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10 Iconic Queer Films We Wish Were Broadway Musicals

10 Iconic Queer Films We Wish Were Broadway Musicals

10 Iconic Queer Films We Wish Were Broadway Musicals

The musicals you never knew you needed are all right here!


It’s a beautiful time for Broadway. Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel's graphic novel, features powerful LGBT representation 8 times a week and very well might take the Best Musical Tony next Sunday. We're absolutely thrilled that a lesbian lead character is taking Broadway by storm, but hey, why stop there? With the female-helmed movie-to-musical trend on fire in the last decade with shows like Legally Blonde, Bring It On, and Heathers: the Musical, we’ve felt particularly inspired to devise our perfect idea of a Broadway season that combines the power of queer female leads with our favorite modern classic films. If we didn’t include your personal pick, feel free to shout out in the comments below. You’re welcome for the endless wealth of ideas, Broadway. We’ll expect our royalties shortly. (Note #1: to qualify for this list, each movie must feature a prominent queer relationship between women. Note #2: we are indeed aware that many of these are not exactly the best ideas.)

10. The Hours

If the Philip Glass’ beautiful score for The Hours didn’t lead you to believe this would make a great musical, you weren’t listening hard enough. Even better, Stephen Daldry often directs for Broadway with credits including Billy Elliot: the Musical and Skylight, so he can stay too. Celia Keenan-Bolger (Glass Menagerie, Peter and the Starcatcher) can star as Laura Brown (Julianne Moore in the film), and, in what we believe is an inspired if odd, casting choice, Idina Menzel (Wicked, Frozen, you get it) will play Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman in the film). If you’re wondering who could possibly match Meryl Streep’s performance as Clarissa Vaughn, Audra MacDonald (Ragtime, Raisin in the Sun) could. And she will. Who wouldn’t see this production, let’s be real? Literally not one person. 

9. Blue is the Warmest Color

What’s better than an insanely long sex scene? And insanely long musical sex scene! We also fully intend to maintain the 179 minute run time, which we expect will increase when you consider all the dance breaks this show will definitely require. Since this is a musical involving a lot of teen angst, we of course need to turn to Jennifer Damiano (Spring Awakening, Next to Normal, various other angsty teen shows) to play Adèle. This next one might be a stretch, but we’re pretty sure Taylor Swift - who bears a slight resemblance to Léa Seydoux that makes this remotely plausible - should definitely consider making her Broadway debut as Emma. Blue hair and all. There’s literally no way this show could go wrong, so we highly suggest she consider booking an appointment at the salon. 

8. But I’m a Cheerleader

Actually, But I’m a Cheerleader has been in the process of becoming a musical for the last few years now. It even had an invite-only showcase in 2013 directed by Jerry Mitchell, but it seems to have slipped off the radar since then. We’re praying it revives itself, and also that it stars Taylor Louderman - who already has plenty of experience playing a cheerleader after starring in the original cast of Bring It On: The Musical - as Megan (Natasha Lyonne in the film). We also think Ciara Renee (Pippin) would make a fantastic Graham (Clea DuVall in the film), if she can take a break from playing Hawkgirl on CW’s Legend of Tomorrow. We’re sure she’d make time for this. 

7. Heavenly Creatures

Heavenly Creatures, based on the true story of the 1954 Parker-Hulme murder case, is one pretty intense film about troubled children. And if there’s anything Broadway loves, it’s intensity and troubled children. Lilla Crawford received rave reviews for her performance in the most recent Annie revival on Broadway and so now she’ll be trading in “tomorrows” for “matricide” as Pauline. Since Heavenly Creatures is the movie that started Melanie Lynskey and Kate Winslet’s careers, we’ll have to go on a nation-wide casting search to find an unknown to play Juliet. Preferably via MTV reality show. And since clearly Peter Jackson will have to return to direct it on stage, we’re confident this musical will be nothing short of...heavenly. 

6. Concussion

Concussion doesn’t necessarily have a huge following, but as a musical starring Laura Benanti as a lesbian housewife-turned-prostitute who has an affair with her neighbor, we imagine suddenly everyone will be a fan. 

5. Monster 

Some people think musicals should be restricted to shows that allow for upbeat, high-energy song n' dance numbers that elicit wild applause from an utterly charmed crowd. Monster: The Musical will be for the people who don't think that. This shockingly provocative and emotional piece - based on the 2003 film starring Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci and based on the life of former prostitute Aileen Wuornos, who was put to death in 2002 for killing 6 men - will leave people weeping in their seats. Now who could possibly play Aileen, a role Charlize won 17 awards for? Kelli O’Hara (The King and I, South Pacific) could, dammit. And starring as the Christina Ricci role “Selby” will be Fun Home's glorious Emily Skeggs, moving on from “changing her major to Joan” to the show-stopping number “Changing My Testimony to Assure You’re Found Guilty of Murder.” Less of a ring to it, you say? Just you wait and see. (But yes, you're right.)

4. D.E.B.S: The Musical

One of our favorite things about Heathers the Musical was its cast, so we imagine the entire cast will be just as great when we transfer them over to D.E.B.S: The Musical! Barrett Wilbert Weed will star as Lucy, Jessica Keenan Wynn will play Amy, Alice Lee will be Dominique and Kristolyn Lloyd will play Max. But don’t worry, the rest of the ensemble will also be made up of only the entire supporting cast of Heathers as well. Perhaps Laurence O’Keefe can also write the music again! It’ll be like a big reunion, only now with badass lesbian assassins. Which is the only kind of reunion we’d really ask for anyway. 

3. Imagine Me and You

Everyone loves a charming rom-com musical! Well, if it’s done well they do, and this one will be done perfectly. Starring real-life Disney Princess Laura Osnes (Cinderella, Bonnie & Clyde) as Rachel (Piper Perabo in the film) and Broadway mega-vet Krysta Rodriguez (First DateThe Addams Family) as florist Tess (Lena Headey in the film), there won't one theater-goer who isn't be charmed by this love story. Well, potentially the people who loved Monster: the Musical, but they'll still be weeping in their seats anyway. 

2. The Children’s Hour

The Children’s Hour started out as a 1934 play by Lillian Hellman before being made into a film in 1961 starring Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine. It’s also been on Broadway twice and had a 2011 revival in London starring Keira Knightley and Elisabeth Moss, so we know it works. What do we think would make it work even better? Being a musical, of course! Particularly one starring Jessie Mueller (Beautiful) as Martha Dobie (the role played by MacLaine/Moss) and Anne Hathaway as Karen Wright (the role played by Hepburn/Knightley). You’re all welcome. 

1. The Kids Are All Right

The kids will be even better in a musical! Watch those Oscar nominations turn to Tony nominations as Fun Home’s Beth Malone takes over Annette Benning’s role and Allison Case (Hair) stars as Julianne Moore’s character Jules. Now, we know Allison Case is technically way too young for this part, but if we can make Elphaba fly in Wicked, we can age Allison up a few years. It’ll be worth it. Throw in Molly Ranson (Carrie the Musical) and Corey Cott (Newsies, Gigi) as the couple’s two kids and and Les Miserables’ Ramin Karimloo as Mark Ruffalo’s role and we have a smash hit on our hands. In fact, now we have so many smash hits on our hands! Yet, all we can do is dream.



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Preston Max Allen