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Entries in musicals (248)

Wednesday
Jul292015

Nina Hoss on Searching for the Soul and Identity in 'Phoenix'

Jose here.

In her six films with director Christian Petzold, Nina Hoss has explored the roles women have played in German history during the twentieth century, in Jerichow she played a postmodern femme fatale trying to convince an Afghanistan veteran to kill for her, in Wolfsburg she played a mother being wooed by the man who ran over her son, in Barbara she was a doctor trying to escape East Germany in the 1980s, and in the post-WWII set Phoenix, which might be their greatest collaboration to date, she plays Nelly, a former cabaret singer who survived a Nazi concentration camp, but was left brutally deformed. As she tries to reclaim her past life through a surgery described as a recreation, rather than a reconstruction, she must come to terms with the fact that she is now living in a world that has very little to do with the one she left behind.

Hoss’ layered performance as Nelly is the kind of work that should be garnering awards buzz, as it helps her establish herself as one of the best living actresses, and places her as Petzold’s greatest collaborator, rather than his muse. In 2014, English speaking audiences got their first taste of Hoss’ brilliance as she managed to steal the show in A Most Wanted Man and Homeland (her character is returning for Season 5) and asPhoenix makes its Stateside debut, it’s about time we all start talking about Hoss more frequently. I had a chance to talk to her to discuss her work in Phoenix and how it relates to classic Hollywood films, as well as her preferred acting method and the career path she might take years from now.

Our interview is after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul292015

Jane (Don't) Got a Link

Guardian has the Venice film festival lineup 
ICYMI here was Toronto's. They run concurrently so they share a few titles
Empire Nosferatu getting another remake -this time from the director of the Sundance hit The Witch. This is a terrible idea. It's one thing to top a classic. It's another thing to try and live up to memories of TWO classics simultaneously
Salon on "showrunner auteurs" and True Detective Season 2
Slant Magazine has a interesting 'noir' essay on a blu-ray restoration of the great Fabulous Baker Boys
The Wrap Relativity is going bankrupt which means their current most star driven films, Jane Got a Gun (Natalie Portman) and Collide (Felicity Jones & Nicolas Hoult) probably won't be opening as planned
The Wrap It's Chris Pine as Wonder Woman's Steve Trevor in 2017 though not everyone likes this idea


Yahoo Style "Madonna and the Fading Politics of Diva-dom" I normally groan my way through essays that are critical of Madonna in-the-now since they usually instantly show, nay even flaunt, their ageism and disrespect/misunderstanding of her legacy. But this one is smart and really interesting.
Empire Amy Schumer, who recently appropriated Star Wars for a photoshoot, has now done a Madonna-related photoshoot (Truth or Dare era specifically)

Bob the Musical?
Playbill Recent EGOTer Robert Lopez (Frozen) and his wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez have a new musical called Up Here at the La Jolla Playhouse. Will their lucky streak continue? This one takes place inside the lead character's head. That's going around - hi Inside Out!) They were previously reported to be working on the  long-gestating original film Bob the Musical
THR ... but then who hasn't been reported as working on that? Currently we're looking at Michel Hazanivicius directing, Michael Chabon writing, Bret McKenzie songwriting and Tom Cruise circling to star...
Pajiba doesn't want Tom Cruise to do it and I agree with every word of this. Also: he's just not good at comedy. He's too intense for comedy, particularly musical comedy which requires an effortless-looking lightness.

Showtune to Go from The Wiz
Remember when Margaret (I miss Margaret!) did such a fine job of dream-casting the forthcoming live television production of The Wiz? Well, the actual casting is starting now and sadly they haven't taken any of her suggestions to heart. The first announced members of the cast are Queen Latifah as the Wizard, Mary J Blige as Evilene (AKA the Wicked Witch), and the original Broadway production's Dorothy, Stephanie Mills, as her own Auntie 'Em. 

 

But who will sing this classic finale "Home"?

P.S. Incredibly and sadly, the legendary long-retired Diana Ross, who is only 71 years old, is the only principle cast member from the 1978 film who is still with us. (And she's too young for this list)

Friday
Jul242015

This Week in WTF: "King of Comedy", the Musical

Dancin' Dan popping in for a weekend dose of WTF.

There's no sense in burying the lede: Composer Stephen Trask (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) and writer Chris D'Arienzo (Rock of Agesare on board to make a musical out of Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy.

My head is spinning. This has to be the weirdest screen-to-stage transfer ever. Even American Psycho made slightly more sense, since music was so important to that film. While it's true that King of Comedy has only proven more and more timely as the years have gone on, it still doesn't scream "MAKE ME A MUSICAL!!!" the way some films do. And the team of Trask and D'Arienzo could not be more mismatched on paper: The man behind the music of Hedwig, one of the most unique musicals ever written, and the man behind the words of one of the weaker jukebox musicals in recent memory (at least book-wise) working on one of the darkest satires of modern culture? Weird. Weirder. Weirdest.

Knowing not what to make of this news, we drift to a future pressing question: WHO WOULD THEY EVEN CAST? I can personally see the great Alan Cumming in either the DeNiro or Lewis roles, but there isn't a single person I can think of who I'd want to see in the Sandra Bernhard role. What other triple threat (you know she's gonna have at least one big dance number) has that acidic, caustic sense of humor? Who would even want to step into those shoes? 

Are you amply confused by this announcement, too? Who would you cast as the leads? 

Wednesday
Jul222015

Taye Diggs, Triple Threat.

Have you read this good profile of Taye Diggs in the New York Times?  It was written while he was in early rehearsals for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I personally cannot wait to see his take on it. I've been as eager as he has to see him combine all his talents for one role.

As he states:

The role of Hedwig is ‘‘everything I’ve ever wished for,’’ he said. Then he turned, in what seems unusual for him, ferocious: ‘‘This is me telling myself, ‘O.K., bitch, put your money where your mouth is. You’ve been telling agents and your best friends — I told Idina — ‘I want a chance to show everybody everything. I can dance and I can sing, and everybody knows I can act'... They’re going to end up saying something good. ’Cause I’m not gonna mess up all three.’

Taye Diggs is basically 1 of approximately 100 stars (at least) that would have been bigger stars if Hollywood still:

a) ...knew how to make musicals
b) ...made them regularly
c) ...cast them with actual triple threat talents.

A, B, and C don't actually seem like high hurdles to this here movie musical lover -- not given the extraordinarily deep acting talent pool out there and the treasure trove of instructional film school materials at home. By which I mean of course the complete filmographies of Busby Berkeley, Vincente Minnelli, Bob Fosse, Stanley Donen, and so on. One senses sometimes that today's young directors either never went to film school or didn't study the classics to learn some basic tools of the trade... at least not when it comes to the "dead" genres.  

Monday
Jul132015

Leo Bird Johnson & Other Casting News

Aaron Tveit considering Grease: Live...Manuel here helping you catch up with plenty of recent casting news! 

Broadway hunk Aaron Tveit (Enjolras in Les Misérables, 2012) is our new Danny Zuko in that live musical version of "Grease" which will also star Julianne Hough as Sandy (sigh) and Vanessa Hudgens as Rizzo (double sigh). TFE Best Supporting Actor dream Emmy nominee Teddy Sears is joining CW's The Flash as the original Flash Jay Garrick. And Jonathan Rhys-Meyers will front a The Clash biopic called London Town.

But if you made it this far it is because you’re wondering about that amazing retooling of Melissa Leo’s “Consider” Ad we all love so much.

Yes, while we’ve been suffering through close to five years of post-Oscar Leo ubiquity. I’m glad she’s been getting steady work, but I can’t be the only one who wishes she’d say no sometimes to every woman-in-power-suit role that comes her way. I guess they can’t all be Prisoners-style performances, can they? Well, as HBO continues to ready Jay Roach’s adaptation of All the Way (ie. the play that won Bryan Cranston a Tony), they’ve cast Melissa Leo as Lady Bird Johnson and I can’t believe we haven’t discussed that at TFE. I mean, I don’t subscribe to the “actor needs to be a spitting image” of the real-life person they’re portraying but this is just much too perfect, no? To make the casting news even sweeter, they've cast Anthony Mackie as Martin Luther King Jr. which just makes me happy as it means we're not losing all of our Hurt Locker boys to solely Marvel-produced films.

"Consider..." Are you excited about the LEOgend’s chance at a second* Emmy?

She previously won for her guest work on Louie

 

Friday
Jul032015

Little Links of Horror

EW Marisa Tomei joins the cast of Empire as a lesbian billionaire - whoa. Please let her throw down with Taraji
Nicks Flick Picks is also on the halfway mark, year in review beat with a lot of movies I haven't seen (sigh)
Jane Fonda on her summer screenings and returning to work on Grace and Frankie - she got an acting coach!
EW Pride & Prejudice & Zombies photos. Yikes. What's with the lingerie ad costumes? 
Awards Daily thinks Scorsese's Silence might be ready just in time for Oscar. I personally hope he takes his time and we get it next year. I like having breaks from the Oscar regulars or Oscar just becomes too much like the Emmys! 

Slate thinks Rolan Emmerich's Stonewall looks too much like a cheap musical
Playbill reminds us that Magic Mike (2012) is being made into a stage musical. What isn't... but still I'd totally forgotten
Business Insider here's an area you never see covered: the weapons department on a studio picture. Terminator Genisys in this case
Comics Alliance new pics from Batman vs. Superman. One of them seems to have Superman surrounded by a bunch of zombies so....
Twitter cracked me up when looking at that picture 

Yes No Maybe So
Queen of the Desert trailer has arrived, asking the question "Who the hell is Gertrud Bell" - I can't give it its own post because there are too many trailers these past couple of days. But you should YNMS in the comments if you're in the mood. So jealous of Robert Pattinson when he's holding those lion cubs. Awww. 

Show Tune To Go
Showtunes to Cherish For All Time

These couple of weeks have all been about City Center productions for me. Every summer they do these amazing staged readings. Last week I saw Jonathan Groff and Ana Gasteyer do William Finn's "A New Brain" which is a terrific underperformed musical. (Gasteyer as it turns out was born for the musical stage, SNL aside). Next up is Sutton Foster doing "The Wild Party" so naturally I'm quite excited.  

In between those two shows, as you may have heard, Ellen Greene reprised her "Audrey" role in Little Shop of Horrors this week at a staged reading at City Center.  Jason went. I went. Joe Reid was wayyyyy up front (I was green with envy and confused since I bought my tickets the second they went on sale!). The New York Times Ben Brantley raved. Everyone was there. Or everyone will pretend to have been there years from now when people are still talking about this. 

Ellen, who is now in her sixties, was in fine form and wearing her original costumes no less. She was a shameless ham, milking her every line, pose, and big notes for maximum audience pleasure. Whenever a singer with a gargantuan voice has a signature tune that they've sung for decades the tunes always get a little more affected every time, possibly to keep them entertained. (Have you heard Jennifer Holliday do "And I'm Telling You" lately? It's just a series of abstract vowels and growls now, it's so weird.) Ellen nearly took "Suddenly Seymour" there but still brought the house down. "Somewhere That's Green" on the other hand was just so tender and yearning and funny... my god the goosebumps. That voice can still send shivers all over you of aural pleasure, innate empathy, belly laughs. She's a treasure.

FWIW Jake Gyllenhaal played Seymour and he was very funny when ad-libbing (it's a staged reading with limited rehearsal time so some flubbed lines allow actors to embellish or get the audience on their side) and his voice ain't half bad either. 

Ellen Greene's standing ovation was so epic and rumbling I feared the balcony would collapse and kill us all. Which would, come to think of it, be a fitting end for this grim comedy. The movie (be very grateful that her performance was preserved for all time) granted Audrey and Seymour a happy ending but they die in the musical. And then they sing their warning tale.

Whatever they offer you, don't feed the plant!

Picking a favorite song from this musical is impossible, I've listend to it so often over the years, but "Skid Row" is the one that doesn't get any attention that I cherish so here that is.