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Entries in musicals (197)


Countdown to Carrie: "When There's No One"

I'm not suggesting that I want to see Chloe Grace Moretz in a musical (God, no) but wouldn't it be great if the impending Carrie remake (October 18th) were an adaptation of the infamous flop stage musical instead or just a retread on hallowed cinema ground? At least then it would have a reason for existing.

Here's the beautiful Alice Ripley, famous to Broadway fans as one half of Side Show's siamese twin stars and the lead in the mental illness musical Next To Normal (which also needs to be a movie, right?) and singing Carrie's 11th hour amazement "When There's No One" on Seattle TV. The stage musical, which we've written about before when it played here in NYC recently, is playing there this month so Seattle readers take note and let us know if you go to the show!) This number is the signature showstopper from cracked mamma Margaret White, a role originated by Betty Buckley on stage (who neatly also co-starred in the Brian dePalma classic... albeit not in the same role.)


It's hard to picture Julianne Moore belting that out but I hope the movie star at least does it for friends at karaoke for a laugh.


Thoughts I Had... The First Image of Meryl in "Into the Woods"

Uncensored as they come to me... thoughts on the first on the first still from Into the Woods

  • This image gives me hope and I need it with this movie which could easily be a disaster because Rob Marshall
  • "blue hair"... no longer a euphemism!
  • Someone needs a manicure. (The place I go for my mani-pedis services Marcia Gay Harden. The manicurist couldn't speak English but obviously knew her client was a celebrity because she'd plastered her photo all around her station -- and was beaming when I acknowledged them. This has nothing to do with Meryl Streep but you know whoever does her manicures feels like they won the Oscar of nail polishing!
  • If they were going to give her the puffy black shoulder sleeves THANK GODDESS they surprised with the hair otherwise it could've been confused as an outtake from her eccentric auntie cameo in Lemony Snicket
  • Colleen Atwood's 11th nomination and 4th win for Best Costume Design? I'd call her the Meryl Streep of that category except that there are two Streeps of that category. The other being Sandy Powell (who also have 10 noms and 3 wins)
  • I love La Streep's singing voice. I mean LOVE it. I still regularly listen to her songs from Postcards from the Edge, Ironweed, Death Becomes Her and that wonderful undersung practically sung-through performance in A Prairie Home Companion. So I'm happy she's doing a real musical and not Mamma Mia 2: More Screaming, More Running, More OverActing
  • Since Into the Woods is SUCH  a creation of the stage I hope they find a way to transfer it happily to this new medium. I'm hoping they really use the title setting wisely. Woods can look beautiful, eery, earthy, surreal... they're so flexible and rangey; they're the Meryl Streep of Nature. 


First Look: Quvenzhané Wallis as Lil' Orphan "Annie"

Classic musical moppet "Annie" may no longer be a brilliant orange redhead but the new film version was savvy enough to still give her a memorable mop o' hair. Here's our first peek at Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis as the singing orphan.

This photo also reveals that the musical is no longer a Depression era fable, but set in the here and now. But it's obviously still not going for realism. Quvenzhané, who turned 10 last month, was biking around Harlem like so in character and CitiBike is not offered up here in Harlem much to the frustration of residents like Harlem Gal Inc and me... I was totally going to sign up but CitiBike currently ends at 59th street. Damn them!

Annie (2014), opening Christmas day next year, will be our first chance to see the Oscar nominee act since she was a five year old since Beasts of the Southern Wild was filmed years before it was released. Yes, she's in 12 Years A Slave but you won't even realize -- mere seconds of screentime!



Stage Door: The ghost of Smash haunts First Date

In Stage Door we share our live theatre adventures here in NYC through our movie-mad filter…

Glenn here. The poster for the Longacre Theatre’s First Date makes it look, shall we say, rather interminable. An insipid, generic romantic comedy with an overdose of uber-quirk made by phony producers in West Hollywood as a tax write-off. Something along the lines of this. To be honest, I can see how many would find it to be exactly that, but it subverts its potential worst case scenario to win a few hearts the old fashioned way.

First Date is a rather modest original musical with a book by Austin Winsberg, plus music and lyrics by the team of Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner who have used their one-act show (no intermission in the roughly 100-minute musical) to show off a variety of music styles and a broad comedy style. Modest in size, but not pizzazz or laughs or heart. It’s got those in spades. There’s only one set – a cozy-looking New York City bistro with a flashing neon sign just off to stage left and a cabaret-singing bartender – although it frequently breaks out with fantasy sequences and a fair share of discotheque lighting to keep the eyes busy. That is when said eyes aren’t fixed on dreamboat Zachary Levi who stars alongside Krysta Rodriguez as Aaron and Casey, a pair of miss-matched (or are they…? I think you can figure that out on your own) blind-daters. Zachary Levi is 

The ghost of Smash returns after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Back "2" School Again!

Dancin' Dan here to welcome you all to 'Back To School' Month at The Film Experience! We'll be sharing our favorite moments from cinema's schools all month.

Has there been a better back-to-school anthem than the opening number of Grease 2? I just love it.

Of course, it was always my fantasy to return to high school on the first day back from summer break and have the entire student body descend upon the front doors with a crazily-choreographed, flawlessly-danced production number, but that's just me. I mostly just settled for a snazzy outfit instead. Usually with a bow tie.

Any fond memories of the first day of school you'd like to share?


Stage Door: Asher Lev, The Jungle Book, Love's Labour's Lost

How has "My Name is Asher Lev" never been made into a movie? The novel by Chaim Potok, about a young Hassidic Jew who becomes a controversial and successful fine artist (painting crucifixations of all things) is one of those mainstays of primary education so you'd think that there would be a movie. Most of those get-em-while-they're-young classic novels can claim multiple film versions. But there's only been runs at the stage. I recently saw a new adaptation by Aaron Posner at the Westside Theater. 

The production was minimally staged but the set was a moody beauty. The night I attended the understudy for the female roles (there are only three actors in the production) went on. Turns out she was Chaim Potok's actual daughter! Imagine that.

Ari BrandAri Brand was constantly on the stage in the title role but adeptly swung around between various ages from little boy to grown man to track Asher Lev's artistic awakening and simultaneous emancipation from and acceptance of his faith. But the chameleon in the cast was Mark Nelson who plays quite a few characters including Asher's father and is particularly memorable as his jovial uncle and Asher's mentor artists who speaks largely in manifestos about what art is and how artists should live. Asher's struggle couldn't be more specific (a Jew painting Christian iconography) but the themes are wildly flexible to any coming of age or coming into one's own spiritual or ideological journey which is surely why people love it when they're young. 

It's Your Last Chance: My Name is Asher Lev plays through September 1st at the West Side Theater. 

Movies and TV Moving to the Musical Stage
Playbill warns that there's a GLEE stage musical in the works? God Antoinette Perry help us all. We've really gone over the top and back down again with the cross pollination of mediums. In September HONEYMOON IN VEGAS hits Paper Mill in Jersey and over in Boston at the Huntington Theater Company they're launching Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK which is aiming for Broadway (eventually) and one supposes they're dreaming of another Julie-Taymor-does-Lion-King size hit. Here's a Making Of with director Mary Zimmerman, whose biggest hit Metamorphosis was so good. Let's hope she doesn't fall into the Julie Taymor trap of not being able to edit herself. Bostonian readers who've seen the show do tell us what you thought! 

The great Norbert Leo Butz in BIG FISH

The migration continues directly on Broadway with Big Fish (Sept 2013), The Bridges of Madison County (Jan 2014) and Rocky (Feb 2014) among others. Which are you most interested in hearing about?

Exit Music
And did any of you get a chance to see the final Shakespeare in the Park for the season: Love's Labour's Lost? I'm still humming this particular show stopper. 

Heavy rotation on my playlists.