Wednesday, January 03, 2007

M-G-M: Movies-Going-Musical

M-G-M: Movies-Going-Musical

Don’t expect to see an end anytime soon to the ongoing phenomenon of films being transformed into stage tuners. Despite some recent backfires (read: High Fidelity, among others), many more movie-to-musical metamorphoses are already underway.

This Broadway season will see yet another silver screen comedy hit the boards of the Great White Way's Palace Theatre in Legally Blonde with Laura Bell Bundy come April, and it’s been all but confirmed that Mel BrooksThe Producers will make way later this year for the stage incarnation of his Young Frankenstein. As previously mentioned, it’s also been announced that Desperately Seeking Susan is being prepped for the West End.

The trend will surely continue well beyond these few titles. Indeed, when perusing my program from Sydney’s stage musical version of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, a special message appeared from Darcie Denkert and Dean Stolber, veteran film and theatre executives who conceived, developed and run MGM On Stage, “the industry leader in developing and licensing film properties for live stage presentation.”

In fact, according to the program notes, 25 new projects are already in the works, including the aforementioned Legally Blonde, along with The Pink Panther, Marty, Moonstruck and Where's Poppa?

Of course, MGM has a breathtaking catalogue from which to select. There will almost assuredly be some missteps along the way. But as long as the batting average remains fairly decent, particularly among audiences enthusiastic about revisiting some of their favorite characters, this twist in adaptations will be here to stay.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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