Vivian and Edward embrace surrounded by people in Pretty Woman: The Musical

Movie-to-Musical Adaptations: Pretty Woman and more!

For decades, movies with big hearts and larger than life stories have received a special makeover treatment. From Hollywood blockbusters to cult-classics and everything in between, movie-to-musical adaptations can be found all over Broadway, in the musical theatre archives, and on tours across the world.  

At the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) alone, there are four upcoming movie-to-musical adaptations with tickets on sale now. First up is Pretty Woman: The Musical, based on the classic romcom, which will arrive at the Buell Theatre on August 2.  

Take a closer look at other adaptations to see how many you recognize and how many surprise you!  

The musical poster for BeetlejuiceBeetlejuice 

After two years of delays due to the pandemic, Beetlejuice is currently showing at the Marquis Theatre on Broadway. The musical is based on the 1988 Tim Burton film of the same name, but whatever you do, don’t say the title three times in a row. 


While the Stephen King book turned movie was a smash success in 1976, Carrie the musical is considered one of the most notable failures in Broadway history. The 1988 production closed after just five regular performances. 

The musical poster for Elf

The Color Purple 

Based on the 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, the 1985 film was a box office success and received several Academy Award nominations. The Color Purple was adapted to a musical and premiered on Broadway in 2005. The 2016 revival won two Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical. 


Based on the Will Ferrell blockbuster, Elf the musical premiered during the holiday season in 2010. The musical broke records at the Hirschfeld box office three times, grossing over a million dollars in one week. Now, local productions can be seen across the country over the holidays. 

Musical poster for Kinky BootsKinky Boots 

Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award-winning artist Cyndi Lauper developed the original score for Kinky Boots. The production premiered in 2013 and went on to win six Tony Awards and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album. 

The Lion King 

Disney has produced several movie-to-musical adaptationsru, including The Little Mermaid, Frozen, Aladdin, and more. Of all these, The Lion King is the most famous with its iconic animal costuming. The production premiered in 1997 and went on to win six Tony Awards. 

The musical poster for Spamalot

Monty Python’s Spamalot 

Based on Monty Python’s iconic work, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot premiered in 2005 and went on to win the Tony Award for Best Musical. It quickly became a cult-classic and favorite among comedy fans. 

Shrek The Musical 

The movie Shrek has maintained a sort of infamy in pop culture since its release in 2001. The musical version premiered in 2008 on Broadway to mixed reviews. A filmed version of Shrek The Musical is available to watch on Netflix. 

Musical poster for Thoroughly Modern MillieThoroughly Modern Millie 

The 1967 film Thoroughly Modern Millie, starring Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore, was based on a 1956 musical, Chrysanthemum. Broadway star Sutton Foster earned her first Tony Award as the titular character in the 2002 production of Thoroughly Modern Millie 

9 to 5: The Musical 

Created by one of the film’s stars, Dolly Parton, 9 to 5: The Musical premiered in 2009. The original score earned Parton a Tony Award nomination. It also received 15 Drama Desk Award nominations, the most ever received by a production in a single year. 

Pretty Woman: The Musical
August 2 – 14, 2022 • Buell Theatre