Lady Gaga, Madonna, Kesha, U2 and Panic! At the Disco were among the answers to the question: What recording artist or band would you most like to see providing the score for a musical on Broadway?
The question was asked in a contest to win tickets to Head Over Heels, a musical that uses the music of The Go-Go’s. The winner of the tickets, David Ashtiani, happened to pick Lady Gaga: “Her music is fun, relatable, and easy to get into the “beat”. Lady Gaga’s music is so flexible and can be adapted into many different, fun scenes throughout an original script.” (David won not because of his choice, but because his order in answering was selected at a drawing on Random.org.) Scroll to the bottom for more songwriter selections.
There was an alternative question:
What work of literature would you like to see turned into a musical?
The answers to this question were more varied and sometimes obscure. Below are a selection of responses to the literature question, organized alphabetically by title, with links to the recommended books to learn more about them. Producers, are you listening?
Christodora: A Novel
“I would love to see the book Christodora by Tim Murphy turned into a musical! It’s a story about the AIDS epidemic and its aftermath, stretching across multiple generations/time periods, and could make a great piece since it’s very stylized in its narrative.” – Kerry Breen
Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy)
“I want to see “Crazy Rich Asians” by Kevin Kwan turned into a musical because it has an appealing story with drama, humor, emotion, and interesting colorful characters. And it’s about time Asians get real representation on Broadway” – Monica C.
“I think Fingersmith by Sarah Waters would be a fascinating musical – to see the characters sing about all these twists and turns would be amazing.” – Erinn Conlon
The Glass Castle: A Memoir
“I would love to see “The Glass Castle” by Jeanette Walls turned into a musical. Though the memoir is heavy and heartbreaking, I think if it were to be done correctly – in the same vein as Come From Away, the musical could/would be absolutely brilliant. I also think that this story is harrowing enough to touch the audience, but not to a point where the audience would feel miserable while watching it play out.” – Drew B.
“…it has romance, suspense, depth of character, etc…” – Beth Senturia
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
“I think it has a unique brand of comedy that would (if done right) adapt well to the stage. And I also believe Panic at the Disco should do the score.”-Veronica P.
I would love to see Charlotte Brönte’s “Jane Eyre” be transformed into a Broadway musical. I think that Jane’s journey throughout the novel is rather captivating, inspiring, and beautiful. Inasmuch, it is similar to Beauty and the Beast in that some of the major themes include “love defies all boundaries” and “love is blind.” – John Alexander
Love in the Time of Cholera (Oprah’s Book Club)
It would so interesting to see the intersection of the many characters and timelines as a musical, and you could do some very interesting things with set/lighting, in terms of the different times. – Erin
The Mysterious Benedict Society Complete Paperback Collection
“It’s such an original and interesting story. The cast of characters would be really interesting to watch — and all of the schemes and whatnot.” – Bailey Garcia
“I think Paradise Lost would be a lovely musical. It’s famous, but people think it’s stodgy. I think it is actually very nuanced and surprisingly modern . It would be tough to pull off but worth it!” – Michael Gillen
“I believe Zenobia by Morten Durr should become a musical. Zenobia was an Egyptian warrior/Queen who took no orders from anyone, she was her own boss. She went through so many things and overcame so many challenges with strategy and pride.
The story is about a Syrian girl named Amina who is caught up in a war that reaches her village, when she escapes, she becomes overwhelmed, but she remembers her Mother telling her to think of the warrior Zenobia.
I believe with the right representation this would be a great musical, even if you just did it on Zenobias life, it’s so fascinating and empowering to women all across the world. The representation is crucial, we need more Middle Eastern representation” – Sophia
A Selection of Recording Artists
I would most like to see Ariana Grande provide the score for a musical on Broadway. Her theatre background + her new sound on her most recent album Sweetener would be perfect for a fun new musical on Broadway, and it would really get the kids out and make them want to see theatre. – Emily Antonowicz
I think Kesha could write a really amazing pop score. Ultimately she has some of the most influential hits of the late 2000’s, and she completely reshaped the pop scene. She created a place where female pop stars could be a bit messier and sing about men the way men sing about women. Her last album Rainbow is an amazing journey about survival and overcoming one’s demons. With the current climate I think she could write a really wonderful score that would resonate with people with similar experiences to hers, but also with a broader spectrum of people. – Patrick Howard
I think U2 could maybe actually make a good musical, whether original or previous songs; I’m one of the few people who liked Bono & the Edge’s score for ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’, hehe, and find their music very theatrical! – Sarah Packard
I think Panic! At the Disco could provide a really interesting score for a musical. Their songs and performance style are already super theatrical and Brendan Urie has already starred in Kinky Boots, so maybe he can star as well! – Aaron Deitsch