When I was in high school, once a year, the school staff, faculty, and students would put together a musical. The picks I remember are time-honored classics like The Music Man and Fiddler on the Roof, the kinds of musicals that got turned into films and not the other way around. But alas, things have changed, because there are a lot of new kids (so to speak) on the popular high school musical circuit.
According to Dramatics magazine (AMAZING name), these are the top high school musicals and plays from the 2015/2016 year:
We can’t lie, we were surprised by these rankings, but we adore how much the musical theater landscape has changed over the past decade. Legally Blonde and High School Musical first started in other mediums, and their explosive popularity as musicals is only obvious for HSM, but we’re here for them both. And though most of the other musical-first musicals have had long and enduring histories that include multiple other adaptations, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee remains a curious outlier.
And the fact that The Addams Family is number one is particularly curious. (If I’m going to be honest, I didn’t even know it was a musical.) But we can guess as to why it’s popular — there’s a large and distinct set of characters, presumably simpler sets and costumes than some of the more fantastical set-ups, and most people have a recognition of the central characters. (Which isn’t to say that the Disney-fied musicals don’t have that, but work with me.)
Looking at this list, a lot of recent film remake trends make sense. Because while it seems like Disney is remaking its catalogue, its priority remakes seem suspiciously close to these top-performing adjacent musical properties. Should we expect a Little Shop of Horrors remake soon? It seems like someone else thought of that too, but if more plans are announced in the future, you read it here first.