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Entries in musicals (257)


Random List-Mania: 40 Best Original Movie Songs of the 1980s

We did this once for the 1990s and you loved it, so here's round two. 

Young Oscar fanatics might not have tripped over this tidbit yet but in the 1980s they were still giving out an award for "Original Song Score" - an old vestige category of the decades when a dozen plus movie musicals arrived each year. Three of these Oscars were handed out in the 1980s for Victor / Victoria (1982), Yentl (1983) and Purple Rain (1984).  None have been handed out since even though it's technically still a category... just not one that they invoke anymore. Though it's a pity they didn't consider giving one to Moulin Rouge! or Hedwig and the Angry Inch for 2001 as the category can also be awarded to "Adaptation Score"

The presence of this category in the early 80s probably explains why Purple Rain and Victor/Victoria had no "Original Song" nominees in their years (why double dip?) but it does not explain why Yentl had nominations in both categories. Because of these films I only allowed myself 2 songs per movie so as not to let these five films hog this entire list.

Beautiful Song Craft and/or Cheesy Epic Ballads For the Wins
* Oscar nominee | ** Oscar winner 

  1. "Nine to Five"* -Nine to Five (Dolly Parton)
  2. "Le Jazz Hot" - Victor/Victoria (Henry Mancini)
  3. "Purple Rain" - Purple Rain (Prince)
  4. "Into the Groove" - Desperately Seeking Susan (Madonna)
  5. "Xanadu" - Xanadu (Jeff Lynne)
  6. "Fame"** - Fame (Michael Gore & Dean Pitchford)
  7. "When Doves Cry" - Purple Rain (Prince)
    33 more numbers after the jump...

Click to read more ...


'The Wiz Live!' Has Its Full Cast

Margaret here with your live TV musical update. NBC has just announced the final principal cast members for its live production of The Wiz: R&B singer Ne-Yo as the Tin Man, Elijah Kelley (aka the showstopping dreamboat from Hairspray) as the Scarecrow, and Common as the Emerald City gatekeeper. 

The full cast, then, is set:

Click to read more ...


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 ...


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)


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? 


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.  


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