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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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar

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IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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