feature films / stage / television / web

Musical theatre has been around in its modern form since the 19th century, though of course there have been similar forms of theater involving music since ancient times. Alas, I never get to see theater of any kind, musical or otherwise. So my exposure to the musical genre comes pretty much exclusively from film, or TV. Of course, there are lots of films that include songs, but usually these are just part of the soundtrack, or the background, and not something actually performed by the actors (and often not even heard by the characters). Such movies are not musicals, so I won't list them here. I'm also hesitant to include most movies or shows where it makes sense that the characters sing (i.e., backstage musicals), as opposed to works in which pretty much anyone can spontaneously break into song at any given moment to express their innermost thoughts and emotions, as if it were something people did in real life. As if lyrics and vocalization and choreography came naturally, without the need for things like writing and rehearsal. So basically, that's what I consider "musicals": things where the singing and dancing are spontaneous and unrealistic.

This page is mainly for stage musicals I don't expect to have a chance to see in any form, because they haven't been adapted for TV or movies. Of course, some of the things I list on the feature films page (linked above), and many of the things I list on my musicals I want to see page, are adaptations of stage plays, but since I haven't seen them performed on stage, I won't include them on this page. However, I will include stage musicals that have been adapted into television plays, just because they were presented in a stage format. (So, nothing that's in a TV movie format.) And maybe if I do ever see any theatrical films that look more like stage plays than like movies, I'll include them here, as well. (But I think that's much more rare than TV plays, which are already pretty rare.)

The Addams Family (live-action stage play)
Premiering in 2010, with songs composed by Andrew Lippa, the play is based on the 1960s TV series The Addams Family (or on the comic strips that the show was based on). As far as I know, the play has thus far not been adapted for film or TV. Since there is no chance I'll ever get to see a stage play, I hope that changes.

Avenue Q (puppetry stage play)
Premiering in 2003, with songs composed by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, the play has thus far not been adapted for film or TV, as far as I know. Since there is no chance I'll ever get to see a stage play, I hope that changes.

Cats (live-action stage play)
Premiering in 1981, with songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber, a film of the play was released in 1998. At least that's what Wikipedia says. I must have seen the video at some point, and it very well may have been later than that year, but I feel like I was aware of the video existing for a bunch of years before that. I suppose I could be confused by my knowledge of the play's existence for a bunch of years, but I dunno. Whatever, I remember very little about the show, and I don't think I was all that into it. Of course I'd known at least one of the songs for years before the play was released on video. And I've nothing against that, but... meh. I just couldn't get into the play itself, I guess.

Into the Woods (live-action TV play)
Originally airing in 1991 on the PBS anthology series American Playhouse, the play was a reunion performance of Stephen Sondheim's 1987 stage musical. There have been various other productions, and in 2014 there was a theatrical film adaptation.

Peter Pan (live-action stage play)
Premiering in 1954, with songs by Mark Charlap, Carolyn Leigh, et al., the play is an adaptation of J.M. Barrie's 1904 play of the same name. In 1955, 56, and 60, there were live productions on NBC. In 2014, there was a new production for NBC, Peter Pan Live!

The Sound of Music Live! (live-action TV play)
Airing in 2013, this was an adaptation of the 1965 movie of the same name and the 1959 stage play on which it was based.

Wicked (live-action stage play)
Premiering in 2003, with songs by Stephen Schwartz, the play is based on Gregory Maguire's 1995 novel (which I haven't read), which itself was based on L. Frank Baum's 1900 novel, and the 1939 film that was based on it. The play is being adapted into a movie, which supposedly will come out in December 2019. (If and when I get to see that, I'll probably move this entry from this page to my feature films page.)

The Wiz Live! (live-action TV play)
Airing in 2015, this was an adaptation of the 1978 film of the same name, and of Charlie Smalls's 1974 stage play (of which the film was an adaptation). It includes some songs from the original play, as well as a new song composed by Harvey Mason, Jr., Stephen Oremus, Ne-Yo, and Elijah Kelley.

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