More films head to Broadway stage
Thursday 09 June 2011
With the 65th Tony Awards set for Sunday, June 12, many nominees are musicals and plays inspired by films. Just announced this week, two more such adaptations are on the way.
Historically, Tony-winning shows have gone on to become films. The trend to do the opposite may have started with the still-successful run of The Lion King. Other films adapted for the stage include Hairspray, which was originally a 1988 John Waters film, and Billy Elliot, the 2000 film which hit the stage as a musical in 2005.
Currently up for Tony Awards are four stage productions adapted from film:
• Catch Me If You Can, the 2002 film about the notorious con artist Frank Abagnale, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks
• Sister Act, which starred Whoopi Goldberg and Maggie Smith on the big screen in 1992, follows a woman hiding from the mob in a convent
• Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the 1994 Australian film about drag queens putting on a show, featured Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce
• Pedro Almodovar's 1998 film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, starring Antonio Banderas, is about a spurned woman's revenge<;
Recently announced, coming to the New York stage soon is an adaptation of the 2006 indie film favorite Once, which stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova of the music act Swell Season and won an Oscar for its theme song "Falling Slowly." It will hit the boards in November, according to The New York Times.
And announced on June 7, another project moving from screen to stage is Ingmar Bergman's Oscar-winning 1961 film Through a Glass Darkly, starring Carey Mulligan (
An Education) in the drama about a dysfunctional family on holiday.
The same trend of borrowing and rebooting is happening in films, from the summer's comic book craze to reboots like Planet of the Apes. On television, too, shows are exhumed from past seasons, such as Hawaii Five-0 and this fall's Charlie's Angels.
It begs the question, are playwrights and screenwriters out of ideas, or are these stories considered safer bets for mounting expensive productions?
To attract audiences to theaters, producers and directors have been casting Hollywood stars, including Scarlett Johansson and Julia Roberts, to augment popular theatrical actors like Patti Lupone, who appears in Women on the Verge.
Currently featured in plays and musicals are Daniel Radcliffe in How to Success in Business Without Really Trying, Al Pacino in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice and Robert Sean Leonard ( House, MD) in Born Yesterday.
The Tony Awards will air in the US on Sunday, June 12, live from New York City on CBS-TV.
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