Featured image taken by Carol Rosegg, photography courtesy of cinderellaonbroadway.com
Now that the adrenaline from Rent
Live is starting to wear off (and the fact that Hair Live was recently cancelled in favor of more family-friendly musicals), I’ve been thinking more and more about musicals that I’d like to see made into live TV productions. While not intended to be a complete list, the following seven musicals were chosen based on a variety of categories, including:
- Is the show family-friendly, or can it easily be made family-friendly without losing the integrity of the show?
- Is it relatively popular/well known? Will it be able to attract a large audience outside of the theatre community?
- Is a Broadway production or national tours currently happening? If not, was there a recent production?
With that said, here are seven musicals that I think should be broadcast live on television:
Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s’ Cinderella
Obviously, the story of Cinderella is very well-known throughout the general American population. If a live version is anything like the recent Broadway revival, I think that there is a lot of room for creativity when it comes to scenic design and costume design. This live production could also be a homage to the original staging of this musical, which aired live on television on March 31, 1957 and starred Dame Julie Andrews.
I know I already discussed how much I love Pippin in my blog from two weeks ago, but my adoration for this musical cannot be overstated. In addition to being a spectacle for incredible acrobatics and dancing, but I strongly believe that a live production of Pippin would inspire children of all ages to get interested in theatre. Though this show has some mature themes, it would, no doubt, bring imagination and pure joy back to live television musicals.
While this musical didn’t have a long run on Broadway, a live musical production of Groundhog Day is sure to attract fans of the original movie that weren’t able to afford tickets to the show or the trip to New York City. I’m also pretty confident that it could easily be adapted to be family-friendly. Though a long-shot at best, this show is probably what I most want to see an live adaptation of.
In The Heights
Fresh off of the craze of Lin Manuel Miranda’s 2015 musical Hamilton, In The Heights is the ideal choice for a live television musical. Not only would people all around the country tune in because of Hamilton, but more importantly, its story would bring to light some of the political issues currently occurring in our country. The story is relevant, the songs are on fire, and overall In The Heights is just begging to be a live television musical.
As I mentioned in my theatre journey blog, Dreamgirls was the show that initially got me excited about musical theatre. This show is a Broadway classic, and as a result, it’s relatively well-known outside of the theatre community (I know you’ve heard “And I Am Not Telling You”). If my 10 year-old self fell in love with it as much as she did, I trust that the same would go for thousands of other kids and young adults across the country.
Little Shop of Horrors
This show is so wonky and unique that I think it would make a highly enjoyable and unique live television musical, especially around Halloween-time. While this show gets dark and revolves around a man-eating plant, I know that Little Shop of Horrors could be an excellent choice for a live event if done by the right channel. (Though it might give some nasty nightmares to little ones.)
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
How to Succeed, if anything, is downright charming. While the music nostalgic, but the show doesn’t take itself too seriously. It knows it’s a comedy and it doesn’t try to be anything else. A live production of How to Succeed would not only be appropriate for family viewing, but it’s been around long enough to have name recognition among non-theatre fans.
BONUS: Bombshell (SMASH)
This one is more of a fever dream than anything else. However, considering I just recently finished watching SMASH, I thought it deserved a place on this list. Bombshell has a phenomenal score as it stands, and, to be honest, NBC owes it to the theatre community to let this show live on. (Just kidding. But also not.)
What musicals do you think should be broadcast live on television? Let me know in the comments!