Archive for February, 2013
My new year’s resolution this year was to attempt to see all of the movie musicals in the canon – a difficult goal, to be sure, but what good are resolutions if they are easy to achieve!?
Luckily, Warner Brothers just released a 20 film collection that’s helped me check a bunch of the big ones off the list, including a number of classics I’d only ever seen clips of before.
The set contains:
- The Jazz Singer (1927)
- Broadway Melody of 1929 (1929(
- 42nd Street (1933)
- The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
- Wizard of Oz (1939)
- Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
- An American In Paris (1951)
- Show Boat (1951)
- Singin In The Rain (1952)
- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
- A Star Is Born (1954)
- The Music Man (1962)
- Viva Las Vegas (1964)
- Camelot (1967)
- Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
- Cabaret (1972)
- That’s Entertainment (1974)
- Victor, Victoria (1982)
- Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
- Hairspray (1988)
Though I consider a couple of the additions to this set questionable, like Hairspray, which is hardly a musical in its original film version and That’s Entertainment, which is not a musical, but rather a compilation of musical theatre clips and interviews, there are tons of great films in the package – The Wizard of Oz, Show Boat, Singin’ In the Rain, The Music Man and Cabaret – shows ANY fan would affirm are staples in the musical film canon. Probably my biggest disappointment was seeing Viva Las Vegas, as I hadn’t thought to include the 30 films Elvis starred in as musicals, though they most surely are…
As for the box set, the packaging is great. Unlike many of the sets I own, each of the movies is well protected in its own slot, divided into three separate casings.
The disks themselves seem to be exactly those you would receive if you purchased each film separately. If you’re a bonus feature kind of person, you’ll probably be disappointed, but if you’re just looking to see the films and add them to your collection – this set it a real treat.
The booklet contained in the package isn’t much to write about – quick paragraph descriptions that you’ll glance at once and then never pull out again, but it does have lovely stills from each film and does note which awards, if any, the film won. (I forget how popular musicals were back in the day – maybe Les Miserables will take home all sorts of Academy Awards on Sunday and bring us back to those glorious days!)
You can purchase the box set on Amazon here for $70.83 at the time of this writing, which works out to each film costing $3.50 a piece – not too shabby!
The bottom line review: Nothing too fancy and nothing you won’t find anywhere else, but nonetheless a great collection of films worth owning, packaged well and at a reasonable price.
The Broadway Musical Home received a complementary copy of this box set, but was not paid to endorse this product in any way.
There is no doubt that pop culture powerhouses like Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, and Pink, can sell out a live performance. From jam packed amphitheaters of 20,000 to more intimate venues of a few hundred, fans flock to experience the talented vocals and outrageous fashions of these diva dynamos. What if the likes of Katy Perry and Beyonce were front and center on a different type of stage, however? How would these superstars fare as the leading ladies of some of our favorite Broadway musicals? Here are 5 examples of pop stars who should give it a try, along with the roles and musicals they would be a good fit for!
Taylor Swift as Laurie in Oklahoma!
While most Hollywood songstresses have edgy or provocative personas, Taylor Swift is one of the few who retains a more wholesome all-American vibe that would translate perfectly to Laurie Williams’ character in Oklahoma! Her country music roots would fit in perfectly amongst the waving wheat backdrop of Oklahoma, and she could certainly do justice to “Many a New Day” and “People Will Say We’re in Love.” She would also do a great job exploring the conflict of simultaneously being drawn to the darkness of Jud and the purity of Curly, since she has been romantically linked to bad boys like John Mayer, as well as more innocent beaus like Harry Styles.
Britney Spears as Sandy in Grease
Who better equipped to portray Sandy’s radical change from letter sweater sweetheart to leather clad rebel, than someone who has been through a similar shift in her own personal life? Brittney Spears first found the limelight as a Mickey Mouse Club Mousketeer, and over the years has abandoned her bubbly teen pop ways in favor of a rebellious, unabashedly sexual persona. Who knows- maybe Brit could even use her connections to rally former Mousketeers Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake as members of the Pink Ladies and T-Birds!
Adele as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray
For many Hollywood starlets, being asked to sport an exaggerated bouffant hairstyle would be an annoyance if not a deal-breaker for accepting the part of Tracy Turnblad. Adele, however, is known and celebrated for her chic retro 1960’s inspired style including, yes, her signature poofed bouffant hairdos! Tracy’s role also calls for someone who is extremely comfortable in their own skin, and Adele fits the bill to a T. In fact, in 2012 it was rumored that Adele was very upset after Jennifer Hudson, a spokesperson for Weight Watchers, approached her to suggest she join the program. Adele reports that she is happy the way she is, and has no intentions of dieting. Lastly, it would be really refreshing to witness the soulful quality that Adele would contribute to traditionally light and frothy numbers like “I can Hear the Bells.”
Pink as Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun
A defiant, gutsy, independent gal with a unique fashion sense and the firmly rooted belief that she can do anything better than any man can? That description is perfectly suited for both Annie Oakley and Pink, making this a great potential Broadway match. Both females have a distinct spunk and sass, so Pink would surely do a bang up job expressing those qualities throughout the show, particularly in the already spirited number, “Anything You Can Do.” Despite brimming with confidence, Annie Oakley’s character is still vulnerable in her search for a meaningful and deep love. After all, you can’t just “get a man with a gun.” Luckily the parallels continue, for just as Annie eventually finds her Frank, headstrong Pink has also found her true match. She and Carey Hart have been married for over 10 years.
Jennifer Lopez as Maria in West Side Story
J.Lo is as much of a shoe-in for this part as there could be! Pop culture’s favorite “Jenny from the Block” was born in New York City to two parents of Puerto Rican descent. Having grown up living and breathing a Puerto Rican heritage in the heart of NYC, she would lend an undeniable authenticity to her portrayal of Maria. Ms. Lopez is also uniquely suited to tackle this dance-intense role because early in her career she held a high profile position as a Fly Girl dancer on In Living Color. On top of that, Maria’s character has to fall deeply, madly, in love, in a short period of time. She daydreams about marrying Tony mere moments after they first meet, afterall! Thankfully, J.Lo is no stranger to falling in deep, quick, love, as evidenced by her three separate marriages and one failed engagement. Wouldn’t it be great to see J.Lo take on the role of Maria “tonight, tonight?”
Aleksandra Sobic is a Broadway musical enthusiast who writes for Halloweencostumes.com. When she isn’t able to perform on an actual stage, she has no shame in prancing around her apartment in various hats belting “I Feel Pretty!” She hasn’t received any noise complaints as of yet…
How to Enter
In honor of the upcoming Oscars (and the incredible 8 awards this film won at the 1972 Academy Awards), comment with who you think most deserving of an Oscar for their work on the film. Bob Fosse? Liza Minnelli? Joel Grey? Michael York? The cinematography? The art directors? The makeup designers? Should it have beat out The Godfather for Best Picture?
Can’t wait to hear what you think.
Congratulations to Gaby, the winner of the 40th Anniversary Blu-Ray Version of Cabaret!
If you aren’t Gaby but still want a copy of the Blu-Ray, you can purchase it from Amazon now!
The winner was chosen at random from all comments using a random number generated by random.org on February 20th at 5 pm EST.
The Broadway Musical Home was furnished with a complementary copy of this Blu-Ray for this contest, but was not paid to endorse this product in any way.
The 1972 film version of Cabaret is now out in a new 40th anniversary Blu-Ray edition, and if you haven’t seen it in a while, it’s well worth revisiting.
As you may or may not remember, the movie version is quite different from the staged one. Many songs are cut or just played as instrumentals, and singing arises realistically — songs are performed onstage at the cabaret by Sally and the Emcee, with the action of the play grounded in unsung realism. Many of the subplots are missing and much of the original Isherwood tale is added back in, but Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey give wonderful performances in their roles under the expert direction of Bob Fosse. The movie won eight Oscars, especially impressive when considering it was nominated alongside another movie you’ve probably heard of – The Godfather.
The film quality isn’t too much better than the DVD version (and is exactly the same as the previously released Blu-Ray), but what the 40th Anniversary Blu-Ray does offer is an insanely large collection of extras, including a detailed (and wonderful) documentary about how the show changed musical theatre. Also included are ‘behind the scenes’ videos, oodles of interviews, and funny and touching stories from the actors and others involved with the film.
If it all just sounds too marvelous to miss, you can buy your own copy at Amazon for under $20, and starting tomorrow, we’ll be featuring a giveaway of the new Blu-Ray on the blog here — so be sure to come back and enter to win!
The Broadway Musical Home received a complementary copy of this Blu-Ray, but was not paid to endorse this product in any way.