Tuesday, August 19, 2008

White Christmas Coming to Broadway

A Broadway adaptation of IRVING BERLIN'S WHITE CHRISTMAS will open in Broadway's Marquis Theatre just this coming Thanksgiving week.

The production based on the 1954 film has toured the country, playing cities including Los Angeles. The Los Angeles production was at the Pantages Theater in 2005; the cast included David Ogden Stiers as General Waverly.

The producers say "the show is poised to become New York's newest holiday tradition."

If it's a good production, it sounds like fun.

I am curious, however, about the huge string of Broadway and London theatrical shows in recent years which are based on movies. Recent examples include THE 39 STEPS and MARY POPPINS, along with numerous Disney productions. A Broadway-bound production of NINE TO FIVE will shortly open in Los Angeles.

On the one hand, a good story is a good story and it's rather nice to be able to enjoy it in different forms, whether on the screen or on the stage. Indeed, some shows, such as MARY POPPINS, were classic books before they were classic movies, so they weren't precisely completely original films, either; and many classic Broadway musicals were based on earlier plays and books. Maybe Broadway producers have woken up to how much rich source material there is in movies?

On the other hand, I wonder if the heavy reliance on movies for inspiration may speak to a certain lack of talent and creative spark when it comes to producing original Broadway musicals these days? Interesting to ponder.


Blogger Terri said...

Oh, I don't think there has been an original thought out of Hollywood for years!!!

What I really hate is how they take a play or a book and "improve it" for the movies.

4:19 AM  
Blogger Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Quite possibly the abilty to exploit the publicity potential of an already well-known hit has a great deal to do with it. There is no shortage of writers struggling to get their material produced. The producers invariably seek to get the most bang for their buck. Therefore a stage version of "9 to 5" or "Legally Blonde" is more expedient to the bottom line than searching for the next Arthur Miller or August Wilson, or Lerner & Lowe. Along the same lines, I suppose, as television embracing "reality" shows rather than stretching a bit and producing another "Playhouse 90".

5:15 AM  
Blogger J.C. Loophole said...

I can't wait til "The Three Stooges Meet Hercules" hits the great White Way!

10:17 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Jacqueline, that's a good point about the built-in publicity when a well-known film is "translated" to the stage.

Enjoyed your thoughts too, Terri and J.C.! :)

Best wishes,

11:36 PM  

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