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Entries in musicals (405)

Monday
Mar272017

Pfandom: Cool Rider and a Pink (Leading) Lady

on the set of Grease 2, her first lead roleP F A N D O M  
Michelle Pfeiffer Retrospective. Episode 8 
by Nathaniel R 


We've mostly focused on Michelle Pfeiffer's acting in our Pfandom retrospective. We're sure the star who has described herself as "extremely private" would like it that way, but this would be the appropriate time for a brief bit of personal context.

Though the young actress had been working nonstop since the late 70s in television roles and a few features, she'd been struggling offscreen. She was impatient with the way her career was developing. She'd also become involved with a cult, an experience she's always been cagey about in interviews. She had given them too much of her money and was eating strangely at their insistence. In 1981, she took back control of her life.

At the Grease 2 premiere in NYC with her new husband Peter Horton and producer Allan Carr

Two marriages and two divorces (of sorts): in her personal life she fell in love with fellow up-and-coming actor Peter Horton (who would later become a TV star on thirtysomething), and broke free from the cult; in her professional life she dumped her first agent to sign with the much more powerful William Morris Agency. The shakeup had an immediate effect on her career...

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Monday
Mar202017

The Furniture: Thoroughly Modern Millie

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber...

Thoroughly Modern Millie opened 50 years ago this week, in the spring between San Francisco’s Human Be-In and the Summer of Love. None of 1967’s Best Picture nominees, immortalized as the birth of the New Hollywood in Mark Harris’s Pictures at a Revolution, had yet opened, but there was already something in the air.

Director George Roy Hill capitalized on this countercultural moment with an extravagant show of concentrated nostalgia. Thoroughly Modern Millie leaps back to the Roaring 20s, America’s last moment of liberated sexuality and conspicuous consumption before the Great Depression. Its flamboyant, frenetic ode to the flappers and their world was a big hit, making more than $34 million and landing 10th at the yearly box office. The film was nominated for seven Oscars including Art Direction-Set Decoration.

Yet its portrayal is not without contradictions...

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Sunday
Mar192017

Review: Disney's recreation of "Beauty and the Beast"

This review was previously published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

Tale as old as time
True as it can be

You wouldn’t think that ‘tales as old as time’ would need so much retelling but they do. Certain properties never go away or are open to constant reinterpretation like the Shakespeare oeuvre or, well, fairy tales. A cursory bit of research reveals that there have been at least a dozen feature films or TV series from various countries based on Beauty and the Beast tale.

If you have never existed before today, here’s what you need to know: A cruel prince is cursed and transformed into a beast. If the Beast doesn’t learn to love and be loved in return by the time the last petal on a magic rose falls, the curse will become permanent. Enter a beautiful girl who could be the one to break the spell...

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Thursday
Mar162017

Good News for 'Annette' (not Bening)!

by Spencer Coile

I didn't mean to spook you all with that title-- I know many of us are still mourning La Bening's Oscar snub for 20th Century Women. But I come to you with good film tidings. 

For those of you musical lovers out there looking to get a new fix, look no further. Holy Motors director Leos Carax is coming back in 2018 with his new film, a musical no less, titled Annette. And it gets even better...

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Tuesday
Mar142017

Showbiz History: Topsy-Turvy, Quincy Jones, and Broadway Babies

On this day in history as it applies to showbiz...

1874 silent film regular Mary Carr (who played Auntie Em in the silent Wizard of Oz) born in Pennsylvania). She lived to be almost 100 and appeared in nearly 100 silent films
1885 The Mikado, Gilbert & Sullivan's beloved comic opera, premieres in London. The Oscar winning film Topsy Turvy (1999) depicts its production in exquisite detail...

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Monday
Mar132017

Revisiting Beauty and the Beast (1991) - Rank the songs!

By Lynn Lee

With the live-action remake of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast just around the corner, what better time to revisit the original animated masterpiece and its endlessly hummable songs?  If you saw the movie when it came out in 1991 and happened to be a bookish, musical theater-loving little girl (or boy) at the time, odds are you got the soundtrack and learned it by heart.  (I plead guilty on all counts.) 

While I have no idea what happened to my copy, every beat and lyric – by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, respectively – are still firmly etched into my memory.  I never saw the Broadway musical, which restored a song that had been scrapped from the movie (“Human Again”) and added several new songs by Menken and lyricist Tim Rice, but reportedly the new movie isn’t including any of the latter.  Instead it’s adding four newly new songs by Mencken and Rice.  However, fear not, fellow original Disney B&B enthusiasts: it appears that all of the Mencken-Ashman songs from the 1991 movie will be in the mix.  As Cogsworth would say, “If it’s not ba-roque, why fix it?” 

We’ll have to wait to debate the merits of the new songs but we can discuss how the original ones stack up against each other.  With the caveat that this feels a bit like picking one’s favorite kid, here’s my ranking from lowest to highest...

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