- 1993: Kiss of the Spider Woman (starring Brent Carver, Anthony Crivello and Chita Rivera) in London and on Broadway.
- 1994: Damn Yankees (starring Bebe Neuwirth and Victor Garber) on Broadway.
- 1994: She Loves Me (starring Boyd Gaines and Judy Kuhn) on Broadway.
- 1995: Victor/Victoria (starring Julie Andrews and Tony Roberts) on Broadway.
- 1996: Mrs. Santa Claus (starring Angela Lansbury) for television.
- 1998: Cabaret (starring Alan Cumming and Natasha Richardson) on Broadway.
- 1999: Little Me (starring Martin Short and Faith Prince) on Broadway.
- 1999: Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (featuring Brandy, Jason Alexander, Whoopi Goldberg, Whitney Houston, Victor Garber, Paolo Montalban, and Bernadette Peters) for television.
- 1999: Annie (featuring Alicia Morton, Victor Garber, Kathy Bates, Kristin Chenoweth, Audra McDonald, and Alan Cumming) for television.
- 2002: Chicago (starring Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Richard Gere) on the big screen.
- In May 1975, Chicago opened at the 46th Street Theatre and ran for 936 performances. With music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, it was based on the Maurine Dallas Watkins play by the same name which opened at the Music Box Theatre in December 1926, ran for 127 performances, and was made into a silent film in 1927. The musical's original production was directed, choreographed, and co-written by Bob Fosse, who modeled many of its heavily-stylized production numbers on old vaudeville acts. The original cast was headed by Gwen Verdon (Fosse's wife), Jerry Orbach, and Chita Rivera.
- In May 1982, Nine opened at the same theatre and ran for 729 performances. With a book by Arthur Kopit and Mario Fratti, Nine starred Raul Julia as Guido Contini and marked the Broadway debut of songwriter Maury Yeston. Based on Federico Fellini's autobiographical film 8-1/2, the show was directed by Tommy Tune and choreographed by his long-time associate, Thommie Walsh. Like Chicago, Nine was very much a "concept" (as opposed to a "book") show in which a single male was surrounded by 24 actresses representing every facet of a woman's beauty, strength, and power.
- A revival of Chicago that started out as part of the the New York City Center's popular Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert program transferred to the newly renamed Richard Rodgers Theatre on November 14, 1996. Since 2003, this production has been a long-time tenant at the Ambassador Theatre on West 49th Street. So far, this revival has logged more than 5,400 performances.
- In March 2003, a revival of Nine (starring Antonio Banderas) opened across the street from the Ambassador at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre and ran for 283 performances.
- As a dancer, choreographer, and director, Marshall knows his way around the vocabulary and literature of the Broadway musical.
- Unlike traditional book musicals (My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music), Chicago and Nine were highly stylized stage productions closely identified with the directorial styles of their creators.
- In the film versions of Chicago and Nine, Marshall used a lot of quick cuts to move the action along in a way that was simply not possible in the original stage version of each show.
- Marshall also succeeded in transforming carefully choreographed stage numbers to the screen by drenching them in as much wretched excess they could stand. As Mae West used to purr: "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful."
- In the process of moving each stage musical to the screen, Marshall was able to clarify a lot of moments for the audience, broaden the visual range of the story, and heighten the level of excitement.
- Last, but certainly not least: Many of today's entertainment pundits did not see the original Broadway productions of Chicago and Nine.
"No one ever perceives the real world. Each person simply calls private, personal fantasies The Truth. Dreams are the only reality. My films are often based on my dreams. When I wake up, I put them down as funny little drawings. The difference is that I know I live in a fantasy world. I prefer it that way and resent anything that disturbs my vision.
For me, making films is making love. I’m most alive when I’m directing. But before I started making 8½, something happened to me which I always feared could happen. And when it did, it was more terrible that I could ever have imagined. I suffered my greatest fear: director’s block. Director’s block is like writer’s block, except that it’s public rather than private. My 8½ crew called me ‘the magician,’ but the film I was going to make had fled from me. I considered abandoning it, but I could not let all of those people down who believed I was a magician. It came to me that I should make a film about a director who has director’s block."
Composer Maury Yeston, who revised his original Broadway score for the film version, makes some interesting observations about the process:
In the long run, however, it's all about Guido. Whatever Guido wants, Guido gets. And when Guido can't get it up artistically, there is an army of fans, lovers, and coworkers eager to help him rub out another film. Most notable among these are:"Working on Nine with Rob Marshall and John DeLuca was the most life-giving, inspiring, and welcoming experience of my creative life. They are meticulous, they are brilliant and they simply inspire changes for the better.The original song for Guido’s mother in the stage version is a quintessentially high soprano song. Sophia Loren is not a soprano, so the song would not have the same effect. My goal was to write a song for Sophia that would still have the same lyrical and musical function but that would respond to her vocal range and, even more so, the very essence of this extraordinary woman whose DNA is part of the fabric of Italian cinema. I took some very haunting music from the song 'Waltz from Nine' in the stage show and transformed that into this song.Kate Hudson has a spectacular voice and is a great dancer, so we wanted an up-tempo number rich with dancing and singing for her. 'Cinema Italiano' turned out to be a great idea for reasons that weren’t immediately apparent. It became a witty, entertaining way to show audiences of today how, back in 1965, Italian movies were the new wave of excitement and the very pinnacle of cinematic achievement. It was also a way to reveal how Italian movies not only gave the world a new film style but a new fashion style as this realm of skinny ties and speedy sports cars became a lifestyle to which people everywhere aspired. Kate took all that and hit it out of the park.”
- Guido's wife, Luisa Contini (Marion Cotillard), a woman who has grown tired of her husband's extramarital affairs. Even though she worships his talent, Luisa's patience has been exhausted by Guido's endless lies, deceptions, and denials.
- Guido's mother (Sophia Loren) is, of course, the beautiful Italian woman who can do no wrong.
- Guido's mistress, Carla (Penélope Cruz) oozes sex, is frighteningly insecure, and extremely moody.
- Guido's confidante, Lilli (Judi Dench) doesn't mince words. Eager for him to break through his director's block, she tells Guido that it's time to shit or get off the pot.
- Guido's fan, Stephanie (Kate Hudson) is an American journalist who is obsessed with Guido Contini. She desperately wishes to have sex with him.
- Guido's first sexual experience, Saraghina (Fergie) is the earthiest of Italian whores.
- Guido's manager, Dante (Ricky Tognazzi) will move mountains to help his friend create a new piece of art.
- Guido's muse, Claudia Jenssen (Nicole Kidman) is aloof, distant, and surprisingly unsympathetic to his needs.
"In each of these extraordinary actors there was always the ability to sing and dance. The key was to allow them to feel safe and have the confidence to give bravura performances that I think will be revelatory for audiences. The skill of Rob Marshall, John De Luca and their terrific team of associate choreographers and vocal coaches allowed each of our cast members to realize their full potential. Rob has a unique background for this story in that he came from the world of the theatre as a dancer and choreographer, made the leap into directing for the theater, and then became a film director.Nine is a film about a filmmaker, about cinema, and about creating. Rob is a creator, so it was personal for him. He’s a man who understands cinema, its history, its academics, the technical aspects of directing a film, and the aesthetics. He also comes from the world of musicals (he grew up in that world). He understands how music moves narrative along. He understands how to seamlessly integrate the elements of music and dance, storytelling, and design. In that sense, the movie Nine is the perfect marriage of director to material."
"When Lena falls into Ernesto Martel’s clutches she has all the attributes of the femme fatale: dark, ambitious beauty, a humble past, a family in a precarious situation, as well as the intelligence not to resign herself and to take risks. But she has too many scruples and lacks cynicism. Her love for Mateo precipitates her tragedy, even though she would have eventually left the tycoon (Martel) and he wouldn’t have allowed it.But Lena isn’t a femme fatale. She’s condemned to misfortune. Mateo, Lena, and Ernesto Sr. make up a typical film noir trio. The three love fiercely. One of them is very powerful, violent, and unscrupulous. Combustion is served. The trio is flanked by Judit García, who brings treachery, a secret son, and a guilt complex to the group (ingredients that will make the relationship between the four even thicker).Film noir is one of my favourite genres. I’d already moved in that direction in Live Flesh and Bad Education. I’ve done so again in Broken Embraces. The scene of Ernesto Sr.’s feet, walking up to and then away from the door of the room where Lena is, followed by the scene on the staircase, are definitely 'noir.' After an hour’s narrative, the scene on the staircase reveals the genre to which the film belongs. That sensation of blackness doesn’t leave us until the end."
"Editing is in the origin of the narrative (it is the cinematic narrative, strictly speaking). The plot of Broken Embraces dramatizes the importance of editing, its direct relationship with the director, and the fragility of the film if someone gets between the editing and the director. Although you can make a living from it, filmmaking is not only a profession. It also an irrational passion."