DID YOU READ

10 Big Screen Comedies That Spawned Musicals

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While there has always been a rich tradition of adapting feature films into Broadway spectaculars, it seems like that’s all The Great White Way is doing nowadays. (We even had a Spider-Man musical! Though it wasn’t really supposed to be a full-on comedy, the premise was laughable.) But there have been a ton of uproarious films that have found success in musical form. Take Laura Benanti in The Wedding Singer, for example. She wowed audiences on stage as Julia, the character made famous by Drew Barrymore in the Adam Sandler-led film. Benanti is now taking that success to the New York Spring Spectacular, which is a unique musical event featuring Dancing With the Stars’ Derek Hough and the Rockettes. (Get tickets now!)

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There have been a number of hugely successful musical adaptations that have come before and after, however, such as The Producers and even Evil Dead. But comedies have always proved to be the best source material. Here’s a look at 10 funny films that made their way to the stage.

10. The Wedding Singer

Some films were practically made for musical renditions, and The Wedding Singer is one of them. Aside from the unique brand of humor that fits so well with the stage, there’s a lot of great music moments between Sandler and Barrymore worthy of a more grand production. Unfortunately, the show only ran for a few months in 2006. Maybe they should’ve gone the jukebox musical route and included all the ’80s hits from the movie.


9. Legally Blonde

The idea of setting the hit Reese Witherspoon comedy to music was a good idea, as the Broadway adaptation of a blonde bimbo who goes off to study law at Harvard was a modest success with a substantial fan following. It also introduced Broadway audiences to Laura Bell Bundy and inspired a reality show competition to find a performer to take over the role of Elle Woods.


8. Shrek

Shrek, Donkey, Fiona and the gang came to the Broadway stage, and they brought songs like “Donkey Pot Pie” and “Freak Flag.” Fans who loved the original animated film starring Mike Meyers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz probably got a lot of laughs out of the musical, especially during that annoyingly catchy and widely recognized “Welcome to Duloc” number.


7. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

“We eat ham, and jam, and Spam a lot.” So goes the famous line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and so goes the name of its successful musical adaptation, Spamalot. Playwright and lyricist Eric Idle, and composers John Du Prez and Neil Innes road their invisible horses all the way to three Tony Awards.


6. Sister Act

It was about time that Sister Act got the stage treatment, and it became a reality in 2006. Even Whoopi Goldberg had a hand in it, playing Mother Superior in one of the production’s runs. If there was ever a film comedy suited for a musical interpretation, it was this story of a lounge singer hiding out in a convent.

5. Bring It On

A musical about the movie where Kirsten Dunst’s cheerleading squad battled a rival school for all-time cheerleading glory? Yeah, it kinda sounds ridiculous, but the show found some success when it was adapted a few years back. Hey, the movie already had peppy cheer routines and an over-the-top choreographer in Sparky Polastri. The musical basically writes itself.


4. Elf

If you’re expecting the Elf musical to be anything like the Will Ferrell film, you’re…half right. The story is the same — a human raised as an elf seeks out his birth family — but the musical has far more jazz hands and enough Christmas cheer to make even Buddy barf. Just listen:


3. Kinky Boots

Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein put the kink back in Broadway with the Kinky Boots musical. The 2005 film featured future Oscar winner Chiwetel Ejiofor as drag queen Lola, who helps an uptight shoe factory owner keep his business alive and kicking. While the musical used the same storyline, it strutted to the rhythm of its own drum and earned two major Tony wins in the process.


2. School of Rock

Jack Black’s popular film about a rocker posing as a substitute teacher  was bound to hit the stage. The production hasn’t debuted just yet — you’re going to have to wait until December 6th for that — but kids from all over have been lining up to audition for the stage rendition (which has a book by the creator of Downton Abbey) that will surely whip up some ticket sales. Hear them auditioning below:


1. Young Frankenstein

Did you ever think that Dr. Frankenstein’s roll in the hay with Inga from Young Frankenstein would’ve worked much better as a musical number? Well, that actually came to be. Sutton Foster and Christopher Fitzgerald starred in the Young Frankenstein musical, Mel Brooks’ follow-up to The Producers.


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Car Notes

Portlandia Keeps Road Rage In Park

Get a lesson in parking etiquette on a new Portlandia.

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It’s the most American form of cause and effect: Park like a monster, receive a passive-aggressive note.

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This unofficial rule of the road is critical to keeping the great big wheel of car-related Karma in balance. And naturally, Portlandia’s Kath and Dave have elevated it to an awkward, awkward art form in Car Notes, the Portlandia web series presented by Subaru.

If you’ve somehow missed the memo about Car Notes until now, you can catch up on every installment online, on the IFC app, and on demand. You can even have a little taste right here:

If your interest is piqued – great news for you! A special Car Notes sketch makes an appearance in the latest episode of Portlandia, and you can catch up on it now right here.

Watch all-new Portlandia Thursdays at 10P on IFC.

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Naked and Hungry

Two New Ways to Threeway

IFC's Comedy Crib gets sensual in time for Valentine's Day.

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This week, two scandalous new digital series debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib.
Ménage à Trois invites people to participate in a real-life couple’s fantasy boudoir. And The Filling is Mutual follows two saucy chefs who invite comedians to make food inspired by their routines. Each show crosses some major boundaries in sexy and/or delicious ways, and each are impossible to describe in detail without arousing some awkward physical cravings. Which is why it’s best to hear it directly from the minds behind the madness…

Ménage à Trois

According to Diana Kolsky and Murf Meyer, the two extremely versatile constants in the ever-shifting à trois, “MàT is a sensually psychedelic late night variety show exploring matters of hearts, parts and every goddamn thing in between…PS, any nudes will be 100% tasteful.”

This sexy brainchild includes sketches, music, and props that would put Pee-wee’s Playhouse to shame. But how could this fantastical new twist on the vanilla-sex variety show format have come to be?

“We met in a UCB improv class taught by Chris Gethard. It was clear that we both humped to the beat of our own drum; our souls and tongues intermingled at the bar after class, so we dove in head first.”

Sign me up, but promise to go slow. This tricycle is going to need training wheels.

The Filling is Mutual

Comedians Jen Saunderson and Jenny Zigrino became best friends after meeting in the restroom at the Gotham Comedy Club, which explains their super-comfortable dynamic when cooking with their favorite comedians. “We talk about comedy, sex, menses, the obnoxiousness of Christina Aguilera all while eating food that most would push off their New Year’s resolution.”

The hook of cooking food based off of comedy routines is so perfect and so personal. It made us wonder about what dishes Jen & Jenny would pair with some big name comedy staples, like…

Bill Murray?
“Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to… Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to avoid doing any kind of silly Groundhog Day reference.” 

Bridget Everett?
“Cream Balls… Sea Salt encrusted Chocolate Ganache Covered Ice Cream Ball that melt cream when you bite into them.” 

Nick Kroll & John Mulaney? 
“I’d make George and Gil black and white cookies from scratch and just as we open the oven to put the cookie in we’d prank ’em with an obnoxious amount of tuna!!!”

Carrie Brownstein & Fred Armisen? 
“Definitely a raw cacao “safe word” brownie. Cacao!”

Just perfect.

See both new series in their entirety on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Dark Arts

Foot Fetish Jesus And Other Nightmares

Meet the minds behind Comedy Crib's latest series, Quirks and The Mirror.

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The Mirror and Quirks are really, really strange. Deeply disturbing yet hauntingly beautiful. But you really don’t need to read a synopsis of either of the aforementioned shows to understand the exact variety of nightmare-bonkers comedy these shows deliver — that’s why the good lord made links. Instead, take a peek behind the curtain and meet the creators.

Quirks

Let’s start with Kevin Tosi. Kevin does the whole show by himself. That doesn’t mean he’s a loner — Kevin has a day job with actual humans. But that day job is copywriting. So it’s only natural that his suppressed demons would manifest themselves in biting cartoon form, including “Foot Fetish Jesus”, in ways that somehow speak to all of us. If only all copywriters channeled their inner f*ckedupness into such…expressive art.

The Mirror

Onward to the folks at Wham City Comedy.

These guys aren’t your typical comedy collective in that their work is way more left-field and even elevated than your standard digital short. More funny weird than funny ha-ha. They’ve done collaborations with musicians like Beach House, Dan Deacon & Wye Oak, television networks (obviously), and others. Yeah they get paid, but their motivation feels deeper. Darker. Most of them are video artists, and that explains a lot.

See more of The Mirror and Quirks on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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