It's no secret that musical adaptations of movies have exploded in popularity over the past years. In fact, the translation between the screen and stage can be so incestuous, a book can begat a movie that can begat a musical which can begat a movie musical...and so on and so forth. And while the success of a stage musical capturing what we love most about the movie it's based on ranges wildly from show to show, I have to admit that one of the shows that will be doing a presentation at the upcoming NAMT festival that most caught my eye was an adaptation of the movie Heartbreakers. In case you missed out on this gem from 2001 starring Sigourney Weaver, Ray Liotta, and Jennifer Love Hewitt, Heartbreakers tells the story of a mother-daughter con team that runs into trouble when the daughter begins to fall for what she thinks is her wealthy mark.
My interest in this show is partly nostalgic-- I remember being on a school overnight where we all went to the movies. We had a choice between Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Heartbreakers, and, surprise surprise, almost every hormonal teen went for the romantic comedy and Jennifer Love Hewitt playing a seductress. But I'm also interested in seeing what the show's talented creative team does with this material that really contains a solid, rather traditional plot set-up. With collaborators Robert Cary, Benjamin Feldman, and David Gursky, who are NAMT alum with their show Palm Beach, all the writers have impressive resumes spanning from West End adaptations to film and television credits.
Another recent musical adaptation of a film to come to light was the concert presentations of Heathers (by Kevin Murphy and Laurence O'Keefe) at Joe's Pub last night and tonight. Sold out for all performances, I'm interested in hearing more about this project as it continues development. Obviously the source material is full of campy musical potential.
To further illustrate the potential of musical adaptations, even at their most outlandish, I leave you with a few of my favorite videos from "Hey, You Know What Movie Would Make a Good Musical?" which was performed at the Zipper Factory. With music, lyrics, and books by Hey You Know What Productions, this show featured songs and scenes from potential musical adaptations of films, from Twister to Scream.