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Dishing out daily (or almost daily) Broadway musical news and gossip. The companion site to The Broadway Musical Home (broadwaymusicalhome.com), a directory of Broadway musicals with the story, songs, merchandise, video clips, lyrics, tickets, rights & awards for almost 200 shows.

Archive for Kander and Ebb

GIVEAWAY: The 40th Anniversary Blu-Ray Film Version of Cabaret

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It’s giveaway time once again and this time we’ve got a copy of the new 40th Anniversary Blu-Ray of Cabaret to give away (if you missed it, check out our review of the Blu-Ray here).

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.

UPDATE 1-20-13

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!

Thanks again to everyone who entered. We’ll have another contest coming up on the blog soon, so if you haven’t yet, be sure to to subscribe via email or RSS to ensure you don’t miss the next contest.

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.

A Merchandise Review: The 40th Anniversary Blu-Ray Version of Cabaret

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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.

The reviews for The Scottsboro Boys are in…

Another Off-Broadway transfer, The Scottsboro Boys, has moved to Broadway (after a quick fix-up out of town). The show is stronger than ever and critics are raving about the choreography, score, story and the amazing turn by newcomer Joshua Henry. The Scottsboro Boys‘ minstrel show treatment of very dark subject matter has critics split – some find the pairing genius and while others find the minstrel-show set up lessens the impact or is just outright smug.

Here’s what the major publications thought:

New York Post

A boldly stylized, defiantly razzle-dazzle look at true events…The story has a resounding emotional charge, but we also clearly see the cruel, almost cartoonish absurdity of it all…As grim as its subject is, the show is vibrantly alive…On the surface, The Scottsboro Boys is a hard sell in a Times Square dominated by escapist fluff…Yet this is also a thrillingly inventive and entertaining night at the theater. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be moved. What could be more Broadway than that? Read the full review

Variety

Arguably the finest of last season’s new musicals when it appeared at the Vineyard in March…[it's now] stronger, tighter and even more impactful…Director-choreographer Stroman, working on a far simpler scale than usual, delivers her most creative and effective work in years, and Kander’s music sounds great…Actors appear to be relatively cramped for space, resulting in a suitably claustrophobic feel and a jolt in voltage that helps account for the increased power of Scottsboro in its new home on Broadway. Read the full review

Backstage

Nestled snugly into the Lyceum Theatre, whose musty period interior enhances the show in ways the rather antiseptic Vineyard Theatre never could, this look at a monstrous, racially motivated miscarriage of justice in the Depression-era South, staged in the form of a minstrel show, packs quite a punch. It’s a satisfying finale for the legendary songwriting team…Thanks to some small but smart focusing, clarifying, and tightening of the book and director-choreographer Susan Stroman’s exemplary staging, the show now makes it clear that its purpose is not to tell the personal stories of these men. The musical is about what happened to them, and how that changed America…Here’s to the creative team for insisting on delivering the show it wanted. The Scottsboro Boys sets a high bar for Broadway musicals this season. Read the full review

The New York Times

Mr. Kander and Mr. Ebb have written a zesty if not top-tier score, but the pleasures of a jaunty ragtime melody and a clever lyric are hard to savor when they are presented in such an unavoidably grim context…Although the show’s momentum is hampered by both its essential singularity of tone and the tortuous history of the court cases, the production remains dynamic, thanks in no small part to the dauntless energy of the terrific cast, all fine singers and dancers. But the musical never really resolves the tension between its impulse to entertain us with hoary jokes and quivering tambourines and the desire to render the harsh morals of its story with earnest insistence. Read the full review

Wall Street Journal

It is impossible not to be thrilled by the electrifying craftsmanship…The problem is that all this formidable talent has been enlisted in the service of a musical so smug that I could scarcely bear to sit and watch it…I suppose there are places in America where such a show might still jolt its viewers, but to see The Scottsboro Boys on Broadway is to witness a nightly act of collective self-congratulation in which the right-thinking members of the audience preen themselves complacently at the thought of their own enlightenment…A musical that slathers this terrible tale in a thick coat of musical-comedy frosting that has been spiked with cheap, elephantine irony. I can’t imagine a nastier-tasting recipe. Read the full review

Have you seen the show? What did you think?

Stroman to direct Cullum, Dixon and Domingo in Kander/Ebb Musical Reading

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John Cullum (Urinetown), Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple) and Colman Domingo (Passing Strange) will star in an invitation-only reading of John Kander and Fred Ebb’s The Scottsboro Boys directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman (The Producers).

With music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman), a book by David Thompson, and musical direction is by David Loud, the musical “explores the famous Scottsboro case of the 1930′s — in which a group of young African American teenagers were unjustly accused of attacking two women — and their attempt to prove their innocence.”

Cullum, Dixon and Domingo lead a reading cast that also includes Josh Breckenridge, Jared Grimes, Malik Hammond, Jared Joseph, James Lane, JC Montgomery, Brenda Pressley, Christian White, and Dashaun Young.

The musical will be presented June 26th at 3PM at the Vineyard Theater.

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