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Tag: Movie Musicals (1-10 of 13)

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

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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.
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Disney's 'Frozen' soundtrack: Ranking all nine original songs

Guess what, Disney fans? Frozen is good. And as you may have heard, the soundtrack is even better.

Like the now-classics in Disney’s Renaissance period, Frozen’s array of original tunes feels as fresh and infectious as the Menken-Ashman-Rice songs that defined a generation’s Disney musicals. I caught an early screening of the film last week and was dismayed to find that I’d have to wait an excruciating six days for the album to be released online (I even begged EW’s music staff for an early listen, but no dice).

Now the movie is out (and cleaning up at the box office) and the soundtrack is ready for streaming, and I just can’t stop listening. If you’re binge-listening this Thanksgiving weekend, here’s my ranking of the original songs by Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. (Although, let’s be frank: They’re all pretty fantastic.)
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A brief history of 'Turkey Lurkey Time,' the best turkey-related Broadway song you don’t know -- VIDEO

As Thanksgiving dinner looms, allow me to take you back into the Broadway vault with the legend of “Turkey Lurkey Time,” an unassuming dance number from a late ’60s musical that has reached iconic status in the musical theater world. Quite frankly, I can’t think of another song in the Broadway lexicon that co-exists with “Turkey Lurkey” in that unique space between wondrous and WTF.

The song is from a 1968 show called Promises, Promises – a musical adaptation of the 1960 classic The Apartment – which featured music by Burt Bacharach, lyrics by Hal David, and a book by Neil Simon. The show follows insurance salesman Chuck Baxter as he gets caught up in the corporate ladder by offering his bosses the use of his apartment for romantic trysts.

During the show’s out-of-town runs in New Haven, Connecticut, and Boston, the creators were having a hard time ending the first act; the show was already running long, and the creative team was stumped. Enter choreographer Michael Bennett, a rising star who had six Broadway credits but hadn’t yet shined (he would later go on to choreograph and direct A Chorus Line and Dreamgirls). Neil Simon equated him to an eager college football player begging the coach to be let in the game. The team gave him a chance, and so, inspired by West Side Story genius Jerome Robbins, Bennett and his assistant Bob Avian took Bacharach’s quickly written “Turkey Lurkey Time” and transformed it into a legend.

Behold, “Turkey Lurkey Time” as performed by the original cast on the 1968 Tony Awards:
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Anna Kendrick's best musical moment? Her campy 'Camp' showstopper -- VIDEO

Last week, we learned that Anna Kendrick is in talks to play Cinderella in the big-screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods — a fitting choice, given the actress’ musical-theater (and Sondheim-specific) roots.

Pitch Perfect and the song “Cups” (which is at No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 a full nine months after the movie’s debut) introduced Kendrick’s singing skills to the mainstream, but she’s been perfecting those pipes for 15 years. The actress earned a Tony nomination for her first big role, as Dinah in Broadway’s High Society, when she was just 12 years old — the third-youngest nominee ever. She also played Fredrika in a New York City Opera production of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music in 2003.

But the real musical highlight came in her first film role, in 2003′s Camp, when a 17-year-old Kendrick stole the movie with a way-beyond-her-years rendition of the Company classic “The Ladies Who Lunch” — yet another Sondheim masterpiece. At the movie’s musical-theater summer camp, Kendrick is the nerdy Fritzi, who desperately attempts to befriend confident bad girl Jill only to exact musical (and medical) revenge on the queen bee instead, via some Woolite poured in her Snapple (seriously). See the magic below:
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'Les Miserables' standout 'I Dreamed a Dream': The history of this sob-inducing song in 4 great versions

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Perhaps you recently saw the film Les Miserables. Perhaps you got a little caught up in the story of Fantine, the fired factory worker whose desperation to take care of her daughter fuels much of the early plot. Perhaps you made it to the moment where Fantine — played by Anne Hathaway — sings her signature ode to lost love and dashed hopes, “I Dreamed a Dream.” Perhaps you, like much of the rest of the sentient universe, broke down into a blubbering pile of raw-throated eye-gush emotional goo. You are not alone. Hathaway’s version of the song — which recently earned her an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe win — has gotten everyone talking about a tune that was already one of Les Miz‘s most popular standards. “What [director] Tom [Hooper] and Annie have done is created a really raw, pure version of the song,” says Working Title co-chairman Eric Fellner, one of the movie’s producers. “There have been many great versions of the song, but I don’t think anybody has performed it this way, because it’s never been acted on screen before. It’s just very, very emotional.”

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