It all started off as a discussion of what movies would make the best musicals, the topic then moved to movies would make the worst musicals (Star Wars the Musical anyone?). Then of course, being bookishly inclined I started thinking of what books would make good musicals.
I'll warn you right now, I am an English Major and one of my minors is Theatre, so this entire post with be a theatre/book geek fest. Just so you know and are fairly warned ahead of time.
This was originally going to be a Top Ten Tuesday, until I realized (i. e. I was told) that not many people are as geeky as I am in this respect and it would make a difficult list for others to duplicate. (We will, however, be doing a Top Ten Tuesday about books that SHOULD be movies).
We already know there are several books that have been made into successful musicals, Wicked for example. It made an excellent musical. (In my opinion anyway, but it happens to be my favorite musical. When I finally got to see it performed, I started crying when I heard the opening song.... I digress.) The Secret Garden has also been made into a musical, I'd venture to say it's better than both the book and the movie.
Here are a few of the books I thought might make a good musical.
The Outsiders- If this was done properly, it could be very powerful. I'm thinking a rock type of music. Something similar to West Side Story, without the cheesy dance-fight. (Which I'll admit, is kinda cool. But I'm a geek like that.)
Tuck Everlasting- Loved this book. The movie was good too, though. The style and storyline of the book already feel like a musical, minus the music. I really think that a great musical score could emphasize the magic and the story and give more depth to the characters if they were given the right songs to perform.
Pride and Prejudice- This has already been turned into a musical-- twice. Both of them flopped. I still hope to see this as a successful musical I think it could be great!
Secret Life of Bees- I think this would make a powerful musical. Maybe something similar to The Color Purple?
Anne of Green Gables- (This has already been done as well, but badly.) Love the books and I love the first two parts of the TV version. Can't you just picture this as a musical? Imagine Rachel Lynde with some kind of song that shows off her rather prickly personality and her way of knowing everything that happens? Pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little, cheep cheep cheep, talk a lot, pick a little more. Oops. Wrong musical.
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy- This is such a wacky novel, why not turn it into a musical? I think it would be hilarious. Something similar to Monty Python's Spamalot.
To Kill a Mocking Bird - I could see this being incredibly powerful if it was well done. Something similar to Les Miserable.
Memoirs of a Geisha I could see this being not only very powerful, but beautiful. The imagery in the book was gorgeous, can you imagine how wonderful it would look on stage? Pair that with an great score and you've got yourself a pretty amazing musical.
So those are just a few books I thought would make good musicals, I also thought of a few that would make terrible musicals.
The Hunger Games- It would be terrible! I mean, really, could you see any of these characters suddenly bursting into song?
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo- Do I really have to say anything? It would be... well bad. Just bad.
The Abhorson Trilogy- Those who have read it will understand.
Anything by John Grisham.
Ender's Game- Uh, it's not going to happen. Not only would the weightlessness for most of the novel be difficult to replicate on stage, I just can't imagine the characters singing. Ever.
Any book by Steinbeck.
So those are just a few of my ideas. It gives you a glimpse into how my mind works (which might have been a frightening experience for some). When I read a novel I think would work as a musical I immediately switch into actor/director mode. I can see how I'd lay out the stage, the type of music I'd want, how I'd block (block meaning the movements the actors make) the scenes, the costumes, everything.
So what about you? Any books you think would be great musicals? Or have a few in mind that would be terrible?
Tell me what you think!