Whether they’re your guilty pleasure or whether you’re actually just a full-on musical theater nerd, there’s no doubt about the fact that musicals are da bomb. These things really do have it all, and they boast everything from singing, dancing, acting, and some serious jazz hands that we just can’t replicate no matter how hard we try. Because shows on the likes of Broadway and the West End have proved to be so popular over the years, many Hollywood hotshots have turned them into movies – and these are some of our favorites.
You’ve gotta take them or leave them, right? Otherwise, these guys are leaving. Yep, they’re gone. Rent is arguably one of the most poignant musicals to make its way into Hollywood, as this Bohemian production talks about important issues such as narcotics, romantic relationships, and illnesses surrounding these two facets. While it can be tough to think of life for these people back in the 1980s, there’s no doubt about the fact that the 2004 adaptation of the musical really hit the nail on the head. That’s probably because Chris Columbus managed to score the original Broadway cast members, though…
If you cast your mind back to 1978, you might remember a little ol’ film by the name of Grease. Oh, who are we kidding?! Grease is one of the most popular musical movies to ever make its way to the big screen, and even those who don’t like musicals have seen this film countless times. It’s legendary. What you might not know, however, is that this musical first reared its head in 1971 as a stage production. While other productions on the stage have since struggled to live up to the hype of the Hollywood movie, we’ve gotta remember where this one holds its roots.
Okay, so we’ve all tried and failed to sing “Listen” at the top of our lungs – but really, is there anyone who’s going to top Beyoncé? We think not. The introduction of Dreamgirls into the Hollywood sphere actually had a positive knock-on effect on the real world of musical theater, as the likes of Jennifer Hudson and Queen Bey drew many people’s attention to this incredible story. While Dreamgirls’ first run on Broadway in the 1970s wasn’t exactly a flop, there are now more people going to see this musical than ever before. You go, girls.
Yep, this one is bound to divide opinions. While most musicals contain both singing and talking, Les Miserables became one of the first musicals in popular culture to mix the two together. Because of this, some people can’t stand it – and we’re totally open to their views. The singing/talking life isn’t for everyone, but this Victor Hugo story has certainly been a huge success both on the stage and on the screen. There have been countless movie adaptations of the story in the past, but the 2012 film starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, and Russell Crowe is the most famous. True musical nerds will still prefer the stage musical, though.
Fancy painting the town, anyone? Chicago is one of the most iconic musicals to take any stage, and it’s many musical theater actors’ dream to become Roxy at least once in their life. After all, she wears some pretty incredible outfits. After the success of this musical on Broadway in the mid-70s, it was brought to the big screen in the early ‘00s, and it’s fair to say that it was a smash hit. With an all-star cast that featured Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Richard Gere, this movie actually brought a whole new audience to the original musical – and that’s gotta stand for something.
If you love musical theater, there’s a high chance that you’re in two minds about Hollywood’s decision to take over these stories. But you probably can’t deny the fact that these films just made your love for the musicals even stronger – even when you didn’t think that was possible. Musical theater for life, right? Right.