Just when you thought Spiderman: Turn off the Dark may have burned out every bulb in Broadway, Art Attack has learned of an upcoming musical based on a very unlikely source, A Clockwork Orange. Apparently, the Clockwork musical isn't even a new thing. Back in 1990, a musical version of the twisted tale was produced to terrible reviews. The book's author, Anthony Burgess, had written his own score for the play but was snubbed, and instead the winning team of Bono and The Edge composed the music. Even in their heyday, U2 shouldn't have been composing for the stage.
More than that, Clockwork will is be revived next year in the UK. If you have never read the book, surely you have seen the Stanley Kubrick film, which boasts the infamous scene of Malcolm McDowell raping a woman while joyfully belting out "Singin' in the Rain." It's a wonderfully disturbing film; as a musical, though, it might be just be a little ridiculous.
Theater in general has been known to push boundaries and bring new ideas to light, but the musical... now that's a different story of rehashing disappointment. Broadway's latest trend of taking Hollywood blockbusters and turning them into big budget musicals is one of its worst crazes since the rock opera. Has musical theater completely run out of ideas?
The list of unnecessary movies-that-became-musicals is rather lengthy; some are much scarier than Clockwork (Legally Blonde, anyone?). Here are our top 10.
Bring It On: The Musical Yes, you read that correctly, Bring It On: The Musical begins its U.S. run this fall. We won't lie, we didn't "hate" Bring It On the movie, and if it were on TBS and we just happened to be flipping through channels, we would watch it again (and again). In musical form, though, it is completely laughable. This is more or less High School Musical, but less so, because High School Musical was, in fact, a musical.
Leap of Faith: The Musical Leap of Faith, don't remember it? Why it is so odd that Broadway decided to make a musical version of the Steve Martin film? I mean, Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken decided to write the music for it. Leap of Faith, the movie, was released in 1992 and starred Steve Martin as a cunning, money-grabbing minister. It wasn't all that bad, but it received mixed reviews and a small audience share. So why make it into a musical? An initial run of the show took place last year in Los Angeles to, similar, mixed reviews. It might take a higher power to get this musical back up and running. Big: The Musical There is only one musical scene in Big, the movie, where Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia play "Heart and Soul" on a giant piano, unless you count when Tom Hanks sings "Memories" for his mother over the phone. Other than that, this is a strange choice to be revived in a musical theater version. Theatergoers must have had the same thought in 1996, when it closed after only 193 performances. It was called one of Broadway's biggest money-losers.
The Addams Family We could almost see the reasoning behind this musical version; the Addamses like to snap a lot, they dance the tango and a song performed by Lurch would be hilarious. Like most bad ideas, however, this musical was panned by critics and loved by audiences. The show recently celebrated its 500th performance.
Sister Act This wasn't even a good movie.
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Perhaps trying to capitalize on other Drag musicals such as La Cage Aux Folles, Priscilla Queen of the Desert took the basic story of the 1994 Australian film and glossed it up for Broadway. The movie is fun, unique and incredibly touching. It focuses on three transvestites on a road trip to a remote area of Australia and highlights a lot of the abuse that the GLBT community has had to deal with. How you translate that on stage is perplexing, especially as a razzle-dazzle type of production complete with a disco soundtrack. If Broadway is looking for a drag queen movie to turn into a glittery musical, may we recommend Mrs. Doubtfire?
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Ghost: The Musical Just this past week, London's Piccadilly Theatre premiered Ghost: The Musical. So far it has received OK reviews but none of them have mentioned that legendary clay throwing scene. Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze turned slimy pottery into full on foreplay. Hopefully, this wasn't left out of the musical version, but how does one clean up from that on stage?
Footloose: The Musical This is one of those movies that actually lends itself to a musical production, but we still thinks it's a waste of good stage time. That being said, we are very pleased that "Almost Paradise" and "Holding Out For a Hero" made it to the theatrical soundtrack and that Kenny Loggins got some much needed work.
Young Frankenstein While we understand the logic behind making this movie into a musical - The Producers was a huge success, so Young Frankenstein must work - we were sorry to see it happen to this cult favorite. Just because one Mel Brooks film worked on stage (let us not forget that The Producers was about musicals to begin with) doesn't mean they all will. Should we be expecting Blazing Saddles: The Musical or SpaceBalls: The Musical next?
Elf We love this movie! It's adorable and Christmas and heart warningly wonderful, yet we still think this is excessive! Now, if Zooey Deschanel starred in a touring production, we might change our tune. We'd much rather have this musical rendition with our Egg Nog!