With Adaptations Of 'Mean Girls,' 'Harry Potter' And 'Frozen,' It's Clear That Theatre Has Let Itself Go

With Adaptations Of 'Mean Girls,' 'Harry Potter' And 'Frozen,' It's Clear That Theatre Has Let Itself Go

What type of significance does a movie need to have in order to be adapted to the stage rather than creating something based on an original idea?


If you're anything like me, you have most theatre-related news sent straight to your phone to ensure that you are always up to date on the latest news. This news usually includes the newest shows opening on Broadway. By newest, I mean the newest movie adaption.

Let's take a look at this past season, for instance. With shows like "Mean Girls," "Frozen," and "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," it almost seems as if the theatre is lost without the ability to use a film as the starting point for a live work of art. Even "SpongeBob" got his own music his own music on the Great White Way.

The trouble is, none of these movies used for inspiration would exist without the theatre in the first place. It was the creativity of performing a live, original scene and recording it that made creating a movie possible. In the age of instant streaming, are playwrights and other artists of the theatre becoming lazy? What type of significance does a movie need to have in order to be adapted to the stage rather than creating something based on an original idea?

The lack of unoriginality in such a creative field doesn't end at movies. "The Cher Show," a musical about the singer's life that will include her own music, is about to open on Broadway this fall. Not to put down the work that has gone into this production, but a biopic about an artist's life that includes their own music (known as a jukebox musical) isn't exactly a groundbreaking development in the theatre as displayed in the past by "Jersey Boys," "Mamma Mia," "Beautiful," "The Carole King Musical," and many more.

Then again, one could argue that some of the best musicals of all time were adapted from another work. Written in the '50s and '60s though, the following works were not written at a time that was as adaptation heavy as today. "My Fair Lady," a show in which is currently being revived on Broadway, is based off the play "Pygmalion" of a similar plot. The recently closed revival of "Hello Dolly" is an adaption of the play "The Matchmaker."

This raises the question, is such thing as an original musical? Some shows, such as "Hamilton," draw from past events to retell history onstage. Even the plot of the musical "Chicago" is strongly influenced by historical murders committed by the women of the city in the 1920s. Other works, however, are inspired by contemporary issues and events. One of these shows is "Dear Evan Hansen," a musical about a boy with a social anxiety disorder is. Inspired by true events and mental health experiences, could one argue that even this does not count as an original idea? Where is the line between inspiration and unoriginality?

Perhaps there is a fear that original theatre is not good enough on its own to sell tickets, so some familiarity needs to be instilled. While the arts should not be about making money, I acknowledge that ticket sales do contribute to the harsh reality of the entertainment industry. With all said, many movie adaptions of musicals or jukebox musicals are extremely successful and incredibly entertaining. While it's great to celebrate other art by building a musical around it with hopes of large audiences, let's not forget to honor our original ideas for the sake of creating a moving piece of art as a means to express ourselves.

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If You Love Musicals, Then You Know These 13 Reasons Why 'RENT' The Movie Is Amazing

Spoiler alert: it is the best movie ever!


With the 20th anniversary of 'RENT' production underway, it only seemed fitting to talk about the brilliance which is the movie. From the storyline to the music, to the actors and their performance, this movie musical has got to be my favorite of all time. While Netflix recently took it off their movie lists, you can rent it on Amazon for $3.99. Here are 13 reasons why 'RENT' is the best musical movie of all time. If you have not seen the movie or play, there are some spoiler alerts below.

1. 'RENT' gives you insight to a real life issue: HIV/AIDS

When a lot of other movies and musicals tend to shy away from tough issues like HIV/AIDS, this movie addresses the issue head-on. It shows not only the effects of HIV/AIDS on current drug users but on people who are former drug addicts or who have had sexual partners they have got it from. It shows what having HIV is like; AZT breaks and the possibility of dying. The movie also shows the fact that people with HIV can live completely normal lives - which is so important.

2. The music is addicting.

The clip above, "I'll Cover You", is my favorite song in the whole movie. It really gives a glimpse of Tom and Angel's relationship and is romantic while being catchy. All of the songs are the type that you could have stuck in your head for days! Which is part of the reason that 'RENT' is the best movie musical of all time.

3. It shows the hard reality of adulthood.


Being an adult is not easy. 'RENT' really puts into perspective the hardships of adulthood rather than romanticizing it. It shows the truth of adulthood; bills, working a job you do not love, death, trauma, and so much more. This shows that life is hard, but you can choose to make it worth wild and be happy. 'RENT' giving an eye-opening to the harshness that is adulthood was historic.

4. Tracie Thoms will probably play Joanne until the day she dies and I am more than okay with that.

Tracie Thoms has played Joanne on multiple occasions and nobody is more destined to be Joanne than her! She is literally perfect for the role. With 'RENT Live" just premiering on FOX and seeing someone play Joanne other than Tracie Thoms was unsettling. She has played Joanne on Broadway and in the movie and she is the best for the role. Please never stop playing Joanne, Tracie!

5. It never gets old.


I remember watching 'RENT' for the first time in elementary school with my best friend. We did not really understand what was going on because we were too young but even then, I knew I loved this musical. When I first saw the movie, I did not even know what AIDS was. As I got older, I started to understand what was going on within the movie and know what HIV/AIDS is. This movie is totally captivating for any age, but I do not recommend children watching this due to the graphic nature of drug use and realities of adulthood.

6. Taye Diggs voice is like butter being spread.

While I cannot imagine Taye Diggs playing anyone other than Benny, I am disappointed he did not get a larger part because his voice is incredible. But he does add so much flare and beauty to the antagonist. In the clip above, when he says "And the owner of that lot next door, has a right to do with it as he pleases", is so beautiful. It makes me melt every time and I have seen this movie more times than I can count.

7. The musical brings up a number of different social issues.

'RENT' does not just talk about HIV/AIDS, it also brings up a number of different issues. It talks about homosexual relationships, which gay people could not get married at the time of filming, so this is iconic. It also shows a transexual person as a key character in the film. It also brings up poverty which is something not spoken about often. Having these social issues brought up so early in culture history was significant in this time.

8. It gives a less glamorous view of New York that is truly needed.


In shows and movies, New York City is shown as basically the holy grail of the United States. NYC is actually kind of dirty and full of poverty which is pictured in this musical. While Mark is filming Maureen's protest, he gets a job with corporate business. He has been working for a while on filming the realities of the homeless population in NYC and this is his big break to get his work published. It shows, through small characters or background people, what New York City is truly like.

9. The chemistry between Roger and Mimi is magical.

Roger and Mimi are the couples the whole musical revolves around, but there is no doubt why. They are meant to have this amazing connection. In the film, the actors that play them have chemistry like no other! While the couple has some serious issues throughout the movie, which the couple does not! They ultimately put their issues aside and work it out in the end.

10. It talks about different careers in the arts.

From Roger having a career in music (as shown in the song above, despite the storyline about his ex-girlfriend passing away), to Mark working on his film career, and Mimi being an exotic dancer, this film shows various types of careers in the arts. It is another example of them not romanticizing something and showing the realities for many artists. So many movies and shows have people pursuing a career in New York living in a stunning apartment that they really could not afford. The beauty of 'RENT' is the utter actuality they show life to be like.

11. Two words: Idina Menzel.


Idina Menzel is more than just Elsa in 'Frozen and her cameo in 'Glee'. Before she was these great roles, she was Maureen in 'RENT'. This, in my opinion, is the best role she has ever played; I might just be biased. Idina is an amazing actress and performer so I am so glad she blew up after playing Maureen but I just love her in this role so much! She was stunning, talented, and gave the perfect amount of attitude to accurately portray Maureen.

12. La Vie Boheme.


"La Vie Boheme" is French for "The Bohemian Life", which is what 'RENT' is really about. They are all about living an eclectic life and doing what you want. They have two parts to their song "La Vie Boheme" and it is probably the most fun number in the whole play. It is comical, catchy and marks the peak of the movie. While they are leaving a bohemian life, they are showing the struggles that go along with that.

13. There are more than 525600 reasons to love it.


"Seasons of Love" is one of the most popular songs in 'RENT'. Other shows like 'Glee' and 'The Office" have covered or parodied the song it is that popular. If you listen to the lyrics, they say "Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure a year in the life?" This is one of my favorite quotes from the whole movie because it is deep.

I bet you want to go rent 'RENT' on Amazon now after reading this, huh? (See what I did there) This movie musical is my favorite and in my opinion, the best musical there is. I am so excited to see 'RENT' perform live on their 20th-anniversary tour.

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