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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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Entries in musicals (250)

Friday
Apr032015

Cast This: NBC's "The Wiz Live" 

Margaret here. Earlier this week, NBC announced that this December they will be following the surprise ratings smash that was The Sound of Music Live and the more modestly-rated Peter Pan Live with a third simulcast musical: The Wiz! Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (fresh off their third and likely final Oscar ceremony) are returning, with Harvey Fierstein on board to augment William F. Brown's original book. The team is also partnering with Cirque du Soleil for the production, with plans to later move it to Broadway.

The 1975 "Super Soul Musical" is, for many reasons, an excellent choice. Because it's a pop musical, the network heads' desire to stunt cast with big stars will actually serve the material. And it's become a staple in high school productions because of its generosity with its musical parts- it requires a deep cast, with 9 characters who have their own show-stoppable numbers.

Like with most pop music, the score to The Wiz is only as strong as the people performing it, and the right actor can take even the least crucial number and make it into a sensation. That makes casting especially crucial. We owe it to the good people of NBC to make their jobs easy!

Here's my dream cast:

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar252015

A Star is Born Again... With Bradley Cooper as Midwife. 

A Star is Born is like the undead of showbiz movies. Every so often it rises from the grave. The oft told tale of a young actress whose star rises as her alcoholic svengali husband's star falls has four film versions What Price Hollywood? (1932) A Star is Born (1937) A Star is Born (1954) and A Star is Born (1976), the latter shifting the story to the music world instead of the movies. Incredibly ALL of them were Oscar nominated for something or other for a total of 18 Oscar nominations, 3 wins and an Honorary plaque to boot! But we've actually gone without it for quite some time now. The last version, the Streisand (critically reviled but a major hit), was a full 39 years ago so it's unsurprising that there's been talk of a remake for quite a while now. Especially considering that each version has ranged from somewhat successful to blockbuster sized and statistically you'll receive about 4 nominations and an Oscar for your troubles should you make your own.

What was surprising, apart from Oscar security, about the proposed fifth version was that Clint Eastwood was the one that wanted to do it. With Beyoncé no less! So Streisand's music-word detour for the unofficial franchise stuck... at least with ol' Clint. Despite Eastwood's Barry Allen-like speed, that ability to take a project from glimmer in his eye to finished movie in theaters in 6 months, he somehow never got it made and has now passed the project on, supposedly to...

Bradley Cooper (?) his American Sniper star. Cooper wants Beyoncé back on the project who has vacated it since it entered development hell. 

So saith several outlets and noisy funny twitter. Bradley will also star in it. Why an actor at the heighth of their white hot career would want to try directing is a little puzzling -- don't get distracted, secure your possible place in the pantheon of movie stars! -- but Coop wouldn't be the first. Costner, Gibson, Eastwood, Foster, and Jolie all moved over while they were still bankable movie stars... some to stay in that chair and lose interest in acting altogether. 

Related / Recommended:
Mike's Movie Projector found an original review from 1954 of the Judy Garland version.
TFE and you can always revisit our Best Shot episode on that classic film Or...
Nick's Flick Picks incredible piece on Judy Garland's five-star performance 

Monday
Mar232015

Q&A Part 1: No Actresses! Whatever Will We Talk About?

To try something a little different I asked y'all to ask me questions that were not actress related this week. Hold me, I'm scared.

But sometimes you gotta push out of the comfort zone. Some people disobeyed -- sorry, not answering those! Some people gave me ideas for much longer posts. Others took it quite literally just reversing the genders of a question they'd normally ask. But a lot of interesting questions were on offer this week so we'll split this baby into two this week, feeling generous. Part two tomorrow.

Here's the 8 questions we're answering today including but not limited to favorite (male) stars, awesome film sets, horror flicks, and costume dramas...

DAN: What film set, taking in mind color schemes, evocative moods, and lighting, would you most like to inhabit. Ignore modern conveniences like air conditioning and pleasant smells. 

NATHANIEL: This question is so open-ended so we'll start with the movie that popped into mind IMMEDIATELY whilst reading it and surprised me becasue it wouldn't leave: Vertigo.


There are so many great rooms you could imagine spending hours in. Midge's apartment is like bohemian artist / spinster heaven. And what a view. And who wouldn't make a multi-course dinner reservation at that red red  red restaurant that Scottie spots Madeleine in?

[More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar232015

Cast This: Carole King Musical Headed to the Screen

Manuel here bringing you news of the latest Broadway musical to make the leap to the big screen. Yes, we’re still waiting on more Wicked news, I’d love an update on that McG version of Spring Awakening I keep willing to disappear, and I can’t be the only one excited to see what Bill Condon is going to do with animated gem and Broadway smash Beauty and the Beast but the news come courtesy of Sony Pictures who will be adapting Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

As the helpfully blunt title tells us, the musical is a jukebox biopic of the famed songrwriter. I’m sure they’re hoping for a Mamma Mia! type hit and less of a Jersey Boys type miss, but that will likely come down to execution, marketing, buzz and many other elements we can ignore at this early step of the game.

the great singer songwriter Carole King back in her heydayJessie Mueller won the Tony award for Best Actress at last year’s Tonys and while she’s clearly very talented (she was my Cinderella at the Shakespeare in the Park’s production of Into the Woods a few years back), I’m guessing they might go with a bigger name for this star-vehicle. Unless they hope King is enough of a name to get people into seats?

Anyone care to play casting director?

Does Beautiful have a friend in you as it hopes to charm your mom into going to the movies to hum along to King’s tunes?

 

Thursday
Mar122015

Empire Mania (and Other Links)

Arts Beat Kerry Washington to star in HBO film Confirmation about Anita Hill. Great casting
Playbill Not that it was ever in doubt but Disney is officially at work on Frozen 2
Comics Alliance Robert Downey Jr presents a one arm kid Avengers fan with an Iron Man arm. Sweet
Broadway World talks to the legendary Ben Vereen about new projects, Bob Fosse movies, and the return of the movie musical


D Listed Steve Carell as Fabio? Fabulous. Especially the low-fi hair blowing... which is particularly funny since we just saw the same "effect" in Paris is Burning 
Pajiba Courtney schools Lindsay Lohan on photoshop manipulation for her Instagram account
Disney promises no more smoking in their films ever. That's fine but if they digitally erase the smoking in their archive like in 101 Dalmatians we will feel murderous
/Film PETA wants new ending for Tim Burton's Dumbo remake and though we'd prefer the movie not be made at all, we'd like to co-sign this proposal
Howard Stern Show I keep hearing this very lengthy Madonna interview is awesome but I haven't listened yet. I'm too busy mainlining "Rebel Heart" now that it's here in full (favs: Living For Love, Ghost Town, Rebel Heart, and I think I might love the totally filthy and juvenile Holy Water but I haven't decided yet)
MNPP I never talk about John Barrowman since he doesn't make movies but I L-O-V-E him and here's Jason paying tribute in a crotch-grabbing way that I think Barrowman himself would enjoy

Today's Moment of Nostalgia
Elle Magazine reminisces about Winona Ryder's "Lydia Deetz" as fashion icon and talks to Beetlejuice costumer Aggie Guerard Rodgers about working with Tim Burton and creating the looks.

Unlike the rogue Babysitter who tired of the Club or Brenda when she finally stopped seeking Kelly's approval, Lydia Deetz was actually an original. And whether she was wearing a schoolgirl outfit stuffed with crinoline, a nondescript painter's smock, or a blood-red wedding dress to match her evil stepmother's, there was something aspirational about how few fucks she actually gave. 


Empire
 Mania - Some Links, Several Thoughts

Towleroad Some fan has made a video of Empire meant to ape the Dynasty opening. I appreciate the connection since I turned to the Boyfriend a few episodes of this show and said "I feel like this writer's room really studied Dynasty - best nighttime soap in forever." but this mashup is not really a great visual match. I grew up on Dynasty (my parents were horrified at how obsessed I was with it) and you have to have those vertical line splits and the sectional images for it to really read as Dynasty Reincarnated.
Good Black News Ratings for the show are up for the record-breaking 9th straight week. It's now starting to rival TV's mega hit The Walking Dead (!!!) I'm so happy for Lee Daniels. But I hope he doesn't quit movies because we need him there with his crazy ass Paperboy/Precious/Butler provocations.
Xfinity Jussie Smollett talks about "the closet" or rather his lack of one on Ellen. He's beyond adorable, really. And the third best reason to watch Empire after 1) Taraji of course 2) how worthy it is as a night time soap giant overall. (The Smolletts are so talented. Remember how great his sister Junee was on Friday Night Lights?) This is my favorite performance of Jussie's on Empire thus far. I may have listened to it four times as I was typing this. 

"But what are the fourth and fifth best reasons to watch the show, Nathaniel?" you ask. SINCE YOU ASKED. 4) the music . 5) the guest stars are fabulous. Courtney Love and Naomi Campbell were superbly well cast and just killing it to cite two examples. Though we probably shouldn't mention new guest star Jennifer Hudson. That girl cannot act, sorry AMPAS. The past 9 years have proven otherwise. Great voice, though. 

Wednesday
Mar112015

Brandy. Whitney. Bernadette. It's Cinderella... Again

Cinderella Week continues with Andrew Kendall on a true event in showbiz history...

On our journey through Cinderellas we take a stop in 1997 for an unlikely entry in the canon. Unlike the animated version it did not change a cinematic form, nor like the Julie Andrews version did it launch a star. When the 1997 TV production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella premiered in 1997 it was hailed as one of the most successful TV musicals in years and audiences did, love it, 60 million of them. But, it has endured as little more than a footnote on the résumé of its fêted cast and crew.

This would be the second remake of the Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella written for Julie Andrews in 1957 (the first remake a Lesley Ann Warren version in 1965). And, still, I’d swear on the altar of all things magical that this is the finest adaptation of the Cinderella story. Myriad reasons, but principally because this Cinderella has more on its mind than just the girl at the centre…

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar102015

Q&A: Hitchcock Presents Reader Questions

Oops. The 'Ask Nathaniel / Q&A' column is a Monday experience. And here it is on Tuesday. I blame... what really matters is the blame  somebody to blame. well if that's the thing you enjoy placing the blame, if that's your aim,  give me the blame.

HI EVERYBODY! Are you glad that the themed banner is back up top? I'm going with photography this week so here is a picture of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck for laughs before we get to eight reader questions after the jump starring Alfred Hitchcock, Daniel Day-Lewis, Drew Barrymore and The Golden Girls.

Why? I don't know. So, it's your fault then!

Click to read more ...

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