‘Little Miss Sunshine’ is Broadway Bound


Remember that climactic moment in “Little Miss Sunshine” when Abigail Breslin’s Olive Hoover finally ascends the stage, ready to soak in every ounce of beauty pageant glory? Only instead of the grace and class expected of pre-pubescent beauty queens, she performs an inappropriate yet hilarious routine to Rick James’ “Super Freak,” quickly becoming one of the more memorable dance scenes in cinema?

Well, now fans can expect to see that number re-created on stage, along with ditties that could be about Nietzsche, the nine-step “Refuse to Lose” program and grandpas who like heroin.

That’s right, a musical version of “Little Miss Sunshine” is heading to Broadway in February 2011, Entertainment Weekly reported this week. Movie-to-musical adaptations have overwhelmed Broadway in recent years. “Legally Blonde,” “Shrek,” “Young Frankenstein” and “9 to 5” have all come and gone, while “The Addams Family” and “Billy Elliot” are still going strong. And then there’s that Julie Taymor-Bono collaboration “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” whose constant delays and cast departures are beginning to make it seem like the comic book musical will never see the lights of the Great White Way.

But with William Finn and James Lapine, the team behind “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” at the helm, a “Little Miss Sunshine” musical just might work. “Spelling Bee’s” zany, eclectic tone seems like it would translate well to “Sunshine,” and EW’s suggestion of “Modern Family” star and theater vet Jesse Tyler Ferguson in the Steve Carell role offers more potential for brilliance.

Even if “Little Miss Sunshine” turns out to be a hit, there’s no denying the constant stream of movie-to-Broadway adaptations is starting to get a little tired. But for anyone who doesn’t care for the trend, it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down any time soon.

This week, a website reported that Disney, which has seen success on stage with “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King” and “Mary Poppins,” has registered URLs for a list of 19 other potential screen-to-stage adaptations. The list includes everything from “Aladdin” and “Alice in Wonderland” to “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Shakespeare in Love.” Even “Coyote Ugly” and “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion” are possibilities.

So what do you think? What screen-to-stage adaptations do you love and which do you hate? Which of these new possibilities would you like to see on Broadway and which do you wish would just go away? Sound off in the comments section.

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  1. Jessika #

    I am a theater musical rat! I love the idea of Little Miss Sunshine, the off beat sense of humor and Nietzsche references make for a great adaptation to musical theater! And I love all the Disney adapts too! Romy and Michelle could be hilarious, lots of 80s music to toy around with!!!!

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