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Entries in musicals (197)


Smash: "The Movie Star" & "Publicity"

So much to discuss to catch up. Smash is playing up the movie angles with Actors Studio & sequel jokes, Uma guest starring, Bollywood numbers, multiple Monroes, and the general lame practice of stunt casting when movie stars hit the stage. The show feels more than a little keyed up all of a sudden with the unstable presence of Rebecca Duvall (Uma Thurman) in the mix.

1.11 "The Movie Star" 
The episode begins as the dancers greet Karen (Katharine McPhee) who is uncharacteristically dressed up for a sweaty rehearsal to impress Rebecca (Uma Thurman)

Bobby: Oh you reallly bumped it up a notch, didn't you?
Jessica: Ah, she dressed up for the movie star."

This could also double as an introduction to a show that seems to be trying a little harder now that they've got some genuine starlight in the mix with Uma flouncing about being a pain in the ass. Of course the big problem with Smash is not that Uma's character can't sing (we know she'll eventually quit the show, don't we?) but that TV show itself still wants to convince us that Marilyn should be played by Karen within the show. But Katharine McPhee is such a poor excuse for a Marilyn when Megan Hilty is standing right there deserving the part. Argh. McPhee isn't even convincing as Marilyn when she's handed those full makeup fantasies because she feels and looks nothing like her in face, physique or temperament.

Her Day Will Come?Brando & Dean jokes,

Brando and Dean jokes and Bollywood strangeness after the jump... It's the biggest SMASH post ever.

Click to read more ...


"Hello Gorgeous" How Many Streisands Have You Seen?

Today is the 70th birthday of the legendary Barbra Streisand who we always call Babs. We were chastized in the comments for not celebrating and we get it. There's only one of her, a national treasure. In fact, just a few weeks ago I watched Funny Girl (for the 6th or 7th time) and Funny Lady (for the 2nd time) almost back to back and that double feature is astounding. The first would have to be in the top ten Pure Star Vehicles ever made (♥) and the second one is just... just no, Barbra!

Like Jane Fonda, another screen icon from the 1970s who is on our way back to us, we're über pleased that she's suddenly decided she's an actress again even if we haven't seen the results yet. Barbra's big picture this year is Guilt Trip (co-starring Seth Rogen. November Release) which happens to be her first leading role since the stoney end stone age. Advanced word is positive but you never know who is doing the talking when it comes to advanced word so we're anxious. Comedy was always her forte  and there's no reason that La Streep should be the only elderly giant who younger audiences completely "get" as a Funny Girl.

So for today's big day, let's republish an old article called "Posterized Babs". 

Funny Girl (1968. Best Actress Winner Oscars & Globes) | Hello Dolly (1969. Best Actress Musical Comedy Golden Globe Nomination) | On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970))

15 more films and brief commentary after the jump

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Do you hear the people sing?

Provided you have speakers on your computer, then yes. Hear them you do. Well not Hugh and Anne specifically...

I know I shouldn't be this excited for a movie. It will all end in tears!


Smash: "Hell on Earth" and "Understudy"

Continuing our coverage of our favorite new show "SMASH" the only musical on television that makes any cohesive sense from epiosde to episode and is tangentially about the movies, too.

Karen and Ivy are slowly becoming frenemies. I'll drink to that 

In "Hell on Earth" the long form narrative gets back up on its feet after that episode that felt like it didn't happen: Ivy's sour downward mood continues as we see her phoning it in amusingly and then disastrously in the hit musical comedy "Heaven on Earth" (with special guest star, the awesome Norbert Leo Butz... who recently won the Tony for the Tom Hanks role in the musical adaptation of "Catch Me If You Can"); Eileen continues to push when others would have given up; Ellis continues to scheme and even puts out to get an "in" with a movie star; Debra Messing continues to make a case for an Emmy - holy hell she's great on this show even though her storylines have the least to do with the actual creation of a musical; Tom continues to clash with his Republican boyfriend; Karen continues to prove Ivy's point that everything comes easily to her when she books a national commercial.

Set Lists, Gayest Moments, and UMA THURMAN! 

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"Into the Woods" Watch...

When Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods" was announced as part of the great Shakespeare in the Park series for this summer (July 23rd- Aug 25th), I felt like living happily ever after. It's such a great show and seeing it outdoors may well feel like how it was always meant to be seen. With the recent announcement that Amy Adams would be playing the Baker's Wife (a wonderful part) it occurred to me ~ this won't be the first time she's sung in Central Park.

Lately Shakespeare in the Park has been easing up a bit on the star casting preferring midlevel stars or stage talent or one big name but the casting of Adams may signal a change. My friend Tom at the Broadway Blog got  me way too excited about what might follow with this little bit (after the jump).

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Hit Me With Your Best Shot: "Easter Parade"

If you have yet to join in the "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" series we urge you to participate next week on April 11th when we look at a movie you've surely seen: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937). Last time we did an animated film we had a super turnout. All you have to do is 1) choose your favorite shot 2) post it on your blog, tumblr, site or pinterest page before next Wednesday night and 3) let me know. Presto, The Film Experience links up. The first step, choosing your best shot, is the only hard part.

This week's film is EASTER PARADE (1948).  

I love a perfect title. Easter Parade promises exactly what it delivers. The Judy Garland / Fred Astaire musical features two actual easter parades which form a through line on which the film can hang its gowns and musical numbers. In the first Nadine (Ann Miller), Don Hewes' (Fred Astaire) ex-girlfriend and ex-dance partner, stops traffic with a smashing gown and the chic accessories that are her show dogs.  Hewes, still hurt over the breakup promises his new partner Hannah (the immortal Judy Garland) that a year from then she'll be the one that no one can take their eyes off of. But the title offers more than just these two holidays. The movie is an easter parade all by itself. The whole movie doubles as one big lavish procession of color. It's got all the yellows, greens, whites, blues, pinks and purples you could possibly expect from an easter movie and every other color in the rainbow, too. Like many real parades it's alternately amazing and garish but there's always something to gawk at for better and worse.

The "worse" would be a hateful brown and pink gown (gag) that may well be the ugliest thing I've ever seen on Judy Garland. The "best" might be the white into hot pink gown that Nadine just floats in near the climax when she attempts to take Don back from Hannah.

The two shots that thrilled me the most both exploded by focusing on only one particularly saturated color. The first of these was Ann Miller's bright yellow gloves and bright yellow tear away skirt in her jaw-dropping toe-tapping solo "Shakin' the Blues Away". 

Keep dancing (and reading)

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The Two Maria Von Trapps

The Two Maria Von TrappsTwenty-five years ago today the real Maria Von Trapp passed away or, shall we say, climbed that last every mountain. I recently tried to find footage of her with the other real "Maria Von Trapp" Julie Andrews -- The Sound of Music is so embedded in culture that it's one of those movies that's as real as fiction gets, yes?  YouTube has a bit from the Julie Andrews Variety Hour from the early 70s but it's hard to watch due to the loud buzzing sound on the recording. Pity that because it looks fun.

I've been thinking about The Sound of Music a lot recently since the Captain himself, Christopher Plummer won the Oscar just last month. I want to watch it again right now. Or at least "The Lonely Goatherd" or something.

How many times have you seen it?


"Who am I... Who am I"

24601 !!!!!!! ♫ "

That's Hugh Jackman in character as Jean Valjean on the set of Les Misérables. The most epic musical made in some time hits the screen in just 268 days. Good luck to Tom Hooper and cast. Please let this be great. The stage show deserves it.