Pop culture and the stage have had a long-standing relationship. Sure there’s the occasional misfire. Even Julie Taymor couldn’t save Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, and The Little Mermaid came and went without making much of a splash. But recent successful productions of Once, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and Amélie prove that there’s life for our beloved characters beyond the little and big screens. So why not dream big? From the intimate to the extravagant, here are ten other properties we wouldn’t mind getting the theater treatment.
Who among us isn’t Rebecca Brunch? Cool, calm, collected, smart—and totally freaking out on the inside. Her journey from high-powered New York attorney to SoCal’s finest is one we can identify with in all its bumpy glory. And taking things to the stage will give her musical fantasies even more lavish production value. (Or at least a larger cast of characters to draw from.) Pre-Broadway previews will naturally take place in West Covina, because as all fans know—it happens to be where Josh lives. (But that’s not why we’re here!)
La La Land
This is perhaps the no-brainer to end all no-brainers. La La Land has already earned a record shattering number of Academy Award nods, so why not let it clean up on the Great White Way? It already has a seven-minute long dance scene, a surreal Singin’ in the Rain-style montage that would require flying rigs, and an appropriately starry-eyed outlook.
During its eight-year run (no we are not counting the bastardized season nine), Scrubs regularly dipped into the surreal thanks to its main character J.D.’s penchant for extreme daydreaming. (You’ve gotta love a show that can sneak in a musical episode and have it still make perfect sense.) But what would happen if his world was widened past the hospital walls? If anything a play would give us what we’ve been craving for a years—a chance to hear “Guy Love” one more time.
God Help the Girl
Stuart Murdoch’s 2014 directorial debut was a cinematic love letter to the power of pop. (Then again would you expect anything less from the Belle and Sebastian frontman?) In theatre form, God Help the Girl would play a bit like Once, giving actor/musicians a chance to strut their stuff, blurring the line between concert and play. (Fun fact: It will also give audiences a chance to cry. A lot.)
Orange is the New Black
Over the past four seasons, Orange is the New Black has shapeshifted from a comedy to a drama and back again. There’s the tragic (RIP Poussey Washington), the absurd (Does anyone have sympathy for Piper at this point?) and the comedic turned tragic (Oh Crazy-Eyes). Imagine an intimate theater and a chance to really get up close and personal with the residence of Litchfield Penitentiary. Hard to say if it would be heartbreaking or hilarious, but we’re here for it.
Murderous mermaid sisters go on a killing spree in 1980s Warsaw. And oh, did we mention it’s also a musical with Europop cabaret numbers? Bless you Agnieszka Smoczynska, for making our weirdest dreams come true. Now let’s get this torrid/fabulous tale on the big stage where it belongs.
The Get Down
once tried his hand at staging of La Bohème—so you know dude’s got some theatrical chops. The Aussie’s Netflix offering The Get Down offers plenty of material should live performance prove to be his bag yet again. Hopeful teens! The 1970s! Flashbacks! Dance! (Oh the music!) The only challenge would be boiling it all down so theatregoers aren’t subjected to a butt-busting six-hour production. (Or on second thought…)
In 2011 a black and white silent film charmed the cinematic world. Who’s to say The Artist couldn’t pull the same trick in the theater? Its conceit—all silent would give actors a chance to showcase a different side of their skills. Its setting, during Hollywood’s Golden era, would give stage designers and one lucky a director a chance to embrace old-school glamor at its finest. Bring on the rear screen projection, lavish dance numbers, and physical comedy galore.
Be sure to grab a damn fine cup of coffee before taking in Log Lady’s number one Tony Awards pick.
The Man Who Fell to Earth
Maybe it’s just the David Bowie sadness talking—but how great would it be to see his 1976 film debut on the big stage? And hey if the production also included a few Ziggy Stardust cuts, who would we be to complain? It’s about time we remember him at his alter-ego best, challenging both cultural norms and Kansai Yamamoto’s costuming abilities. The film traded strongly on this reputation, casting the musician as an alien on a mission who gets distracted by a smorgasbord of Earthy offerings—namely alcohol, church attendance, and sex with lonely New Mexico maids. A cheesy b-flick with a dark underbelly (spoiler alert: It doesn’t exactly end well for our visitor), The Man Who Fell to Earth helped establish what we’ve come to accept as fact: Bowie wasn’t just a starman who thought he’d blow our minds…he’s a forever legend.