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The Movies to Musicals of 2017

#1721

Phillipa Soo and Adam Chanler-Berat in “Amélie, A New Musical.”

Photo by Joan Marcus

A slate of beloved movies are taking America’s stages by storm in 2017. Here at the Ahmanson Theatre through January 15, 2017, and on Broadway beginning in April, is Amélie, A New Musical. And Amélie and her Montmarte crew (as well as her beloved gnome) are in excellent company. Check out our list of new and upcoming musicals based on films.

  1. 'Anastasia'

    A decade after the animated musical hit movie theatres, Anastasia heads to Broadway with music and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, a book by Terrence McNally, and direction by Darko Tresnjak (who brought A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder to the Ahmanson in 2016). The eponymous lost Romanov princess was voiced by Meg Ryan in the movie and will be played by Christy Altomare on Broadway. (Ahmanson audiences might remember her as Wendla in the first national tour of Spring Awakening in 2008.)

  2. 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'

    Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been wowing audiences on the West End since 2013 and moves to Broadway this spring with new direction by Jack O’Brien (who was most recently at the Ahmanson in 2015 with The Sound of Music). Who wouldn’t want to win a golden ticket to experience this new show, featuring music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and a book by David Greig, plus Christian Borle as Willy Wonka?

  3. 'Freaky Friday'

    Pretty much every decade has brought a new adaptation of Freaky Friday since Mary Rodgers published the original 1972 novel about a mother and daughter who switch bodies one Friday the 13TH, to hilarious results. Barbara Harris played the mother and Jodi Foster the daughter in the 1976 film; Shelley Long and Gaby Hoffman played those roles respectively in the 1995 television movie; and Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan took their turn in the 2003 feature. Heidi Blickenstaff and Emma Hunton are the latest stars to step into these roles, and each other’s shoes—this time live and with music—at La Jolla Playhouse beginning January 31, 2017.

  4. 'Frozen'

    It’s going to be a very cold August in Denver: the insanely beloved Frozen is Disney’s latest entry into their animated movie-to-musical roster, making its World premiere at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts before heading to Broadway in spring 2018. Songwriting team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez are back, as is writer Jennifer Lee. Lopez has said they are writing 10–12 new songs for the show, explaining to Playbill last year, the elements of the movie that are really kind of not theatrical, like close-ups and action sequences, all of that needs to be done through musical storytelling. That’s that area where you really have to be creative, in terms of some restructuring and some rethinking and just, hopefully, smart choices.

  5. 'Groundhog Day'

    The results of Groundhog Day 2017 will be moot by April 17, 2017, when the musical version of Groundhog Day opens on Broadway. Bill Murray played weatherman Phil Connors in the 1993 movie about a man who has to relive February 2 over and over again. That role is played by Andy Karl (who appeared in 9 to 5 at the Ahmanson) in the musical. The book comes from original screenwriter Danny Rubin, while the Matilda the Musical creative team of director Matthew Warchus, composer & lyricist Tim Minchin, and choreographer Peter Darling has joined forces on another new stage adaptation.

  6. 'Mean Girls'

    We don’t know much yet about the Mean Girls musical, but it’s safe to say it will be fetch. The World premiere is scheduled for a fall 2017 at the National Theater in Washington. The creative team includes Tina Fey, who wrote the screenplay, Lorne Michaels, who produced the film and will produce the show, composer Jeff Richmond (who is also Fey’s husband), director Casey Nicholaw, and lyricist Nell Benjamin. At Wednesday matinees we wear pink…?

  7. 'The Spongebob Musical'

    No Broadway dates have been set yet for the musical based on the Nickelodeon show about a sponge who lives on a pineapple at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, but it is scheduled to be onstage some time later this year after a World premiere in Chicago. The score includes songs from a variety of musical stars, contemporary and classic, including Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Cyndi Lauper, The Flaming Lips, John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and T.I. Is Broadway ready for a sponge? Aye-aye, captain!

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