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Tag: Musicals (1-10 of 127)

Heidi Thomas talks Vanessa Hudgens and reworking 'Gigi'

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How do you solve a problem like Gigi? That was the task given to Heidi Thomas, the writer behind British hit Call the Midwife, who is adapting the book of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s musical for its upcoming Broadway production (starring High School Musical‘s Vanessa Hudgens).

The musical Gigi, based on the Colette novella, began as a film—specifically, Vincente Minnelli’s 1958 classic. An adaptation hit Broadway in 1973, but the production was considered somewhat of a flop. And while the beloved film won Best Picture, some of its elements haven’t aged particularly well—for instance, its opening number, in which Maurice Chevalier croons about how wonderful “little girls” are… because “they grow up in the most delightful way.” READ FULL STORY

Idina Menzel premieres music video for 'If/Then' showstopper

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Idina Menzel has at least one more surprise for you before the year ends.

The Tony-winning singer—whose year can boast a brand new Broadway musical, a holiday album, an Oscars introduction for the ages, and the vocals behind the biggest Disney hit since, well, ever—is front and center in a new music video that ought to delight fans of her currently running Broadway show, If/Then.

Written specifically for Menzel, the contemporary new musical (about a woman contemplating dual directions in life) culminates in the eleven o’clock power ballad “Always Starting Over,” which Menzel also performed at this year’s Tony Awards. Now that the plot-heavy song is out of the bag, Entertainment Weekly has the exclusive premiere video of Menzel’s full-length showstopper, filmed both on stage at the Richard Rodgers Theatre and in the recording studio.

Watch below: READ FULL STORY

10 iconic movie-musical dances, according to a Broadway choreographer

If your favorite part of NBC’s dearly departed Smash was the dynamite dancing in the Broadway-style musical numbers, you can thank Joshua Bergasse, the award-winning choreographer behind them.

Bergasse, who’s also choreographed for So You Think You Can Dance, is now the dancemaster behind the new Broadway revival of On the Town, the ballet-tinged musical that opened to rave reviews in New York this October. While choreography for live theater has its differences than the dances you see on film, Bergasse grew up watching the same movie-musicals that are beloved among fans of the genre—films which have even helped inspire him in his stage work.

EW invited Bergasse into the office for a good old-fashioned YouTube spiral, wherein the Emmy winner shared ten of his all-time favorite onscreen movie-musical dance sequences. Some picks are iconic and familiar—who doesn’t love Singin’ in the Rain?—while others could very well send you scrambling to find a copy of your new favorite musical film.

READ FULL STORY

'Beautiful' Tony winner Jessie Mueller relives her theater obsessions

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Rising Broadway star Jessie Mueller will have a lot to be thankful for as the year ends, considering that she scooped up a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical (which, considering Mueller’s trajectory, will almost certainly not be her last).

Mueller delighted crowds all year as Carole King, the singer-songwriter at the center of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, but the difficult, demanding role is far from her first experience in the spotlight. Coming from a family known for their part in the performing community in Chicago, Mueller talked about her theatrical childhood when she dropped by EW’s studio.

Watch the Tony winner relay her first musical obsession, her worst case of the giggles, and more Firsts & Worsts below. READ FULL STORY

This week's cover: 'Into the Woods' enchants EW's holiday movie preview

Ever since Chicago ushered the movie-musical back to the big screen with panache, the song-and-dance genre has had a bumpy road in Hollywood (here’s lookin’ at you, Rock of Ages). But the man behind the 2002 Best Picture winner hopes to turn the trend around with another tuner, this time based on one of Broadway’s most beloved Stephen Sondheim musicals. Director Rob Marshall takes the reins on Disney’s Into the Woods, and he’s gathered an A-list cast and creative team to conjure up a glossy adaptation of the 1987 fairy tale fantasy that’s decidedly different from any storybooks you might have gathering dust on the shelf.

In this week’s Entertainment Weekly—which features four exclusive covers of the fairy tale epic’s all-star cast—we dive headfirst into the design of the dark, sprawling world of Into the Woods, the musical tale about a childless Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) who attempt to lift a witch’s curse by venturing into an enchanted forest filled with classic characters like Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy). But this isn’t your mother’s Cinderella VHS—nor your daughter’s DVD, for that matter. “I didn’t want this to look like a cartoon world,” says Marshall. “It’s not sunny, sunny, sunny—we wanted a sense of danger.”

With the chance to re-invent the iconic musical, it wasn’t hard for Marshall to reunite members of his Chicago design team and lure top acting talent to the project—including Johnny Depp as the big bad Wolf and Meryl Streep as the Witch. “I’ve been offered many witches over the years, starting when I was 40, and I said no to all of them,” the actress tells EW. “But this was really fun because it played with the notion of what witches mean. They represented age and ugliness and scary powers we don’t understand. So here’s my opportunity to say, here’s what you wish for when you’re getting old.”

Come for the woods (and your first look at Depp’s Tex Avery-style lupine), but stay for the rest of our annual holiday movie preview, which includes candid chats with season stand-outs Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne, a behind-the-scenes look at Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Imitation Game, and the final Hobbit film, and of course, the calendar that will guide you through it all. The only question is, which cover will you pick?

READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: New York, New York – a helluva 'Town'

The randy sailors of On the Town are back in the Big Apple, and taking up permanent residence at the newly-renamed Lyric Theatre (where the beleaguered Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was the previous tenant), with lots of dancing boys and girls courtesy of Smash‘s acclaimed choreographer Joshua Bergasse (keep your eyes peeled to EW.com for a future feature on him, by the way). In other news, “Big” Al Pacino is coming back to Broadway next fall in a brand-new play written expressly for him by master wordsmith David Mamet, about a billionaire taking a fateful phone call before semi-retirement. And Emma Stone is getting ready to take over for Michelle Williams as Sally Bowles in Cabaret (EW jumped on that as well this week). And EW staff is busy as ever covering the fall openings, with six new productions this week, including a new musical based on Davy Rothbart’s famous series of found notes and letters, and new plays with live hot tubs and full meals; no expense-spared entertainment! (Click on the links below for full reviews.)

On the Town  The classic boys-on-a-day-pass from the Navy musical gets a large-scale revival with expert hoofers Tony Yazbeck, Megan Fairchild and Clyde Alves (with the comic stylings of Jackie Hoffman). Did senior editor Thom Geier have a helluva time? He calls it “spirited and surprisingly frank…But the biggest laughs of the evening go to Broadway veteran Hoffman, who serves up a rare culinary treat in her gut-busting recurring role as the heroine’s delusional vocal instructor: She’s a kosher ham.” EW grade: B+

While I Yet Live  Last year, Billy Porter won the musical best actor Tony for Kinky Boots so what was net on the horizon for him? Playwright, of course! He tells a semi-autobiographical tale of growing up black, gay and religious in a troubled family. Melissa Rose Bernardo praises its leading lady, Law & Order star S. Epatha Merkerson, dubbing her physical performance “astonishing”, but indicates the play has some issues: “Porter’s intentions may be beyond reproach; the fault is merely in his execution.” EW grade: C+ READ FULL STORY

Hear three tracks from the all-star 'Here Lies Love' remix album

The Public Theater’s thrilling production of the David Byrne/Fatboy Slim disco musical Here Lies Love—and its remarkable concept album featuring everyone from Florence Welch to Steve Earle to Cyndi Lauperdidn’t seem like they could get any more boogie-down. But the immersive disco musical about the rise and fall of Philippines power couple Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos (which earned an ‘A’ grade in its initial review by senior writer Kyle Anderson last year) is now issuing a remix album featuring these artists and more —including Tori Amos, Sia, and St. Vincent.

All proceeds from the album—which also includes the original cast recording—go directly to Gawad Kalinga, an organization dedicated to typhoon relief and ending poverty in the Philippines for 5 million families by 2024. READ FULL STORY

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.

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Listen to three exclusive tracks from Broadway's upcoming 'On the Town'

The Bronx is up, the Battery’s down—and smack-dab in the middle, there’s the latest revival of a classic 1944 Comden/Green/Bernstein musical, coming to the newly-renamed Lyric Theatre this fall. (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark played there previously when it was dubbed the Foxwoods Theatre).

This production of On the Town—a transfer from the acclaimed Barrington Stage Company mounting—has already turned a few heads with its handsome leading trio (Tony Yazbeck, Jay Armstrong Johnson, and Clyde Alves). John Rando (Urinetown) assumes directing duties here; expect plenty of fancy footwork, thanks to choreography by Smash‘s Joshua Bergasse. And keep an eye on the chorus—one spot will go to the winner of this season of So You Think You Can Dance, starting in spring 2015.

READ FULL STORY

Watch Norm Lewis as Broadway's first African-American 'Phantom'

On May 12 of this year, Norm Lewis became the first-ever African-American actor to take on the lead role of The Phantom of the Opera on (ahem) the Great White Way. (Robert Guillaume became the first-ever actor to do it regionally in 1990.)

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