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Sometimes, a movie is so popular that Broadway producers use it as source material for new musicals. Here are 12 Broadway musicals based on movies.
1. Little Shop of Horrors. While you might be familiar with the 1986 feature film starring Rick Moranis, the Broadway musical Little Shop of Horrors from 1982 is actually based on a b-movie from 1960 by Roger Corman. The B&W movie has the same premise as the 1986 film, as it co-starred a young Jack Nicholson. Fun Fact: Ellen Greene played Audrey in the original musical and the film adaptation.
2. The Lion King. One of Disney’s most successful animated film won the hearts of millions in 1994. It was adapted into a Broadway musical three years later in 1997 with Julie Taymor producing and directing the theater piece.
3. Xanadu. While 1980’s Xanadu was a box office flop, it gained a cult following for a new Broadway musical in 2007.
4. Monty Python’s Spamalot. Monty Python’s Eric Idle adapted the feature film Monty Python and the Holy Grail into a Broadway musical in 2005, 30 years after the movie premiered.
5. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. In 2005, composer-lyricist David Yazbek adapted the con-artist comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels into a musical.
6. Mary Poppins. Disney’s Mary Poppins found its way to the Broadway stage in 2004, which was produced by Cameron McIntosh. The musical also retained the Sherman Brothers music from the 1964 film, along with new songs added to the production.
7. Sunset Boulevard. In 1995, Andrew Lloyd Webber adapted film director Billy Wilder’s 1950 classic Sunset Boulevard to the stage. Patti LuPone played washed-up Hollywood actress Norma Desmond for the London production, while Glenn Close played the character in the Broadway.
8. Grey Gardens. Even documentaries can be turned into Broadway musicals. Maysles brothers’ 1975 documentary Grey Garden, which follows eccentric recluses Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale (AKA Big Edie & Little Edie, respectively) was turned into a Broadway musical in 2006.
9. Nine. Based on Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2, Nine came to the stage in 1982. It was adapted into a feature film in 2009.
10. Billy Elliot. The Oscar nominated film Billy Elliot was adapted into a Broadway musical in 2005, five years after it was released in theaters. The movie and the musical followed a working-class English boy who takes up ballet as a way to express his creativity.
11. Hairspray. John Waters’ bad-taste kitsch Hairspray from 1988 was turned into a Broadway musical in 2002. It was later adapted into a feature film in 2007.
12. The Producers. Mel Brooks’ 1968 comedy The Producers found its way to the Broadway stage as a musical with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in 2001. It won 12 Tony Awards the following year, the most for any show on Broadway. It was adapted into a feature film in 2005.