It probably remains to be seen and heard, but yes, the Spanish are making a musical out of Anne Frank’s Diary:
A Spanish production company is taking the unusual step of turning The Diary of Anne Frank into a musical. The production at Madrid’s Calderón Theatre does not open until 28th February, but it is already generating a few raised eyebrows.
Not everyone is convinced that the world-famous story of a Jewish teenager who became a victim of the Holocaust should be staged in this way. Tragedy is common fare for opera, but musicals are more often associated with happier subjects.
British theatre critic Michael Billington questioned the need for a musical version of Anne’s diary, in an entry on his blog called Anne Frank – the Musical strikes a false note. It basically asks if we really need this musical. And I have been laughing in my coffee writing this, as one person commented, “won’t the nazis hear her as soon as the tapdancing and singing starts?” Picture the audience participation at a midnight screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show wtih someone calling out to the Nazis storming in the house “she’s in the attic!”.
The project has the backing of the Anne Frank Foundation, who own the house in Amsterdam where Anne and her family hid during the early 1940s. However, according to reports in the Australian media, the family of Anne Frank object to productions of this kind which treat her story as ‘entertainment’.
While the production has attracted media interest, it is not the first time that The Diary of Anne Frank has been turned into a musical. An English language musical under the name ‘Yours, Anne’ was produced Off Broadway in 1985.
I can’t help but add that although the Dutch know that Anne Frank was Jewish, she was in fact German – not Dutch. I say this because she was put on a list of the 10 most important Dutch figures of all time by the general public. Influential people are conveniently Dutch when it suits the Dutch media.