Today it’s not common for a popular album to be turned into a musical. Green Day did it with their 2004 release, ‘American Idiot,’ and before the pandemic shut the world down, angsty ‘90s kids everywhere were taken aback by the premiere of ‘Jagged Little Pill.’ Soon enough the show based on Alanis Morissette’s epic 1995 album will return to the stage. However, those two records got me thinking about other amazing albums that could very well hit the stage in a brand new way, and go on to slay the Tonys. So the following are albums that deserve their own Broadway shows sooner than later.
It’s hard for anyone who grew up in the ‘90s to back R&B that is not from that era because well, from Boyz II Men to Brandy – R&B was everything. The ‘00s didn’t disappoint but…yeah. Then in walked SZA in 2017 with a record that was not only reminiscent of the sultry ways of the ‘90s but also modern enough to keep up with the 21st century in the lyrical content and bravado of her delivery. It took R&B and gave it an alternative makeover, and if anything – a Broadway show based around ‘CTRL’ would possibly be the hottest show since ‘Kinky Boots.’
Panic! at the Disco ‘A Fever You Can't Sweat Out’
Speaking of hot shows, let’s talk about Panic! at the Disco and their cabaret meets pop-punk meets sex-crazed teenager album, ‘A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out.’ This is like a theater kid’s wet dream when it comes to both the music and the wild imagery brought about by songs like “The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage,” “I Constantly Thank God for Esteban,” and “There’s a Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven’t Thought of It Yet.” Plus, Brendon Urie has already done Broadway, so there’s no doubt he could star, or at least pop in for a special performance at least once.
Lin Manuel Miranda brought hip hop to Broadway in a big way, but it can always be bigger. With that, Broadway would only benefit from paying homage to one of the most respected, admired, inspired hip hop records out there and that is Outkast’s ‘Stankonia.’ With two dozen songs on the album, the musical sort of just writes itself.
Jack’s Mannequin ‘Everything in Transit’
Anyone who grew up in the pop-punk/emo scene in the early ‘00s knows this record well, and the story behind what lead singer Andrew McMahon was going through around that time. Diagnosed with leukemia, the album was pushed back a couple of times to allow for McMahon to get treatment and recover. While the album is as gorgeous as a summer day in California, it’s McMahon’s story acting as the backbone that would make this an unbelievable experience at the theater.
Garth Brooks ‘The Ultimate Collection’
When you’ve had a career as amazing as Garth Brooks, one record does not suffice. So here we have a collection of his greatest hits that would be perfect in telling the story of his rise to fame, how he became the poster child for crossover success, and more. This has been done before for artists such as the late Selena, and we’d love to see Garth Brooks have the same Broadway treatment.
Taylor Swift ‘Folklore’
In all honesty, one could make a Broadway show based on every single Taylor Swift album and each one would be as great as the last, and do very well. However, to bring the heartfelt, airy ways of ‘Folklore’ to Broadway would leave many breathless.
My Chemical Romance ‘The Black Parade’
When it comes to emo music, there was and is no other like My Chemical Romance. ‘Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge’ would be a beautiful play, but ‘The Black Parade’ already has all the theatrics and storyline in it – so um, why isn’t this already a thing?
Written by Kendra Beltran