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WONDER Musical

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  • Jeffrey Kare
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    Lionstage is continuing to follow in the footsteps of other movie studios as they announced today that R.J. Palacio’s 2012 children’s novel, Wonder (which also served as the basis for the 2017 Academy Award nominated film), is being adapted into a stage musical.
    https://deadline.com/2019/04/wonder-broadway-theater-r-j-palacio-lionsgate-julia-roberts-movie-1202591796/

    “I am beyond happy and grateful that Wonder is being adapted for theatre by this incredible team,” said Palacio in a statement. “What I’ve always loved the most about musical theatre is its timelessness, its ability to resonate around the world and across generations. That Wonder and its message of kindness is to become part of that canon for the ages is, quite literally, a dream come true.”

    The project marks Lionsgate’s second stage production announced recently. Last month, the studio and Broadway producer Scott Delman revealed they were developing a stage version of the TV series Nashville, with all new music. The two Lionsgate projects signal what the studio says is a plan to adapt its “iconic” properties for the live stage.

    Additional information about Wonder, including the complete creative team, will be announced shortly. Jill Furman will be the lead producer on the stage production. She is the founder of Jill Furman Productions, with producing credits including Hamilton, In the Heights, The Drowsy Chaperone, and others on Broadway, London’s West End and on the road.

    “RJ’s indelible characters leapt off the page,” said Furman, “and I wept through the movie. I couldn’t help but feel there was a musicality to the characters’ voices and their story. At a time when ‘otherness’ is under attack, Wonder celebrates difference in a beautiful way that we should all admire and emulate.”

    Wonder inspired millions of fans worldwide, and bringing it to the stage presents an exciting platform to continue to share its heart-warming message to ‘choose kind’,” said Jenefer Brown, Lionsgate SVP, global live & location-based entertainment.

    Thoughts?

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  Jeffrey Kare.
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    Awardsfan1990
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    Eh, I don’t know about this. The book and the movie were both excellent, and I’m not sure how a stage musical can top them. There’s a lot of questions I have right now. Will they cast actual children for this or go the To Kill A Mockingbird route and cast adults as children? Will one boy play Auggie or multiple boys? It is a very demanding role. Will they cast someone who actually has Treacher Collins Syndrome or not? Even though the film received a lot of critical acclaim and mostly positive support from people with Treacher Collins Syndrome and other disabilities, a few people did complain about Jacob Tremblay’s casting as Auggie since he does not have Treacher Collins Syndrome himself. However, I personally thought Tremblay was tremendous in the role, because if they did not cast an extremely talented actor in that role, the movie would have flopped hard. Also, who’s going to be the creative team behind this? That’s going to be the real indicator to me of how successful this show’s going to be.

    Until we know more about all of this, I’m very hesitant to believe this can work. When Gettin’ The Band Back Together was announced, I thought to myself, “This will be an epic disaster,” and guess what, I was right! However, I also thought the same thing about Come From Away when it was first announced, because I didn’t think any musical that incorporated 9/11 could be done tastefully and be successful, and I’ve been proven hugely wrong about that.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    I wonder (no pun intended) if whoever is playing Auggie won’t end up wearing prosthetic makeup so that audiences could more easily see their facial expressions. It could be done in similar fashion to how actors have played John Merrick in The Elephant Man.

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    Awardsfan1990
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    If they do that, though, they’ll face massive backlash from Treacher Collins support groups because to them, it will be seen as disability erasure.

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    adamunc
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    Sounds like a train wreck. I give it about a 5% chance of ever actually getting to Broadway.

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