Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you’ll know that Les Miserables, the musical, has been turned into a film adaptation staring Gladiator, Wolverine, Princess Mia and Karen Smith (better known as Russel Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried) and everyone has been FREAKING THE FUCK OUT over it.
But Les Mis isn’t the first stage musical to get the Hollywood treatment. . .
No list of this kind would be complete without Grease. The musical itself was written and first performed in 1972 and brought to the big screen in 1979. The film starred John Travolta, who had made a name for himself in Saturday Night Fever, and newbie Olivia Newton John as lovestruck teens Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsen (or, as she was in the stage production, Sandy Dumbrowski. Unfortunate name.) In the film, also, Sandy was changed from a Catholic new girl to an Australian newcomer to fit Olivia’s life story.
Fun Fact courtesy of Greases’ biggest fan Eve: Olivia was sewn into the leather pants for the end scene.
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Amanda (her in Les Mis, yes) stars as a young woman carrying out her own paternity test in the musical based on Swedish super group ABBA’s back catalogue. The musical was first shown on the West End in 1999 and the film was released eleven years later. Meryl Streep played the mother and brought both myself and my own mother to tears with The Winner Takes It All, and Pierce Brosnan proved that he should really leave the singing behind and go back to saving the world, drinking martinis and riding every woman around him.
Set in 1920s Chicago when being a gangster didn’t mean having your pants around your ankles, the musical about a woman convicted of murdering her lover was first performed in 1975 on Broadway, and the film came out in 2002 with Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta Jones in the roles of Roxie and Velma. The film also features a song about the methods some of the Merry Murderesses used to kill their husbands for various reasons, which is really good inspiration when Himself is annoying you
But please. Don’t actually kill anyone.
The stage musical about everyone’s favourite orphan had its opening night on Broadway in 1977, five years before the film came out (in 1982, for those whose counting skills are as weak as mine.) Annie spent her time searching for her birth parents (whose name was Bennett, which went down VERY well with yours truly) and ends up staying with billionaire Daddy Warbucks. No prizes for guessing why. Also, some advice to anyone thinking of being the next Ms Hannigan: make sure you like kids a little bit before taking in a whole bunch of them.