Now that the infamous musical version of Stephen King’s Carrie has come and gone yet again (apparently the revised stage show wasn’t much better than the 1988 version), I was conversing recently about this with David Squyres – who writes the excellent Stephen King blog: talkstephenking – and the subject came up of other King titles that could be reworked as musicals.
My suggestion: The Shining.
After all, this is a classic story of isolation set in an iconic Bad Place (the claustrophobic setting could be easily replicated on the stage), has over the top themes like malevolent ghosts and a murderous father (the better to go all operatic on your ass), and deals with dysfunctional familial relationships (always good musical fodder).
I could see it going something like this:
SHINING! – a musical in 3 acts
based on the novel by Stephen King
written and directed by Andy Williamson (HA!)
JACK (singing soft and sincere to his son)
“I would never hurt you, Danny – nor slap, nor hit, nor sever.
We’ll be safe right here in The Overlook – forever and ever and ever!”
I can imagine many song titles and production numbers, like:
Ode to Mr. Ullman (Officious Little Prick)
You Gotta Watch Her, She Creeps (The Boiler Song)
Stay Away, Danny (Tony’s Lament)
What’s Up, Doc?
It’s a Long Way to Topiary
Come and Play with Us, Danny
Snow! Snow! Snow!
All Work and No Play (Makes Jack a Dull Boy)
White Man’s Burden (aka Drinks on the House)
Gimme the Bat, Wendy (The Bash Your Brains In Song)
Let Me Out! (The Pantry Song)
Bring us Your Son
Take your Medicine (you damned little pup)!
Oh, Danny Boy! (pictured above)
I am only half kidding. (Or am I?) Like I stated above, given the over the top, operatic themes of this story, this might could actually work. What say you? Good idea? Or do I have bats in my belfry?
Are there any other King stories which would lend themselves to the musical stage? I’m thinking Misery is a no brainer … if only to hear Annie Wilkes belt out songs like Number One Fan, You Dirty Bird!, Hog Heaven, They Cheated Us (The Cockadoodie Car Song), and I Wanna Be Your Sledgehammer!
Thoughts? Leave a comment below.
For much more on The Shining, and ALL of its incarnations, read my article King, Kubrick, and The Shining.