Movie: the musical! a three article dissertation examining the phenomenon of film as source material for Broadway musicals

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Alabama Libraries

Prior to 1997, 52 musicals based on films were produced on Broadway over a time period of 45 years. From 1997 through April 24, 2017, 73 more film-based musicals opened, an increase of 138% in less than half the time. The shift in popularity of the film-based musical is what drives the research of this three-article dissertation. The mixed methods research of the first article verifies the phenomenon of film as source material for Broadway musicals. The research also establishes two theories why film-based musicals are more popular than other forms: they are perceived to be less risky to produce in an industry where only 23% of musicals recoup their investment and writers of Broadway musicals find it easier to adapt material that already has dramatic narrative content. The rationale of producing film-based musicals is tested by comparing the different types of musicals using industry related metrics. The research discussed in the second and third articles seeks to identify factors that relate to the success of a film-based musical that can then be used by Broadway producers and writers as they select and adapt films into musical productions. A statistical analysis is used in the second article and a formula is developed that can predict the success of film-based musicals with 79% accuracy. Qualitative methods are used in the third article to establish 5 rules for adapting and producing film-based musicals. A combination of these findings can be used by producers and writers as they embark on the selection and adaptation process.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Theater, Film studies, Music