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F - 'Return to the Forbidden Planet' and Nine Other Amazing Musicals Based on Science-Fi​ction Films

F is for Forbidden Planet
Forbidden Planet is not only a classic of science-fiction, but, would you believe it was also a dynamite stage play? Read on for more on that show along with nine other plays that are based on science-fiction movies.

1. Return to the Forbidden Planet

Based on: Forbidden Planet (1956).
Loosely based on the movie of the same name, the crew of a spaceship is marooned on an alien planet along with Doctor Prospero and his daughter Miranda. More closely connected with Shakespeare's The Tempest than the movie, it does feature a retro 1950's and 60's soundtrack and a robot called Ariel instead of "Robby the Robot." Shiny suits and campy spaceships helped conceal the drums and other instruments played on-stage.
Album: Return To The Forbidden Planet (1989 Original London Cast)
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Return_to_the_forbidden_planet

2. Little Shop of Horrors

Based on: Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
Summary: A loser working in a flower shop in New York's slums finds an amazing plant that brings him success and fame. However, he soon struggles to feed it's growing appetite for human flesh. An obscure Roger Corman horror film was the beginnings of one of the most popular Broadway plays of all time. Nominated for two Tony Awards (2004 Best Actor in a Musical, 2004 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical) the play was successful enough that it spawned a remake of the original film based on the play.
Album: Little Shop Of Horrors: Original Cast Album (1982 Off-Broadway Cast)
Read More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Shop_of_Horrors_%28musical)
3. A Clockwork Orange

Based on: A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Summary: A reckless youth in a dystopian world leads a gang of thugs through rape, murder and acts of so-called "Ultra-Violence." He's captured and subjected to intense psychological torture to rehabilitate him. Most famous for its use of an alternative language called "NadSat," the classic Stanley Kubrick film based on the book by the same name was remade as a play several times. The most notable was the one created by the original author Anthony Burgess in 2004.
Album: Unknown
Read More: http://www.malcolmtribute.freeiz.com/aco/acoplay.html

4. Young Frankenstein

Based on: Young Frankenstein (1974) 
Summary: A descendant of Victor Frankenstein reluctantly returns to his ancestral home and tries to recreate his grandfather's experiment to create a Frankenstein monster. When the creature comes to life, the townspeople try to put a stop to him as he tries to convince them he is good. A Mel Brooks' classic, this film is filled with quotable lines and wacky characters. The best part is the creature's singing "Puttin' On The Ritz"
Read More: http://www.youngfrankensteinthemusical.com/

5. It's a Bird...It's A Plane...It's Superman!
Based on: Superman serials (1948)
Summary: The play is an entirely original story based around Superman trying to stop evil Dr. Abner Sedgwick who's trying to destroy the world's symbol of good. Clark Kent has to fight rival Max Mencken, a columnist for the Daily Planet newspaper, for Lois Lane. Originally a play in 1966, it was remade last year with an updated score and screenplay.
While the play is not well-known several songs have made their way into other media. The song "You've Got Possibilities" was featured in a 2005 TV commercial for Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits.
Album: It's A Bird ... It's A Plane ... It's Superman (1966 Original Broadway Cast)
Read More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_a_Bird...It%27s_a_Plane...It%27s_Superman

6. The Last Starfighter: The Musical

Based on: The Last Starfighter (1984)

Summary: The story of a teenager growing up in the trailer parks who escapes from his reality by playing a video game "the Last Starfighter." It turns out the game is a training simulator and an alien recruits him to fight in a galactic civil war. A small off-Broadway production of the play ran in 2005 to mostly positive reviews.
Album: The Last Starfighter: a New Musical
Read More: http://thethunderchild.com/Reviews/Music/LastStarfighter/LastStarfighterMusical.html

7. Metropolis: The Musical

Based on: Metropolis (1923)
Summary: In 1989, a play was made based on the classic 1920 German film Metropolis. In a far future world, a city called Metropolis is devoid of all energy resources. Human energy is the only resource left. The rich exploit the poor who work twelve hour days to keep the great city going. In this world, an unlikely romance begins and is nurtured. A scientist kidnaps the woman to give face to his robot Futura.
Album: Metropolis (1989 Original London Cast)
Read More: http://rbowser.tripod.com/metropolis/musical.html

8. Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

Based on: Spider-Man (2002)
Summary: An original rock musical with music by Bono and Edge based on the comic book character. Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man and fights the Green Goblin and the Sinister Six ( Carnage, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, the Lizard, Swarm and Swiss Miss). The play is notable for being the most expensive stage production ever and for the injuring at least four actors. Highly controversial, the show has been in previews for months and is extremely unlikely to last long.
Read More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider-Man:_Turn_Off_the_Dark

9. Frankenstein

Based on: Frankenstein (1923)
Summary: An adaptation of the original Mary Shelley novel by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), it follows the familiar storyline of a scientist making a creature that is cast into the world searching for love. It opened in 2011 and has received rave reviews in London.
Album: Unknown
Read More:

10. Jekyll & Hyde - The Musical

Based on: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)
Summary: Based on the novel "Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" it tells the tale of a doctor who accidentally releases a creature of pure evil inside him. The musical ran from 1997 through 2001. It didn't do very well, lost money and got poor reviews. Still, it was nominated for several Tony awards and starred David Hasselfoff at one point, so its worth something.
Album: Jekyll & Hyde - The Musical (1997 Original Broadway Cast)
Read More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jekyll_%26_Hyde_%28musical)

What science-fiction film do you feel would make a great musical?

This post is "F is for Forbidden Planet.," part of the "A-Z Blogging Challenge." We'll be posting something on our blog every day in April except for Sundays. The challenge is hosted by Arlee BirdJeffrey Beesler, Alex J. CavanaughJen Daiker, Candace Ganger, Karen J Gowen, Talli Roland and Stephen Tremp. Visit them today and every day for the next month!


  1. Yeah, you just described The. Perfect. Day.

  2. Imagine seeing them all in one day! That would be a geek extravaganza

  3. Have never seen any of them as live musicals, but would have loved to see every one of them.

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