Taking a well known musical and fitting it for the screen is nothing new. Movies such as Phantom of the Opera, the Sound of Music, Les Mis, and many more all started on the stage before finding their ways to a larger audience. Most recently, Grease: Live aired on FOX and by most accounts was a huge success! Which gets one thinking...What other musicals would make a great TV special? Gathered below, in no particular order, are the eight musicals that most deserve a TV special.
8. The Lion King
Every other musical on this list will include a quick discription for the show, but does The Lion King really need one? The hit Disney classic has been a musical since its debut in 1997. Much of the music from the movie is included in the musical, with some added songs and some taken away. For the musical, the music was written by Elton John and lyricist Tim Rice, along with the movie's score by Hans Zimmer. This is one of the shows that everybody wants to see, but like most people, can't make it to Broadway. ABC could definitely bring in some major ratings by featuring this show on TV.
Wicked is one of those shows that everybody seems to know for some reason. Maybe you've seen it on or off Broadway, maybe you saw a not so great high school production, whatever the case you most likely fell in love with it. Written by the legendary Stephen Schwartz (who will be showing up again on this list), Wicked tells the story of the Witches of Oz. Actress superstar Idina Menzel gave life to the Wicked Witch of the West, for whom the show is named after, in the original Broadway Production. Just in the past few days, Wicked also became the fastest musical to hit $1 billion dollars in New York sales alone. It only took 12 and a half years, wait that's fast? Believe it or not, it took Lion King 16 years and Phantom of the Opera 27 years (though to be fair, back in the late 80's a sold out Phantom performance made about $550,000 whereas a sold out Wicked show broke records with $3.2 million.)
6. Fun Home
Fun Home is a rather new musical, first premiering off-Broadway in 2013 before opening on Broadway in April of last year. The show is the first mainstream production to have a lesbian protagonist as the story follows her story of figuring out her life and her relationship with her gay father. The show was nominated for twelve Tony Awards and took home trophies for five of them, including Best Musical. Furthermore Fun Home was nominated for this year's Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album but lost to another contender further down on this list. Given it's critical acclaim and its rather controversial subject matter, Fun Home would be an interesting musical to bring to small screens all across the world.
5. A Chorus Line
This one is pretty much a no brainier. A true classic in every sense of the word. A Chorus Line has been made into a couple of movies by now, but a TV Special a la Grease would certainly please a lot of fans!
4. American Psycho
Word of Caution! The following video does feature some (very minimal) language that may not sit well with all audience members (at least one instance of the F-Bomb is used, i.e a PG-13 rating).
Yes that American Psycho. The movie (based on the 1991 book) starring Christian Bale has been turned into a musical! Alright so this show doesn't even hit Broadway until the 24th of March, but it's first performance was back in 2013 at London's Almeida Theatre. This musical has a lot of modern musical sounds and numbers, and takes a cult classic and turns it into something nobody ever imagined. Will it work as a musical? I'm honestly not too sure, what I've seen around YouTube, including the above, makes me interested in seeing it though. The dancing is perhaps the most impressive part of the entire preview!
And here's Stephen Swartz again. Pippin is another classic musical that deserves the limelight of the small screen.
the story of Pippin, [is about] a young prince who longs to find passion and adventure in his life. To prove his loyalty to his distracted father, King Charles, Pippin goes to war. But when the Leading Player convinces the prince to fight tyranny, Pippin kills Charles and takes over the throne.Pippin struggles to decide whether he should settle down and pursue a peaceful life or continue to make magic with the dazzling troupe of performers.
Pippin is one of those shows that has a compelling story, excellent music, wonderful performers, and a stunning unique visual look to it.
A musical by Stephen Sondheim, Assassins uses the premise of a murderous carnival game to produce a revue-style portrayal of men and women who attempted (successfully or not) to assassinate Presidents of the United States. It originally opened off-Broadway in 1990 and wouldn't star on Broadway for another 14 years. The 2004 production however did win a total of 5 Tony Awards! You know what makes it even better? Neil Patrick Harris played the roles of The Balladeer and Lee Harvey Oswald in the Broadway Premiere.
Skip to just before the 9 minute mark to see the performance
In the short time since its premiere last August, Hamilton has created a cultural phenomenon. It's became such a part of American culture that the cast was invited to perform at the White House by the President himself just a few short days ago! Who would've though that hip-hop and history would have paired so well? The genius behind Hamilton, a man named Lin Manuel Miranda, not only wrote the lyrics and the music, but also wrote the book and plays the main character! This was Miranda's first solo project, previously he had written music for In the Heights, in which he also starred. Hamilton won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album and is expected to receive many awards at this year's Tony Awards. Somehow the story of one of history most often overlooked Founding Fathers has became a sensation not only all over the country but all over the world, and actually it stands a rather good shot at showing up on our screens in the near future. NBC previously has announced that it would like to bring a version of Hamilton to its viewers in a live televised production, however no new information has become available since mid-January.
So there you have it! 8 musicals we would like to see become TV Specials! Do you have any others you would like to see? Comment below!