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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

It’s time to stop making existing stories into musicals; I crave an original

Amazon, Sony Picture Releasing, Rob Howell, Netflix
A collection of all the different versions of the story of Matilda

In recent years, there have been many storylines portrayed in different forms of media. Stories like Matilda, which went from a book to a movie to a musical to a movie musical. This is not the only plot for which this has occurred, and with all storylines that are already familiar to the public, original Broadway shows are not doing as well as they should and are even closing.

Matilda by Roald Dahl was published in 1988. In 1996, that book was turned into a movie starring Mara Wilson as Matilda. Then the story was produced as a Broadway show beginning in 2010 with songs such as “Naughty” and “Revolting Children.” The most recent addition to the collection of Matilda media is the movie version of the musical which was released at the end of 2022.

This pattern is not unusual; in fact, there have been numerous other books/movies turned into musicals. Legally Blonde in 2007 was turned into a musical, and The Great Gatsby just wrapped up doing previews of the Broadway show in New Jersey. Mean Girls produced a stage version of the story in 2018 and is now coming out with a musical version of the movie set to release in 2024. 

One story that is being produced into a Broadway musical is The Hunger Games. It made for an awesome movie, but I don’t understand how or why it’s becoming a musical. Out of all the film adaptations into Broadway, this is one of the most bizarre ones. How are they going to fit the extensive and fast-paced world of the Hunger Games on a stage?

Out of all the film adaptations into Broadway, [The Hunger Games] is one of the most bizarre ones.

In the last few years, on Broadway, a lot of original shows have been shutting down because they are not making enough in ticket sales. Some Like It Hot, a jazz musical, announced that it will close at the end of December. Additionally, the musical Shucked has announced that it’ll be closing in January. These are both shows that have opened rather recently—Shucked in April of this year and Some Like It Hot in December of 2022— and will close before they barely, if ever, hit a year of shows. 

It has been so disappointing to watch shows I had wanted to see on my next visit to New York City close before I even had the chance to enjoy them. 

One show I had a strong desire to see was Once Upon a One More Time, which was a show about Disney Princesses with the songs of Britney Spears, but it shut down suddenly in September due to the houses only being half full. This show closed after only 123 performances. 

On the other hand, shows like Back to the Future—yes, it’s a musical too—and The Lion King are thriving on Broadway. While many original musicals have been very successful—Wicked, Hamilton, etc.— it is very hard for a new show to succeed these days with all the popular shows taking all the ticket sales.

As someone who enjoys Broadway, I would enjoy seeing a new story, and not the same story that I grew up watching as a movie.

I don’t understand why we have to keep making different versions of the same story, why can’t something new and original make it in this world?

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About the Contributor
Autumn VanSolkema
Autumn VanSolkema, Staff Writer
Autumn is a junior entering her first year on The Central Trend. She loves a good romance novel, but loves her corgi more. If she is not belting out Taylor Swift songs, she is teaching herself new songs on the guitar or ukulele. You can find her cheering on the sidelines of football games or coaching her little fourth-grade cheer team. Autumn has grown up loving the theatre, being both on the stage and in the audience. She has performed in many shows and regularly begs her parents to take her to New York again to see more Broadway productions. Autumn is an avid photographer, with her camera roll being filled with 19k+ photos over the last two years. Her least favorite things in the world: Balloons and Styrofoam. Her favorite musicalsWaitress and Mamma Mia Number of surgeries she's had: 7 Her favorite condiments: Mayo and Ranch Favorite season: Just like her name, it's autumn

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    Christine LavinNov 16, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    What fuels Broadway is money, and it’s easier to raise money for something familiar than it is for something new.

    Having said that, a new show that I recommend is “Harmony,” with music written by Barry Manilow. It’s a true story — but for most of us a NEW story about a 1920’s vocal group called, “The Comedian Harmonists” that were “The Beatles of their day.” How is it that we never heard of them? This musical explains it all. Go! You’ll thank me in the morning.