I am returning from the future to let you know that the latest film-to-stage spectacular has become a massive hit. I’ve been keeping this news secret until today’s official press announcement, but Back To The Future has its world premiere as a musical in London in 2015 to celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary.
Once upon a time, Hollywood employed the sharpest stage writers and adapted the best plays into films. Recently the traffic has been in the other direction. Mama Mia!, Legally Blonde, Dirty Dancing, Ghost, Sister Act, The Bodyguard, The Commitments, From Here To Eternity, Spamalot and, from March, Fatal Attraction; and those are just the names at the tip of my tongue, no Google required. But Back To The Future is the greatest of them all.
First, it’s a perfect script: smart, funny, appealing to all generations, not too clever-clever twisty-turny but enough so to keep the geeks (like me) happy. “Why is everything so heavy in the future?” asks Doc of Marty McFly’s favourite expression. “Is there a problem with the Earth’s gravitational pull?”
Second, the musical element is built-in, not tacked on. Marty dreams of being a rock star, and ends up inventing rock ‘n’ roll when Marvin Berry’s brother hears him play and calls up his brother Chuck to have a listen.
Third, skateboarding! Fourth, cool car! Fifth, flux capacitor! Sixth… well, it’s Back To The Future!
I’ve been on the Back To The Future ride in Universal Studios, with its newly recorded video link from Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown. That was super-fun. The musical is even funner (yes, that’s a word).
I know. I’ve seen it.