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Sony blockbusters to become Broadway musicals

Sony blockbusters to become Broadway musicals

In the golden age of Hollywood, producers mined Broadway gold to create their movie magic, making memorable films like A Streetcar Named Desire, The Sound of Music and West Side Story.

That formula has reversed in recent history, with many Broadway musicals drawing inspiration from the cineplex. In the past five years alone, nearly half of the shows nominated for the best musical Tony Award have been based on movies, including Tony winners Once and Billy Elliot: The Musical. With Sony Pictures recently announcing a five-year deal to produce stage versions of its studio films, it looks like the trend will continue.

The plan emulates a strategy first tested by Disney, which has mounted productions of Mary Poppins, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid and Newsies since it first ventured onto Broadway in 1994 with Beauty and the Beast.

Sony's first project will be an adaptation of the 1982 Dustin Hoffman classic, Tootsie. Is this reason to cheer or jeer the Sony plan?