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Entries in musicals (269)

Saturday
Apr252015

"Something Rotten" and/in Adapting "Doctor Zhivago"

Does the classic film / novel translate well to the stage? Stage Door, our theater review series, is in hyperdrive, it's difficult to keep up what with shows opening left and right. The Tonys, like the Oscars, have a glut problem right before the eligibility deadline. Nominations are announced this coming Tuesday.

The Twin Perils of Snark & Earnestness
If you want to be a massive musical comedy hit, the current fever is to be slightly self-deprecating about the thing that you are. Something Rotten, which is expected to do well at the Tonys and already a hit, is a new musical comedy that doubles as an anachronistic in-on-the-joke Shakespeare comedy and a spoof of Broadway song & dance. The actual plot centers around a poor playwright (Tony-winner Brian d'Arcy James) with the surname of "Bottom" -- and yes, that leads to exactly the crass jokes you might expect it does -- who struggles in obscurity while his contemporary William Shakespeare (Tony-winner Christian Borle from Smash doing a full Tim Curry) is treated like a rock star.

More Something Rotten and a new Doctor Zhivago after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr232015

Drama Desk Nominations, Tony's More Inclusive Cousin

Lin-Manuel Miranda as "Hamilton"The Drama Desk Nominations for the 2014/2015 theater season have been announced and the Tony Awards follow suit in a week's tim (theater seasons run summer to spring). The chief difference, besides the level of fame, is that the Drama Desk categories have more nominees but also more eligible contenders since Off Broadway productions (and there are lots more of those) are also considered for the top prizes. Hamilton, the new hip-hop Off Broadway musical about the founding fathers from Lin-Manuel Miranda of "The Heights" fame dominated with 13 nominations but it's not eligible for the Tonys.

It's also impossible to get tickets to and popular with celebrities (Madonna famously was barred from going backstage after using her cel phone -ugh - but everyone's been to it including Michelle Pfeiffer). In the reverse situation, "Fun Home," which is an absolute must see and could lead the Tony nominations, is not eligible for the Drama Desk nominations since it was already eligible in its Off Broadway run last season. "Hamilton" is moving to Broadway in the summer which means it'll be eligible for the 2016 Tony Awards.

The full nominee list, which also included a lot of nominations for screen-to-stage transfer "Let the Right One In" is after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr212015

Stage Door: "Fun Home" & "An American in Paris"

The Tony Award Nominations are exactly one week from today, so we really ought to talk about the musicals that might be vying for top honors. Both of today's shows have movie connections, albeit one more tenuous than the other. Both are also likely nominees in the Best Musical category, which is the Best Picture of the Tony Awards. Yes, there are 3 other top prizes (Play, Revival of a Play, Revival of a Musical) but Musical is the most coveted prize and the one with arguably the biggest impact on legacies and box office. Ten musicals are eligible in this category for the 2014/2015 season and I'd be surprised if these two won't comprise half of the four-wide nominee list. 

Two fine "new" musicals after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr132015

Beauty vs Beast: Anna and the King

Every Monday morning I wake up excited to see what face-off Jason has challenged us with so I thank him as ever for this series.  But he's out of town so I'm filling in. Let's go with a musical since he's unlikely to pitch them. A Tony-seeking revival of The King and I is currently in previews on Broadway (we're seeing it next week!) starring Kelli O'Hara, who is The Deborah Kerr of the Tonys (she always loses). 

Whose team are you on?

 

 

Yul Brynner or Deborah Kerr? All westerners who are funny, young lovers, and everyone else should vote. Does your vote change if we replace this with different actors in different adaptations (Chow Yun Fat & Jodie Foster, anyone?). Make this impossible choice and explain yourself in the comments. It's a puzzlement!

Last Week
Paul Rudd's Andy thanks you for your votes, all 57% percent of them over besting that task-master Beth (Janeane Garofalo) who made his eyes (and torso) roll in Wet Hot American Summmer to hilarious effect. He'll make out with you so long as you don't taste like burgers. We can't wait to see Beth and Andy again when this funny movie becomes a series... with the original cast no less.

SanFranCinema spoke for many when he said:

Paul Rudd has been the Object of My Affection for as long as I can remember. You'd have to be Clueless to vote against him. Paul, I Love You Man!

 

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 

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