Lionsgate Considering Bringing ‘La La Land’ Onstage with Live Musical ShowCharles Bramesco |
It’s the inevitable question money-minded executives must ask when an original movie musical starts to gain traction with the general public: “So,” he asks, bitten-down cigar chomped between his teeth, “we taking this thing to Broadway or what?”
With La La Land racking up the awards hardware, poised for “breakout blockbuster” status, and building a community of dedicated fans, chatter regarding a stage adaptation has begun around presiding studio Lionsgate. The Hollywood Reporter notes that the nostalgic romance between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone could take on new life with a translation to the theater, with movie-to-musical adaptations being all the rage lately (Matilda and School of Rock were two recent blockbusters for the Great White Way). Lionsgate head Erik Feig has made it clear that this is not a matter of whether they can, but whether they should; THR quotes him as saying, “If we want to do a stage show, we can do a stage show.”
During a presentation to the Lionsgate investors on Tuesday in Denver, Feig mentioned the success that their Step Up franchise has found on the stage, seeing the street-dance extravaganza currently generating profit in Dubai as a model to follow. A potential La La Land musical would be anything but easy, however — much of the film’s sense of wonderment comes from the dazzling careen of the camera, plus there are only a handful of songs in the soundtrack. Not to mention the heartstopping coda, which would certainly be difficult to reproduce onstage. It’d be a challenge, but theatre types love challenges, and this could be just the shot in the arm that Broadway needs as it goes through a lull before bringing its next sure thing (the much-hyped Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) onstage in the coming years. At least the hordes of struggling actresses auditioning for the role of Mia will know the material all too well.