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Shows Go from Broadway to Big Screen, Back Again

A film version of the Broadway musical Rent is now singing and dancing at your local cineplex -- soon to be joined by The Producers. Both are following in the footsteps of Chicago, another successful Broadway show that made its way to the silver screen.

Meanwhile, a stage musical based on the movie The Color Purple has just arrived on Broadway, soon to be joined by Tarzan.

Cross-pollination between stage and screen isn't new. But critic Bob Mondello says it's becoming more common -- and more profitable.

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Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.