On the Page: Favourite Novels with Musical Adaptations (Part One)
In honour of Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) upcoming presentation of two of Broadway’s beloved musicals, Hairspray and Oliver!, the team here at LMPR wanted to share our favourite books that have been adapted into musicals.
Sarah Cruickshank – Wicked by Gregory Maguire
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a story that we’ve all grown up with – the characters and storyline so iconic that there is scarcely a soul that can’t recount this classic tale. Because of this, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West published in 1995 by Gregory Maguire, is an experience akin to catching up with an old friend.
Now a popular Tony Award-winning musical – one I’ve seen not once, but twice – Wicked is a political, social, and ethical statement on the nature of good and evil. It tells the untold story of Elphaba through her childhood years, prior to her transformation into Dorothy’s feared green-skinned enemy, with the message that we all too often demonize that which we don’t understand.
Brian Paterson – The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
While I’m not over the moon about its most famous musical adaptation, Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera has been a cherished book since I first read it as a young child.
I’ve always loved ghost stories, but Leroux’s first-person narrative structure – and unique prologue which assert the story’s truth in the author’s own voice – especially captivated my imagination and has stayed with me for years.
Shona Wercholuk – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Unfortunately I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing the Broadway version of Jane Eyre, but the book is one of my all time favourites.
Since taking a 19th century literature class in university, I have been completely captivated by the Brontë sisters. I fell in love with Charlotte Brontë‘s, Jane Eyre, and though I don’t love the protagonist I love the story. It is a novel that was far ahead of it’s time and a remarkable exploration into feminism.
Check back next week for the rest of the LMPR team’s favourite novels that have musical adaptations!