Singing in the public’s eye

Movie musicals regain popularity


Graphic by Holland Rainwater

Story by Cate Rounds, staff writer

Movies like “Singing in the Rain,” and  “The Wizard of Oz” were the golden age of Hollywood. Movie musicals were the biggest blockbusters of the time, but they fell out of the limelight. Now with new movie musicals such as “La La Land,” “The Greatest Showman,” “Mamma Mia” and more the golden age of Hollywood is brought back with a modern twist.

Around the 1960s, the movie musical fell out of popularity. There were many political protests and movements started from the Vietnam War backlash, so movie musicals didn’t fit in with the times anymore. This continued throughout the years with a rise of more action and science fiction films. Despite some of the musicals being Oscar winners, such as “Chicago,” “Les Miserables” and “Into the Woods,” the average Joe still didn’t know these movies even existed.

In December 2016, “La La Land” was released into theaters and took the world by storm. It was the top-grossing Oscar winner of that year and dominated at the Golden Globes. It revived the classic movie musical in a way that brought even the most average of Joe into the theatre that year. Many people compared it to beloved classics which brought many fans into the theatres. With that, musicals were back in style.

Since “La La Land,” more and more musicals have been made. “The Greatest Showman,” “Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again,” “A Star is Born” and the long awaited “Mary Poppins Returns” are just a few of the blockbusters released in the past two years. Now that movie producers see the growth in popularity, more and more movie adaptations of musicals are in production. Movie adaptations of “Wicked,” “West Side Story,” “Cats,” “In the Heights” and many more are in production.

Musicals have also been dominating the small screen. Many live adaptations of favorite musicals have been on NBC and FOX. Some of the live musicals have been “Grease Live,” “Hairspray Live,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “A Christmas Story Live,” and more. “Rent Live” will be airing Jan. 27.

Not only are musicals being made into movies, but movies, and other aspects of pop culture, are being made into musicals. “Mean Girls” and “Spongebob the Musical” were both a part of this season. “Pretty Woman” premiered on Broadway a few months ago. Many more are in the works, including “13 Going on 30,” “17 Again” and “The Devil Wears Prada.

Musicals have become a huge part of pop culture in the past few years and keep growing. Movie musicals allow those who aren’t necessarily “theatre people” to gain a love for it. Soon enough, this will be the second golden age of Hollywood.