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Tag: Movie Musicals (1-10 of 17)

We ranked the songs in 'Mary Poppins' for its 50th anniversary

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Disney’s glitzy Los Angeles Mary Poppins premiere. As the recent movie Saving Mr. Banks showed, writing the music for Mary Poppins was not an easy task for composers Richard and Robert Sherman, who had to contend with prickly Poppins author P. L. Travers. “She was terrible to us—just very negative and unreceptive. I felt like we were drowning,” Richard told EW last year.

Despite all that, there’s a lot of music in this movie—probably more than you remember. The movie’s soundtrack features 16 songs with lyrics, and not all are as indelible as “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” or “A Spoonful of Sugar.” (Also, for what it’s worth, some individual tracks are variations on similar themes, like most of Mr. Banks’ songs.)

Without further ado, here’s EW’s ranking of every tune on the soundtrack. Try getting “Chim Chim Cher-ee” out of your head now.

READ FULL STORY

10 reasons true Americans should watch '1776' today

Psst: The Fourth of July isn’t really about crazy fireworks displays, or eating a record-breaking 69 hot dogs in just 10 minutes, or those layered American flag cakes that look so gorgeous on Pinterest but are physically impossible to reproduce IRL.

No, my friends—it’s about our glorious nation’s glorious genesis, spearheaded in the City of Brotherly Love 238 years ago when our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. You could honor them by comparing bifocals with a Benjamin Franklin impersonator, or perhaps wearing a powdered wig to the beach. By my money, though, there’s no better way to celebrate than by watching 1776, a goofy/poignant/boring/riveting musical that frames the process of ratifying the Declaration as the original reality show (a bunch of dudes are trapped in a room together for weeks, with nothing to do but form alliances and bitch at each other). But 1776 isn’t just entertaining—it doubles as the perfect distillation of what it truly means to be an American.

A bold statement, to be sure—but one I’m prepared to defend for the entire length of “Cool, Cool, Considerate Men” (a.k.a. forever). Why? Simple: READ FULL STORY

Why Clint Eastwood was the wrong choice to direct 'Jersey Boys'

A Tony-winning musical about a Hall of Fame rock group by an Oscar-winning director—on paper, it sounds like a sure-fire hit. So why did Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys fall flat in theaters this weekend?

Simply because Clint Eastwood should have never directed it in the first place.

When Jersey Boys opened on Broadway back in 2005, it broke the mold of the emerging trend of “jukebox musicals”—that is, musicals that repurposed pre-existing songs and placed them into stories—by using the songs of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons that were already loved and adored by millions to tell their own story. It went on to win four Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Lead Actor in a Musical for the relative unknown John Lloyd Young, who played Frankie Valli.

From that point on, the story of four guys who went from singing under a street lamp to the biggest spotlights seemed destined to be adapted for the big screen. Right after Jersey Boys made Broadway its new stomping ground, films of Dreamgirls, Hairspray, and Mamma Mia! were hitting theaters around the world and studios were green-lighting movie musical after movie musical. READ FULL STORY

No dead Rapunzel, no horny Wolf: Stephen Sondheim reveals plot changes in Disney's 'Into the Woods'

There was no way Disney’s upcoming film adaptation of Into the Woods was going to keep every single line, lyric and plot point of Stephen Sondheim’s original musical. And now Sondheim himself has confirmed exactly what we will—or won’t—be seeing.

Playbill reports that Sondheim revealed the changes during a chat with a group of high school arts educators. The subject came up after one teacher brought up Into the Woods, expressing concerns that some of its plot points aren’t appropriate material for students to perform. “Well, you’ll be happy to know that Disney had the same objections,” Sondheim replied. For the record, here’s how he stands on the issue of watering down stage productions—in schools and, presumably, other arenas as well: “Censorship is part of our puritanical ethics, and it’s something that [students are] going to have to deal with,” said Sondheim. “There has to be a point at which you don’t compromise anymore, but that may mean that you won’t get anyone to sell your painting or perform your musical.”

Here are a few bits Sondheim revealed about what’s in store for the forthcoming film adaptation: READ FULL STORY

Hugh Jackman brings 'Wolverine: The Musical' to life, if only briefly -- VIDEO

WOLVERINE-MUSICAL-JACKMAN.jpg

This was bound to happen.

It was only a matter of time before Hugh Jackman’s singing chops were melded into his iconic Marvel character like some kind of adamantium side-effect hidden talent. Courtesy of BBC Radio 1’s The Matt Edmondson Show, we now have Wolverine: The Musical.

Evidently, Jackman stopped by the show on Saturday to promote X-Men: Days of Future Past. Ever the pro, he played along when the hosts handed him a lyric sheet for the fictitious (at least for now) superhero musical and cued up Jackman’s Les Misérables track, “Who Am I?”

“Who am I?” the 45-year-old sings, laughing as he glances at the words. “Am I a superhero with some claws? Or just an actor searching for applause?” READ FULL STORY

'West Side Story': Why a Steven Spielberg remake could work

Naya Rivera, get your agent on the phone.

Yesterday, we learned that Fox has unlocked West Side Story for a possible remake — because Steven Spielberg, of all people, has expressed interest in directing a new version.

Since making movies based on beloved stage shows like Les Misérables and Into The Woods is “in” again — something I wholeheartedly encourage — it makes sense tha Spielberg might want to try his hand at directing a musical. But it’s surprising to hear that he’s interested in something that already has such a prestigious history: The original West Side Story film is as close to a sacred cow as movie musicals get. The stage show debuted on Broadway in 1957; the legendary film, starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer, premiered in 1961. It went on to win 10 Oscars, including Best Picture. So, yeah, those are some big character shoes to fill. READ FULL STORY

'Heathers: The Musical': What we saw in rehearsal

Before Jawbreaker, Clueless, or Mean Girls, there was 1989’s Heathers, a dark cult comedy that set the standard for films about popular cliques in high school. Pre-Regina George, there were Heathers Duke, McNamara and Chandler, a trio of scrunchied debutantes who classed up the joint with delicate phrases like “Did you have a brain tumor for breakfast?” and “F–k me gently with a chainsaw.” READ FULL STORY

'Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812' eyes movie plans through Kickstarter -- EXCLUSIVE

How do you preserve a comet mid-blaze? By capturing it on screen before it burns out.

Producers of the acclaimed electro-pop opera Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 are planning a feature film adaptation of the Off Broadway spectacle to the big screen, enlisting the help of fans by way of a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a cinematic adaptation of the long-running show.

Independent film director Abe Sylvia (Dirty Girl, Showtime’s Nurse Jackie) is attached to capture the immersive experience of The Great Comet, which tells a scandalous portion of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace in an interactive format wherein the actors perform in front of/next to/all around the audience inside a Russian supper club. It’s a wholly theatrical environment, and Sylvia and co. are hoping to bring that experience into a film context that’s part HD live recording, part concert film, part feature film, and part music video. READ FULL STORY

Eight unexpected trends inspired by Disney's 'Frozen'

Friends, reindeer, ice harvesters, lend me your antlers: I have been tumbling through the wormhole that is the Internet fandom of Disney’s marvelous blockbuster Frozen. I have trudged through the snowy hills of fan-fiction, braved the icy winds of Deviantart, and prowled hashtag upon hashtag devoted to the greatest thing to happen to Disney musicals since July 22, 1949 (Alan Menken’s birthday, whaaat).

Beyond my Tumblr-inspired downward spiral, my social media feeds have abounded with proclamations of Frozen love following the film’s release in the now-ancient November 2013. The sprightly little musical has topped the box office charts, rivaling Avatar and Titanic, and gifted the world with a top-notch soundtrack that I haven’t been able to “let” “go” (get it? GET IT?) for weeks. But most interestingly, Frozen has given birth to some pretty bizarre trends—let’s examine. READ FULL STORY

'The Prince of Egypt' anniversary: The 10 greatest songs from (non-Disney!) animated musicals -- VIDEO

Fifteen years ago today, DreamWorks released The Prince of Egypt — an epic Exodus adaptation with an incredible cast, including (but not limited to) Val Kilmer, Sandra Bullock, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ralph Fiennes, Helen Mirren, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Jeff Goldblum, Danny Glover, and Patrick Stewart. (Seriously, how great would it be to have a dinner party with that group?)

But the people who are perhaps most responsible for The Prince of Egypt’s legacy don’t even appear in the film: They’re Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, the voices behind a little diva duet to end all diva duets called “When You Believe.”

This unforgettable power ballad — performed by Whitney and Mariah during the movie’s end credits and Pfeiffer and Sally Dworsky in the film itself — proves that while Disney has certainly cornered the market on animation, non-Disney studios have also made their fair share of memorable animated musicals. (One common thread between several of those movies: Animation legend Don Bluth, who started out at the House of Mouse before striking out on his own in 1979.) So in honor of Prince‘s anniversary, EW’s Hillary Busis and Marc Snetiker decided to rank our favorite tunes from outside the Disney oeuvre. Note: We’re only counting diegetic music, meaning songs like Diana Ross’ “If We Hold On Together” from The Land Before Time didn’t make the cut. Sorry, Ducky.
READ FULL STORY

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