WEBWAY WEDNESDAY. . . Broadway Animated

Inside Track   WEBWAY WEDNESDAY. . . Broadway Animated
Cartoons characters have proved to be pretty good musical muses.  The legendary Harold Gray comic strip "Little Orphan Annie" gave birth to an even more legendary stage musical, Annie, written by Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin.

You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, based on the cartoons of Charles M. Schulz, played on Broadway twice and helped Kristin Chenoweth win a Tony.  In 2004, Martin Charnin tried his hand again with a musical based on the comic strip Broom-Hilda.  It never made it to Broadway.  There were rumblings of cartoons "Dennis the Menace" and "Beetle Bailey" becoming musicals... alas, neither materialized.

Continuing the trend this year is The Addams Family, based on the beloved New Yorker cartoons of Charles Addams.  Hot on its heels are other cartoon-turned-musicals: Spiderman and Betty Boop.

And the love is mutual!  Modern day cartoons like "The Simpsons", "Family Guy" and even "South Park" have tipped their animated hats to the stage. This WEBWAY WEDNESDAY takes a look at some classic cartoon clips that made theatre fans stand up and cheer.

"The Simpsons" have turned to the theatre for inspiration many times in the past 20 years. From Macbeth to A Streetcar Named Desire to Sweeney Todd, the lovable family from Springfield have proven their love of the theatre time and time again.  Stephen Sondheim even appeared on an episode in 2007.

"The Family Guy" paid homage to the classic Music Man tune "Shipoopi".

Last year, "South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker announced they were writing a musical about the Mormon Church.  Perhaps they got some counsel from one-time collaborator, Marc Shaiman, who wrote the score for their 1999 movie South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. Shaiman earned an Oscar nom for the song "Blame Canada," featured in the film. (In true "South Park" style, note that there is some objectionable language in this clip)

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