Singing from the Stage to the Screen (and back again)

So what I’m about to say could’ve easily remained within the confines of Twitter — which is where I originally posted it! — but I find it too interesting (did you enjoy that autofellatio?) not to provide it with the spotlight of its own piece.

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul — popularly referred to simply as Pasek & Paul in the annals of Broadway — will write a score for an upcoming animated movie musical. After their Tony Award-winning hit Dear Evan Hansen, their Academy Award-winning work on last year’s La La Land, and their chart-topping — and, most likely, soon to be crowned with another Oscar — music for The Greatest ShowmanI feel confident in predicting that their sound will fit quite well in the animated musical realm. They’re whiz-kids at composing the catchiest songs — sometimes obnoxiously so, but that’s kind of perfect for kids, no?

What I find the most fascinating is how the careers of the composers of the three most successful Broadway shows in recent years have followed a similar Broadway –> animated movie trajectory:

Bobby Lopez: The Book of Mormon –> Frozen

Lin-Manuel Miranda: Hamilton –> Moana

And now, Pasek & Paul: Dear Evan Hansen –> Foster

Frozen coming to Broadway this season begs the question: When the heck do I get to joyously sing along to Moana on the Great White Way?!?!

3 thoughts on “Singing from the Stage to the Screen (and back again)

  1. I’m glad to see that whole Broadway – Hollywood – Broadway synergy. You didn’t mention Lion King for another Animation to Broadway.

    I do have some quibbles when shows go from Broadway to film as adjustments are often made to squeeze a three hour stage presentation into a two hour film or focuses on a minor point for the sake of ego. For instance the film version of Brigadoon deleted at least three songs entirely. Guys and Dolls cut a song because Brando couldn’t sing like Robert Alda. Les Mis cut short the great Red and Black in order to get Master of the House an unnecessarily long number among other problems even though it is still a great movie.

    I could rant on, but I’ll let others get a word in edgewise.


    1. Don’t even get me started on comparing Broadway/movie adaptations; it’s a subject I could discuss endlessly!

      Which is also the reason I tried avoiding it in this piece. Rather, I wanted to focus on composers who hit it big on Broadway then immediately transitioned to writing scores for animated movie musicals. I didn’t mention LION KING because Elton John/Tim Rice were already famous before Simba entered The Circle of Life.


      1. It wasn’t Broadway to animation but definitely hit it big on Broadway and then moving to an original musical was Lerner and Lowe for Royal Wedding, Bandwagon and Gigi. Then of course they had The Little Prince which was partially animated.


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