Books That Belong on the Stage

The two big Tony winners this year, Fun Home and A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, are based on bestselling books. In fact, many popular, award-winning musicals are based on books. Les Miserables, Cabaret, Wicked, and The Phantom of the Opera were all outstanding books before they graced the stage.

What’s next for Broadway shows based on books? Here are my suggestions:

imageThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green– It is a long running joke between myself and a friend that TFIOS is so quotable and so full of angst that it desperately needs to be on Broadway as a musical. The creative team for Next to Normal would work on the score and the book. Throngs of fangirls would flock to the theater to see Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace belt their hearts out.

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron– This novel tells the story of a young Victorian woman who has to commit her mad uncle to an asylum in order to gain her independence. Once she gets to know him, however, she realizes putting him in an asylum would kill him. This would make a great musical because there are so many moments inside the protagonist’s head that could be beautiful solo numbers. The ensemble cast in this book is extremely quirky, and could present so many awesome roles for actors.

imageFool by Christopher Moore– This is a humorous retelling of Shakespeare’s King Lear, with the court jester as the protagonist. A few years ago, Moore paid a visit to the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey. He would read a section of his book, and then the company would perform a stage adaptation. It was wonderful, and made so much sense as a play. I am dying to see a full stage adaptation of Fool.

Strangely Beautiful by Leanna Renee Hieber– Hieber’s first novel makes the list because it is already, slowly, being developed for the stage, and I am DYING for there to be a finished show for me to see already!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky– Perks (Dalin’s suggestion) would work as either a play or a musical, although I could see there being really stellar musical numbers if this was a musical. The big reveal at the end of the story would work so well as a song. Also, being inside an introvert’s head in a musical makes much more sense, unless as a play, they included gratuitous asides to the audience. Either way, it’d work.

imageRebecca by Daphne du Maurier– This is another novel that is very slowly trying to be on Broadway, and should be.

Beloved by Toni Morrison- Beloved is a very well told story that presents some really important messages. I think it would make a great play and offer actors some serious chances to play amazing roles. I also think it would bring the shocking conclusion to  new audiences who are unfamiliar with the story, which would be great.


Is there a book you think would make a great play or musical? Let me know in the comments!


2 thoughts on “Books That Belong on the Stage

  1. Great ideas for musicals! I’m currently reading Candide by Voltaire, but that’s already been done on Broadway And I missed it! OK, how about Brown Girl Dreaming? That’s my vote. It’s nearly ready, with the book written in verse. 🙂


      There’s a DVD of Candide out there with Patti LuPone and K.Chen. It’s pretty awesome, if you want to see the stage show. I still haven’t read the book, but I did hear it’s quite different.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s