hamilton

7 Musicals You Didn’t Know Were Based on Books

You love musicals. You love books. But did you know how much crossover there is between your two great loves? There is in fact A LOT of crossover. Here are seven of your favorite musicals, which you may not have realized were based on works of literature! 

 

Cats

 

Via Cats the Musical

Via Cats the Musical 

 

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats is one of the most famous Broadway shows of all time. Its costumes and songs are, at this stage, iconic—instantly recognizable and endlessly lauded. But it didn’t come from nowhere. The inspiration for Cats came from T.S. Eliot’s book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, a volume of poetry that tells the tales of various anthropomorphized cats, bearing some of the best names in all of literature: Growltiger, Bustopher Jones, and Shimbleshanks to name but a few. 

 

Hamilton

 

Via Giphy

Via Giphy

 

Lin Manuel Miranda’s hit musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton has captured the hearts and minds of millions over the past couple of years. I may be literally the only person I know who hasn’t gotten into it yet, and I know lots of people on account of being very popular. Anyway, did you know that Hamilton is based on a highly regarded biography of the man himself, Alexander Hamilton, by Pulitzer Prize-winner Ron Chernow?

 

Wicked

 

Via Tumblr

Via Tumblr 

 

Wicked, the show that gave Frozen’s Idina Menzel her big break, is based on a 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire entitled Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. The book has three sequels Son of a WitchA Lion Among Men: Volume Three in The Wicked Years, and Out of Oz

 

Oliver!

 

Via Tumblr

Via Tumblr 

 

Oliver! is one of the best loved musicals of all time, made famous by the 1969 movie. It was based on Charles Dickens’ classic rags-to-riches novel Oliver Twist, which is, to my recollection, a lot darker than the high-spirited film! 

 

Les Miserables

 

Via Tumblr

Via Tumblr 

 

The movie that brought everyone to their knees when it came out 2012, and has been stunning audiences since it began running in 1985, is based on the novel Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, who also wrote the devastating The Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

My Fair Lady

 

Via Giphy

Via Giphy

 

One of Audrey Hepburn’s most famous movies, My Fair Lady is based on the play Pygmalion by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. 

 

Annie

 

Via Giphy

Via Giphy

 

The famous tale of the spunky, red-haired orphan is actually based on a comic strip called Little Orphan Annie by Harold Grey. Tony Award-winner Thomas Meehan adapted the strip for the Broadway stage and even wrote a novelization of the story—Annie: An Old-Fashioned Story.

 

Featured Image Via NPR