Dreamgirls will be released on DVD on Tuesday. This news is enough to make me drop my pants like Jimmy Early does in the movie (and I suspect I’d get an equally horrified response). I also find myself pondering the whole musical-to-movie phenomenon. For Dreamgirls and Chicago, the transition was smooth indeed: Both films are critically acclaimed and popular with audiences. Whether Mamma Mia! will fare quite so well remains to be seen (cross your fingers, Meryl Streep).
Lately there’s a growing trend in the other direction: Movies are being turned into musicals. Legally Blonde opened Sunday to mixed reviews, and in late May, Xanadu will begin previews. And the musical version of 9 to 5 is proceeding apace, with a staged reading planned for June. (Hairspray is a horse of a different, confusing color, having gone from film to Broadway and back again.)
Here’s one screen-to-stage transition that makes perfect sense: Showgirls. As she reveals in the new issue of The Advocate (in which she is highlighted as someone wtih a “Big Gay Following”), Gina Gershon has thought about turning Showgirls into a musical.
It’s such an obvious idea. I mentioned it to Joe [Eszterhas] and he was like, “Yeah, let’s do it.” But it’s really a version that only I can tell. I’m going to do it from my point of view, because some of the stuff that happened was just so beyond the film. So much through the [filming] I kept making up and singing songs in my head just to keep sane half the time. Truly, my brain would go there as a way of protection, survival, and endurance. But I kind of lost track of it. I should do it — it seems like such a no-brainer, doesn’t it?
Yes, it does! Do it!
Gershon offers a few other interesting tidbits in the Advocate interview, ranging from her mad skills on the Jew’s harp (she played it on the Scissor Sisters album Ta-Dah) to her recurring guilt that she’s not gay.
I was just talking about this last night to my friends. I always come up with different titles of books that I could write, and that was the title yesterday: I’m So Sorry I’m Not Really a Lesbian.
Sigh. So are we, Gina. So are we.
Since I can’t have a gay Gershon or a stage version of Showgirls anytime soon, I’ll just go back to consoling myself with the Dreamgirls DVD.