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"For the life of me I will never understand why Audra McDonald isn't bigger outside of Broadway." - Brian

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Entries in musicals (438)

Thursday
Nov022017

Blueprints: "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

This week on Blueprints, Jorge Molina takes a drive to the pride of the inland empire to talk about musical numbers in screenplays, only two hours from the beach. 

Fundamentally, scripts serve as a blueprint for what has to appear on screen, hence the name of this series. A blueprint that some people choose to follow more closely than others. However, there are instances where following a script meticulously is vital not only for the benefit of the story, but for the costs and efficiency of an entire production. There are times when a script is a literal choreographed dance, gigantic pretzel and all.

So let’s take a look into the idyllic suburban fantasy of the The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, where if every location, note, and twirl hadn’t been precisely mentioned in the script, there may have never been a show...

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Wednesday
Nov012017

Soundtracking: "Meet Me In St. Louis"

The 1944 Smackdown is coming, so Chris looks at that year's musical masterpiece...

They don’t get much more timeless than Vincente Minnelli’s Meet Me In St. Louis. It’s a musical about the family unit, and fittingly almost all of the numbers take place in the home. Whether in party revelry or the everyday household ubiquity of the title song, music is as much a definitive tradition of the Smith family as anything else. Grandpa may screw up the words, and it may be past the youngest’s bedtime, but music is one of the things that bind them. It also helps when one of the daughters is Judy Garland, I suppose.

Though St. Louis has relatively few musical numbers (unless you count umpteen reprises of that title song), its percentage of classics is nearly as high as its joy levels. “The Trolley Song” is the kind of showstopper that wins by the charm of its performer and its carefree whimsy. The “chug chug chug” silliness is exactly the kind of giddy uplift you have when falling in love, especially when you are in a musical. No matter that it’s actually kind of a strange metaphor for Garland’s Esther to use about her crush. Of all the love songs in Judy Garland’s singular repertoire, it is the sweetest...

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Wednesday
Oct252017

Soundtracking: "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"

Happy Halloween! Chris Feil's look at music in the movies takes on the genre-bending musical classic...

The Rocky Horror Show is a peculiar kind of musical. Quickly dismissed on the stage, it will always be more at home in the cinema, adding Picture to the title and thus embodying its B-movie inspirations. With its notorious run from flop to cult sensation to now subdued midnight ritual, this musical belongs to the masses in a way unlike any other. But weirdly the music itself feels tangential to the cultdom - isn’t it strange that one of the most famous musicals is seldom celebrated for the music itself?

Or maybe if any of the songs themselves are cherished, it’s the worst number in the lineup. Come now, you know that “The Time Warp” is Rocky Horror’s worst song. I know it, you know it, we all know it (The banister knows it!)...

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Tuesday
Oct242017

I'm fluent in "Cher"

I discovered that I can read if not speak Cher fluently. So if you are not so blessed I shall translate this tweet for you after the jump...

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Wednesday
Oct042017

Soundtracking: "The Lure"

Just in time for Halloween, musical oddity The Lure has joined The Criterion Collection. Here's Chris on its soundtrack...

Yet another Polish lesbian mermaid pop musical? Geez. For those that complain that musicals have no originality anymore, may I introduce a bloody disco ball of a film: The Lure. The story of two mermaids who come aground and quickly rise to success singing in a Warsaw nightclub, it’s both fairy tale and metaphor for female sexuality. But most importantly, the music kicks a whole lot of ass.

Led by young stars Marta Mazurek and Michalina Olszańska and with some disco diva stylings from Kinga Preis, the film is about the most delightful genre hybrid we have seen in some time. It’s a femme-centric mix of musical and horror, with more pointedly ironic sexuality than any music video once banned from MTV. It would be glib to describe it as a t.A.T.u. performing a Let The Right One In jukebox musical of Abba songs but that is the closest I can get to painting a vision of its giddy melodic morbidity. Or describing the fun of its singular strangeness.

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Saturday
Sep232017

Here We Go Again...

Amanda Seyfried posted the following photo online this weekend with the hashtag #HereWeGoAgain which leads us to believe that Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again is officially filming now...or has officially wrapped filming? One or the other...

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