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Entries in Jeremy Jordan (7)

Tuesday
Nov212017

Would you rather...?

Time for our intermittent stupid game in which we fantasize about hanging with celebrities. You can see all past roundups here if you want to be confronted with yet more impossible choices as to your celeb-fueled fantasy life options. Ready? Pictures are after the jump to help you decide.

Would you rather

...eat burgers with directors Gregg Araki & Andrew Ahn?
... do your makeup with Janet Jackson?
... tour Russia with Sarah Jessica Parker?
... celebrate Jeremy Jordan's birthday with a slice of Star Wars cake?
... cosplay Wonder Woman with Manila Luzon?
...work out with Cynthia Erivo?
... try Madonna's new skin care line with one of her BFFs Debi Mazar?
... visit an art gallery devoted to cinema with Emmanuelle Devos?
... get Christmas sweater-festive with Juliette Lewis?
... be inspired by the superhero Nightwing in your fitness goals with Vincent Rodriguez?
...help Naomi Watts celebrate her mom's new book launch?

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Thursday
Feb122015

"The Last Five Years" Is Here

My two favorite Off Broadway musicals of all time have both now made the trek to movie screens. Hedwig and the Angry Inch which I saw thrice in 1999 right after moving to NYC became an instant cult classic in film form thanks to its brilliant creator / star / writer John Cameron Mitchell. He just returned to the role on Broadway (though he's out for a bit after an injury so Michael C Hall is back to fill in for him). The second The Last Five Years took much longer. I saw it during the last week of its original run (whew!) in 2002 and 13 years later it's on screens with Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan as the troubled couple Cathy and Jamie who can't quite connect (illustrated narratively by his story moving forward while hers moves backwards through the relationship. It's not the unqualified success that Hedwig was but if you love the movie musical genre you really need to see it because it's a really unique beast.

Radius TWC is distributing which means there aren't many theaters playing it yet beyond Los Angeles, New York and Toronto but it's also available On Demand. On Oscar weekend it expands to several more cities. I'd love to hear from any TFE readers who see it. It's a very unusual musical to adapt since the concept is very theatrical and it's intimate whereas most movie musicals are big glitzy things. Wisely they cast two actors who can sing the hell out of its tremendously satisfying song score.

Two key blog posts in case you missed them...

Anna Kendrick Interview

Nathaniel: "Summer in Ohio"... I LOVE this version.
Anna Kendrick: I'm so glad. It was a ton of work. In the show she's writing a letter but I thought when I'm away from my boyfriend we Skype. And Cathy in that number is not just recounting her day, she's performing for Jamie because even at the beginning of their marriage she’s like “I have to keep him interested. I have to keep him in love with me”... [Read the Rest]

Toronto Film Festival Review

The first thing you see in The Last Five Years is a white brownstone. It looks almost like a ghost in the middle of a New York City block. As the notes begin to play, the camera drifts upwards to peer into windows and search for its movie star within them. No, that's not her.  Not her either. Ah, there she is. Anna Kendrick sings the entirety of "Still Hurting", moping around a dark apartment, crying. The camera moves around her (in strange patterns) and her voice is just beautiful. And then I realize I've forgotten to breathe and am gripping my armrest. [Read the Rest]

 

Monday
Sep082014

TIFF: The Last Five Years

Nathaniel's adventures in Toronto. Day 3

The first thing you see in The Last Five Years is a white brownstone. It looks almost like a ghost in the middle of a New York City block. As the notes begin to play, the camera drifts upwards to peer into windows and search for its movie star within them. No, that's not her.  Not her either. Ah, there she is. Anna Kendrick sings the entirety of "Still Hurting", moping around a dark apartment, crying. The camera moves around her (in strange patterns) and her voice is just beautiful. And then I realize I've forgotten to breathe and am gripping my armrest.

I have a strange relationship to modern movie musicals. We're about 14 years into the movie musical's modern resurgence after two decades of a major drought but it's still hit and miss as to quality and success (not necessarily related). I always desperately want them to be great since there are so few. The fact is, though it's grossly unfair, each of them bears far more responsibility in keeping an entire genre alive than any action, horror, drama, epic or comedy out there. I have trouble relaxing watching them because of all this pressure and only when the film is gobsmackingly great or confident (like a Moulin Rouge!) do the "ohmygodpleasedontkillthemusical" nerves subside and just let me thrill to what's in front of me. 

more...

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Saturday
Jan252014

We Can't Wait #11: The Last 5 Years

[Editor's Note: We Can't Wait is a Team Experience series, in which we highlight our top 14 most anticipated films of 2014. Here's Jose Solis on The Last 5 Years.]

The Last 5 Years
A musical based on Jason Robert Brown's Off Broadway sensation about a crumbling young marriage which is told forward and backward in time simultaneously

Talent
Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick and stage star Jeremy Jordan (Newsies and Bonnie and Clyde on Broadway, Smash on TV)

Why We Can't Wait
When Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years debuted in 2001, the composer probably never expected his intimate musical (based on his relationship with ex-wife Theresa O'Neill) to become the theater sensation it would turn out to be. Although it was never Cats or Phantom-like in its success (the show has never actually been done on Broadway) the Chicago production and its subsequent Off-Broadway staging turned stars Norbert Leo Butz and Sherie Rene Scott into the doomed-lovers-of-choice of myriad theater geeks who still show up audition after audition carrying the music and lyrics to "Goodbye Until Tomorrow".

Brown's musical, with its complex structure and twists, always had a cinematic feel to it and dreams for a film version were only marred by the knowledge that Hollywood would screw an adaptation by hiring movie stars with no voices. Then suddenly it seemed as if the theater gods aligned all the stars when news came that musical veterans Kendrick and Jordan would play the leads.

Even though new musicals are rarely written for the screen any more, The Last 5 Years has the advantage of being unfamiliar enough to broader audiences that it will feel like it's completely fresh. After her success in dramedies (did you love her as much as I did in Drinking Buddies?), Billboard and the web, Oscar nominee Kendrick might finally have the year we've all been hoping she'd have with this and her role in Into the Woods, while Jordan has a face and a voice that were just made to have people fall in love with him the moment they see/hear him.

But the one thing making me some fans doubtful is the show's director Richard LaGravenese who, apologies to his fans, hasn't directed anything decent since Living Out Loud sixteen years ago. His latest adaptations (Water for Elephants and Beautiful Creatures) have left much to be desired and most of his movies aimed at romance lovers have resulted in corny snoozefests that range from the preposterous (P.S. I Love You) to the utter and completely dull (The Horse Whisperer) but then you think of Holly Hunter in Loud, that advance screening in mid-December and especially about the magic of Brown's music (I'm already sobbing thinking about it) and you realize that yeah, this one might do just fine.

Previously: #12 Gone Girl | #13 Can a Song Save Your Life |  #14 Veronica Mars | Introduction

Monday
May272013

R.I.P. "Smash"

Smash, age 2, passed away on Sunday May 26th, 2013 at an undisclosed location at NBC after airing its final two-part episode "The Nominations" and "The Tony Awards". Few were there to mark its passing due to its long and quite unamusing terminal illness. Smash's difficult short life was plagued by self-sabotage, and two unfortunately common showbiz ailments: Actress Dysmorphia Disorder, in which everyone pretends that a gifted actress is NOT awesome so as to place another lesser being on a pedestal, and the no less deadly Audience Prosopagnosia in which a piece of showbiz believes it is performing for a different audience entirely than the one it's got.

Smash, television's first and now only Broadway musical series, was born on February 6th, 2012 to stubborn scarf-aficionado Theresa Rebeck but wrestled away from her and placed in the care of foster parents who, from all filmed evidence, had never set foot inside a Broadway theater, never witnessed a Tony Awards telecast and prefer American Idol Results Shows to Broadway Musicals. 

In its final death rattle on Sunday night, Smash continued to exhibit all of its usual signs of self-loathing and  mental illness: oh look another "Cute" moment about leaving your cel phone on during live theater!; oh look a lame subplot suggesting the show's best actress should chuck aside her showbiz career the second she's earned it; oh look, more encouraging of absolutely unprofessional behavior to get your way in your profession as if everyone working in musical theater is a complete sociopath and everyone else is okay with this!). In its final two hours of life Smash drifted in and out of consciousness and lucidity forgetting it was a musical and then remembering and even breaking the fourth wall (during one bizarre gay flirtation) on the way to its "Big Finish", a cute reminder that McPhee & Hilty did always sound good singing together, despite all the rest.

In the tradition of all self-immolating entertainments, Smash will be buried with the careers of several of its participants though these names are as yet undisclosed and mourners are asked to withhold petitions calling for Katharine McPhee, Jeremy Jordan, and Joshua Safran's entombment. Smash is survived by Megan Hilty (aka "Ivy Lynn"), actress, Christian Borle & Debra Messing (aka "Will & Grace" "Tom & Julia"), actors, and presumably by Anjelica Huston, diva, who survived Jack Nicholson and is rumored to be indestructible.

Friday
May172013

Smash: "The Phenomenon" & "The Transfer"

Dancin’ Dan here, wishing I could say that I was coming here not to bury Smash, but to praise it. Truly. I have been a huge Smash apologist ever since that (amazingly, awesomely) ridiculous Bollywood number last season, but the show’s two most recent episodes, “The Phenomenon” and “The Transfer”, are just awful. I can't defend them. Any goodwill I had left for the show has gone pretty much completely out the window. Which is all the sadder considering we will soon be laying eyes on the series's final episodes.

SPOILERS AFTER THE JUMP

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