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Entries in Broadway (12)


Soundtracking: Connie and Carla

by Chris Feil

These days, the act and art of fandom is self-reverentially chasing its own tail. But tell that to quietly minted cult classic Connie and Carla, one of our few musicals ABOUT musicals. Or at least about the love of the art form. In this jukebox musical repurposing other musicals, Broadway fandom shines because of its capacity for endless streams of references and ouroboros devotion.

It’s flop status ensured that the film got buried fast but it is primed for a revival to a new generation of musical lovers...

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Happy Birthday, Jane Krakowski! 

By Spencer Coile 

You’d be hard-pressed to deny the impact Jane Krakowski has made on stage and television. In recent years, no actress has been as deceptively successful as Krakowksi. Many still lament the fact that she never won her rightful Emmy for 30 Rock – and let’s face it, she was robbed. The countless memes and gifs her performance as Jenna Maroney has inspired in the past five years has been nothing short of astonishing.

That said, she has been working steadily for the past 30 years, and what a triple threat she has become. Garnering two Daytime Emmy nominations, a Golden Globe nomination, five Emmy nominations, two Tony nominations, one Tony win, and an Olivier Award in the span of her massive career, it’s safe to say that Krakowski’s talents know no limit. 

Today she turns 50, so let’s celebrate all the fabulous work she has done since she began performing professionally in 1981. What are some of your favorite Jane Krakowski performances, moments, musical numbers? My go-to is always her rendition of “Call From the Vatican” from her Tony winning role in Nine. 


Tveit Sings A "Moulin" Tune!

Chris here. Plenty of folks may be ho-hum about this year's Tony nominations and the past season in general, but the good news is that we have major Broadway events just ahead - namely the long awaited stage adaptation of Baz Luhrman's masterpiece Moulin Rouge!

Lucky folks in Boston will get to see its pre-Broadway tryout next month, but theatre lovers elsewhere just got the first sampling of what awaits us on stage.

An opulent music video of star Aaron Tveit singing the musical's signature ballad "Come What May" has arrived. While I'm not a much of a fan of Tveit's voice (sorry!), the video does quite a bit to assuage any doubts that the stage would be cheapening Luhrman's decadence and luxouriousness. Guys, the smoke and paper/rose set dressing and plushy simplicity is simply gorgeous!

Now all that awaits is a glimpse of Karen Olivo filling the very large shoes of Nicole Kidman as grand courtesan Satine - but we're fine with the wait if it makes her arrival half as iconic as Kidman's emergence onscreen. Theatre fans know what an event Olivo's eventual Broadway return will be (for the unawares: post West Side Story Tony win, Olivo left the profession and since has returned via regional theatre and the Chicago production of Hamilton). For now, we await the sparkling diamond. What do you think of Tveit's take?


Soundtracking: "Evita"

It's Madonna's birthday!! Chris Feil looks back at one of her biggest soundtracks...

By the mid-90s, musicals were all but dead, even though Disney created their own resurgence in animated form. Madonna’s career however was always heading toward reviving it: she constantly reinvented the game for the music video and her Breathless Mahoney songstress was Dick Tracy’s genre flirtation device. With her divisive performance in Evita, she brought the cinematic musical back into the popular culture and delivered a hit soundtrack in the process.

And I should qualify that for emphasis: a hit soundtrack to a quasi-opera about propaganda and Argentine political figures when the popular music landscape highlighted Alanis, Tupac, and The Smashing Pumpkins. Madonna did that in arguably the least accommodating musical or cinematic climate, and perhaps only Madonna could have done it. Like it or not, much of the film’s success (even musically) is thanks to her star power, no matter how indelible Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s score remains.

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A Head for Broadway, and a Bod for Singing

Working gal Robert here! Broadway has been absolutely inundated with musicals based on famous movies in the past few years to the point where a friend told me he was going to see Groundhog's Day: The Musical and I thought it was a sick joke. What is not a sick joke is that there is one upcoming production that has turned my opinion right around on that subject: a musical version of the 1988 Melanie Griffith vehicle Working Girl with music by pop-genius Cyndi Lauper and book by renowned playwright Kim Rosenstock. Let the river run after the jump!

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Lin-Manuel Miranda Has a Jolly Holiday with Mary

The news of a Rob Marshall rehashing of Mary Poppins was met here with both patient fear and complete revulsion. Emily Blunt is our new Mary, which will please some of us at least. However, here's a bit of casting news worthy of outright cheers: Hamilton mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda is joining the film.

Miranda will be filling the massive shoes of Dick Van Dyke in a new character that will still be reminiscent of Dyke's Bert. That is quite an undertaking that the multi-hyphenate star and his unflappable charisma are fully equipped to take on. Even if his Hamilton success is truly unprecedented, kudos to Disney for signing over a significant role to an actual Broadway star. He's gotten close to a musical adaptation before, with Universal getting thisclose to filming his first musical In the Heights with Miranda intact.

It's worth noting that here's another step Disney is taking to put diversity on the screen in a big project post-Star Wars. The new Poppins iteration draws from P.L. Travers novels and won't be stuck to the original's plot, so perhaps we'll see further exciting casting? The reboot overload is something we'll continue to bemoan, but this one gets increasingly more interesting.

If nothing else, Lin-Manuel Miranda's absense from Hamilton might mean we plebians can score a ticket.