by Chris Davis
Remember when musicals were made into movies and not the other way around? These days it's getting harder and harder to tell The Orpheum's Broadway series from its film series. Six of this years eight touring musicals started out on the silver screen. Seven if you cheat a bit and credit The Wizard of Oz as source material for Wicked.
October 13-31, 2010
Love it or loathe it there can be no doubt Wicked, an effects-laden musical about the witches of Oz, brings the green to Main & Beale. It certainly cast a spell on Memphis theatergoers last season who turned out to see the show in big numbers. The Orpheum's aggressive pre-sale strategy also worked like magic, making tickets disappear at an astonishing rate.
9 TO 5
November 2-7, 2010
9-5, which was directed by Joe Mantello, the man who brought Wicked to the stage, was described by New York Times Theatre Critic Ben Brantly as a "gaudy, empty...whoopie cushion" of a musical. Nevertheless, it broke records for Drama Desk nominations and resulted in a Grammy Award for songwriter Dolly Parton, who also starred in the original film, and wrote and recorded its now-iconic theme song.
November 30-December 5, 2010
Before there was Jersey Boys there was this fictionalized take on The Supremes.
January 18-23, 2011
Remember when I mentioned that 6 of the 8 shows on this year's season were hit movies before being adapted to the stage? This musical about a fuzzy green ogre is one of them.
March 8-13, 2011
Lightning didn't strike twice for Mel Brooks. After turning his film The Producers into a hit Broadway musical doing the same with Young Frankenstein seemed like a no-brainer. It may have been an Abby Normal-brainer instead since Brooks' beloved horror spoof only survived for three months on the Great White Way. Maybe the musical will finally find its audience as it makes its way across the country.
THE COLOR PURPLE
August 24-29, 2010
I just loved Oprah in this movie, didn't you?
May 6-8, 2011
The only thing more exciting that watching a movie you know all the words to is watching a live musical you know all the words to. This tuneful adaptation of Monty Python's The Holy Grail makes a second trip to Memphis. And remember, "after the spanking, the oral sex...
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
June 14-19, 2011
You know that Disney cartoon about Belle and the beast and the magic flower and all that? This is the same thing, but live.