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Manuel here to bring some Hollywood-tinged stage-bound news to give us a brief respite from the fun that is Hollywood awards season.
Cindy Lauper and Kinky Boots, Elton John and Billy Elliot, Alan Menken and Sister Act, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Bring it On, Marc Shaiman and Catch Me if You Can. It seems as if Broadway is on a movie-adaptation streak, no? Movie based adaptations have won seven of the past fourteen Tony Awards for Best Musical! This season alone will see Honeymoon in Vegas (based on the 1992 film of the same name), musicals based on Oscar-winning films Dr Zhivago (which recently announced its star) and Gigi (for what it's worth, its pre-Broadway engagement stars Vanessa Hudgens), as well as Bull Durham. Down the line we’re still expecting First Wives Club, Amelie, American Psycho, The Bodyguard and Ever After to make it to New York in the near future. »
- Manuel Betancourt
The 21st annual Slamdance Film Festival has announced its narrative and documentary feature film competition programs. This year’s selection of 11 narrative films and eight documentaries includes “20 Years of Madness,” about the reunion for one final episode of the real-life struggling cast members from the ’90s cult TV classic “30 Minutes of Madness.” Narrative competitors include “Diamond Tongues” about a female actor with a revitalized sense of career ambition after her ex-boyfriend decides to take up acting and immediately books a leading role; the world premiere of “Tired Moonlight,” starring “Girls” actor Alex Karpovsky, about two middle-aged women who find their lives plunged into chaos when they decide to care for a young girl and man who roll into their small town; “Body,” featuring Broadway actor Lauren Molina (“Sweeney Todd”) alongside Helen Rogers and Alexandra Turshen, about three young women who can’t keep it together after they break into a »
Add another title to the long list of movies getting the musical makeover treatment. The 2007 release, August Rush, which starred Freddie Highmore as an orphaned music prodigy who runs away from his foster home to find his parents, has been adapted for the stage by Glen Berger and Mark Mancina. Producers Southpaw Entertainment and Cj E&M announced on Tuesday that the Broadway-bound project will have a closed-door developmental industry presentation in New York on Dec. 9-10, directed by John Doyle. A Tony winner for the 2005 revival of Sweeney Todd, Doyle is currently represented off-Broadway
- David Rooney
The Hillywood Show returns with another send-up to pop culture and pop music. This time the sisters have the walkers in their sights. In a glorious spray of fake blood and killer dance moves, this parody set to “Another One Bites The Dust” has shades of “Sweeney Todd” in it. I’ve never thought about it before, but yeah. I’d watch a dark musical about surviving the zombie apocalypse. »
- Donna Dickens
Any Smash fan who spent two seasons following the progress of a fictional musical about Marilyn Monroe has to wonder: What the hell happened to Debra Messing‘s scarves? Famously reviled by TV fans, the show cut down on the cozy accessory in season two, but sadly never made it to a third. In hopes of cracking a Hollywood mystery for the ages, VH1 spoke to Will Chase, who played Michael Swift, the on-screen fling to Messing’s Julia Houston.
As an actor who came from Broadway himself, the current Nashville star discussed his musical theater legacy, and what he thinks of the recent trend of televised musicals (like NBC’s The Sound Of Music Live and the upcoming Peter Pan). Most importantly though, we talked about Smash, if there’s any hope of bringing Bombshell to Broadway, and where in the world Debra Messing‘s scarves might be today. »
- Elizabeth Black
The weekend is coming, and while we should definitely take some time to unwind from our busy weeks, that doesn’t mean you can start gearing up for Monday by checking out some new audition opportunities! Here are seven posted to Backstage this week! “Coming Through The Rye”This feature film shooting in Virginia and starring Chris Cooper (“American Beauty”) is casting dozens of supporting and lead roles. The film is about a prep student who deeply identifies with Holden Caulfield from “Catcher in the Rye.” This gig pays professionally and auditions will be held Oct. 3–17 in Charlottesville, Va. Be sure to list which role you’d like to audition for in your application! “A Night Of Conservative Humor”For those familiar with current events and politics, this sketch comedy show is seeking actors and comedians from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut with jokes that possess a conservative sway. »
Directed by Alain Resnais
Alain Resnais is inarguably one of the most prolific directors to come out of the French New Wave, with nearly 50 films under his belt, including his masterworks Hiroshima, Mon Amour, Last Year at Marienbad, and Night and Fog. Undeterred by age, he seemed to have been working up until the day he died, with his swan song Life of Riley being presented posthumously at this year’s New York Film Festival. Those only familiar with his Nouvelle Vague work will be in for a pleasant surprise: Life of Riley is perhaps more fun that it deserves to be.
Based on the play by Alan Ayckbourn, the film follows two (or three, depending on how you count) couples in the midst of rehearsals for a play, as the news of their friend’s »
- Kyle Turner
Earlier this year, Emma Thompson made her first stage appearance in a quarter century during a five-night performance of Sweeney Todd at Lincoln Center, where she played the murderous meat-pie maker Mrs. Lovett. It was such a hit that she'll be reprising the role on the London stage next year. Until then, however, here's a sneak peek of what it will look like — Live From Lincoln Center will air Sweeney Todd on PBS this Friday, September 26. »
- Vulture Editors
If you enjoyed the delightfully macabre Sweeney Todd, you’re sure to also love the highly anticipated Sondheim classic Into the Woods. Of course, you may be sitting there wondering just what this odd new movie is really all about. Well, I won’t give you any spoilers here, but I will give you ten reasons why you […]
Read 10 Exciting Reasons To Get Your Song On With ‘Into the Woods’ on Filmonic.
- Brandy Anderson
Something Weird is coming to FullMoonStreaming.com in a Big way! Read on for probably one of the coolest (and weirdest) announcements you'll see all week... and that's saying something given that it's San Diego Comic-Con Week!
From the Press Release
Full Moon is thrilled to announce the latest addition to the FullMoonStreaming.com roster: an untamed collection of classic cult, horror, and exploitation movies culled from the legendary Something Weird library!
The brainchild of late exploitation film curator and weird cinema enthusiast Mike Vraney (who tragically lost his battle with lung cancer earlier this year), Something Weird is widely recognized as the premiere imprint for awesomely lurid, cult cinema. The company has thousands of bizarre and wonderful motion pictures under their umbrella, representing every single strain of strangeness from greasy, hard and soft-core erotica to tassel-twirling burlesque; from European gladiator epics to gory horror gems; from druggie freak out potboilers and beyond. »
- Steve Barton
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
What's It About? Cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky's vision for a "Dune" movie was beyond remarkable; it was truly epic. Pink Floyd, H. R. Giger, and Mick Jagger were just a few of the names attached to the film - until it imploded. This is a documentary about a sci-fi film that was ahead of its time and the visionary behind it.
Why We're In: Tons of interviews, behind-the-scenes details, storyboards, and more make this a must-see for art house, midnight movie, and film history fiends.
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week
What's It About? Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson star in this cool crime drama about a thief who's out for revenge on the dude who double-crossed him. Mel Gibson's "Payback" was based on the same novel, "The Hunter" by Donald E. Westlake, but that shouldn't deter you. »
- Jenni Miller
Penny Dreadful is a show that had hundreds of names to choose from, and may have landed on the perfect option, even if said perfection is lost on most everyone who will ever watch the show.
Showtime‘s foray into the world of the supernatural will remind of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but more importantly has a connection to (and perhaps a statement about) penny dreadfuls that it embraces. Where similar shows seem to want to distance themselves from the idea, with the possible exception of True Blood, Penny Dreadful revels in its particular place in the literary hierarchy… or whatever.
Something like the comic-books of their era, penny dreadfuls were wild, overly dramatic, guilty pleasures filled with adventure, and though rather looked down on in terms of literary value, they had much in common with the early-era efforts of moving pictures. Most anything with cowboys, pirates, or fantastic »
- Marc Eastman
There was no shortage of casting notices on Backstage this week. Here are four theater audition listings you might have missed! Porchlight Music Theatre 2014–2015 SEASONFor union actors looking to get out of New York City (but not too far that they can’t come back), consider this audition notice with Porchlight Music Theatre in New Haven, C.T. Its season includes “Sweeney Todd,” “Sondheim on Sondheim,” “Bells Are Ringing” “City of Angels,” and “Mack and Mabel.” The Old Globe Theatre 2014–2015 SEASONEquity actors 18 an older looking to get add more theater work to their résumés should consider a run at the Globe. its season includes “The Royale,” “Bright Star,” “Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” “The White Snake,” “Buyer & Cellar,” and more. The season rehearses and performs in San Diego, Calif. ‘Awake And Sing’Presented by The Nuance Theatre Company, this play running July 11–27 in New York City follows three generations of the Berger family, »
After several decades of failed and stalled attempts, an adaptation of Emile Zola's gothic novel Thérèse Raquin has finally made it to the screen, with a generic new title that in no way reflects its uproariously weird tone. In Secret's main selling point is its cast, the previously attached Jessica Biel and Gerard Butler having now been replaced by the altogether more compelling duo of Elizabeth Olsen and Oscar Isaac, but strong performances can't elevate it beyond the level of enjoyably ridiculous.
Olsen plays the beautiful, quietly resentful anti-heroine Thérèse, who's adopted as a child by a stern, puritanical aunt (Jessica Lange on scenery-chewing form) and forced into a suffocating, loveless marriage to her sickly cousin Camille (Tom Felton). So overwhelming is her sexual repression that when »
It seems Hugh Jackman can’t get Broadway out of his system. After the May 23 opening of the supersized Marvel opus X-Men: Days of Future Past, he will preside over the 2014 Tony Awards on CBS June 8 (where we can possibly see a taste of the song-and-dance man of The Boy From Oz and Oklahoma!), and it was just announced that he will return to the NYC stage this fall in a brand-new play by acclaimed playwright Jez Butterworth (Jerusalem) called The River, set in a remote rural cabin and featuring only three actors. And despite the fact that Jackman could »
- Jason Clark
Agents of Shield, Season 1, Episode 18, “Providence”
Written by Brent Fletcher
Directed by Milan Cheylov
Airs Tuesdays at 8pm Est on ABC
In the aftermath of Shield’s destruction, Agents of Shield splits “Providence” between the remaining members of Coulson’s team trying to figure out what is next and Ward and Garrett heading off to the Fridge for evil plotting and mustache-twirling. At first, Coulson wants to go completely off the grid, but he rethinks this plan when he discovers glowing coordinates on his Shield badge. He believes the coordinates are a clue from Fury himself as to where to go and how to find him. May, however, thinks that Coulson isn’t thinking clearly in the aftermath of Shield’s demise, and she worries that his decisions are putting everyone else in danger.
“Turn, Turn, Turn” and Captain America: Winter Soldier are both action-heavy, but “Providence” is more about the laughs. »
- Rachel Kolb
This was one of those Game of Thrones episodes that ends so shockingly and perfectly, that it’s easy to forget how tremendously executed the preceding 45 minutes were. “The Lion and the Rose” will be remembered—like “The Rains of Castamere” and “Baelor”—as “that episode where that really big, important thing happened at the end.” In other words, it’s the type of episode you really don’t want to read about on Twitter or elsewhere before seeing it for yourself, because having one of the few satisfying game-changing moments from this series spoiled for you would be almost enough to dampen one’s mirth over the fact that one of television’s most loathed characters received a send-off worthy of his loathsomeness.
But let’s work our way toward that. After all, this episode and a large portion of the previous seasons have slowly built the momentum for this final, »
- Darren Ruecker
Six years after writing the classic musical Guys and Dolls, composer Frank Loesser introduced audiences to The Most Happy Fella. The show has an often lush, operatic, and nearly-sung-through score — but the book is a dated, borderline racist bit of nonsense about an Italian immigrant vineyard owner in the Napa Valley who talks-a like-a this-a and even refers to himself at one point as “a stupid, ugly, old wop.”
In other words, it’s just the sort of problematic chestnut to get a five-night-only revival this week as part of the New York City Center Encores! series, a two-decade-old program »
- Thom Geier
A rather misleading title is just one reason to be slightly suspicious of “Rio 2” an eye-popping, ear-tickling animated sequel that labors to fold a cheeky family sitcom, an earnest environmental primer, an exotic jungle tour, a broad survey of popular music and an avian remake of “Meet the Parents” into one bright and noisy package. Mining an unwieldy number of domestic and ecological dramas from the continuing saga of a rare Brazilian blue macaw, here venturing with his new family into the perilous Amazon rainforest, this hyperactive toon extravaganza has color, flair and energy to burn. But it’s the sort of relentless juggling act that finally proves more exhausting than exhilarating as it lectures you about respecting Mother Nature one minute, knocks you over with a Gloria Gaynor cover the next, and squeezes in a lot of questionable comic relief in between.
For those not inclined to resist »
- Justin Chang
At first glance, "horror movie" and "musical" would seem like a terrible mix. Musicals are often a celebration of human emotions whereas horror films frequently try to evoke and provoke those unpleasant things that terrify us all. But of course there is the cult classic granddaddy called The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), which is not only a horror movie and a musical, but also a maniacal love letter to old-fashioned horror movies and musicals. (Brian De Palma's 1974 film The Phantom of the Paradise also deserves a mention in this category.)
From Rocky Horror on there has been a calm but steady trickle of films that have little to no problem combining singing and dancing with scary stories. Little Shop of Horrors (1986), Cannibal: The Musical (1997), Sweeney Todd (2007), and Repo! The Genetic Opera (2009) still find new fans today because they're able to introduce horror ideas to musical presentations with various types »
- Scott Weinberg
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