Not every movie deserves to live on in other mediums, but that’s for the ticket sales and the eyes of the beholders to judge. Clap, fall asleep, or play Statler and Waldorf when you go see these four Broadway plays that were adapted from movies.
Admittedly the man who carried both “Road House” and “Next of Kin” should be celebrated in song at least bi-weekly, but an actual play on one of his movies seems to be out of far left field if not outer space. Right now you’re praying to an insane amount of Gods that the production couldn’t afford the rights to “Unchained Melody” but you’d be wrong so you can put down both the knife and the goat, well at least the goat as you might want to use the knife on your eardrums. Following the movie closely, take solace in that even though you don’t have a fast forward option eventually the play will end and you do get to see that murdering son-of-a-gun Carl dragged off to hell. So there’s that.
“The Lion King”
A tremendous re-imagining of how to transpose the power of animation onto the physical stage, “The Lion King” doesn’t ignore the actor by trying to hide it under a giant puppet mask but makes the human body a complementary part of the character. Gorgeous and innovative in its use of colors, materials, motion and song, this is a Broadway play meant to exist. The transition from the beauty of Act 1 to Scar’s rule in Act 2 through the song “One by One” is a gem that will have you forgetting this reality for the one on stage.
“Spider Man: Turn off the Dark”
Unless this play was an opening gambit for the eventual “Punisher: This Is Going to Get Weird” musical, “Spider Man: Turn off the Dark” is, at best, a roughly executed idea and, at worst, the greatest inside joke ever. An amalgamation of comic book, movie and the writers, Spiderman gets his powers, loses Uncle Ben, gets some goddess motivation and squares off against the Green Goblin, which sounds pretty status quo until you add in singing heroes and villains. It either leaves you overjoyed or questioning your childhood heroes.
“Little Shop of Horrors”
Plants can be evil as anyone who has gone camping and used poison ivy as a hygienic device can attest to, but “Little Shop of Horrors” takes that evil further. A morality play with a talking plant almost legally requires songs in it, but they have to be clever and amusing as there is a seed of love in the bloody subject matter. As Audrey and Seymour realize their love for each other amidst the chaos, the song “Suddenly, Seymour” brings light to the fast approaching darkness