Admittedly, Ms. Goldberg has a starry Broadway background having taken over the role of Pseudolus in the revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum from Nathan Lane, starring as the titular character in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, as well as subbing for Jackie Hoffman in Xanadu (the reason I saw that show for the third time ;-). And admittedly, past musicalizations of movies starring Whoopi have had some success: The Color Purple and the Disney behemoth, The Lion King. But still, I could take the announcement of the West End creation of a musical version of Sister Act, but now comes this:
Ghost the Musical to Open at London's Piccadilly in Summer 2011
What's next? Jumpin' Jack Flash: The Musical? 10 Forward: The Star Trek Cantina Musical? As Susan Powter once said: "Stop the insanity!"
I realize that big, splashy musicals are a risky endeavor. I also realize that I am something of a hypocrite as I:
- was one of the few people who saw the short-lived, Dolly Parton-penned musicalization of 9 to 5
- am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the musicalization of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (slated to take over the theatre once West Side Story closes, would have been ironic if it were to take over the Winter Garden from Mamma Mia!)
- am moderately interested in the idea of the musicalization of The First Wives Club.
- saw Xanadu 3 times.
Off the top of my head I can name at least 2 dozen movie-based musicals in the past few years. I also would bet that many of y'all would be hard-pressed to name even half that many non-movie-based musicals of the past few years. We need our original musicals (watch for the post title reference), too!
The other thing I should note is that there's absolutely nothing wrong with derivative works. My personal theatre God, Stephen Sondheim, has worked on projects of a derivative nature: West Side Story, A Little Night Music (based on the Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night), Passion (based on an Italian movie), etc. But the musicals I'm decrying aren't "derivative" they're reproductions. Rapidly, Broadway and the West End are becoming some sort of Madame Tussaud's for Hollywood where the medium isn't wax, it's song.