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10 True Crime Cases That Should Become Musicals

04.20.20

BY: PHEOBE HORIBE

It might seem wrong to glorify crime, but it’s already happened, folks! Show like Chicago, Sweeney Todd, Catch Me If You Can and Bonnie and Clyde are all based on real-life criminals. True crime musicals aren’t a new concept, but with the rising popularity of bingeworthy true crime shows, I think some more of these stories should make their way to Broadway, stat. 

Tiger King

This was really the inspiration for this list. With the recent release of Andrew Lippa’s song “Little Pieces,” we’re ready for the rest of this musical to be written. Two rival big-cat owners, Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin, push each other’s buttons for years as they stand on very different sides of the fence when it comes to big-cat ownership. We soon find out a shocking fact about Carole Baskin’s husband; he has been missing since 1997! Exotic doesn’t skip a beat in his accusations against Baskin claiming she killed her husband. This show has lions and tigers and murder, oh my!

LuLaRoe Pyramid Scheme

Women all over the country were quitting their jobs to work for this women’s clothing company thinking they would make millions. The sellers would be rewarded with cruises and other trips which sounds great, right? It’s all fun and games until the company is sued multiple times. When customers realize they’ve bought faulty items and can’t return them, LuLaRoe faces its first lawsuit. Another lawsuit was filed for LuLaRoe illegally running a pyramid scheme, and another for promising bonuses based on how much inventory you were buying and not on actual sales. Cruises, geometric patterns, and lawsuits galore!

Bad Blood

Elizabeth Holmes made claims that she had invented a way to use only a couple of drops of blood to perform numerous tests that would spare patients painful and uncomfortable blood draws. This revolutionary discovery gained a lot of investors and even turned Holmes into a billionaire! … That is until the web of lies started to unravel. Her idea was fake, her company was fake, and her voice was… fake?! Yeup. She had been putting on a fake voice which sounded a lot like Romy White from “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” — her inspiration perhaps? This case really is a crazy journey. We’d need to find someone with a very impressive vocal range in order to put on two different voices!

The Bling Ring

Burglary, but make it glam! A group of seven kids from the San Fernando Valley, California get the idea to rob celebrity homes to gain fame and wealth; or at least look the part. This group, called “The Bling Ring,” burgled more than $3 million from celebrities including Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom and others. This case was turned into a movie and would be an easy transition to a flashy musical full of celebrity characters and extravagant outfits.

Fyre Festival

I think we all remember this debacle. The biggest festival flop, well, probably ever. People paid hundreds of thousands of dollars with the promise of the most luxurious accommodations, food, and music money could buy. Fyre Festival was supposed to be the most insane party anyone had ever seen that was endorsed by a plethora of celebrities. What everyone got though, was very much the opposite of luxury. Blow-up mattresses on the ground, cheese slices for dinner, and tons of would-be festivalgoers stranded with no way to get home. The biggest #fail that the festival community has seen and I think it belongs on Broadway now.

New York “FAUX-cialite” Anna Delvey

Don’t try this at home, kids. Anna Delvey pretended to be a New York socialite by creating a persona and spending habits to match. She handed out $100 bills like they were nothing. She paid for everyone’s meals, tipped anyone who walked by her, and had shopping bags from the most expensive shops in NYC piling up in her hotel room. She charismatically bought her way into the upper class of New York City with money that didn’t actually exist. She forged the claim that she was worth around $67 million, with theft totaling in about $275,000. How someone gets away with spending that much money before getting caught, I honestly don’t know — but I’d love for Broadway to help me find out!

Dodger Fan Juan Catalan

Juan Catalan had to prove he wasn’t the murderer of a 16-year old girl because he was at a Dodgers game. They soon discovered that Larry David was filming his show Curb Your Enthusiasm at the stadium that night (where are my Larry David fans at?). Catalan and his attorney hoped there would be footage to prove his attendance at the game. This would be a fantastic musical full of great ensemble numbers including stadium crowds and courtroom jurors, a Larry David impersonator, and hopefully a happy ending. (What, did you think I was about to spoil the ending? Never!).

Soul Singer Sam Cooke

A music legend, Sam Cooke, was involved in more than just music. He was a Civil Rights Activist and wanted the world to live in harmony. His music built a bridge between the black and white communities in a time where segregation was still very prevalent. I am such a fan of Sam Cooke, as I know so many of you are, and I would love to see a musical about his life with his own music. The popular singer was shot to death at the young age of 33. The full story behind Cooke’s death is still a mystery today that will likely never be solved. However, the world deserves to know the story of this incredibly talented singer and the legacy he has left behind.

Amanda Knox AKA “Foxy Knoxy”

While studying abroad in Italy for a semester, Amanda Knox’s roommate is found murdered in their apartment. It looked like a break in, with a broken window and the door left open, when Knox said she came home. She and her boyfriend were quickly arrested as a suspects to the murder. The media was quick to give her the nickname “Foxy Knoxy” (though there’s some speculation as to where this nickname came from). Still, “Foxy Knoxy” is a song waiting to be written! This story has so many twists and turns, it’ll easily keep you on the edge of your seat.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace

Gianni Versace’s infamous assassination took place in front of his own house in South Beach, Florida. Two gunshots later, and one of the world’s top fashion designers was killed. Versace dressed so many celebrities and both Elton John and Sting attended his funeral in real life, so maybe they could partake in writing the music for this true crime musical. Darren Criss also starred in the miniseries released on FX, and we all know that he can SING! So, let’s cast him in this show too. I always love the opportunity for extravagant costumes so I am definitely here for this one.

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