'Fun Home' Wins Best Musical At The Tonys, So Does This Mean It'll Become A Movie? History Points To Yes
They came, they sang, they conquered. The Best Musical statue is one of the highest honors from Tony Awards and one of the most coveted in musical theater. So many amazing shows have taken home the award in the past, including my personal favorites The Book of Mormon, Avenue Q, and so many more. Fun Home won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Musical and now can be added to that list. Winning a Tony means increased visibility for a show, but will it lead to the musical making it to the big screen as a movie? It has happened before.
Fun Home is a coming-of-age musical based on the coming out experiences of Alison Bechdel. The other musicals nominated were An American in Paris, Something Rotten!, and The Visit. A lot of musicals are actually based on movies, like Once, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hairspray, Kinky Boots, Billy Elliot the Musical, Monty Python's Spamalot, and a lot more. But plenty of other Best Musical winners have had their show transferred from the stage to the movie theater, but some have been more successful than others. Most of them take many, many years to make the jump to the big screen. For instance, Rent won the 1996 award for Best Musical and it took nine years to be made into a movie, which was released in 2005. So patience is key here.
Here are some other musicals that have made the jump from stage to the movie screen after winning Best Musical at the Tony Awards.
Mentioning this musical again, because it's such a defining show for the '90s. The 2005 movie starred most of the original cast, including Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Jesse L. Martin, Idina Menzel, and Taye Diggs.
Also, "One Song Glory" (above) is one of my all-time favorite songs from a musical, so give it a listen. Even the movie version is great.
This musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons won the 2006 Tony Award for Best Musical and finally made it to movie theaters last year. The film featured the show's original cast members, as well as Christopher Walken.
The Phantom Of The Opera
This 1998 Tony Award winner for Best Musical is the longest running show in Broadway history. It's like The Simpsons of the Great White Way. The show, which is about a disfigured "phantom" man who becomes obsessed with a singer, made it to movie theaters in 2004 and it starred Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, and Minnie Driver.
After winning the Best Musical Tony in 1987, the musical based on the novel by Victor Hugo enjoyed a very long run on Broadway, eventually closing in 2003. But the revolution continued — the show was revived on Broadway in 2006, and, finally, a film adaptation of the stage musical made it to the big screen in 2012, starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway (who won an Oscar for playing Fantine), and Russell Crowe (who received a lot of flack for his singing).
I'd just like to note that there have been many other movies that have been made based on Hugo's novel, including a 1998 movie starring Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush that completely cuts out the character of Eponine (for shame), but the 2012 film is an actual adaptation of the musical.
The 1980 winner of Best Musical was made into a well-known, award-winning movie in 1996, starring Madonna as Eva Peron and Antonio Banderas as Che. Madonna took home the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for her moving performance.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
Ever since my music teacher in high school told me that this was the best musical in the world, I've always had a special place in my heart for Sweeney Todd. The Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler show about a barber who gets revenge via cannibalism won the Tony for Best Musical in 1979.
In 2007, the trio of Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, and Helena Bonham Carter teamed up to bring Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett to the movies. The very Burton-esque adaptation won many Golden Globes, including Best Musical or Comedy, and Depp was nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars.