Lights, camera, action! On the occasion of World Theatre Day, we’re shining the spotlight on 10 of the most remarkable theatrical performances that made it to the big screen. Get ready to be amazed by these blockbuster adaptations!
(1) Les Misérables
Les Misérables is a beloved story that has captivated audiences for decades. Originally a novel by Victor Hugo, it has been adapted into various forms of media, including stage plays and musicals, as well as several film adaptations. The musical adaptation premiered in 1980 and has become one of the most successful and popular stage productions in history. The 2012 film adaptation, directed by Tom Hooper and starring Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, was highly acclaimed and won several awards. Les Misérables tells a story of love, sacrifice, and redemption set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, and its enduring popularity is a testament to the power of its message and themes.
“Chicago” is a popular musical that tells the story of two women who are accused of murder and their attempts to avoid conviction with the help of their slick lawyer. Originally debuting on Broadway in 1975, the show was later adapted into a film in 2002. The movie was a critical and commercial success, winning six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The musical’s catchy songs, memorable choreography, and satirical commentary on the justice system have made it a beloved classic in both theatre and film. The show has been revived numerous times on Broadway and has also enjoyed success in productions all over the world.
(3) The sound of music
“The Sound of Music” is a classic musical that originated on Broadway in 1959 before it was adapted into a highly successful film in 1965. The story follows the adventures of Maria, a young postulant who becomes a governess for the seven children of Captain von Trapp, a widower and retired naval officer. The stage version was an immediate success, winning five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and running for over 1,400 performances. The film adaptation, starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, was also a massive hit and became one of the most beloved movies of all time. The songs, including “Do-Re-Mi,” “My Favorite Things,” and “Edelweiss,” have become iconic and are still enjoyed by audiences today.
“Rent” is a musical that originated on Broadway in 1996 and quickly gained a devoted following. The show tells the story of a group of struggling artists living in New York City’s East Village during the height of the AIDS epidemic. In 2005, the musical was adapted into a film directed by Chris Columbus, bringing the story to a wider audience. While the film was met with mixed reviews, it allowed fans of the musical to see their favorite characters and songs brought to life on screen. Overall, the transition from theatre to screen brought “Rent” to a new generation and cemented its status as a beloved classic.
(5) Dear Evan Hansen
Dear Evan Hansen is a powerful and emotional musical that explores the themes of loneliness, grief, and the importance of human connection. Originally a stage production, it made its way to the big screen in 2021, bringing the story to a wider audience. The film adaptation, directed by Stephen Chbosky, features a talented cast, including Ben Platt reprising his Tony-winning role as the titular character, and powerful musical performances that capture the heart of the story. While the transition from theatre to screen required some changes to the story and format, the film remains true to the original’s themes and message, delivering a powerful and poignant experience for audiences.
(6) The Phantom of the Opera
The musical The Phantom of the Opera, composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, has been a beloved classic since its premiere on the West End in 1986. The show’s hauntingly beautiful score and captivating storyline have captured the hearts of audiences around the world, making it one of the most successful musicals in history. In 2004, the story was adapted into a feature film starring Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum, which brought the tale of the Phantom and Christine to a wider audience. Despite some changes from stage to screen, the movie remained faithful to the spirit of the original production and continued to enchant viewers with its gorgeous music and tragic love story.
(7) Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Sweeney Todd is a dark and twisted tale of revenge that originated as a stage musical in 1979, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. The story follows the eponymous Sweeney Todd, a barber who seeks vengeance on the corrupt judge who wronged him and his family. The musical was highly successful and won several Tony awards. In 2007, director Tim Burton adapted the musical into a movie, starring Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd and Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett. The movie received critical acclaim and was praised for its faithful adaptation of the musical, as well as its strong performances and unique visual style. Both the stage musical and the movie adaptation have become beloved by audiences around the world, cementing Sweeney Todd’s status as a classic of musical theatre.
(8) Everybody’s talking about Jaime
“Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” is a heartwarming and uplifting musical about a teenager named Jaime who aspires to be a drag queen. As Jaime overcomes obstacles to pursue his dreams, the musical celebrates the power of self-expression and the importance of acceptance. The musical was adapted into a film, “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie,” in 2021, with an all-star cast, bringing the beloved story to the big screen. The film stays true to the original musical’s message of love and acceptance, and it has received critical acclaim for its powerful performances and catchy musical numbers.
(9) Hedwig and the Angry Inch
“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” is a well-known rock musical about Hedwig, a transgender East German rock singer, and her band, The Angry Inch. Gender identity, love, and self-discovery are themes explored in the show, which is set to a high-energy rock soundtrack. The musical was adapted into a film of the same name in 2001, starring John Cameron Mitchell, who also wrote and directed both versions. The film introduced a wider audience to the show’s vibrant characters and music, establishing “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” as a cult classic in both the theatre and film worlds.
(10) Tick, Tick… Boom!
“Tick, Tick… Boom!” is a musical that follows Jon, a struggling composer in New York City, as he attempts to break into the theater business. The late Jonathan Larson, creator of “Rent,” wrote the show, which was adapted into a film directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and starring Andrew Garfield as Jon. The film delves into themes such as artistic zeal, personal sacrifice, and the struggle to succeed in the creative world. It’s a tribute to Larson’s life and career, as well as a celebration of the power of music and art to bring people together.