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Entries in musicals (248)

Monday
Jun292015

CAST THIS: Clueless, The Musical

Manuel here still recovering for a wonderful Pride weekend which I'm greedily extending for two more days with Bette Midler tonight and Fun Home tomorrow. Needless to say, movies and musicals, and movie musicals are on my mind. Thankfully, Amy Heckerling is here to tide me over, stoking Clueless fandom by letting us know she's finished writing the book for a stage musical adaptation of her 1995 film (though dampening the excitement a bit by confessing it's a jukebox musical to be directed by ??, of Rock of Ages fame). And so, since she acknowledged casting would be a big hurdle before we see "As if!" being uttered on stage, I thought we could help her out brainstorming names for the central three performances.

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Thursday
Jun182015

Mothers & Imagination

The Film Experience is proud to turn the site over to Ann Dowd for the day. Enjoy...

- by Ann Dowd

As I’ve said I did not grow up in an environment where acting was a viable career choice. I remember once when I was a teenager seeing Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo & Juliet and having to go to bed afterwards … from grief! Can you imagine? I had not read it and when I saw the tragedy happening I said  “NO NO NO” I just knew that there was no way Romeo would not get the message that she wasn’t dead, that she was just sleeping. But when it went in that direction — I just was “THIS CANNOT BE TRUE”. I had to go to bed. My mother said “That’s it — No more movies! That’s the end of it.” 

Later when I became an actor she was less than thrilled. I think deep down she saw it coming, mothers are smart that way, but I know she hoped the desire would fade and I'd stick with medicine. She felt that it was such an unstable life.  But she’s wildly supportive now. She’s on board now. I love her to bits.

Of course it will be different for my children if they are interested since they grew up in the environment. My husband is also an actor and he's the chair of the acting department at CAP 21. It’s a musical theater school, a great school. I'm not teaching at the moment because I'm not able to commit to a schedule but one of my favorite things was to teach Chekhov and Tennessee Williams. I hope to do it again because it’s a lovely thing when you’ve been at acting for awhile and you can understand enough of what the students are going through and be of use to them.  

My oldest boy doesn’t have an interest in acting. My girl, who is 17, does. My littlest one came into the world singing and dancing. Living in New York our children are exposed to a lot: Music, plays, books. We remind them that there are other ways to negotiate the world besides technology. Keeping your imagination alive and well is a big thing in our house. 

Previously: Playing Patti on The Leftovers and Falling in Love with Acting 
Next: A Few Key Roles

 

Wednesday
Jun172015

Get Ready for a Third Round of 'Pitch Perfect'

Margaret here with breaking news: Hollywood loves money, water is wet and Pitch Perfect 3 is officially in the works.

Pitch Perfect 2 is still in theaters, and presumably since it's nearing a $300 million worldwide take (which would be more than respectable even without its vastly profitable soundtrack tie-in), Universal has just announced that they've staked out July 21, 2017 for the threequel. 

Critics were less than enthused about the second installment, but heaven knows if they can squeeze three movies out of The Hangover and Meet the Parents then there's no harm in in making room for movies starring and produced by women in the franchise club.

Screenwriter Kay Cannon is in talks to return for round three, and while there's no word on whether Elizabeth Banks will be back to direct, it has been announced that both Rebel Wilson and Anna Kendrick are on board.

See how ecstatic she looks? 

The question is... how? Considering how inevitable another sequel seemed, it was strange to see the Pitch Perfect 2 screenplay consistently cutting off potential avenues for a sequel.

Of course, the most sensible (read: boring) solution would be to repeat the premise with a new slate of actors and have the original stars cameo in mentorship roles. But it's early yet, and we can hold out hope for a dramatic creative swerve. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a gritty game-change chronicling the harsh reality of post-college a cappella life, where the gang reunites to busk in the big city by night while by day they try to break into an unsympathetic industry. Featuring lots of shaky-cam, naturally. In what direction would you steer the Pitch Perfect series?
 

Monday
Jun082015

Musical News & Tom Hardy in London Road

Manuel here. I’m still drunk on showtunes after last night’s Tony Awards (so glad I finally bought my tickets to Fun Home yesterday, anticipating its various wins!), so what better way to keep the mood going than continuing to talk musicals!

And while I could point out NBC’s The Wiz cast Stephanie Mills (the original Dorothy) as Auntie Em, or that Paul Dano’s Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy opened to respectable reviews this weekend, or that we should all be actively anticipating that Dolly Parton TV movie musical, "Coat of Many Colors," or that Spike Lee’s Chiraq (a musical comedy adaptation of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata set in Chicago) has cast Jennifer Hudson, Kanye West and Dave Chappelle (with rumors of Common joining the cast), I realized I needed to talk about London Road which opens this Friday in the UK:

London Road, which includes Olivia Colman and Tom Hardy in its ensemble cast, is an adaptation of the award-winning National Theatre production about the arrest of Steve Wright, an Ipswich man who was convicted of murdering five sex workers in 2008. Rufus Norris's film uses the dialogue from the real townsfolk who were interviewed by author Alecky Blythe as they came to terms with the fact that a serial killer had been living in their community.

I mean, you had me at “Olivia Colman and Tom Hardy” but it sounds like a fascinating show (anyone catch it in London?) and an intriguing film adaptation. Check out the trailer below:

There’s no US date set for this yet, but I can’t be the only one looking forward to seeing Tom Hardy sing (he must sing though the trailer gives me no indication that he does), can I? It just makes me confident that more challenging musicals may make it to the screen. Last Five Years already made it, but what other unorthodox musicals do you think would be well-suited for the screen?

Wednesday
Jun032015

Ten Movies To Watch (To Play Along With Tony Awards At Home)

Gene Kelly and Ann Miller are unofficial Tony Players this yearGiven that not everyone can live in or even visit New York regularly and even those of us who do, can't see all the Tony nominees given our budgets, here's a list of ten plus smart movie choices if you'd like to feel tangentially invested in the upcoming Tony Awards (Sunday night! - should we live blog?) without actually having seen any of the shows! If you only have time for one movie make it an Ann Miller, Leslie Caron, or Gene Kelly movie as they're the unofficial mascots of this Tony season each having starred in two of the movies related to current Broadway hits.

TEN MOVIES
If you can't make it to Broadway

Congratulations! You've already won. You don't have to watch the super dull Finding Neverland (2004) again because it's Broadway adaptation didn't earn a single nomination! On a sadder note if you want to play along at home and you love good movies, the Doctor Zhivago (1965) adaptation has already shuttered since the Tony voters shunned it (yeah, it wasn't good) so you don't get to watch that classic again at home ...at least for this project.

10 Saved! (2004) + Meet the Feebles (1989)
If you can't make it to NYC to see the blasphemous/hilarious Hand To God about a confused young man living with his religious mother who believes his hand puppet is possessed by the devil, try a religious satire and a filthy puppet movie instead. For maximum effect play these movies simultaneously side by side. (You may substitute any preferred religious comedy in place of Saved but dirty puppet movies are hard to come by)

Nine more movies (and Tony thoughts) after the jump...

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Saturday
May302015

1979 Look Back: Bette Midler and "The Rose"

By 1979 Bette Midler was already a star. She had a Grammy (Best New Artist), an Emmy (for her televison special Ol' Red Hair is Back), and a Special Tony award for "adding lustre to the Broadway stage". (She performed in a show called Bette Midler's Clams on the Half Shell Revue). Naturally the next entertainment medium to conquer was film and become an inevitable movie star as well. Despite uncredited small parts (including 1966's Hawaii, which filmed in her home state) and underground film, Midler made her official film debut as a lead with her electrifying performance as a troubled rocker in The Rose - which, of course, brought her a Best Actress nomination, a Golden Globe, and a film career to add to her impressive résumé.   

The film earned a total of four Academy Award nominations (Midler plus Best Supporting Actor for Frederic Forrest, Best Sound, and Best Film Editing). Just recently the film scored another honor when it was released through the prestigious Criterion Collection. In addition to a gorgeous restoration (I had previously only seen the film on grainy VHS and I was amazed at how sharp and bright the colors are - especially during the stage numbers), there are new interviews with Bette Midler, director Mark Rydell, as well as archival footage from a day of shooting that aired on the Today show.

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