Theatre Thursdays: Top Ten Musical Adaptations

With so many movies being made into musicals I thought it would be interesting to compile a list of what I consider to be the best musicals made from an existing source material, be it book, movie, or other medium. Before continuing on to the list, I’ll tell you my criteria:

  1. I have to have actually seen the musical in question and read/watched its source. This cuts out a lot of musicals, so if your personal favorite isn’t here, that may be the reason. (Sorry, Les Mis, I just don’t have the time for that brick)
  2. The musical has to be an interpretation of the work, not the exact same words from the original regurgitated on stage *coughcoughTheLionKingcoughcough*

That’s pretty much it. It was still a bit challenging to fill out the list, though, as some shows I wanted to include I hadn’t yet seen or read the movies/books on which they were based. On with the countdown!

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Theatre Thursdays: A Very Potter Senior Year

What else could we possibly be talking about today??

Yes, as we all hoped when we heard about the reading at LeakyCon, A Very Potter Senior Year has been uploaded to YouTube! The third and final musical in the series by Team StarKid makes its way into the lives of eager fans—and it’s a bittersweet moment, to be honest. The show is as funny and energetic as we expect, but there’s a sadness in knowing that this is the end which is actually part of the show’s theme.

While the previous two entries were hilarious madcap romps, I would say this is the first time one of the musicals has a theme or message and that theme is directed to all of us as fans and says that it’s OK that Harry Potter has come to an end, that we can move on to other interests without forgetting or betraying all that the series has meant to us. The theme works its way into the story by showing that the wizarding world, including Harry’s peers at Hogwarts, have forgotten all about him and his accomplishments now that Voldemort and his followers have been defeated. This disregard for Harry is hastened by the arrival of new book crazes such as Twilight and The Hunger Games written by none other than Gilderoy Lockhart.

As Lockhart’s presence would indicate, the structure of this musical comes primarily from The Chamber of Secrets, but of course it has bits and pieces from the rest of the series mixed in and a healthy dose of its own original plot.

Ginny receives Tom Riddle’s diary and unintentionally revives Lord Voldemort, Harry keeps trying to regain his popularity but only sinks lower and lower in the eyes of his friends, and Draco Malfoy becomes the new most popular boy in school. What can be done to save the day? You’ll have to watch to find out, because I’m certainly not giving any spoilers here! Continue reading

Theatre Thursdays: A Very Potter Threequel

The third (and seemingly final) installment of the Potter musicals by Team StarkidA Very Potter 3D: A Very Potter Senior Year, made its debut at Leaky Con 2012 earlier this month and while video of the actual performance has not yet been released, there is some behind-the-scenes stuff available:

I just found this video because BroadwayWorld posted it (because though I love Harry Potter, I’m not too involved in the fandom and had no idea this was happening) I just realized I wasn’t even subscribed to Starkid’s YouTube channel, but don’t worry, I’ve rectified that. Since I’m behind the news on this one I’ve been scrambling to learn more about the project.

According to Leaky Con’s website, the performance was a staged reading rather than a full production which typically means few or no sets/costumes/light design/etc. However, they were clear that the team was putting as much effort as possible into the reading to make it as much of a production as possible. I don’t know if there are plans to fully stage the sequel and film it as Starkid has done in the past, but one of Leaky Con’s articles forbade filming so as not to spoil the show for everyone who couldn’t see it yet which implies to me that if there aren’t plans to fully stage it there is at least a likelihood of the reading being released on video.

I really hope that the show gets a full staging though. I love the first two musicals and having the third written but not staged would feel incomplete to me, though I understand the cast and crew have come a long way and have more demands on their time than they used to. Darren’s (Harry) career is really taking off and I noticed Joey (Ron) in a featured role on a Disney Channel show so he’s definitely pursuing and landing work outside of this troupe.  I’m sure the other participants are also working or have other commitments which take precedence over this project.

Still, I’m confident that, if it can be worked out, this team will do all they can to get the show out to the fans. I would especially love to see the progression made across the years in production values, as Holy Musical B@man was not only a great musical but a fantastic presentation as well from costume/set/lighting design to orchestrations and sound equipment. It would just be wonderful to see the team’s continued improvements at work in a Potter show.

Since I’m kinda out of the loop, I’d love it if someone with deeper knowledge can help me out. Is there a plan to stage this musical? Will it be re-worked from the reading or was that more-or-less the finished product (in terms of script and cast)? If you attended Leaky Con and got to see it, did the team give any insight into the future of the piece?

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide! I hope to learn more about this production as information becomes more available.