Sunday, February 16, 2014

Book Bloger Love-A-Thon || Mini-Challenge #4

Hello, hello! It's Love-A-Thon day 2! How exciting is that? Today's first mini-challenge is called mash-up. We're meant to mash-up our bookish life with a non-bookish hobby/passion/talent we have in real life. I had to think a little bit in order to come up with this post, but I think I've figured out a way to make this post perfect for someone like me.

As I mentioned a few times yesterday, I'm someone who's done musical theater for my entire life. Musicals are something that I literally can never get enough of.. kind of like books! What I plan to do for this challenge is mention a few books that I think would make really great musicals. It's not uncommon that movies/books do get turned into stage shows all the time. For example, Disney movies. There are tons and tons of Disney stage musicals. A book turned musical that I am particularly fond of is Matilda. Matilda is currently killing it on Broadway and is honestly amazing. If you're looking for a treat, search Matilda: The Musical on YouTube. You won't be disappointed.

So, here we go. Five books that I think would make really fantastic musicals:

First off, Coraline by Neil Gaiman. In general, I've always loved Coraline. I've read parts of the book (and plan on buying it as soon as possible) and the Tim Burton film is definitely in my top five movies of all time. The story, characters, and world building is fantastic. Can you imagine The Pink Palace as a set, all illuminated on stage?! It would be amazing.

Wow.. I got really swept up in this idea and decided there is no way that this wasn't already a musical. I was right! Turns out a musical version of Coraline was written and performed off-Broadway in 2009. It didn't get picked up, so that's unfortunate. But, it looks amazing nonetheless. From what I can tell, the off-Broadway performance cast an adult to play the 9-year-old Coraline. Now, it sounds weird, but after more research I can see how this made sense. Gah! It looks so cool. I wish I could've seen it. It also looks like there was a pretty popular production of Coraline in San Fransico in 2010 with a little girl playing Coraline. This looks just as amazing if not even more amazing. Look how cool this looks!! Ah! I'm fangirling. Give me a moment.

Moving on, the next book that I think would make a fantastic musical is The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. As we know from looking at the themes of successful musicals in the past, the time setting of this book is very popular when it comes to musicals. Examples of this would be Grease and Footloose. I think The Outsiders would fit right onto this bandwagon. The characters in this novel would do fantastic on stage. As we saw in the successful 1983 film adaptation, this is a story that translates perfectly when performed. I can imagine that this would make a very moving and emotional stage production.

Alright. This one is not going to be a surprise if you know anything at all about me. 1. I think that creepier plots are the best and also that they would make fabulous musicals. 2. I love musicals with children; Matilda, Annie, Newsies. If you take all of that into consideration it should be no surprise at all that Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by, the lovely, Ransom Riggs would be my next choice. I know that this is being turned into a movie (a Tim Burton movie, nonetheless) in 2015. That should tell you something. If you haven't already noticed, most books that would make good musicals (in my opinion, at least) also make good movies. But, aside from all of that, I just love this book to no end and I cannot fathom the excitement I would have if they decided to make it into a stage musical.

Think about this. Can you picture the house on a set?! And the lighthouse scene? And all of the kids? It would all just be so fantastic. Olive (my favorite, if you didn't know) could be rigged up like in Peter Pan. I just-- GUH! I can't. This book would make such a fantastic musical. There would be like a big, awesome show stopping number during the dinner. Someone stop me because I'm getting very carried away. In a nutshell, this would just be a perfect musical. Someone make it happen, please.

This next book is one that was a favorite of mine as a child and that would be The Witches by Roald Dahl. As a child, I was obsessed with Roald Dahl. Throughout my life I've had an affinity for choosing "my favorite" everything. Roald Dahl way my favorite author longer than any author in my life and is potentially still my favorite author. As I've already mentioned numerous times in this post, Matilda is currently on Broadway and very successful. Another reason Roald Dahl musicals are special to me is that the very last show I was in at my theater that I attended classes as my entire life was a production of Willy Wonka (which is obviously adapted from Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.) I played Mrs. Gloop. Since I know you're probably itching for a picture, here you go. (No, the cooks didn't wear jeans and tshirts in the performances. That picture was taken before the costumes were completed.)

The point is that Roald Dahl's stories are so classically whimsical that they're perfect for adaptations in other mediums. There's something about his writing that whisks you away and makes you feel like a child regardless of your age. I think that's a factor that definitely makes a stage production good. In fact, I think it's a factor that makes anything good. Any book that can twist the readers' brains and put them into the story right alongside the main characters is a story that begs to be more than it is.

The Witches is the creepiest of Dahl's books. I think that's a reason why it has yet to be transformed for stage. The thing that's so marketable about the books of his that are already musicals is that they're kids stories which are good for kids. The slightly-too-creepy side of The Witches is something that, like Coraline, I think playwrights and composers shy away from. It's sort of like "Why waste my time on a show that I know won't get off it's feet?" But, that's a terrible way of thinking! If everyone thought like that we wouldn't have all the great books, movies, and plays we have today! That being said, I think The Witches would make an amazing musical based on the fact that the story carries itself. It's simply asking to be put to song! Plus, can you imagine The Grand High Witch on stage?! *shudders*

The fifth and final book I'm going to propose is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I think that classics are classics for a reason. There's something about classic novels that makes them very adaptable for things like movies and musicals. That's why tons of classics already are movies. But, I think the message of Frankenstein and the power of the story would make for a great musical. It would definitely be much more adult than any of the other books I've mentioned, but that's okay. Can you picture the powerful ballad sung by Frankenstein's monster? Because I can. It would be heart felt and gut wrenching. It would be fantastic. I picture this being the type of show where the sets would be extremely minimal. The sets would be simplistic to emphasize the story and the things that make the plot the classic that it is--

We interrupt this post to bring you the Ashley-is-angry portion. This too is already a freaking musical. I'm very frustrated as you can tell, but I'm not going to let that stop me from leaving this in the post. Clearly, I didn't know this before I wrote about Frankenstein being a good choice for a musical. Turns out that this too was off-Broadway. In 2007, Frankenstein -- A New Musical was produced and performed. And, YES THE CREATURE DID HAVE AN INTENSE, HEART FELT SONG. Here. I know you want to hear it. So, go listen. It's not.. mind blowing. But, it's definitely powerful and it gives you some insight into the style of the show. It sounds to me like it was a rock-opera of sorts. But, just from listening to that song... I can see why it didn't get picked up.

And, that's it! Guys, this post was actually a huge challenge for me and here's why. I stuck with books that weren't already musicals (as far as I knew *angry*) or proposed to be musicals. I definitely wanted to say Harry Potter, The Hobbit (I was in The Hobbit once), The Chronicles of Narnia (I was also in this), The Little Prince or The Princess Bride. But, those books are ALL already musicals. With all that in mind, I hope you appreciate how fantastic this post actually is. Hahaha. I don't even feel cocky saying that because I'm in love with this post. This is definitely my favorite blog post I've written thus far. I really hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it.


  1. I would just DIE if Miss Peregrines was turned into a musical! I saw a Cirque Du Soleil show in New York once and it had the creepy/artistic/beautify vibe that the book has so I could TOTALLY picture it!

  2. This is such a cool idea!! Coraline would make for one creepy cool musical for sure.

  3. Ahh I love that you picked books for musicals! I LOVE musicals - my favorite is probably The Phantom of the Opera (not sure if it's cliche - but it's true) and I'm going to go see the Lion King on Broadway in two weeks :) Side note - if you haven't read The Reece Malcolm List, its a super adorable and has a musical theatre element! I definitely recommend it!

    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

    1. Ahh! Thanks. I'll totally check that out. My all time favorite musical is Spring Awakening, but I do love Phantom. I saw it, like, a year ago. I'm seeing Cinderella on Broadway in June!

  4. I've done theatre for ages, too! :) and Matilda is fantastic! It surprised me, I thought it was going to be terrible and campy, but I adored it.

    I love that you chose to cover musicals for your mashup :)

  5. Ah, I definitely see Coraline as musical. Interesting they picked an adult to play her :)


  6. Fantastic post. I'm really into musicals too and often read a book thinking about it's potential to become a musical. I've also seen a few musicals that inspired me to go and read the book it was based on eg. Wicked, which I loved. I saw The Hobbit in London and the special effects were amazing. I didn't realise The Chronicles of Narnia was already a musical-I would love to see that!

  7. Such a great idea! We saw Matilda last year when we were in London and it was SO FREAKING GOOD! I think The Graveyard Book would actually make a really cool musical as well - think about all those ghosts!

  8. With musical's like Sweeney Todd, there's no reason why the slightly disturbing can't be made into theatre productions! I'd love to see one for The Witches - it was one of my favourite Dahl books as a kid. Does that make me a little creepy? Haha

  9. Oooh this is an awesome idea!! I would love to see a musical version of The Outsiders or Miss P. Musicals are the bomb (dot COM) LOVED this idea!!! <3

    xo, Becca @Pivot Book Reviews

  10. I think your first three are dead on winners! I am reading Hollow City right now and it is a fantastic follow up to Miss Peregrine. Lovely post!

  11. Coraline would make an amazing musical! I think it'll be whimsical, wonderful and a little bit creepy. Also, The Witches would be absolutely brilliant!


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