Friday, 9 October 2009

Stage/Film Musicals Comparison, Part One

After catching the UK tour of Little Shop of Horrors on Wednesday evening, which was incredibly enjoyable even if it wasn't the best production in the world, I decided to create a comparison between the stage and film versions of all the musicals that I've seen which have both. They're in the order which I saw them, with the year of seeing them in brackets:

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (2004)
I have so many happy memories associated with watching the film, and can barely remember anything about the show, although it was my first ever West End musical.

Oliver (2005)
I don't paticularly like the concept, and the score does nothing for me, but of the two, the stage production was the least boring.

The Lion King (2005)
It was just spectacular, and strangely enough more believable than the film.

Beauty and the Beast (2005 and 2006)
Even though I've seen the show twice I can't really remember it much, and the film was just amazing. It's also worth noting that this was the first animated film to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination.

Mary Poppins (2008)
It was a lot more grown up and character focused than the film, and the extra songs were brilliant!

Annie (2008)
The film is horrendous, but the show was hardly better - my lowest rated musical.

Chicago (2009)
This is such a close call. Fosse choreography is so much better live and there's no scenery, which emphasises the contrast between the characters even more. The film is probably my favourite movie musical though.

Mamma Mia (2009)
Anything is better than the film...

Little Shop of Horrors (2009)
A different production of the show would have swayed it the other way, though. The choreography was excellent, but the show (which started at the Menier) just didn't seem to work on a larger stage and the way the director interpreted the characters made the relationships too difficult to believe.

So the current score:
Film musicals - 3
Stage musicals - 6

I want to see the non musical film that Sunset Boulevard was based on and the non musical film adaptation of Les Miserables, although I won't include these in this comparison because it's too difficult to compare in that way. I am also seeing Sister Act on Wednesday, so will have to find time to watch the non musical film that that's based on too. This will be the same when I see Legally Blonde in January.

Also, in the next few months, I'll be seeing Rent, Annie Get Your Gun and Sweet Charity, all of which have equivalent musical films, so this list will be updated in due course!

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