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The 6 Best Stage Musicals Ever Adapted To Film (And Available To Stream Now)

Empty Theatre. Photographed by Peter Lewicki. Image via Unsplash

Call up your Dreamgirls, cuddle up to your Cats, and embrace All That Jazz because it’s time for a musical!

It may still be months before we are able to go out on the town and sit in the audience of a musical theatre production. But there’s nothing quite like the magic of a stage, an audience, and the drama of a big musical number.

So, what’s the next best thing? Watching them from the comfort of our own homes, of course! We’ve rounded up the six best stage musicals adapted into films that are available to watch on your favourite streaming services.

West Side Story

A timeless story of two rival New York City gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, was brought to life through film over four decades ago. Set in the 1950s, West Side Story stars Natalie Wood as Maria and Richard Beymer as Tony who fall in love despite being a part of these rival gangs. The first production of the stage musical was in 1957 so it didn’t take long for the popularity of the musical to spur into a film adaptation (four years to be exact). There is no doubt this modern-day Romeo and Juliet story is a favourite among fans as it won 10 Academy Awards after its cinematic release and the soundtrack album won a Grammy Award. Better yet, you can relive this classic musical film on Stan.


Jersey Boys

Moving forward a decade, we find ourselves immersed in a tale of rags to riches. Jersey Boys recounts the journey of the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons before, during and after their successful music career. The original Broadway production had its first run in 2005 and the film adaptation, directed by Clint Eastwood, was released in 2014. Netflix has added this jukebox musical film to its catalogue so you can sing along with The Four Seasons’ 60s classics incxluding Sherry, December 1963 (Oh What A Night) and Can’t Take My Eyes Off You all from the comfort of your own couch rather than an auditorium seat.


Into the Woods

Fancy a bit of fantasy? Watch all your favourite fairy tale characters come together in a glorious amalgamation with Into the Woods. The 2014 movie adaptation of the 1987 Broadway musical features an all-star cast including Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt and Chris Pine, to name a few. The plot follows a childless baker and his wife on their journey to reversing a curse placed on their family by the witch who lives next door. With a stunningly complex and enthralling score originally written by Stephen Sondheim, this captivating musical movie can be streamed on Disney+ and is sure to have you bewitched from beginning to end.


Chicago

If you’re after something a bit more Vaudevillian, immerse yourself in the world of the 1920s Jazz Age with classic musical, Chicago. The original 1975 Broadway show tells of two malevolent murderesses on death-row as they compete for the attention of a sleazy lawyer.  This criminally good cabaret is a theatre staple, having won over audiences across the globe. The film adaptation, released in 2002 and available to stream on Stan, allows you to bring the razzle dazzle right into your living room.


Dreamgirls

Emotional diva ballads are arguably one of the best parts about a musical and if you want to see how it’s done, Dreamgirls is the right place to start. Featuring powerhouse vocalists Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Jennifer Hudson, this 2006 movie adaptation of the 1981 Broadway musical is all about show business, struggle and soul. Loosely based on the career aspirations of Motown and R&B acts like The Supremes, we watch as singing trio The Dreamettes rise to fame while trying not to crumble under the pressure. Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy also play key characters in the movie which earned three Golden Globes and two Oscars. So turn on your TV, stream Dreamgirls on Stan, and belt the words to And I Am Telling You (I’m Not Going) like there’s no one around to hear it (because luckily there might not be!).


Grease

No list of musical to movie adaptations would be complete without mentioning Grease. Released in 1978, the cult-classic film stars Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta as the main characters, Sandy and Danny, who recognise each other at high school after a brief summer romance. The story’s romantic comedy genre and catchy sing-along tunes, like Summer Nights and Greased Lightning have made the film widely popular among audiences. Be transported back to the 1950s with Grease now available to stream on Stan.

Feature Image: Photographed by Peter Lewicki. Image via Unsplash.

Want more streaming recommendations? Opt for family favourites with our pick of the 10 best animated Disney movies of all time, or take a trip back in time with this list of the best Classic Movies of all time.


Editor’s Note: Our writers and contributors have independently selected and curated this article, and all opinions are their own. This article does contain affiliate links which allow us to make revenue off some purchases made by our readers.

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