Tuesday, January 16, 2018


I don't follow Broadway much, other than the fact that my DirecTV box gets the local broadcast channels out of New York City. On the regular TV antenna I get the channels out of Albany, so the only things I see are which shows are traveling and doing a performance in the area. Late last year there was a production of She Loves Me which apparently premiered in 1963, this even though it's a story that Hollywood had done multiple times (itself based on a play from 1937), first as The Shop Around the Corner and then as a musical In the Good Old Summertime.

Anyhow, last night there was a commercial for a traveling production of... The Bodyguard, the musical. OK, I know the original movie had Whitney Houston which gave her the chance to do her version of the Dolly Parton song. However, the commercial also included the lead singing "I Wanna Dance With Somebody", which is from five years before the movie, and isn't on the movie soundtrack. Apparently this musical is already five years old. Shows how much attention I pay.

Of course, it's not the first non-musical movie by a long shot to get a musical reworking on the stage. Applause was based on All About Eve, although apparently the movie was based on a short story. Sunset Boulevard the musical turns 25 this year, and I think that one was based on a story original to the movie. Ditto 42nd Street. As with a whole bunch of Hollywood stuff, there's been a large amount of borrowing back and forth. Hell, much of the early talking picture lineup was of stage plays, with actors from the plays brought out to Hollywood and becoming movie stars that way. As I've said before, Ricardo Cortez was the ultimate Sam Spade.

There are also the trends of reviving 1990s stuff, as well as the extended Broadway trend of taking some famous musical act and turning all of their stuff into a musical: the Four Seasons, Billy Joel, ABBA, Carole King, Whitney Houston, and probably others I'm missing.

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