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Five ‘90s Movies That Would Make Great Musicals

Category Broadway

|by Marshall W. Mabry IV |


From Disney movies to quirky comedies

With shows like Pretty Woman, Matilda and Clueless hitting the stage recently, Broadway and Off-Broadway is starting to mirror the posters we kept on our walls in the ‘90s. With more and more ‘90s movies being adapted for the stage, we’ve rounded up some that deserve the musical treatment.

Buzz and Woody from ‘Toy Story’ (Photo: Walt Disney World)

Buzz and Woody from ‘Toy Story’ (Photo: Walt Disney World)

Forrest Gump, 1994
Okay, follow us here: The lights come up and the opening number, “Life is like a box of Chocolates,” begins. Then, Forrest takes center stage with his younger self, and the story of his extraordinary childhood begins. Watching Forrest grow, find love and navigate adult life would be a gift to the theater community. The love that surrounds this story makes it perfect for Broadway.

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, 1993
The stories that stick with us have one thing in common: they all have big hearts. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, the film that launched Leonardo DiCaprio into stardom, is one such story. The film, which follows a young man caring for his disabled brother and obese mother, brought theaters to tears when the movie premiered, and could do the same onstage. It would also be an excellent opportunity to shine a spotlight on actors with disabilities in commercial theater.

Edward Scissorhands, 1990
With Beetlejuice’s Broadway opening fast approaching, I knew this list couldn’t exist without one Tim Burton classic. Edward Scissorhands – much like Quasimodo of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, as well as the title character of The Phantom of the Opera – was hidden away from society. Edward’s story is heartbreaking, but relatable to every person in the audience, and that’s why it would work onstage. On top of that, it would almost certainly win Tony awards for both scenic and costume design.

Tommy Boy, 1995
It’s only a matter of time before one of the ‘90s Saturday Night Live era comedies heads to Broadway, and Tommy Boy would be the perfect introduction. After seeing the success of School of Rock, it’s easy to see how Broadway could receive this type of comedy. This Chris Farley classic lends itself to the pop/rock genre musical easily, and would be something we’ve never quite seen before.

Toy Story, 1995
Perhaps there is no Disney movie we want to see adapted into a musical more than Toy Story. From Andy Karl as Woody – in the greatest casting we could possibly imagine for the starring role – to a big dance number centered around Pizza Planet, featuring an alien ensemble, to Sid’s big villain number, it could be the musical event of the century.

For more of the best of Broadway, check out our list of the Top Shows in New York in Februrary 2019.

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