Playbill Poll: Our Readers' Wishlist for Live Musicals on TV

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
15 Dec 2013

Idina Menzel
Idina Menzel
Photo by Joan Marcus

Following last week's live television production of The Sound of Music, starring Audra McDonald, Carrie Underwood, Laura Benanti and Christian Borle, we wondered: What other musicals could be successfully adapted to a live television event?

Playbill.com polled our readers via Facebook and Twitter to see which musical they would love to see produced as a live television event.

Their responses follow:

Stephen Badeau: WICKED 
Anne Cahalane: Wicked!!!
Preven Prev Reddy: WICKED
Lexie Krejci: Wicked with Idina Menzel
Stacey Hofberg: Wicked, of coure!
Anton Vanterpool: Wicked, before the movie version is released.
Denise Dugay Casey: Wicked with the original cast. 
Sarah Harris: Wicked 
Mark Pettit:  Mary Poppins or Wicked
Tanya Essary:  Phantom, Les Mis, Drowsy, Memphis, Wicked...

Wicked, the hit musical that recently celebrated its tenth anniversary on Broadway, opened at the Gershwin Theatre in 2003 and took home numerous Tony Awards, including Best Actress, Best Scenic Design and Best Costumes. Click here to read about the show’s tenth anniversary on Broadway.

Ray Quirolgico: Hairspray 
Anne Cahalane: Live HAIRSPRAY would be great fun! Bring in [Jerry] Mitchell to direct the actors and a TV director to even things out with the sets and such… maybe an unknown as Tracy…
Bruce Cutter: HAIRSPRAY or HOW TO SUCCEED (with Danile Radcliffe?) might be good choices. I hope they include Laura and Audra in whatever they decide to produce. If it’s the right show, Hugh Jackman would be a great choice.

Hairspray, based on the 1988 film of the same title, opened at the Neil Simon Theatre in 2002. The musical won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Actor and Best Actress. A film version of the musical, starring John Travolta, Amanda Bynes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Nikki Blonsky and James Marsden was released in 2007.

Lindsay Bytof: Another classic – something not on Broadway. Maybe Carousel?
Vincent Pontus: Another “golden age-er” - Camelot, My Fair Lady, Carousel - in that vein
Joshua David Smith: Carousel
Bill Stauffer : Carousel or The King and I

Carousel, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s second musical based off of the play Liliom, opened on Broadway in 1945 at the Majestic Theatre. It features numerous well-known songs, including, “If I Loved You” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” In 1999, Time Magazine named Carousel the best musical of the 20th century.

Jon Rybka-Wachhaus: I think doing Funny Girl (with Lea Michelle) or Annie Get Your Gun (with Reba McEntire) would be wonderful.
Lindsay Wilshaw: Singin’ in the Rain or Funny Girl
Lexie Krejci: Funny Girl with Lea Michelle
Aaron Fink : Funny Girl!

Funny Girl opened in 1964 at the Winter Garden Theatre, starring Barbra Streisand. The musical was nominated for numerous Tony Awards, but lost in all categories to Hello, Dolly, in which Streisand would later star in the film-adaptation. Streisand reprised her role as Fanny Brice in the 1968 film adaptation of Funny Girl. The musical features numerous popular songs, including “People,” “Coronet Man” and the Broadway anthem, “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”

Katie Montana: How to Succeed…!!!
Lexie Krejci: How to Succeed… with Darren Criss. Or anything with Team StarKid.
Josh Freilich: How about How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and bringing back Nick Jonas to play Ponty? I’ve heard from many people that he was ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIC.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, based on the Shepherd Mead novel of the same title, opened on Broadway in 1961 at the 46th Street Theatre, winning seven Tony Awards. The show has been revived in 1995, and subsequently in 2011. The 2011 revival starred several big-name celebrities, including Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers, “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe and “Glee’s” Darren Criss.

Kevin McGee: Mame!!!
Mark Briner: Mame starring Cher and Bebe Neuworth as Vera Charles
Eddie Gentile: Mame would be a good choice. It has kind of a holiday spirit.
Chris Ortiz: Mame! My dream cast would be Bernadette Peters: Mame and Christine Baranski: Vera!

Based on the novel Auntie Mame and the 1956 Broadway play, Mame opened in 1966 at the Winter Garden Theatre, starring Angela Lansbury and Beatrice Arthur. It features a score by Jerry Herman. Lansbury won her first Tony Award for her portrayal of the title role. The success of the musical spawned the 1974 film adaptation, starring Lucille Ball in the title role.

Marci Smith: I want to see Sunset Boulevard or Mame.
Enid Gonzalez: Sunset Boulevard with Barbra Streisand

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard opened on Broadway in 1994, taking home the Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. It is based on the Academy Award-winning film of the same title and follows the life of movie star, Norma Desmond. Glenn Close won the Tony Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Desmond.

Blake sherman: A Little Night Music, Hello, Dolly!, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, or Mame.
Gary Kerr: I would shy away from current or recent productions. Go with a classic or semi-classic… perhaps Brigadoon, Carousel, or Hello, Dolly?
Nathan Bottorf: Hello, Dolly! starring Bette Midler. Ms. Midler has stated in recent interviews that she doesn’t know if she’d be prepared to take on eight shows a week of the show on Broadway, but a one night live performance? It would be PERFECT for her! And we all know Bette can do live like no one else! IT would be incredible!
Matt Boncroft: Hello, Dolly!, Mame, My Fair Lady!
Drew Koon: Hello, Dolly!

Based on Thorton Wilder’s play The Merchant of Yonkers, Hello, Dolly! opened on Broadway in 1964 at the St. James Theatre. The musical won ten Tony Awards. The original cast recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and the film adaptation, starring Barbara Streisand in the title role, was nominated for seven Academy Awards.

Alyssa Feller: Into the Woods Would be great! It’s family friendly (until everyone dies). 
Lee Waters: Into the Woods or Fiddler on the Roof
Anton Vanterpool: Wicked, before the movie version is released. Into the Woods.

Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods opened on Broadway in 1987 at the Martin Beck Theatre, starring Bernadette Peters and Joanna Gleeson. Into the Woods won three Tony Awards, including Best Score, Best Book and Best Actress. Disney will produce a film adaptation of the musical, set to premiere in 2014, starring Meryl Streep as the Witch and Anna Kendrick as Cinderella. Check out what Streep has to say about the new original song written for her character!

James Edward Dauphin: Neil Patrick Harris in Damn Yankees with Megan Hilty would be a fun one!
Huner Emmett Burke: I’d like to see Damn Yankees made for TV. I think it’d translate well on the television.

Damn Yankees opened on Broadway in 1955 at the 46th Street Theatre and based on the novel, The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant by Douglass Wallop, who co-wrote the book for the musical. The musical won numerous Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Actor and Best Actress.

Julia Walls: Thoroughly Modern Millie
Marc Escuro: Thoroughly Modern Millie
Natasha Torres-Reyes: Thoroughly Modern Millie
Ally O’Brien: Wicked and Into the Woods.and Thoroughly Modern Millie with Sutton Foster

Based on the 1967 film of the same name, Thoroughly Modern Millie opened in 2002 at the Marquis Theatre and won six 2002 Tony awards. The show starred Sutton Foster in the title role, for which she won her first Tony Award.

Elyse Oreccio: In the Heights! I think that could translate to TV well.
Laura Gregory: I think In the Heights is a great choice!! With L-MM, of course.
Robert Deckman: In the Heights would be wonderful
Mia Valdes: In the Heights

Featuring a score by Lin-Manuel Miranda, In the Heights opened on Broadway in 2008 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. The show takes place in the primarily Dominican-American New York City neighborhood, Washington Heights. The show ran for 1, 184 performances and won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Lee Waters: Into the Woods or Fiddler on the Roof.
Patrick Gaik: I think Fiddler on the Roof starring Nathan Lane and Bette Midler! Fiddler is probably the most beloved musical after Sound of Music.

Fiddler on the Roof opened on Broadway in 1964 at the Imperial Theatre and ran for 3, 242 performances; the first show to surpass 3,000 performances in musical theatre history. The show was nominated for ten Tony Awards, winning nine, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book.

Tracey Maine Clark: Porgy and Bess

Porgy and Bess has music by George Gershwin, lyrics by his brother Ira and a book and additional lyrics by DuBose Heyward. It is based on the play Porgy, by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward. A recent Broadway revival, which shortened the four-hour opera into a two-and-a-half-hour presentation, won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis starred.

Andrew Stevens Purdy: Ragtime!
Nicholas C. Parker: Ragtime! or Les Miserables!
Peter Sonnberg Schmidt: Ragtime would show vision and diversity.
Matt Hamilton: I say, Ragtime!

Based on the 1975 novel by E. L. Doctorow of the same name, Ragtime opened on Broadway in 1998. The Original Broadway Production starred Marin Mazzie and Audra McDonald, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, her third career Tony Award. The show closed in 2000 after 834 performances.