March 13, 2019 at 8:05 am #1202815011
Even though this project has been in the works for a while, I thought I’d start a thread on it now.
A stage musical adaptation of Lauren Weisberger’s 2003 bestselling novel (which also served as the basis for David Frankel’s 2006 Academy Award nominated film), The Devil Wears Prada, is in the works. Paul Rudnick is writing the book with a score by Elton John and Shaina Taub. It was just announced that Tony winner Anna D. Shapiro (August: Osage County) will be directing it.
Thoughts?March 13, 2019 at 8:34 am #1202815025
Darling, this is gonna be too gay for my taste.March 13, 2019 at 1:27 pm #1202815354
Is there really any need to make a stage version of this, other than to ring in some big money by playing on people’s nostalgia? Plus, what actress can come close to Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly?
It’s just as pointless as trying to make a stage version of Some Like It Hot, because absolutely no one can top Marilyn Monroe as Sugar Kane Kowalczyk.March 13, 2019 at 1:53 pm #1202815384
^Well, you’ve got shows like The Producers and Hairspray to blame for that. Ever since both of those shows became the hits that they were, theatre producers and movie studios have tried to cash in on them by creating their own Broadway musicals based on movies.March 16, 2019 at 6:54 pm #1202818908
I’m aware of that. But few people even remember that musical’s existence.March 17, 2019 at 12:10 pm #1202819596
To me it doesn’t make sense to travel to New York and pay eighty bucks a ticket for a movical when you can see the flick at home for much less. Unless that movical greatly improved on the film. But they often don’t, and nostalgia can only take a movical so far.March 17, 2019 at 12:15 pm #1202819606
Do you think that Meryl will do the stage version. She could probably win the Tony if she does it and then she would have the EGOTMarch 17, 2019 at 12:58 pm #1202819640
Probably not. She hardly ever does Broadway; she’s too focused on her film career.March 17, 2019 at 1:14 pm #1202819651
I remember hearing rumors a while ago that Meryl would be open to a Broadway return, but she would prefer to do so in a new work as opposed to a revival. By the way, she does not have a Grammy, so she’s only halfway to EGOT at this point.March 17, 2019 at 1:27 pm #1202819661
If the Mary Poppins Returns soundtrack wins a Grammy, will Meryl be credited as a winMarch 17, 2019 at 1:31 pm #1202819663
To me it doesn’t make sense to travel to New York and pay eighty bucks a ticket for a movical when you can see the flick at home for much less. Unless that movical greatly improved on the film. But they often don’t, and nostalgia can only take a movical so far.
In this Forbes article that was published last year, Richard J. Wallace developed an algorithm as part of his doctoral dissertation at the University of Alabama. In it, he created some rules for producers to follow when adapting movies into Broadway musicals.
Here are some excerpts:
“Among the hit film-based musicals, one pattern observed is that each musical has an active protagonist,” Wallace commented. “The protagonist propels the action of the story rather than letting the story happen to them,” he said.
“It’s crucial that you have a character whose own decisions and whose own passions drive the story forward,” stated Thomas Viertel, a member of the team behind The Producers. “I’m a great believer in active heroes,” he added.
But, in Pretty Woman, Wallace said that neither the male or the female main character control the plot. “Both of them are kind of lost souls who find each other with no specific goal in mind,” he observed. “That works in film,” he said, “but not in musicals.”
In addition, Wallace advised that “films that contain roles that are easily identified with a specific actor should be avoided.” When Saturday Night Fever boogied to Broadway in 1999, for example, one critic complained that the performers on Broadway could not compare to the performers in the film. “The nuances [that the film’s] actors brought to the roles cannot reach to the balcony of the Minskoff Theater, so it’s not entirely the fault of Broadway’s Tony and Stephanie … if their characters translate as coarse facsimiles of the film versions,” he wrote.
In Pretty Woman, the same problem plagues the lead female actress (Samantha Barks) performing in the role that, as one critic put it, “transformed Julia Roberts into Julia Roberts.” “Let me make it clear that I mean no disrespect to [the lead actress on Broadway] when I say that she is not Julia Roberts,” commented another critic.
Wallace also recommended that, “instead of asking ‘What would make a good musical?’ producers should ask, ‘How can music enhance the story telling that is absent from the film?’” The musical adaptation of the film must somehow add value.
But, as a critic recognized, Pretty Woman “has no reason to exist beyond, one assumes, a desire to make money by pimping out a familiar property.”
In addition, Wallace cautioned that “a film-based musical should be complimentary of its source material without relying too heavily on the film.” For example, whereas the film Kinky Boots focuses on saving a shoe factory, the musical version focuses more on the relationship between two characters from different backgrounds who find a lot in common. Audiences do not want to see the screenplay run through a typewriter, and one critic observed that the creators of Pretty Woman “have hewed suffocatingly close to the film’s story, gags and dialogue.”March 18, 2019 at 9:58 am #1202820705
I guess MPR won’t be eligible for a Grammy until next year.
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