Screen to Stage: Movie into Musical Success Stories

By Benjamin Solomon
16 Aug 2013

Stark Sands in Kinky Boots
Stark Sands in Kinky Boots
Photo by Matthew Murphy

Playbill.com offers a look at the rare screen-to-stage adaptations that managed to eclipse their inspirations.

Not every great film makes a great musical. Just see Footloose, Saturday Night Fever, Big, Ghost or any number of screen-to-stage adaptations that flopped on Broadway over the years. But occasionally a film just clicks on the stage, music and dance giving it a little something more than celluloid ever did. That was the case for Kinky Boots, the Broadway adaptation of a small British indie film that received mixed reviews and performed poorly at the American box office. The stage musical version went on to score rave reviews and eventually the 2013 Tony Award for Best Musical.

And while the success of a Broadway musical based on a film like "Kinky Boots" is rare, Kinky Boots is hardly the first adaptation to overshadow or improve upon the film that inspired it. So, with a slew of new screen-to-stage musicals arriving during the 2013-14 Broadway season (Big Fish, Diner, Bullets Over Broadway, Rocky), we decided to take look at some of the more successful attempts at turning films into showstoppers for the Great White Way. A few of them were so successful they earned Broadway's greatest honor: being adapted into a motion picture.

Click through to read Playbill.com's list of stage shows that outshone their original film versions.  Continued...