From Matilda to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory via The Lion King and Shrek, plenty of our most treasured books and films have made the leap from straight dialogue to song. As cult classic Amelie prepares for its Broadway debut, we’ve made some incredibly serious and not at all stupid suggestions as to which stories should be given a musical makeover next…
John Williams’ musical score is so good it is a travesty that this hasn’t happened yet.
Plus, remember how amazing those mechanical horses were in War Horse? Well. Just imagine how awe-inspiring a T-Rex would be looming out of the stage, gnashing its teeth over theatre goers’ heads. And think of the fun the stage designer could have with all that foliage.
The musical would be a tale of the misunderstood monsters escaping the bondage imposed by the humans and walking free into the world. Starting off as the explorers arrived on Isla Nublar and ending with a few remaining humans escaping in a helicopter, Miss Saigon-style.
I’m a Dinosaur (to the theme tune) – sung in a melancholy fashion as the dinosaurs paw at their cages at the beginning. Tune to be reprised throughout and sung triumphantly at the end.
What Have We Done? – sung in a tone of regret by the humans as one by one they are dragged down into the foliage by the rampaging dinosaurs.
The Breaching of the Fence – a military-style song chanted by the reptiles as they win the battle and knock down Jurassic Park’s fenced border.
We’re Free (to the tune of Candi Staton‘s Young Hearts Run Free) – “Young hearts, run free/We’ll never be locked up, locked up like we used to be…”
Remind yourself of the movie – and try to sing along. Remember, “I’m a Diiiiiinosaur”.
[NB: Sadly I cannot take the credit for this frankly fantastic idea. My housemate Emily has been desperate to bring dinos into the world of musical theatre for years. If you’re interested in making her dreams a reality, please do get in touch.]
A musical for modern gals. There would be lots of opportunities for audience participation – perhaps they’d hand out hairbrushes during the interval so everyone could sing along to All By Myself.
Loosely based on the first Bridget Jones book, Bridget Jones: The Musical would be similar in tone to Legally Blonde: The Musical. In fact, it would also ideally star Sheridan Smith. The set would include a giant pair of scales, an outsized bottle of wine and some Marlboro lights. The stage curtains would be a gigantic pair of flesh coloured pants.
The musical would follow Bridget’s quest for love, via diets, drunken evenings and embarrassing moments with her chosen dates until true love, of course, prevails.
All By Myself – Obv.
The Office Party (to the tune of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky) – sung, karaoke-style, by Bridget and her gal pals while they are looking for love at Bridget’s Christmas party.
The Argument (to the tune of Beyonce’s Single Ladies) – “If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it/Don’t be mad once you see that Daniel Cleaver wants it/Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh…”
The Engagement (to the tune of Taylor Swift’s Love Story) – sung by Mark Darcy as he gets down on bended knee in front of Bridge. “It’s a love story, baby, just say yes…”
Now here is a lucrative idea and a half. By writing it down we’ve (kind of) got copyright. So please remember to bear RadioTimes.com in mind once the ticket sales start rocketing…
Everyone loves a good old fashioned vampire-meets-human-and-falls-in-love story. And everyone loves musicals. (They do, don’t they?) So what better than to bring the two together?
The play could begin with a lonely Bella and lonely Edward and chart their meeting and fledgling romance. But there’s no need to rush, let’s keep vampire babies out of this one. I bet filmmakers are regretting only getting five films out of the series. Why not turn the tale into a multiple part musical production? Dedicated fans would be sure to turn up in their droves to see sparkly-skinned Edward strut his stuff on Broadway. Year after year after year…
Why Me? – a melancholy tune sung by Bella as she wanders through the rain, lamenting moving to Forks and not having any friends.
Bella’s Song (to the tune of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of The Heart) – sung by Edward in the canteen as he wills Bella to notice him and look past his stroppy demeanor to the happy-go-lucky vampire within. “Turn around Be-lla/Every now and then I have a heart.”
The Truth (to the tune of Queen’s Flash) – as Bella realises who Edward really is, he launches into a number about his love of blood. “Blood. Aaa, ah. Savior of the Cu-ul-ens.”
This Is Love – Bella decides she doesn’t mind her new squeeze being a blood-sucker and the pair sing a duet together before the curtain falls at the end.
Sadly no one does any singing in the Twilight films. They are just too serious and in love to break into song. This should give you a good clue as to the kind of feel the musical would be going for, though…
Those hard-hitting, misogynistic news reporters are crying out for a spot of musical accompaniment. A scene-by-scene remake of the original film (why change something that works so well?) Anchorman: The Musical would see Ron, Brian, Brick and Champ change from sexist chaps to advocates of sexual equality, all through the power of song. Inspiring and powerful stuff, we think you’ll agree.
Men on Top (to the tune of The Bee Gee’s Stayin’ Alive) – Flares, sideburns and dodgy hairdos at the ready. This disco number will open the musical as the men celebrate living in a male dominated world.
Women in the Workplace (to the tune of Destiny’s Childs’ Independent Women) – sung by Veronica Corningstone on her first day in the office. She begins singing with bravado but gets quieter as nobody joins in. “All the honeys who makin’ money, Throw your hands in the air… please!”
Afternoon Delight (see below) – sung by the gang Capella-style as they try to work out what true love is.
Equality is Best – an uplifting number to close the musical which sees the cast join hands for some well-choreographed swaying.
This is the kind of thing audiences would enjoy at Anchorman – The Musical:
Would this essentially just be three hungover men stumbling around on a stage? Well, yes it probably would. But don’t pretend that wouldn’t be hugely amusing, so long as we kept the running time fairly short…
The first half would see the boys wake up on stage and then each act would switch between the morning of confusion and the party the night before. It could also act as a cautionary tale to younger audience members. A reminder, if you like, that a night out is always swiftly followed by a hangover.
Told partly from Doug’s perspective, as he is sat upon a mattress in the rafters watching the chaos ensue, acting as a kind of narrator. It might work well as a kind of musical panto. Every time someone on stage wonders where Doug’s gone the audience could shout “He’s behind you!”
The Morning After (to the tune of Elbow’s One Day Like This) – an upbeat number sung by a chorus of staff at Caesar’s Palace as the gang slowly wake up.
Doug (see below) – sung by Stu. It would be silly not to include this as it’s brilliant.
Why Don’t You Remember? (to the tune of Adele’s Don’t You Remember) – sung by Doug as he looks down on his lost friends with sadness and despair. “Bradley, please remember me once more…”
Memory (to the tune of Memory from Cats) – sung by Doug through gritted teeth as he gets more and more irritated that nobody can remember where he is… “Memory. All alone in Las Vegas”
A taster of the tuneful songs this theatrical production would include:
What would you like to see turned into a musical? Let us know in the comment box below…
Ellie is an entertainment, TV and film journalist writing news and (hopefully incredibly witty) comment for RadioTimes.com. She loves light-hearted dramas and glossy US series - and is more than a little bit obsessed with Downton Abbey. Foodie, sun-seeker and aspiring novelist in her own time. Likes the fact that her name rhymes with telly.