Nostalgic Films Getting Their Own Broadway Musicals (‘Jaws’ Has One…)

JAWS, 1975
Everett Collection

In a world where reboots are common, many musicals become movies and movies become musicals… has it gone too far? Or do you love seeing the musical versions of your favorite films? While some make perfect sense, others seem pretty odd. For instance, when you think of Jaws or Back to the Future, you don’t really think about singing songs on stage, do you? Even so, both of those films are coming to Broadway!

JAWS, from left: director Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss on set, 1975

Everett Collection

The Shark is Broken is a stage play about the making of Jaws, co-written by and starring one of the film’s stars’ children. Ian Shaw is the son of the late Robert Shaw, who played shark hunter Quint in the 1975 film. Ian will play his father in the show which focuses on the three main actors of Jaws including Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, and Roy Scheider, as they deal with many crazy delays.

Ian said about the show, “It is a comedy mostly. We dip into the serious elements, but our intention is to entertain.” Jaws isn’t the only film to get a stage show makeover. Back to the Future: The Musical is coming soon and is adapted from the 1985 film. After many years and many delays, the show is finally happening and features some original music as well as songs featured in the movie version. So, what other films have had their own musical versions? Let’s go over a few!

MEAN GIRLS, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, 2004

Paramount/Everett Collection

Mean Girls was a popular film in 2004, with a heartwarming message amid all the laughs. While there is one musical-type sequence, you wouldn’t really think of it becoming a musical, yet it did. Musical numbers including “It Roars” and “Meet the Plastics” move the storyline along and even film writer and star Tina Fey loved it when she was able to attend a show.

MRS. DOUBTFIRE, Robin Williams, 1993

Everett Collection

Another comedy turned musical is Mrs. Doubtfire, based on the 1993 film starring the late Robin Williams. The musical follows the same premise but adds several musical numbers, of course. Rob McClure earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical.

BEETLEJUICE, Michael Keaton, 1988

Everett Collection

Just a few years ago, Beetlejuice got its own show amid talks of an upcoming movie sequel. Of course, it features the song “Jump in the Line” which is so iconic in the film.

THE WARRIORS, from left: Dorsey Wright, Terry Michos, Marcelino Sanchez, 1979

Paramount/Everett Collection

Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame is working on a stage musician version of The Warriors, based on the 1965 novel and 1979 cult action thriller. The storyline follows a fictional street gang in New York City after they are framed for the murder of a gang leader. While the film isn’t a musical, it does have some wonderful songs, and with Miranda’s involvement it is sure to have some new earworms.

Lastly, popular Disney films such as Frozen and The Lion King have also gotten their own stage adaptations as well. The Lion King version in particular is very beloved due to its puppetry and beautiful choreography. The songs are so iconic that audiences already know how to sing along, which can also help the show succeed.

There are so many more, so if you’d like to see us expand on this list, let us know in the comments and discuss your favorite movie to musical adaptation!

1950s Musicals
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1950s Musicals

November 2020

Bright and brassy, toe-tapping musicals from the 1950s

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