Must every movie with a decent soundtrack be turned into a stage musical? The latest is Desperately Seeking Susan, the barely memorable 1985 movie starring Madonna and Rosanna Arquette. Directed by Susan Seidelman, who would go on to make much crappier movies like She-Devil and Cookie, the movie follows a bored housewife (Arquette) who gets amnesia and is then mistaken for the free-spirited woman (Madonna) she wishes she was. Despite the fact that it starred a young Madonna at a time when she was rising as a major pop star, the movie's soundtrack only featured one song from her, "Into the Groove." The rest of the music is staple movie stuff like "Lust for Life," "Respect" and "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)," but the movie is still better remembered for its soundtrack than for anything actually going on in the film (though I've always retained a clear mental image of that jacket with the pyramid on it).
So why turn it into a stage musical? Good question. The production, which will open for previews October 12 at London's Novello Theatre, doesn't even include "Into the Groove" or any of the film's other songs. Instead it features old music from Blondie like "Heart of Glass," "One Way or Another," "Atomic," "Dreaming," and "The Tide is High" (which wasn't written by Blondie, but whatever). The musical will also feature one new song written by Blondie's Debbie Harry. Originally scripted for the screen by Leora Barish (Basic Instinct 2), the stage version has been penned by Peter Michael Marino. Reportedly, the plot sticks very closely to that of the movie. Obviously, there is interest in bringing the musical to Broadway, and then who knows? Maybe we can have another movie-turned-musical-turned-musical-movie, like The Producers, Hairspray and the newly confirmed remake of Footloose. Hopefully Hollywood will listen to my plea for this trend to end, but I doubt it.