This is one of the most recent movies to make the leap from the stage to movie theaters. The play version, written by Peter Morgan, came out in 2007. It dramatizes the 1977 interview of former president Richard Nixon by David Frost. The play was adapted for the screen with Michael Sheen and Frank Langella reprising their roles as Frost and Nixon respectively, and was released in 2008 and directed by Ron Howard. The play version has been nominated for various awards, including the Tony award for Best Play. It has won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Play (Frank Langella). The movie version is considered a serious Oscar contender and was nominated for five Golden Globe awards.
The History Boys was written by British playwright Alan Bennet which premiered in 2004 in London. The plot involves a group a students at a fictional school called, “Cutler’s Grammer School.” The play explores the lives of both the students as well as the teachers. The play was made into a movie in that was released in 2006.
I’m bending the rules a bit by including “Hairspray” in this article, because this musical was originally released as a 1988 John Waters feature film. That film was then made into a stage musical in 2002, and in 2007 a new feature film was released based on the musical.
Sweeney Todd is a bit of an urban legend about a murderous barber that bakes his victims into pies, and the premise was made into a musical in 1973 with music by Stephen Sondheim. In 2007 the musical was made into a movie directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp.
Westside Story was written by Arthur Laurents with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The 1950s love story chronicles the romance between Maria and Tony, members of the rival gangs The Sharks and the Jets. The forbidden romance is based on William Shakespeare’s classic tragic romance, “Romeo and Juliet.”
The movie version was released in 1961 and stars Natalie Wood as Maria and Richard Beymer as Tony.
Chicago was originally conceived as a 1926 play by Maurine Dallas Watkins. The play explores the cultural fascination of “celebrity criminals,” specifically focusing on Roxie Hart, who is arrested for murdering her lover. Hart uses her celebrity to try to escape a conviction.
The movie based on the muiscal was released in 2002 and features a star-studded cast, including Renée Zellweger as Roxie Hart, Catherine Zeta-Jones as Velma Kelly, Richard Gere as the lawyer Billy Flynn, John C. Reilly as Hart’s husband Amos, and Queen Latifah as Matron “Mama” Morton.
Mama Mia! is a jukebox musical, which opened in 1999, based on the music of ABBA. The book was written by Catherine Johnson and involves a young woman on a Greek island about to married who invites three men her mother knew, each of which might be her father.
The movie version was released in 2008 and stars Amanda Seyfrield as Sophie, Meryl Streep as Donna Sheridan, and Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgard, and Colin Firth as Sam Carmichael, Bill Andersson, and Harry Bright, respectively (each of them Sophie’s possible father).