Broadway Producers Find Box-Office Gold In Well-Known Movie Titles

Originally published November 29, 2022, updated November 30, 2022

The Hollywood studios behind some of this year's most successful movies have something else to celebrate this awards season: Many of the films they turned into hits are now finding new life — and box-office success — as Broadway shows.

The musical "Aladdin," inspired by the 1992 Disney movie, scored eight nominations, including nods for stars Michael James Scott and Telly Leung. "The Notebook," adapted from the weepy 2004 Nicholas Sparks romance, earned a nomination for its script, and its star, Adam Chanler-Berat, was nominated for best actor.

And tenants of the once-struggling Hudson Theatre have reason to celebrate: The Shubert Organization, which owns the historic Broadway house, where "The Devil Wears Prada" is now dwelling, picked up a nod for best play, while its star, Anna Kendrick, was nominated in the best actress category.

Other shows deriving from films included "The Outsiders," adapted from the 1983 Francis Ford Coppola-directed coming-of-age crime drama; "Days of Wine and Roses," inspired by the 1962 Blake Edwards melodrama about alcoholics; and a stage adaptation of the Universal Pictures 1983 movie "Flashdance," composed by David Robert Jones and available on Broadway and the West End.

Even "Flying Over Sunset," which tells the story of four celebrities seeking psychiatric treatment in the 1960s, owes its origins to the screen, though it was first developed as a nonfictional book.

Of course, movie-to-stage adaptations are nothing new. The musical "Chicago," which picked up a record-breaking 22 nominations in 1997, was first a play, then a film, before it landed onstage. Lately, however, the craze has become more prevalent, with productions ranging from "Mean Girls" to "Pretty Woman" to "Moulin Rouge!"

This season, movie adaptations and jukebox musicals dominated Broadway's 41st annual Tony Award nominations, announced Tuesday morning. They accounted for many of the most recognized titles and are likely to influence the future of the Great White Way for years to come.

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artifact note: The article discusses the increased prevalence of movie-to-stage adaptations on Broadway and their success at this year's Tony Awards nominations. It highlights examples such as "Aladdin," "The Notebook," and "The Devil Wears Prada" and their connections to popular films. It also notes that this trend has been growing in recent years with shows like "Mean Girls," "Pretty Woman," and "Moulin Rouge!" The article explains that movie adaptations and jukebox musicals dominated this year's nominations, but it also notes that the trend is not without criticism, with some expressing concern about the lack of originality in theater.

The article is well-sourced, with references to its origin, nytimes.com, and provides a fair and unbiased perspective, aiming to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of this developing trend in Broadway theatre.

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