From Book to Broadway

Did you know that some of the most well-known broadway shows are often based on books? It’s true, before the catchy show tunes and choreographed numbers, these stories lived on pages instead. Before heading to the theater, or if you can’t snag a ticket to these popular shows, why not listen to the work that inspired it all?

Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini, narrated by Ramon de Ocampo

After a soundtrack that went viral and a successful run Off Broadway, Be More Chill just debuted on Broadway in March of 2019. Based on Ned Vizzini‘s novel of the same name, Be More Chill is a sci-fi story that focuses on the importance of being yourself.

Publisher Summary:

Jeremy Heere is your average high school dork. Day after day, he stares at beautiful Christine, the girl he can never have, and dryly notes the small humiliations that come his way. Until the day he learns about the ‘squip.’ A pill-sized supercomputer that you swallow, the squip is guaranteed to bring you whatever you most desire in life… 

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Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, narrated by Scott Brick

In 2015, Hamilton: An American Musical, by Lin-Manuel Miranda, took the world by storm with its refreshing cast and innovative use of rapping to tell the story of one of America’s founding fathers. Since then, it has been critically acclaimed and has won countless awards including a Grammy, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and 11 Tonys.

Publisher Summary:

In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, National Book Award winner Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America… 

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Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, narrated by Pete Cross

Les Misérables was adapted into a French Broadway musical in 1980 and then later translated to English in 1985. Often fondly called, Les Mis, it is the second longest running musical in the world and was the recipient of 8 Tony awards. Most recently, a film adaptation was released starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russel Crowe, Eddie Redmayne, and many other notable stars.

Publisher Summary:

Considered to be French novelist Victor Hugo’s masterpiece, Les Misérables, which was published in 1862, is a sprawling historical and philosophical epic that covers from 1815 through the Paris Uprising in 1832…

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Wicked by Gregory Maguire, narrated by John McDonough

Now a record-breaking, award-winning Broadway musical, Wicked, an adaptation of Gregory Maguire‘s novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, debuted in 2003. This re-telling of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (also a Broadway musical) tells the tale from the perspective of the misunderstood Wicked Witch of The West.

Publisher Summary:

Maguire travels back to Frank L. Baum’s land of Oz for this absorbing fantasy that delves into the background if the famed Wicked Witch of the West, a misunderstood creature who challenges the preconceived notions of good and evil.

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Matilda by Roald Dahl, narrated by Kate Winslet

Based on the beloved children’s book of the same name, Matilda: The Musical, tells the classic tale of Matilda, an amazing girl with the power of telekinesis. Matilda: The Musical saw its Broadway debut in 2013 and since then, has received five Tony Awards and boasts the most Olivier awards held by a musical, tying only with Hamilton.

Publisher Summary:

Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it!

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