT via Movie City News]
Following in the footsteps of hit musical adaptations Billy Elliot, Wicked, and Bring It On: The Musical, Universal's stage adaptation of John Landis's Animal House will hit Broadway with a book by playwright Michael Mitnick, to be directed by Book of Mormon's Casey Nicholaw, with music by the guys who sang the indelible lyrics "Chickity China the Chinese chicken/You have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin'." Because nothing says "Broadway" like frat boys and crunchy Canadian alt-rock, right? [THR]
Woody Allen, whose Midnight in Paris is competing at this Sunday's Academy Awards, will be bringing his Oscar-nominated 1994 comedy Bullets Over Broadway to the Great White Way in 2013, reports the New York Times. The adaptation has long been rumored to be in the works; Allen himself is writing the book, with songs culled from existing 1920s-era music. Cue obligatory Dianne Wiest quotes! [NYT]
In spite of the role he played in bringing the movie musical back into prominence, Rob Marshall has been, shall we say, a bit inconsistent over the years. This goes for his work within the musical genre, from the Oscar winning Chicago to the messy Nine, as much as his direction of non-musical films (Memoirs of a Geisha, I'm looking at you). Just look to his most recent effort, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; commonly accepted as the weakest entry in the series, a sequel that hardly justifies its own existence, it's nevertheless brought in $1 billion for Disney to date. And so, let's discuss: Can Rob Marshall be trusted to adapt Broadway's Into the Woods?
Open the gates and seize the day! Following a successful run at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse, the Harvey Fierstein-adapted stage musical Newsies -- based on the best period musical of all time about turn of the century paperboys fighting Big Business (that also starred Christian Bale) -- will open on honest-to-goodness Broadway in March. This gives you bandwagon-jumpers plenty of time to catch up to the rest of us Newsies diehards who've known all along that one day, the family-friendly stylings of legions of dancing street urchins just trying to sell some 'papes would catch on like gangbusters. The world will know ...that we're not crazy! (Right?) [Wall Street Journal]
Now, in addition to Goonies, Newsies, Carrie and Rocky, Hollywood is adapting Diner into a Broadway musical. If it works out, Diner could be the next Billy Elliott or Hairspray! And if not, it could be the next Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark. Scheduled for a fall 2012 premiere, the adaptation of Barry Levinson's directorial debut will revive the saga of high school buddies played by Steve Guttenberg, Daniel Stern, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Tim Daly and Paul Reiser. Oh, and did I mention that Sheryl Crow is involved?
The King's Speech -- the cutest Best Picture winner about compelling speech patterns since Rain Man -- is rumored to be ticketed for Broadway in Fall 2012. Yep, real actors will be stuttering live, onstage, in an epic epiglottal drama for the ages. That should be adorable -- and family friendly -- but are you worried that other Best Picture nominees from 2010 are better suited for a stage adaptation? Good! Ahead, some better options.
As the makers of multiple Tony winners like Spamalot, Billy Elliott, and Hairspray (among many, many others) know, adapting hit Broadway musicals from movies can be quite rewarding -- commercially and creatively. But since these days it seems like Broadway folk are dipping into the Hollywood playbook for just about any kind of material -- nun-themed disco comedies, '80s-set Adam Sandler pics, even the Patrick Swayze-Demi Moore romance Ghost, complete with potter's wheel cheesiness -- Movieline's got your guide to the five most promising future movie-to-Broadway adaptations to watch for.