By Evan Parente
CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
Many great TV shows, books and movies have been made into musicals over the years. Some of the best cinematic pieces from The Addams Family to Mean Girls were adapted into some of the best musicals that ever hit the Broadway stage and that are still performed to this day throughout the world.
In addition to that, some of the best musicals in these passing years are LGBTQ musicals, one that comes to mind is The Prom. Fans loved seeing the Lesbian representation that is hardly prevalent in the theater industry (more on that in this article).
After the release of the Prom and several other LGBTQ shows, chances are LGBTQ fans are wanting to see more LGBTQ musicals come out (pun-intended) onto broadway's stage. Perhaps the next big broadway LGBTQ musical could be based on a movie or TV show.
To give you some ideas for you to run with, here is a list of 4 TV shows and movies that I think would make excellent musicals.
4. Call Me By Your Name
In the past years, Call Me By Your Name has gone from a beloved LGBTQ story like Heartstopper to a controversial, pedophiliac hole of toxicity and tragedy that it is seen as today. In all honesty, I had mixed feelings adding this into the list given the allegations against the author of the novel and against Armie Hammer—the actor who played Oliver. It is insane how problematic certain beloved literary pieces and their adaptions often are when you look back at them.
Given that Call Me By Your Name is based in Europe where relationships in which certain relationships that we would see as inappropriate worldwide are completely socially acceptable in Europe, which explains why more Americans tend to see this romantic depiction as problematic than do people in Europe and Asia. It also doesn’t help that the actor who plays Oliver is an alleged cannibal and serial rapist whose character was created by a man who admitted to being attracted to 12 year old’s.
In adapting Call Me By Your Name to a musical, this could give playwriters a chance to showcase a healthier relationship between Elio and Oliver. Perhaps by using a smaller age gap and making Elio at least of the American legal age of majority and not just the age of consent.
In an era in which many are convinced that Call Me By Your Name is a story promoting pedophilia and grooming, a musical adaptation in which presents Elio & Oliver having a positive caring relationship would be beneficial for the queer community to see.
3. Everything Suck
A beautiful yet so short lived Netflix series tells the story of a group of teenagers living in a 1990s Oregon town called Boring who are navigating the ups and downs of teenager life in a more mundane world without much of the 21stcentury technology we hold dear to us. The story in which particularly revolves around Kate Messner (Peyton Kennedy) and Emaline (Sydney Sweeney).
Though it was cancelled after only one season, this heartwarming and thrilling show holds its place in its fans hearts to this day. Because of it’s only having one season, it could make for a good musical that can encapsulate the whole of the story and not just as a sequel or a prequel in the way that many musicals based on TV shows are (not that this is a bad thing!!!!)
In theater, there is very little lesbian representation in both the characters and the actors. In an age where there is a high amount of acceptance of LGBTQ individuals and a low amount of lesbian representation in theater, another lesbian centered musical may be one of the next best things for both Broadway and the LGBTQ community.
The majority of lesbian portrayals on Broadway are ones that are minor roles and are often limited to simply an ensemble or featured role.
Seeing the impact that ‘The Prom’ has made and how it has done for the LGBTQ community, more lesbian centric musicals.
2. Love, Simon
CREDIT: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION.
With both it’s perfections and it’s flaws, there is everything about this movie that has good musical potential.
In case you don’t know about Love Simon (and live under a rock) the movie is an adaptation of a book ‘Simon vs. The Homosaipien Agenda’ by YA author Becky Albertalli which tells of a closeted gay teenager who explores the struggle that is coming out and being in the closet with an anonymous pen pal also sharing his struggle and a love that begins to grow between them.
An insecure protagonist who dislikes their life, with a secret person helping them and being helped by them, and secrets and life-changing consequences resulting from the unfolding of those secrets; tell me this isn’t musical material!! I dare you!! (Don’t worry, I agree to disagree)
It could be like the gay version of “Dear Evan Hansen”, the gay musical that everyone thought D.E.H was (don’t believe me, google it).
Like Call Me By Your Name, Love Simon has been criticized for encouraging contrived and forced coming outs and unsupportive friendships (even Becky Albertalli agreed with that one). Fans of the book (me included) did not enjoy how angered and unsympathetic many characters were towards Simon’s situation in the movie adaptation. Looking back on it, it was pretty shitty and insensitive the way Simon’s friends reacted, even if Simon was in esscense playing them to protect himself.
Having a musical adaption that fixes these issues or addresses them in a positive and sympathetic way could be the kick needed to showcase that Simonverse franchise continued understanding of the needs of queer people and a franchise that promotes realistic, positive and healthy approaches towards the coming out of others or of yourself. I say this all as a Simonverse fan who loves the franchise, and wants it to have the reputation it deserves.
CREDIT: ALICE OSEMAN
It’s only been a few months and this show has become a staple in the LGBTQ community.
A heartwarming and stopping (pun intended) story where a boy meets boy without the problematic and toxic aspects of someone forcing someone else to come out or being so sexually oriented.
I never would have thought of this very “comic bookie” show to have so much musical potential until I scrolled onto several Tik-Toks about What if Heartstopper was a musical with songs that would be good in this theoretical musical.
TikTokers such as @lukesuri, @wordsfromgabs, @giannionori, @ladysebseb and so many others have made several TikTok’s showcasing song ideas for this potential musical such as “Take a deep breath in Charlie”, “The Kiss”, “A Proper British Rugby Lad”, “Would You Kiss Me?” and so many others!!!
This idea has become so popular that there was a discord server created for this theoretical musical which seems to become more and more interesting each new tik tok post.
Heartstopper would be amazing as a musical adaptation for the same reason it is as a Netflix adaptatation. It represents a normalized queer representation. One that isn’t heavily centered on how different they are and how important it is to come out, but just a pure and innocent romance that isn’t oversexed and toxic like many popular LGBTQ couples are.
Having become as popular as it has, the show becoming a musical would not surprise me one bit.
The most common storyline ideas for a Heartstopper musical as the same as the show, just told musical style. With the same male stranger falls in love with male stranger storyline that is 'Heartstopper' with kick ass songs and interesting dance numbers.
Another interesting idea for a 'Heartstopper' musical could be to follow the Nick & Charlie storyline in which would showcase the storyline of Alice Oseman's most recent Heartstopper novel, 'Nick & Charlie.'