In honor of the Tony Awards this coming Sunday, I bring you my list of favorite musical that have been on film. Now, I know the Tony’s are about the actual stage versions, but I am about accessibility and finding the DVD of Chicago is easier than flying to New York and watching Wicked, although that would be awesome.
To preface, all of these films are also stage productions as well, so it is entirely possible to see in on your TV and on Broadway. So let’s get started (and 5,6,7,8…)
Into The Woods
Into the Woods was released in 2014 by Disney and follows a variety of well-known fairy tale characters in a new adventure, brought to you by Stephen Sondheim originally. Although quite whimsical in the beginning, it takes a dark turn that is a fascinating new look at happily ever after. Also, the song Agony is absolutely hilarious.
This Oscar-winning portrayal of the merry murderesses of the Cook County Jail reminded the world of how entertaining musicals actually are. The transition between the jail and a stage show are beautiful and is a fun and fascinating look at the jazz era.
First a novel by Victor Hugo and then one of the most well-known Broadway productions ever, Les Miserables is an opera (the entire show is sung, there is no purely speech areas like in normal musicals) that shows the downfall and dire situation in revolution era France. It is probably the most depressing and inspiring musicals ever, and I will admit to singing Do You Hear The People Sing in the movie theater.
Phantom of the Opera
Phantom is another French era musical that began as a book, although the book is much less known as compared to the falling chandelier and masquerade antics of the musical and film. A love story, Phantom of the Opera is most well-known for the Phantom’s obsessive love that leads to the chaos of the show, although I have a special place in my heart for the fan dance in the song Masquerade.
Little Shop of Horrors
This 1986 film adaptation about an alien plant species and the geeky guy who does his bidding is an entertaining adventure full of quirks and chaos and doo-wop backup singers much like the Muses in Hercules. It’s an upbeat and fun film to watch and has some pretty funny moments.
Bonus: Moulin Rouge
Yes, I said 5 and originally stage shows, but any excuse for me to mention Baz Luhrmann’s masterpiece Moulin Rouge I will take! Known as a jukebox musical, because the songs are not original to the show but actually to other artists like Madonna, Moulin Rouge is about Bohemian France and the infamous Moulin Rouge, home to odd and quirky performers and courtesans, where a courtesan falls in love with a writer but is forced to keep it secret to please a possible financier. It’s zany, full of antics, and a bit disorienting, but a beautiful work of art by the amazing Baz Luhrmann.