Via the Guardian: Anne Frank the Musical strikes a false note. Yes, it seems there is to be a musical based on the life of Anne Frank, backed, apparently, by the Anne Frank foundation – but not by me. The news immediately made me think of Mel Brooks’s film The Producers, in which Zero Mostel, for crazy plot reasons, needs a sure-fire loss maker to put on Broadway, so he decides upon a musical, Springtime for Hitler. Against all expectations, the show is an overnight sensation, which is ruinous for Zero. Much later, the movie was made into an (also successful) theatrical musical — called, unsurprisingly, The Producers rather than Springtime for Hitler – that would have taken irony a step too far.
Back to Anne Frank. Michael Billington puts it perfectly in his Guardian piece:
Anne Frank’s diary exists as a record of a young girl’s thoughts and feelings. Even the play based upon it, according to Kenneth Tynan when he saw it in New York in the 1950s, "smacked of exploitation". And a musical will surely take us even further from the world of raw truth. This is a vital aesthetic question raised by David Hare in Via Dolorosa. Visiting Yad Vashem, the museum of the Holocaust, Hare was struck by the thought that the paintings and sculptures on view seemed superfluous when one was confronted by the matchless horror of fact.