"Maybe this crystal ball can answer all the questions I have about Prometheus."
With Rock of Ages bum-rushing theaters on Friday and the recent news that Jon Favreau may bring Jersey Boys to the big screen (and don't forget that the Mamma Mia! movie grossed $600 million worldwide four years ago) movie versions of jukebox Broadway musicals could become Hollywood's next big trend. Considering how many of these pop-song fueled shows have come and gone from the Great White Way (particularly in the past few years), the studios certainly have plenty of fodder to choose from. And sure, most are terrible (Lennon, anyone? How about that Bob Dylan show, The Times They Are A-Changin'?), but we peered back into musical theater lore and came up with five jukebox musicals we'd actually pay to see in movie theaters.
A musical scored to the head-banging, power-chord wailing hair rock tunes of the '70s and '80s may sound like the final nail in the coffin of Western civilization, but from most eyewitness accounts, the Broadway musical Rock of Ages is a silly, enjoyable lark -- a show that has a lot of love for its specific brand of rock 'n' roll but doesn't take it particularly seriously. It's easy to see how this material would play well onstage, where the audience can feed off the energy of the performers and unapologetically rock out to these cheesy classics like they're in an actual nightclub as opposed to a theater. But I'm sorry to report that the new movie version of Rock of Ages has all the energy and electricity of a lite-FM radio station's noontime "Smooth Jazz" hour. With the exception of a few musical numbers, the film curiously finds little joy in songs that are nothing if not pleasures to listen to. Guilty pleasures to be sure, but pleasures all the same.
New Line is getting musical-happy. The studio, who just announced they were planning a sequel to last year's hit, Hairspray, have won a studio bidding war for the rights to the rock musical Rock of Ages, an off-Broadway show that pairs '80s rock ballads with an on-stage love story (a la Mamma Mia!) that's currently rocking out in New York.