One of the most famous movie-to-stage adaptations in recent memory is Irving Berlin's White Christmas, now playing on Broadway. The classic 1954 film stars Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. Today’s Broadway version stars James Clow, Melissa Errico, Tony Yazbeck and Mara Davi.
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2. A Christmas Story
A Christmas Story finally gets a stage makeover (children of the 80's everywhere rejoice!) A new musical, aptly titled A Christmas Story: The Musical!, is now playing at Kansas City Rep. With a score by Scott Davenport Richards, the show is reportedly aiming for a Broadway transfer in the coming year. The film follows the story of 9-year old Ralphie Parker, whose only wish is to have a Red Ryder 200-shot range model air rifle for Christmas ("You'll shoot your eye out, kid" is Santa's response). Who can forget the classic scene when Ralphie's friend Flick gets his tongue stuck to a frozen pole after he was "triple dog dared" to test out its "stickability". *bonus pic: the recreation of the infamous "tongue scene" courtesy of Dumb and Dumber, starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. Why? Just 'cause!
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Speaking of Jim Carrey, (nice segue, Blake)...Everyone from Jim Carrey to Mickey Mouse to Barbie has taken their turn adapting one of the most well-known Christmas stories around: Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” The same is true for the stage, which has seen dozens of adaptations of the classic. Patrick Stewart took on A Christmas Carol on Broadway a few times, and Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens made it into a full-blown musical version in the 90's. Now perhaps I've taken liberty with this one (technically A Christmas Carol came to the stage via the novella then stage then film and back again to stage, but I got my first taste from Disney's version, so I'm counting it!)
4. Jim Henson's Emmet Otter
"Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas" was a 1970’s TV special by Jim Henson (adapted from the book by Russell Hoban). Last year, Connecticut's Goodspeed Opera House, along with the Jim Henson Company, adapted the special for the stage renaming it Jim Henson's Emmet Otter. It is currently playing at the Goodspeed.
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5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Dr. Seuss' tale of a mean 'ol grinch who steals Christmas from the cute pug-nosed Whos of Whoville got its first makeover for TV in 1966, featuring the unforgettable voice of Boris Karloff. Its stage adaptation came to Broadway a few years ago, and is currently touring the country.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="240" caption="Stefan Karl as The Grinch. Photo credit T Charles Erickson"][/caption]