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Janelle Monae's Breakout Year

One of my favourite artists of the decade. I've had the pleasure of seeing her live twice. I would've loved to see more of her in Moonlight. Loved that role and loved seeing her. -Roger

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Entries in musicals (354)

Saturday
Oct292016

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2

by Dancin' Dan

Everyone's favorite TV musical comedy is back! Our new team member Jorge Molina recently surveyed 10 key musical numbers from the first season and since several members of The Film Experience are BIG fans, we'll be writing about it each week, sharing the duty pleasure. 

Since we're one week behind, I'll use Nathaniel's patented "Ranking The Crazy" system for the first two episodes. Let's dive right in, shall we?

S2.E1: "Where is Josh's Friend?"
After the events of last season's finale, Josh and Rebecca shack up, but the more Rebecca gets into it, the more wary Josh becomes. Meanwhile, no one has seen Greg in a month, and Paula makes a big decision.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct282016

A "Moana" Sneak Peek with Lin Manuel-Miranda

We're just 25 days from Moana hitting theaters and more fresh looks have been coming. This past week I had the opportunity to see a few scenes and hear Lin-Manuel Miranda speak about the film afterwards. Curiously the scenes they showed us weren't "song scenes" despite the pairing of those two things.

We mostly saw scenes involving Moana herself, voiced by the joyful Auli'i Cravalho, the teenage discovery Disney chose to voice their latest princess. Baby Moana, before Auli'i Cravalho takes over, is just about the cutest thing ever and there's a long scene of her discovering the ocean that is not unlike the adorability of Pixar's wonderful short from earlier this season, Piper, albeit with less fear because Moana is immediately in love with the ocean. 

They also showed us a complicated ocean action sequence that the exuberant Venezuelan animator who hosted the event revealed was inspired by Mad Max Fury Road. Later when Lin-Manuel Miranda spoke we learned that he got the job before Hamilton (!) and when he was composing for Maui the demi-god he used The Rock's wrestling videos, of all things, to get a sense of his vocal range.

I was reminded of that when this new clip emerged very recently featuring The Rock singing in character as the demi-god who accompanies Moana on her journey. (In one of the clips I saw last week we also got a sense of how fun his magical tatoos are, including "Mini-Maui"  who you can meet here for yourself.)

Are you counting down the days? Or are you still a Zootopia or Red Turtle fan for the Oscar?

Wednesday
Oct262016

42 Days Until...

Are you excited for the latest live TV musical offering or are you already exhausted by this trend? I'm personally excited about this one since the casting is so good. I saw Harvey Fierstein do this onstage during original previews and it's still one of my all time favorite Broadway memories. Plus the score is great fun.

Wednesday
Oct262016

Judy by the Numbers: "Vaudeville Medley"

Anne Marie has been chronicling Judy Garland's career chronologically through musical numbers...

On September 29th, 1963, The Judy Garland Show finally premiered. With a backlog of several episodes already in the can, CBS chose to start the show with the seventh filmed episode, which guest-starred Donald O'Connor. Reviews of Judy were favorable, though reviewers were less enamored of Jerry Van Dyke and the variety show format. But unfortunately the network's fears about Bonanza were realized: The Judy Garland Show garnered a miserable (for the time) 18 rating, compared to Bonanza's juggernaut 35 rating. As always, the network and the production team was left scrambling to make new changes.

The Show: The Judy Garland Show Episode 7
The Songwriters: Various, arranged by Mel Torme
The Cast: Judy Garland, Jerry Van Dyke, Donald O'Connor, directed by Bill Hobin

The Story: Despite some dismal Nielson ratings, the Donald O'Connor episode would prove to be a sweet walk down memory lane for Judy Garland. Though they had never starred in a movie together, O'Connor and Garland knew each other from their days on Vaudeville, when O'Connor was a child dancer and Garland was still one of the Gumm Sisters. Garland and O'Connor reminisce, sing, and dance together, inadvertantly proving something Norman Jewison hadn't quite figured out yet: Judy Garland's power on television came from her long history on stage and screen. While Jewison would continue to make segments poking fun at Garland's legend, fans were tuning in precisely for that legend, and they were very protective of how their star was shown. As Saturday Evening Post reviewer Richard Sherman Lewis lamented,

"The absurd notion of debasing Judy's reputation as a legendary figure and molding her show into an imitation of other prosaic variety shows has been a disaster where it hurts most, in the audience polls."

Despite these protestations, Judy Garland - and by extension her show - would garner a devoted television fanbase that tuned in every Sunday night at 6pm.


previously on Judy by the Numbers

Friday
Oct212016

Review: "Rocky Horror" Loses Its Edge

by Eric Blume

Last night, Fox TV gave us a remake/update of the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show, a staple of midnight movie screenings for decades.  This update, with the tag "Let’s Do The Time Warp Again," aired at the family hour of 8pm, which pretty much sums up everything that’s wrong with it.   

The original 1975 film is the definition of “lightning in a bottle.” There had been nothing quite like it at the time. It was genuinely transgressive, and featured one of the all-time out-there performances by Tim Curry as Frank-n-Furter, everyone’s favorite "sweet transvestite".  While it’s easy to romanticize the original and ignore its weaknesses, the film does deliver as a warm-heated parody of sci-fi and horror movies as intended. What's more it's actually kinky, sexy, unsettling, and fun...

Click to read more ...