It's not that complicated when you realize I'm talking about Broadway musicals based on films featuring Whoopi Goldberg. As of the the time this blog posts, Sister Act will have closed, leaving only The Lion King playing. Two weeks ago, there were three Whoopi-inspired shows on the Rialto: The Lion King, Ghost: The Musical, and Sister Act. And in 147 days, on January 21, 2013, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella begins previews. You may recall that she, along with Whitney Houston, Brandy, Bernadette Peters and Victor Garber starred in the most recent version of the classic tale.
So what will be the next Whoopi-film to be a musical? I've got it narrowed down to 3 possibilities.
- Whoopi and why it might work: She starred as Terri Doolittle, computer worker/bank data entry worker. She gets mixed up in some spy espionage stuff and falls for a guy via text messages. Romance, modern themes, and another chance to use video screens... a hit musical in the making.
- What I'd pay to see: Patina Miller being dragged around the stage in a phone booth while singing about it.
- Who should write it: The same team behind Bring It On.
- Whoopi and why it might work: She plays a maid in the 60's who helps a grieving widower and his daughter who has become mute from the shock. It's The Help meets The Miracle Worker meets Caroline, or Change. Emotional, powerful, and a definite tear-jerker ending.
- What I'd pay to see: Terri White consoling Will Chase and any young girl who has never played Little Cossette, Little Eponine or Annie.
- Who should write it: Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman with a book by Brian Yorkey.
- Whoopi and why it might work: She played an island resort maid who saves a grieving mother, and ultimately a whole family - including an emotionally neglected little boy - from the depths of despair. Think Once on This Island meets next to normal with a dash of Billy Elliot.
- What I'd pay to see: Capathia Jenkins using island wisdom on Marin Mazzie while boosting the self-esteem of any little boy who made the cut for Billy Elliot but never went on because the show closed early. Plus, Neil Patrick Harris has to play the father, in a casting coups since he starred in the film version as the little boy.
- Who should write it: I'd love to see what Adam Guettel would do with it.
I have a feeling it will a long time before Broadway is Whoopi-less. Anyone taking bets on when The Lion King will close? Who knows? Maybe Fatal Beauty: The Musical will outlast them all...
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