The Sunday Giveaway: 2 Tickets to see Ghost The Musical on Broadway

If you hadn’t yet realized, the starting bell has rung on the start of the Spring season of new Broaday musicals.

They are off and running!  For how long, that’s the big question.

One of the most anticipated musicals to arrive on our shores this Spring is one of the strongest titles we’ve seen in awhile.  Ghost, that surprise-smash of a film that was produced for only 22 million dollars (the musical is rumored to cost $13mm by comparison) and went on to make bazillions for everyone involved, including The Righteous Brothers, whose song, “Unchained Melody”, is featured in one of the most iconic moments of the movie.

And, that sweet song is also featured in the musical . . . as one of you will see because I’ve got two free tickets to give away.

Who will win?

As more and more movies become musicals (and I’m not one of those that think it’s such a bad thing, by the way, as long as the source movie makes for a strong musical foundation (e.g. Billy Elliot, Once, etc.)), more and more producers have to make the tough decision of including a big song from the movie or starting from scratch with something original.  What’s the expecation level of the audience?  Do they expect to hear these tunes?  Do you disappoint if you don’t include ’em?  Do you disappoint the reviewers if you do?

What do you think?  Should movies-to-musicals like Ghost start over, or are they obliged to include these tunes in the show?

Comment below and I’ll randomly choose one of you to go see Ghost on Broadway!

 

(Got a comment? I love ’em, so comment below! Email subscribers, click here, then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)

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Comments
  • Sarah says:

    I think they definitely need to include these songs- people expect to hear them. What’s Ghost without Unchained Melody?

  • Reg says:

    Including the songs that made the movie is a great decision. Those iconic songs, images, moments are another character of sorts that make the source material so rich and poignant for the audience.

  • Andrea says:

    This should not even be a question. Of course audiences expect the hit song to be featured in the musical remake. Would Footloose really be Footloose without the song “Footloose?”
    Audiences (especially those from out of town) often buy tickets BECAUSE they want to hear the title song. If the new musical The Bodyguard does not include I Will Always Love You, I don’t doubt there will be backlash.

  • I think you have to include at least the iconic songs. After that, I’m willing to go with you if you write new stuff 🙂

  • Michael says:

    They DO include Unchained Melody and it’s freaking fantastic. Caissie knocks it out of the park. Such a great show. Wouldn’t mind seeing it again 😉

  • Joyce Joseph says:

    Yes, any show based on a movie needs to include the music the audience already associates with it.
    Ironically,the night my husband I and I got engaged in August 1990 we saw the movie “Ghost”, so we associate this particular movie with a personal moment in our lives. I’d really love to see the musical and see how it compares or differs from the source material it’s based on. Pick me, pick me!!

  • Jason Thinger says:

    I do not think it is required to be included but audiences would love to hear it. Audiences low to hear music that they already know, a reason jukebox musicals are so popular. If a certain movie is known for a song ten I think it should be included. It is reassuring for an audience that they know they will like at least one song in the show!

  • Joey Baez says:

    Unfortunately, I feel that Producers and the writers who tackle source material that comes from a movie are forced to include those popular songs for a show to succeed. It is expected. Today people want to see what they know. They go into a show expecting to hear sone ofthere favorites songs. It makes me sad. I feel strongly with starting over though. A musical version of a movie is a chance to tell the same story but with a different twist. A moment to see it from a different angle. I love that. A current example is Sister Act. I loved it. Fresh music, new twist, more funny. It was great. Though some ppl after didn’t appreciate it because They wanted to hear ‘I Will Follow Him’ from the movie.
    Thanks Ken for the blog and chance to put our thoughts out there too.
    Joey Baez
    @jbaez811

  • Jess says:

    I definitely think the iconic songs need to be included. If you are using the same title as the movie and are selling tickets to the musical version of the movie…then you should provide what you are marketing. Otherwise start anew and cite the movie as your source material. Based on, or an original retelling of…etc.

  • Kate says:

    When it comes to producing a musical from a film, sure audiences expect to see what they have seen on screen transfer to the stage to some extent and with a hit song like Unchained Melody in the film, producers should know that it’s the feeling that the viewer got when seeing the love duet with the melody that is what they now have to capture again live. So my vote is yes- keep the hits in!

  • ggjdemarco@gmail.com says:

    I think the audience certainly comes expecting to hear any iconic songs and I think it is generally a good idea to include it in the musical BUT if an original score is good enough to stand on its own and satisfy its audience I don’t think the iconic song will be missed. What I think winds up happening is the creative teams rest on the laurels of the iconic song and the rest of the score is sub par

  • Michael DiGaetano says:

    The songs definitely have to be in because people are expecting them. If they’re not in the show, it could hurt word of mouth

  • I really think this is a toss up. On one hand I think all original music (like Sister Act) is a way to go because theater is so different from film that the source material needs to be recreated to work on its own. On the other hand audiences do go into it expecting it to be just like the movie and want to hear the music. I think a blend of the two is the happy medium on this. I still wish Pricilla had original songs with some of the iconic songs from the movie. I also think it depends on the source material too.

  • Andy G. says:

    It’s kind of a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation, isn’t it? Because including a preexisting song in your score can stick out and then be disappointing compared to the original version, or stick out as being much better than the rest of your score. I think it’s best to include it if it makes sense to the artistic team, but if possible it should be changed or upgraded to make it pretty different on stage from the way it was in the movie. If you pay homage to it, but then subvert expectations, you are making it clear that your version is different and should be judged on its own terms, not just “do they do the things they did in the movie.”

  • Sarah Packard says:

    I think maybe it depends on the show and song, although I’d lean more towards including the song…disapppointing your preexisting audience/fanbase is generally never a good thing! 🙂

  • Philip I. says:

    I feel as though in any adaptation, regardless of if it’s on stage, the creative team must honor the source material but also expand it. When I go to see shows based off movies I don’t want to see a live performance of the movie verbatim, I want something that takes the old and brings in new. While at first one might be disappointed not to see “I Will Follow Him” in the song list for Sister Act, they’ll leave singing “Spread the Love” or “Raise Your Voice” instead. It may have been the film that got them to the theater in the first place, but it’s expansion into a full-fledged musical is what ended up getting them to stay.

  • Tricia Ostermann says:

    I believe the iconic songs need to be included because that’s what the audience will be expecting. If we hear a song and all immediately think of the movie it came from, then that says something about the song.
    We long to hear “Unchained Melody” in GHOST, “Falling Slowly” in ONCE, and “Time of My Life” in DIRTY DANCING. If the original songs from the movie NEWSIES had been left out and new songs created in their places for the stage show, it would have left a lot of fans really upset. I must admit that, as much fun as the new nun songs in SISTER ACT are, they don’t hold a candle to the originals.
    Musicals based off movies are hit or miss. On one hand, I miss the originality of a brand new show and feel that a lot of the movie-based shows are being made simply to bring in the tourist crowds that will go see it because they already know the story. On the other hand, they can turn into really amazing/fun shows.
    I’m really hoping that’s the case for GHOST. I love Caissie Levy and watched the Joe’s Pub sneak peak of the show– the music sounds really great. I can’t wait to see it.

  • Rafi Levavy says:

    I think that it’s best on a case by case basis. Sometimes the songs that were used in the background aren’t appropriate to be used in a musical, and sometimes they are. You can’t ignore the source material, but at the same time, you have to treat theater different than film/TV/books/etc since it’s a different medium.

  • Allie says:

    Definitely depends on the show, but from a marketing standpoint they should include the songs. As a couple have mentioned above, Sister Act didn’t include any of the music from the film, which may turn away potential audience members or disappoint those who bought tickets knowing little about the production. That being said, Sister Act is “fabulous, baby” with the original music.
    So, was it necessary to include the movie’s music? Absolutely not. Would it have sold more seats? Most likely, yes.

  • Karlan says:

    Especially when the song is iconic like Unchained Melody, an audience will expect it and probably feel unsatisfied/cheated if its not included. The only exception might be if the project is from the get go looking to re-define the source material, and look at it from a different perspective, which would be an uphill but perhaps interesting climb.

  • Rafi Levavy says:

    I think that it’s a case by case basis. Sometimes the song that was used in the background of a movie is appropriate when used in a musical, sometimes it’s not. You do have to acknowledge the source material (especially since adaptations are usually created for financial reasons instead of artistic ones,) but you also have to create a piece of theater, not a movie on stage – theater is different than film/TV/books, etc.

  • Rafi Levavy says:

    Oops – I posted this twice – I thought it didn’t go through the first time. Sorry.

  • Tom G says:

    Songs are what most people remember from a movie. To not include them will always invoke the question asking where are they? that being said, it doesn’t have to be sung, but included as incidental background music for the audience to get an emotional nod to the original. In the Addams Family, all out of town productions never included the signature theme song. but the first notes played on Broadway had you doing the familiar finger snaps and gave an instant emotion. Xanadu, The Producers all kept reminders of the originals

  • Amanda says:

    I think songs that are famous because of the movie should stay in the show (i.e. Falling Slowly won the Oscar for best song. I would have been devastated had they scratched it from the show). Seeing great songs performed live takes your breath away, and musical theatre performers usually have a different take on them than pop/rock singers. I always like to see the new songs, though!

  • Amy K says:

    There are some songs that need to be included in the musical when being taken from the screenplay, the iconic ones that everyone associates. Of they’re not included then people will feel as if something was missing. However, new songs are important too. For example, when I went to see Beauty and the Beast on stage there were songs I didn’t know and that added to the show, because suddenly I didn’t know the story by heart and had something different to enjoy without losing the ever-important song ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Its good to balance both new and old to create s masterpiece anyone can enjoy.

  • Keith says:

    That’s a tough question. In the case of Ghost, Unchained Melody is an iconic song which plays a huge roll in the story. I think critics and audiences alike expect a song like that to be included in a movie-to-musical show. For other movie-to-musical shows I think discretion is important. For instance, The Bodyguard, with its West End opening later this year, would be doing a disservice to leave out the beyond famous “I Will Always Love You”. I think everyone is expecting to hear that song. In the case of Sister Act I think the show did something very good in not putting the movie music on stage but rather introducing new music. It’s a difficult line to be drawn because many people have ties to the movie that come to stage but they expect new aspects to be given to them as well.

  • Miriam says:

    I think if it’s a song that when people hear it they completely associate the movie with it, then you have to include it. You need to please your audience, so if you have the best musical ever produced, people will walk out saying, “It was good, but I kept waiting to hear [whatever song they associate with the movie].” Don’t disappoint your audience. “Unchained Melody” should be included in GHOST, “(I Had) The Time of My Life” should be included in DIRTY DANCING.

  • Brian Katona says:

    It depends on the film and how iconic the songs are. If Beauty and the Beast on Broadway axed the title song sung by Mrs. Pots, people would feel they did not get their money’s worth.
    So people seeing Ghost will be equally disappointed if that particular righteous pottery ballad has gone missing.
    And if the composer is interested, he can go one step further and use it as a leitmotif throughout the show.

  • Michelle says:

    Generally, I think one or two songs from the movie is acceptable. But I love to hear new songs, too.

  • Jason Wrench says:

    Should movies-to-musicals like Ghost start over, or are they obliged to include these tunes in the show?
    It’s interesting that this question is asked. I wondered the same thing when I saw Sister Act on Broadway. I almost was disappointed that some of the clever show-girl songs from the original movie weren’t in the musical, but then these are songs that were filmed but designed to look like they were staged.
    As for Ghost, I’m kind of mixed on the issue. As someone who enjoyed ghost many moons ago when the movie first came out, I really couldn’t tell you what songs were in the movie – but I’m not a devotee. If there are too many popular music songs, I would be more fearful that it would become a second-rate jukebox musical in the process.

  • Randi says:

    I think they should include some from the movie as well as new songs. I like a mix of both!

  • Monica C says:

    I think it’s important to include the iconic song(s) associated with the movie. Those songs carry significance and can draw people in to see the musical version. People will expect to hear them at the show.
    However, it is also essential to incorporate new, great songs into the show.

  • RJ says:

    I really think they should include the iconic songs in the stage version! Legally Blonde made this mistake by not including “Perfect Day” in the stage version.
    And I REALLY want to see GHOST. Davine Randolph (Oda Mae Brown) is an alum of my theatre department (Temple University) and I would love to see her in the show!

  • Alesandra says:

    I think it depends on the actual show. For example, if it’s something iconic or written for a movie, it should definitely be included. Time Of Your Life should for sure be included in a Dirty Dancing musical, Falling Slowly should absolutely be included in Once. They would be remiss not including them.

  • Kristin D. says:

    It depends on the show. But, I do think it’s important to include songs audiences already know. Songs like “Falling Slowly” (that are such an integral part of the movie) are what audiences come expecting to hear in the stage version.

  • Noah P says:

    If it is integral to the plot and adds to it, I say leave it in. If not, it feels like it’s just stuck there for some audience recognition gimmick and that ain’t cool.

  • Dave Cackowski says:

    Yes, they should. This is especially true if a song becomes a top 40 hit then tourists would be expecting and probably planning their entire visit to NYC around that very fact.
    If there are no hits then it should be up to the producer to decide that for their show.
    Dave C.
    Cleveland,Ohio

  • Michael L. says:

    Yes, include the great song … and let it modify/grow! Like Israel did for “Over the Rainbow.” Give audiences what they want … and more.

  • Emily says:

    I think that they should include the classics but add new tunes, as well!

  • Kerry Zukus says:

    If the song is strongly associated with the movie, you must keep it in. If you don’t want to do that, chose a different (completely non-musical) movie as your source material. I hear they’re developing an “Animal House” musical. If so, it HAS to include “Shout” … or else!!

  • michael says:

    K
    if the movie is good, the musical maybe good, but BEWARE what happened with CARRIE.
    How about a musical based on Animal House?
    Star Wars?
    MullHolland Drive?
    Eraserhead?
    Solaris? ( Tarkovsky’s movie, NOT Clooney’s, no. I say NO! )
    Two Or Three Things I know About Here ( Godard )
    Breathless ( Godard )
    M

  • Morgan A says:

    I don’t think they should feel obligated to include them. What makes a good musical based on a movie is when they aren’t carbon replicas of the actual movie and when they stand alone on their own. If they are able to use the song while still remaining new and fresh, then by all means go for it! As far as Unchained Melody used in Ghost, from what I have heard on the cast recording, they don’t use it the same exact way as it was used in the movie and made it new/fresh! I would love to be able to see if it translates well 🙂

  • Randy Hobler says:

    “Unchained Melody” has been done to death on oldies stations for decades. Like so many other great songs that have been over-exposed, it’s lost its freshness. On the other hand, the title song from the movie “Thoroughly Modern Millie” was not an oldie, was not overdone and was the only good song in the musical. If one must retread a song like “Unchained Melody”, then at the very least they should try to
    give it a dramatic new arrangement to infuse it with
    some excitement.

  • Michael Reed says:

    I think they have to use some of the music to keep the fans happy but have to add new material to keep it interesting.

  • heather says:

    Obligated? No. But when a song is a hallmark of the movie, due consideration should be made. The question should be, though, is it a distract from a truthful telling of the story? And they certainly should not rely on it or reprises, as I hear this show does.

  • Yes, because you can’t have it both ways. You can’t trade upon the fond memories of the movie as a hook to fill theater seats and then omit anything iconic from the original source, including signature songs. In movies, the 11 o’clock number can come very early.

  • Becca P says:

    The audience absolutely expects the token songs from the movie version. It’s like turning a book into a movie without one of the most beloved characters. This line, however gets fuzzy when, as you mentioned, the source movie doesn’t instantly lend itself to a musical. Movies such as Ghost do not have staged musical numbers, they have a soundtrack, mostly of songs previously known on the radio. If nothing else, the rights to some of these popular songs are perhaps too expensive for producers to support including in the transformation to a staged musical.
    When the movie IS a movie-musical (for instance, Newsies) there are certain songs that are required. If either Seize the Day, Carrying the Banner, or Santa Fe were not in the stage version, audiences would rush the stage in riotous anger.
    I suppose it all boils down to a very fine line of how ‘classic’ the song is within that movie.

  • Hannah says:

    It really depends on the role of the music in the movie. If the music in the movie is not sung by any characters but is prominent, then creators can go either way, whichever lends itself better to the stage project. If the music is part of the character in the movie, audiences will expect to have that music on stage. So for example, in a musical like Once, the original music from the movie is important to have.

  • Mary Riley says:

    I think they have to keep at least some of the music, but I think it’s a nice opportunity to include new music at the same time to freshen up the piece. Keeps it relevant and fresh for a new audience!

  • John says:

    Depending on how strongly associated with the original the song is, at least including it in the overture would be a connection the audience would have.
    In the case of Ghost, I think you Need Unchained Melody in its entirety.

  • I think they should absolutely start over in most instances. Let the reviewers think what they wish to think based on the material presented to them. You have to trust your gut and your own judgement. Occasionally, there is THE iconic tune from the movie that SHOULD be included (i.e. “Unchained Melody” in Ghost, “Circle of Life” in Lion King, and even “I Will Always Love You” in the upcoming Bodyguard stage adaptation that I hope crosses the pond in the upcoming seasons). However, for the most part, I find that screen-to-stage adaptations tend to do best when the entire project is approached freshly. Stick to the core message of the film with the same overall themes. I find that successful adaptations yield the best results when they stick of the fundamental genre of that particular era of the source material. For example, Hairspray did it BRILLIANTLY and in my opinion is one of the best examples of this. Not a single melody from that show came from the original movie obviously. However, now one almost cannot think of Hairspray as NOT being a musical because of how successfully Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman seamlessly used the 60’s doo-wop genre to tell the story. And that was all done COMPLETELY from scratch. In short, I say start from scratch. However, if you ARE gonna tackle a HUGE film like “Ghost,” it doesn’t hurt to acknowledge the pink elephant in the room; i.e. “Unchained Melody.”

  • Steven says:

    I think it is a case-by-case thing. For example, while “Unchained Melody” is arguably Ghost’s most famous scene in the movie, I don’t think it’s a show-defining moment. However, you can’t do Footloose or Fame without the title songs. Those songs are central to the story and the musical landscape.

  • I had thought that it made sense to keep “Unchained Melody” because it’s so associated with the movie…until I imagined it being sung by the lovers during the love-making scene…and then it just felt wrong.I don’t know how it’s used in the show…if they sing it or someone else does, but either way, it just feels tacky to me. The only way it might work is if they put on the album and it accompanies the love-making /dance moment. I don’t think it’s impossible or a bad idea to use a song from a movie that everyone associates with it, as long as it fits in stylistically with the rest of the score and if the lyrics are truly sounding as if they came from the characters singing them.

  • Kristopher says:

    I feel like if the song is sung in the film by the actors, then it is best to include it. People come to expect it.
    But if it is used as background soundtrack, it has potential to translate poorly to stage. For example, if “Garden State” ever got put up, I would find it strange if they had the characters singing those songs in those scenarios. (ps-I am not suggesting Garden State be musicalized, for the record.)
    But then again, there are exceptions to any “rule,” which this of course is not!

  • Demi Agapitos says:

    I am really excited for Ghost!!! I do feel that they shouldn’t be obliged to use the song for the musical because the story is so great and strong. That being said I would be really excited to hear it in the musical, but for this musical it really isnt necessary. I do believe that some musicals that are made from movies should have the song or songs in it. Like in Sister Act, I loved the movie, I loved the musical, but I would of loved it more if they did include “My God” or “I Will Follow Him” at least at the curtain call. Like how Shrek added in “I’m a Believer” at their curtain call and it made the perfect end to the show. But as I said, for Ghost, its great with it or without it and I really hope I get to see it.

  • Jack Dyville says:

    Am personally looking forward to GHOST, The Musical. And I am happy Unchained Melody is a part – so what if it is overdone – I love the song and will enjoy it once again on stage.

  • Kim says:

    I think producers should definitely include the most famous song from the movie if there is one. Could you imagine Once without “Falling Slowly”?
    Example: Sister Act. Great show, but I definitely missed “Hail Holy Queen” and “I Will Follow Him”. I liked some of the new tunes like “Take Me to Heaven”, but I couldn’t remember the finale after I left the theatre.

  • I agree with this comment fully! I loved Sister Act, but I totally missed “Hail Holy Queen.”
    There are other movies I would love to see on Broadway, like Moulin Rouge or First Wives Club (which is in the works, isn’t it?), but what would FWC be like with out “You Don’t Own Me?” It’s just not the same…

  • Cara S. says:

    I think that movies to musicals should find a balance between the beloved scenes and songs that the movie started with, but also making sure to add new and exciting pieces to make the musical stand separate from the movie. You can’t ignore the great aspects of the movie that made it a success, but to completely duplicate the movie in a stage show wouldn’t make for any sort of theatrical innovation either. The hard part is finding that happy medium… and I for one believe that such a task lies in the hands of the right creative team to determine where to draw that line!

  • E says:

    If you are going to take an old movie and make it into a new musical….you better have NEW songs. Expected however is the theme song to a movie. I think this movie hit a home run with so many that it is a must to keep Unchained Melody in. Looking forward to seeing it some day.

  • Gaby G says:

    I think the new norm should allow for use of ‘cover’ songs from the film combined with originals.

  • Brian says:

    I don’t think that they have to keep all of the songs from the movie. I do think that any iconic songs should be included in some form or another.

  • James says:

    Hi Ken,
    I feel like music is this phenomena that transforms your mind body and spirit in the same time that familiar tune is played. Music is so powerful. That’s why I feel like when we make a musical based on a movie that has done very well and has a following, it’s important to include little moments that made the original so popular and transported audiences while watching. Lion king did such a good job with some of the source music. I really hope GHOST did too. I can’t wait to see it!!

  • Elise says:

    When The Sound of Music was made into a movie (as well as any other Broadway musical) you’d expect to hear the same beloved songs. I don’t think it would be any different going in reverse (movie to bdwy). And like with Sound of music, I would expect the weaker songs to be gone (An Ordinary Couple) and some great ones added (Something Good).

  • Ed K. says:

    The real obligation is to serve the story.
    If it works best to keep a song (especially an iconic one) then, by all means, keep it in!
    Certain movies have songs associated with them and, if possible, then that should be given full consideration but the story still needs to work well for the stage and that will necessitate some changes.
    To Michael- who suggested “Animal House”- well, you are getting your wish as that has already been announced.
    I would love to see Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” as a musical (different songs than the 1984 movie remake).

  • Jerry Katell says:

    I am not a big fan of films to musicals unless there is really a good reason to do it and it makes great sense as a musical. For example, I saw a reading of Sleepless in Seattle and it didn’t seem to work in that case, although maybe it could have. A perfectly delightful movie like that needs something entirely fresh and new and different from the movie to make it desirable and not just a play, no pun intended, on the success of the film. However, if it all works and there are a song or songs that are integral to the story and memorable, then, by all means, they should be included.
    Jerry Katell

  • Jackie says:

    I think a song should be included in the musical adaptation of a movie if it is absolutely required and can fittingly be sung by the characters.
    I would not, for example, expect “Footloose” to cut the title number. And since “Once” was a movie about music, the songs themselves tell the story.
    But after seeing “Dirty Dancing” in London this past summer, I was a bit disappointed that the leads did not sing “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” during the big dance number. Having two supporting characters sing it just did not seem to fit as well, and I’d rather have had a recording than what they did. (And I’m all for live music. That’s how difficult it was for me to sit through that scene.)
    Basically, I don’t think a movie should be made into a musical unless the “famous song” fits well and can be sung by the characters centered in the scene, or unless they feel like they can start completely from scratch, music-wise.

  • Margie says:

    Would you take “Day by Day” out of Godspell? No more than you’d want to take “Unchained Melody” out of Ghost. In both cases, the songs enhance the respective plays. And whatever sells tickets is a good thing.

  • PK Greenfield says:

    Perhaps it depends on the show, the creators and the producers—it is a collaborative process.
    From a marketing perspective, if the musical is staged due to the success of its film version with an anticipated built-in appeal and following, it may backfire with audience members if the original songs are not included.
    My guess is that 60%+ of the Broadway theater-goers come from outside of New York City and their expectations are based in familiarity.

  • Alex says:

    If there’s one song for which the movie is famous, I think the song should be included, but otherwise, the musical should feature a brand new score.

  • Tim R. says:

    I truly think they should include the songs from a film, simply because it will sell more tickets. The general public who fell in love with a certain iconic aspect of a film will be more willing to see a stage version if it includes that moment.

  • Matt says:

    yes! I would have seen Sister Act already if they had the songs from the film.

  • Lauren says:

    Fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, you are stuck with an iconic tune in your musical. I would say it’s a safe bet that anyone purchasing a ticket to Ghost would expect to hear “Unchained Melody” and would most likely be disappointed/angered/outraged if it was left out. There is definitely some liberty as to how the song is used, but use it you must.

  • Scott says:

    God, I’d love to see Ghost.
    In most cases, I’d say include the song, especially if the film is recent and popular. Movies that become musicals are often riding on the popularity of the film. Its expected and unless there is a very strong reason to not include the song, I’d would do so. If the film is a complete reinterpretation, or an older film that is the starting point for a new work, then perhaps not.

  • Veronique says:

    “Unchained Melody” is such a part of the movie that I think it really should be in the Musical. The real key will be how it will be handled. It may be contrived to have them singing to each other in traditional musical fashion. If it can be a play with music where the music supports the story ala “Once” then I think it will make a nice adaptation. I think the best adaptations occur when the medium is honored to enhance the story. In honoring the original screenplay, we are brought in for a closer look at this love story. Definitely a classic that I watched many times in the 90’s. Looking forward to seeing how it translates to stage!

  • Jason says:

    I think in general you would want to include any original songs from the film into the new musical version (unless it’s a song that was just in the background and didn’t really support plot/character development). It’s mostly a director’s call but one thing you definitely don’t want to do is disappoint fans who will be expecting iconic moments like the “Unchained Melody” example mentioned.

  • Max Gilman says:

    I believe that the portion of the audience that has already seen the movie expects to hear familiar music in the show, and part of the attraction of making a show from a movie is the built in audience hoping to see a great show that they loved as a movie. What would the point be in omitting a hit from the movie? My favorite comedy of all time, The Producers, had a great song (“Love Power”) that was one of the funniest song bits I have ever seen, and because Mel Brooks did not own the rights to the song, like he did for every other song, which, by the way, none were as good as “LOve Power”, including Springtime for Hitler, he chose not to use that song in the Broadway Show and subsequently in the movie made from the show (can’t fault the guy for milking a dead cow). Part of the reason people go to see the show made from a movie is to relive those songs and the talent on Broadway usually brings out the best of a good son.

  • Jeryl M. says:

    I think people expect to hear the songs they heard in the movie and additional new songs as well.

  • Stacie M says:

    I think it really depends on how much the music had an impact on the original film. For a movie that is produced in the movie musical genre then yes the music from the original should be included but for a show like ghost That only has one over done and over sung song I don’t think it’s necessary to include. You don’t see the lead actress rocking the Demi Moore’s iconic hair style in the musical…that would just be down right silly.

  • Panic13B says:

    i think it really depends on the movie. movies with iconic songs/soundtracks (like ghost or flashdance) should definitely incorporate those iconic songs *in addition to* originals; however, movies that don’t have such iconic songs (like catch me if you can or hairspray) can disregard any background songs from the movie in favor of all original songs.

  • Steve says:

    I think it’s a good idea to include the iconic songs, as that’s what many customers want and expect. It gives everyone a nostalgic “feel-good” feeling.

  • Rebecca C. says:

    I think it depends on the show, but personally, I was really disappointed when my favorite songs from Sister Act the movie version wasnt in the musical.

  • Michele says:

    I agree with the consensus here that if the music was integral to the movie or iconic or closely associated with the movie (i.e. if you hear the song on the radio do you think of the movie? ) it should definitely be included.

  • Erin says:

    If the music is so well written that it exceeds the music from the movie, then I don’t think original songs must be included. I LOVED the Sister Act musical music and didn’t miss the motown music from the movie even though the music was great in the movie.

  • John Sweeney says:

    I’d like to think that the two are both different animals, so if you’re adapting a movie into a new musical, it should have a completely new score. Let the show stand on its own two feet and create its OWN memorable musical moment!
    That said, I’m definitely curious to see how GHOST transforms into a stage piece!

  • Nick says:

    Tough one, Mr. Davenport. One would think that a non-musical being turned into a musical would be free-reign to add any original score and songs. BUT some movies have iconic tunes linked to them — in Ghost, “Unchained Melody” is one. Can you imagine a CASABLANCA musical without “As Time Goes By”?

  • broadwaybrian says:

    Like most other people, I think it depends on the show.

  • Katherine says:

    Gotta keep the song(s) that people connect with the story!

  • Shaunna B. says:

    The plot is already being taken from the movie. If there’s one thing an original musical should have, it’s original music! I think it’s important to stay in the same style as the movie music, like in Hairspray. But give us new music…that is what American Broadway Musical Theatre is all about!

  • Katie O'Brien says:

    See, the thing with me is, I think that only if the movie was a movie-musical should the songs be obligated to be in the musical version of the movie-musical.
    For example (a terrible example but the only one I could think of now), take High School Musical. It was a movie first, a movie-musical. If it went to Broadway and all of a sudden had totally different numbers, or a few new ones, then it’s not really High School musical to me anymore. I would give it a bad review as a critic, and as an audience member I’d be disappointed.
    But if a movie, like Ghost, had regular songs as the soundtrack, then I’ve no problem with them writing new music for the musical version. I would kinda expect the famous tunes from it to be incorporated somehow though– but if I were doing it, I’d put Unchained Melody, like, playing on a radio during a scene, not as a show-stopping number. That’d be a tad bit cheesy to me, you know?
    So it’s a difficult subject… but these are just my opinions XD I’ve listened to some songs from Ghost already and looove them, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they did with all of them eventually 🙂

  • LP Morano says:

    I don’t think including songs from a film is necessary, at least for films that are not musically based such as Ghost. But on the other hand, I think Once with all original songs, could have worked, but why change a good thing. The songs from the film and great and worked on stage, as evidenced by me seeing the show last night, having never seen the movie and loving every minute of it!

  • Ryan B says:

    In most cases I do think that if you are doing a musical based on an iconic movie, you should include the iconic songs from the movie. Although it is quite different, I could not imagine doing “Once” without “Falling Slowly.” At the same time, however, I do feel that it is not always appropriate. “Titanic the Musical” would have been ridiculous with “My Heart Will Go On.” I suppose that it just changes for each situation.

  • Tony P says:

    I think the reason we all support American Musical Theater is to create something new — even if the story isn’t new, the way the story is told is new. I remember being frustrated that the music from “The Color Purple” the movie wasn’t going to be in the musical. Until I saw the musical and loved the new music. That musical tells the same story, but tells it in a new way. And because there’s music specifically written for the stage, it tells that story with an entirely different palette, one that has a visceral effectiveness with the audience that is necessary because the audience is IN THE ROOM!
    We also have to acknowledge that the things that make for a terrific pop song — the kind that would be in a movie soundtrack — do not necessarily make for a great theater song. For me, a musical like Ghost could just pay a simple acknowledgement to iconic musical moments, while making it clear that this is a different art form, with different needs, different strengths, different connections to the audience.

  • Rebecca L says:

    Personally I love to see songs from the movies reimagined in musicals– Footloose anyone?? Lets see what they can do with it!!

  • EllenFD says:

    While I did not particularly like THE ADDAMS FAMILY on Broadway, they did get one thing right: the signature finger-snap, da-da-da-dum. That’s the iconic bit of familiarity that brought in audiences. Just that little bit if all that’s needed. So maybe it’s good to use a bar or two from a familiar song, but all you need is for it to be a lead-in to an original and hopefully good score. You have to ultimately separate the movie from the stage version.

  • Brittany says:

    If the iconic song can make sense within the plot, then by all means, go for it. Otherwise, I think the real die-hard fans will respect the decision to omit the song, since their real connection to the show probably lies primarily with the story and its characters.

  • Amanda says:

    You are almost certainly obligated to include the most famous song from the movie. It is part of the branding, along with the famous movie-to-musical name that attracts theatergoers and tourists. If someone developed the stage musical version of “My Best Friend’s Wedding” the show would almost certainly have to be one of several shows to include “I Say a Little Prayer” and possibly even other hits like “Wishin’ and Hopin'” as well as original material. Those songs, especially the former, are tied closely with the movie. This is even more true for movies like “Pretty Woman,” because not only would the show sell tickets based on it being a hit movie-turned-musical, but the title is also derived from the title of a famous song (in this case the Roy Orbison hit) and everyone would expect that big number.

  • Doug Braverman says:

    I think if the iconic song is truly associated with the plot and characters, the audiences do appreciate hearing it included. I know years ago ILYA, DARLING, based on the movie, NEVER ON SUNDAY, was not a big success, but I remember reading that because the song “Never On Sunday” from the movie had been hugely popular, the performers sang it at the curtain call, and supposedly the audiences – recognizing and loving the song – were moved to give the show a standing ovation every night, which they clearly would not have given the lackluster show without it.

  • Ryan McCurdy says:

    Good question, Ken!
    As an actor, I’d say start over.
    As a producer, I’d say obliged to include.
    I think it does matter greatly how much shoehorning is required to make them work in the new context. For instance, Ghost’s Unchained Melody and Once’s Falling Slowly both seem integrated comfortably into the musicals.
    Puttin’ on the Ritz from Young Frankenstein is another positive example.
    I’m trying to think of a really awkward one, and I’m not coming up with any…

  • Matt says:

    I think the chalenges of adapting a famous movie into a musical is that there are many iconic images, characters, performances and songs that the creative team has to decide if they want to incorporate in the show. One of my favorite adaptations was The Full Monty. Because it was a lesser known movie they were able to change the locale, add and delete characters and create new music that told the story in a way that using source songs from the movie did not. When a piece of theater tries to recreate the experience of the movie on the stage they are setting themselves up for failure. It’s a different medium and what works on screen probably won’t be as effective on the stage. 9to5 failed because they tried to recreate almost every aspect of the movie from the costumes (powder blue raincoat anyone?) to the performances (Meghan Hilty’s spot on Dolly impersonation) and you end up asking yourself, “Why spend $120 to see a carbon copy when I can rent the DVD for $3 watch the real thing?”
    The danger of including an iconic song is that the rest of your score then has to compete. In Young Frankenstein, the Putting on the Ritz number is hilarious, but the rest of the Mel Brooks score sounded pretty lackluster when compared to the brilliance of Irving Berlin.
    My guess is that audiences will leave Ghost humming Unchained Melody. Send me to see it and I’ll let you know!

  • It would be nice to see more original musical ideas and less re-creations or re-imaginings of films that one would find in the blockbuster 99 cents section.
    Norrischappelljr@hotmail.com

  • Elizabeth Parra says:

    I definitely believe that it depends on what movie is being made into a musical, for example if it were Moulin Rouge I believe 99% of audiences would expect to here Elton John’s and Madonna’s famous songs. On that note can we please really make this happen?!

  • John P says:

    Personally I think if a successful movie is being made into a Broadway Musical there should be some familiarity … especially if the movie is a musical as well….Of course adding new songs/music to the production should be included. As for the success of the Broadway show we know it can go either way…. there have been flops and successes in which both original songs and songs from the film were used… Some movies that need to be heading to Broadway as musicals..
    Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
    Beetlejuice
    The Devil Wears Prada and of course this years
    The Artist

  • WC says:

    I believe the role of theatre, commercial or otherwise, is not to meet an audience’s expectation, but rather to subvert it or exceed it. If you can do that, then it’s almost unimportant, or at least a non-discussion if you use a song from the original. Look at The Producers; no one’s mentioned that Springtime for Hitler was from the movie. That’s because by the time you get to that song, the show has earned the right to use it. But if you start the building a musical based on a song everyone is expecting to hear, you may be putting the cart in front of the horse.

  • ken marion says:

    Keeping the signature song of the hit movie could be critical in the marketing package you develop. If you’ve got recognition, draw with that. Clearly, the potential audience member wants to feel there is something new so the visual that goes with the song needs to show how Broadway does it differently from Hollywood. All this, while balancing the love factor of the bazillions who saw and loved the movie and want to see the “show” again.

  • David says:

    I submit that once the decision is made to transform a film into a new stage musical, it is the obligation of the authors to enhance the material by providing it with an entirely new score. Inserting any, though fondly remembered, songs from the film can only remind the audience of the film, and thus immediately diminish what promises to be a completely fresh approach in a different medium. For those who miss any songs from a film that have not been included in a new stage adaptation, I would direct to the film’s c.d. or d.v.d. where there can be enjoyed over and over again.

  • Jake says:

    Shrek could have used the inspired soundtrack of the film (Hallelujah, I’m a Believer, All Star, I Don’t Give a Damn About My Reputation) rather than the miserable and derivative score it had. At the same time, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Spamalot had two of the better scores of recent memory (The Song That Goes Like This? Brilliant!). I don’t think there’s a definitive answer, but that (like everything) producers need to be fully invested in the reality of the storytelling (and not only in the bottom line) in order to weigh their options.

  • Eddie says:

    Quite often the music for a film sets a mood or tone that takes an audience on a journey, but every once in a while a specific song becomes associated with a specific moment of a film. Take the song, Singin’ in the Rain, as the title song, it is irreplaceable, nothing else would work, but take the moment that it is used in A Clockwork Orange. It’s memorable, but another song could be used at that time that would trigger the same or similar emotional reaction. I think the question is, can an audience accept another song creating the atmosphere or will they spend their time wishing they heard “the” song?

  • Brandon says:

    No easy answer to this one. I think it all depends on the situation and the creative vision. If a charming show like ONCE hadn’t used the songs from the movie, audiences would surely revolt. On the other hand, I can’t imagine enjoying the stage versions of SISTER ACT or SHREK like I did without their original scores. On the other hand, when I discovered VICTOR/VICTORIA had omitted a couple of my favorite songs from the movie, it detracted from the experience for me. On the other hand…

  • Adam says:

    I think it certainly depends on the movie, and your target audience.. I.E., if your are recreating a Disney movie, and you are targeting everyone with a child who loves that movie.. You darn well better make it as close to the movie as possible… And I think the same applies to iconic movies, I recently had a conversation with someone about Dirty Dancing.. And who they wanted it to get to NY.. But in the same breath, they talked about “bc that is my favorite soundtrack of all time”. Personally, I would be ok with “time of your life” and some original music, but I am not the target audience here..
    That being said, I think that lesser known movies or movies without a great soundtrack, such as The Full Monty and Catch me if you can, work very well… Even if they didn’t have long runs. That is a marketing problem, not a musical problem!

  • Evelyn says:

    If a song is (or songs are)immediately identifiable with a movie, I think it should be incorporated. If it’s just a soundtrack, no matter how good the songs are, it’s unnecessary and, I think undesirable. A Broadway musical should be unique, even if it is based on source material.

  • gj says:

    i say that if you can afford the rights to the original songs, then use them! those songs are like the movie title, an additional draw for nostalgia buffs!

  • V1RGINIO says:

    Yes I believe they do. A song can almost be more iconic to a movie than the title. Imagine a musical version of The Graduate without ‘Mrs Robinson’ or a remake of Risky Business without Bob Seger’s ‘Old Time Rock and Roll’. Here is another example, what if you ordered a cheeseburger at restaurant and it was served without the bun? Technically its not essential to the burger and its rarely ever listed as an ingredient on the menu, but as a customer, you expect it. The problem with remakes is at the audience comes expecting certain staples. If not as a main element, at least mention it as a spoof or undertone. It serves as a reminder to them about how much they loved the original.

  • Elissa says:

    Whenever any adaptation is made (stage to screen, screen to stage, etc), I feel like there have been times where compromises in the story have been made just to get an “iconic moment” in. As much as an audience expects to hear or see that one moment, it should be put in effortlessly. I don’t want to be immersed in a show and then taken aback because “Unchained Melody” comes in out of nowhere. As long as the effort is made to have a coherent story line, an “iconic moment” is perfectly acceptable.

  • NineDaves says:

    It depends how the song is originally used in the movie. I wouldn’t have expected GHOST THE MUSICAL to use “Unchained Melody” because it’s not really performed – just underscored. But I was disappointed originally to hear that SISTER ACT THE MUSICAL wasn’t using the songs the nuns performed in the original movie. Of course, I got over that when I saw how Alan Menken’s score had basically mad me forget those songs were missing. Which means, I suppose, that any good composer could overcome those initial objections.

  • Carol2 says:

    My vote: Keep the signature song, but rethink all else and decide what’s best.

  • Steve says:

    I vote to keep the song — if it can be fit into the plot without the use of a shoehorn. “Sister Act” —which has a very good original score, might have benefitted from incuding even one of the famous medleys from the film — especially if it were performed during promotional appearances.

  • MJP says:

    It’s interesting to me that a lot of the responses to this question seem to assume that there is a correct answer, or that the “type” of movie or play will answer the question for you. Doesn’t the answer to this question necessarily come down to the question of what is the most effective and meaningful way to tell the story?
    Sure, we could all attempt to create meaningless blockbuster hits based on song-lists that everybody knows, but ultimately that choice falls flat (did “Baby It’s You” recoup?). Audiences ultimately want to be emotionally moved by an interesting (dare I say “important”?) story told in a meaningful way.
    If “I’m a Believer” is vital to the telling of the Shrek story, and the development of its themes, then it should be there. If it’s not, get rid of it. I would also suggest that if “I’m a Believer” is truly necessary to enjoying Shrek, the show has bigger problems that need to be addressed. And that philosophy rings true with everything ever written. If “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” isn’t vital to JCS or “To Be or Not to Be” isn’t vital to Hamlet, it shouldn’t be there.
    The audience’s expectation is to see a show they’ll want to gush about. Which choice a writer/producer/director makes on this question isn’t the point. The point is whether the choice aids or hinders the audience’s ability to connect with the show, climb inside its characters and live within a new world for a couple hours.

  • Courtney says:

    I think that if you’re going to use the existing fanbase for a popular movie, then you should keep the integrity of the movie. Give the people what they want. It is one of the worst experiences to be so excited and happy that your favorite movie has an onstage incarnation…wait to buy tickets for opening…get all geared up and then the show not live up to the expecation you had for it. I’ve wanted to ask for my money back more than once.
    We all know how upset people get when their favorite book is put to screen and the backlash that follows when little changes are made…and especially how hard some movies work to stay as true to the book as possible (and yes, I am terrified about the Hunger Games movie). Why are musicals any different?
    If you’re going to appeal to the audience that loves the movie, you should give them what they want. Deliver. If you want to stray pretty far from cannon, then remake it all together.
    I’m still waiting for a rendition of “Oh Maria” in Sisteract. I know that I’ll be waiting for quite awhile.

  • Rick Reynolds says:

    Theatre purists will want a new score (as will the Tony nominators); all others will want what the film gave them. The solution: keep 1 or 2 hit songs within a new score. You’ve got to appeal to as many as possible. Toward that end, show lots of photos of Richard Fleeshman without his shirt on.

  • John Shorter says:

    I like my musicals “fresh.” I love when the overture starts on a new musical and I can feel my body tingle with the excitement of a new beginning. If the music is original and vibrant, I can’t wait for the opening number to start and whisk me away to a world I’ve never been to before. When the musical is based on a movie, the feeling is different. I feel like “OK… let’s see what they do with this movie on stage.” Sometimes, I’m still blown away, but it is more of an “old friend experience” rather than finding a new love!

  • Kevin Davis says:

    I think it is fairly easy. People need to connect with the old as long as it builds a bridge to something new. For instance, people will still laugh at a pie in the face if the context is fresh. Therefore, I would choose a mix of surefire music from the original, supplemented with new music you feel enhances the original. The customer is always right but they won’t know what’s right beyond their comfort zone until they hear it. If it is heard in connection with songs and scores they already know and love, there is a very good chance they will learn to love the new material.

  • Robert L. says:

    That’s a tough one. If the new score tells it’s own story, no need for the old song. however, if there is a hole where that old song should be, yeah, you’re gonna need it.
    SISTER ACT did it well with a new score. As did THE COLOR PURPLE (no Oscar-nominated “Sister”).

  • Brian_sheola says:

    This is a very interesting question as many shows do use the score within the original movie, and very little don’t. I feel like if you are going to make a musical based on a movie, you should use the music within the movie. Maybe not all of it, but the more popular songs within since that is what is going to attract people to come see the show, even if it is for one song.

  • Zach says:

    I think it’s a good idea to keep at least a couple of the famous or well known songs in the score but fill it with some new tunes as well. The old songs can work as a kind of bridge between the old and the new. Familiar songs will get people on board with the show easily, especially if they’re being performed well, and can definitely open audiences up to connecting with new material. As long as the songs from the film are integrated in a way that enhances the story and doesn’t stop the show dead in it’s tracks, it’s a good idea. I think beyond that, people love just hearing their favorite songs being performed, whether by the original artist or new interpretations and using famous songs in a show can definitely create some great word of mouth amongst audiences.

  • Amanda says:

    I think with some shows it is important to keep the iconic songs in (loved FOOTLOOSE and I’m glad to hear “Unchained Melody” is in GHOST as it is by far the most famous part of that movie…and probably how the song is best known), but I also loved THE WEDDING SINGER which had entirely original music (despite the fact that the movie soundtrack was full of ’80s tunes). I wouldn’t have complained if TWS had ’80s songs in it though. George’s lip-syncing of “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” was a huge joke in the movie that was entirely removed from the musical. I also think HIGH FIDELITY probably could have used some recognizable songs since the characters are all music snobs.

  • roy says:

    make new songs but keep the old one is silver and the other is gold

  • Jessica says:

    I think that there is a certain expectation from the audience when you bring an iconic film to the stage, and part of that expectation is that the audience still wants to see the memorable moments intact. With a film like Ghost, the most iconic scene is that pottery scene underscored by Unchained Melody. If the show banking on drawing audiences in because of their familiarity with the film, those audiences are going to want to see the things from the film that they remember. Music is such a huge part of film, 20 years later I can still hear songs and name the 80s movie that they were used in. I think that people want that familiarity in their film to stage adaptations.

  • JerryS says:

    Well, I think that at least a few songs shouldbe common from movie to musical.

  • Sharon Hill says:

    For audience appeal, it is smart to include one or two big songs from the movie. Then, creative originality rules!

  • Samantha says:

    At least a few songs from the movie should be included in the stage version in order to make the show more appealing to a wider audience. While I enjoyed Sister Act, I was disappointed that the songs from the movie were not included in the musical because that is what I loved about the movie.

  • consuelo carpenter says:

    I do feel that the original songs should be included. That is the what woudl draw people to the show originally.

  • Donald Sanborn III says:

    I have often thought that “Back to the Future” would make a fun musical. If it were turned into a stage show, I would want to hear the Huey Lewis songs “The Power of Love” and “Back in Time,” as well as the songs “Earth Angel” (which was skillfully used to advance the plot in the film, and “Johnny B. Goode.”
    On the other hand, Rodger’s & Hammerstein refused to use authentic Von Trapp songs in their “Sound of Music” score, which may have been wise. You want to ensure that there will not be a clash between the show’s songs and the existing material.

  • ECP says:

    Less effort to “recreate” iconic screen moments on stage, more emphasis on originality and creativity. Relive the movie by buying the DVD. Savor the soundtrack by buying the CD or downloading the tunes.

  • Jacky says:

    Hmm… I think the signature song(s) should be included in the Broadway version. Lion King is a successful musical that has incorporated new and old songs, so I think it’s doable!

  • Christine Garfinkel says:

    I absolutely think Broadway shows that evolve from movies SHOULD include the original songs, as well as new pieces written specifically for the stage version! It keeps the sense of the “familiar”, which may very well be the reason the theatre-goer is there to see it in the first place, as well as provide new delights for the patron. I think that adds up to a win-win experience!

  • Andre says:

    I think that the popular material should definitely be used since there is a good reason for its popularity in the first place – it is generally very catching and helps people connect with the show. I would imagine many people actually look forward to the moment in the show where such a tune is played.

  • Alex L says:

    Yes I believe that movie musicals definitely need to include the key songs in them. But I believe there is always room to include new and even better songs to add to a production. So old and new can combine to make a even better profitable product!

  • Candace says:

    I think a familiar song is a good way for unsophisticated audiences to connect with the show, sit back, enjoy the song, and finally get involved with the plot and characters, if they haven’t done so already.

  • Melanie says:

    Well, Ghost wasn’t a film musical, so I think it can largely start from scratch as long as the basic storyline stays the same. I was disappointed when Thoroughly Modern Millie had so many new songs because I loved the songs from the film so much. I did like the new songs but missed tunes like “Jazz Baby.” Sometimes, it does seem as though some of the reinvention is unnecessary, but I know that I’m not as knowledgeable as the producers and composers readying a show for Broadway.

  • Eric says:

    As long as the preexisting songs and the new songs are cohesive, I don’t have a problem incorporating songs from the film version. I think that audiences would be disappointed if “Unchained Melody” wasn’t in the stage version of GHOST, so they probably made a wise decision.

  • I have to heartily agree with Ryan B. “Titanic the Musical” would have been ridiculous with “My Heart Will Go On.” I do think that NOT having the iconic songs that are associated with a movie included in the stage show can definitely lead to some disappointed and disgruntled patrons. However…If the show’s ONLY legs are the reiteration of some familiar tunes, then that’s no good either. It’s really gotta be the whole package…all in service of a great story with fully-fleshed-out characters (naturally). Because the much-loved music will get people in the door initially, but the HEART of the story connecting with the audience on a HUMAN level….THAT’s what keeps us coming back for MORE!!!!

  • Ins says:

    I think this could go either way. If a big number from the movie is not included in the show it’s a big disappointment. If it is included it has to be perfected to avoid a miserable moment. When including a major number that was made a major hit and iconic I’m always afraid they’re going to drastically change it. That’s a mistake don’t stray too far from the original. It’s iconic for a reason. But, I love this movie and this song has a defining moment for my fisncr snd i. must see this show!!

  • Shannon D. says:

    I would actually say yes to this…
    Just because if one or two of the songs are “iconic” to the movie, the audience will be expecting it and if they don’t “get it” they will more than likely complain and give their friends, coworkers, etc. an “ear-full” of how they were disappointed by the lack of movie-songs in the musical. And we don’t want any bad press.
    However, if the movie songs are just not good songs, then maybe just include the instrumental in the Overture or during a quiet scene or at curtain call.

  • Andrew Beck says:

    It’s hard to imagine certain movies-into-Broadway-musicals without their iconic numbers. A “Flashdance: The Musical” without “Maniac”–I’d be disappointed for sure. But just as I was about to suggest a moratorium on Broadway adaptations of motion pictures in which music played a significant role, I am stopped in my steps by the brilliance of “Once,” which not only included the wonderful “Falling Slowly” but managed to bring a freshness and creativity to the entire concept, that has been missed in some other adaptations.

  • Greg says:

    I think part of the draw of a movie turned musical is the idea that the audience will see that “fan favorite” performed live. The expectation is inherent. “Unchained Melody” is a pivotal scene/song in the movie, one reason why people will come to see it – my mother I know for a fact being one. It seems that the audience may be cheated if you don’t put it in. There is so much great music in Sister Act, but I’m sure more than one person walked out of the theater saying “where was “My Guy? Where was I Will Follow Him?” If the creative team is not interested in writing it in/investing in the rights for the song, wouldn’t it make more sense to write completely original material? That way there are no expectations. On the other hand, you can’t base the complete score on the one signature song either. It has to be balanced with an otherwise solid material.

  • Andrew B. says:

    Give the audience what they want. Forget the reviewers. Broadway is about taking the audience on a journey … an escape. When I see a movie musical, I just want to see the movie, LIVE. Don’t mess with it too much, if it was already a huge success. Scenes should feel the same, critical moments should be carefully examined, and the emotional build needs to be consistent with the film. And music should be more or less, the same. It would’ve been tough to get offered the Catch Me If You Can gig, and have to write a fresh score, when JW’s was near-perfect.
    Definitely yearning for more original musicals, but nonetheless, anxious to see Once and Ghost…

  • Diane says:

    When a song is so connected to a movie or television show it should be part of it’s Broadway reincarnation. It is important to have all new music and lyrics, but that one song will be something the audience is familiar with already & they will be looking for it to be a part of the show in some capacity. And with the right placement, that one familiar song will most certainly work along side the new music. If the critics cannot get past one song, they more than likely will find fault with other elements of the show. And it’s important to use the recognizable song in the TV & radio spots–it will most certainly grab the attention of possible ticket buyers.

  • Raizza R. says:

    The producers are obliged to include one to two major signature songs. As long as the composer gives a new light to the tune and carefully incorporate the signature tunes to the script and stage set. Though, composers are there to create and re-imagine the story on stage. It really comes down on how every detail will be incorporated. The story line, actors, music, and set production will have to edit what works and what doesn’t. Given the hard work and countless rehearsals day and night, I’m positive those crystal moments will appear instantly on stage. I’m always looking forward for a new twist and creativity in movies-to-musical storylines.

  • Yosi Merves says:

    I think it’s alright to have a song or two from the original film in the musical version as long as the rest of the score is original. I compliment Sister Act on creating an all-new score even though the source material is a film that had several well-known songs. But the two take place in different time-periods.
    I am more interested in seeing classic moments on stage more than classic songs. Anyone who saw Dirty Dancing in Toronto or the US Tour can see how slavishly recreating the movie doesn’t always produce magic.

  • Ellen Orchid says:

    I love when the signature songs are used; that makes me feels I’m getting the “real thing” and then they add new songs that enhance and expand the musical to new heights. There is comfort in familiarity and excitement with the new.

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