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Herbert Strabel, Oscar-Winning Set Designer on 'Cabaret,' Dies at 90

Herbert Strabel, the Berlin-born art director and set designer who won an Academy Award for his work on the Liza Minnelli classic Cabaret, has died. He was 90.

Strabel died Oct. 21 in a nursing home in Holzkirchen, Germany, The Munchner Merkur newspaper reported.

Strabel also served as art director on the Germany-set 1978 suspense film Brass Target, which implied that Gen. George Patton's fatal automobile crash was not accidental.

When Ingmar Bergman was living in Germany in a tax-related exile, he hired Strabel for From the Life of...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

Herbert Strabel, Oscar-Winning Set Designer on 'Cabaret,' Dies at 90

Herbert Strabel, Oscar-Winning Set Designer on 'Cabaret,' Dies at 90
Herbert Strabel, the Berlin-born art director and set designer who won an Academy Award for his work on the Liza Minnelli classic Cabaret, has died. He was 90.

Strabel died Oct. 21 in a nursing home in Holzkirchen, Germany, The Munchner Merkur newspaper reported.

Strabel also served as art director on the Germany-set 1978 suspense film Brass Target, which implied that Gen. George Patton's fatal automobile crash was not accidental.
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

​Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami review – sharp portrait of an iconic extraterrestrial

Sophie Fiennes’ engaging documentary explores the showbiz excesses and the Jamaican background of a star who sparkles ever more intensely

At 69 years old – and looking at least 20 years younger – the singer Grace Jones is the subject of this documentary portrait by Sophie Fiennes. It’s a celebration of her musicality and extraterrestrial scariness, and a reminder that films about female singing stars need not be gallant tributes to tragically doomed fragility.

Jones looks like a mix of Liza Minnelli in Cabaret and Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator. She has elaborate headgear that obscures her face, making her look all the more like an icon, or a weapon – and Fiennes’s film hints that this mannerism may be derived from hats favoured in the churches of her Jamaican childhood. (“Bloodlight” and “bami” are Jamaican words for the red studio light and bread.) We see her on tour, yelling at people over
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Stage Door: "Prince of Broadway"

by Nathaniel R

Though I don't cherish the form I've seen quite a few jukebox musicals in my day. Sometimes they take the biographical route like Jersey Boys. Often they'll sift through the lyrics of some artist's catalogue hoping to yank out phrases and threads from which they can stitch together a frankenstein story. Mammia Mia is either the apotheosis or the nadir of that latter form, depending on your perspective. But what if the jukebox isn't beholden to one composer? Prince of Broadway, which just opened at the Samuel Friedman in NYC, is devoted to the producer Harold Prince who did not write music. So what you have is a greatest hits of, uh, dozens of different composers from a wide range of musicals. If this were a CD it might be called "Now That's What I Call Broadway, Vol. Whatever"

Prince backed a Ton of über famous shows
See full article at FilmExperience »

Bow Down to the ‘Prince of Broadway’ + More NYC Events 8/04–10

New York is the city that never sleeps, and with so many events and activities each week across all five boroughs, it can be hard to know what’s actually worthwhile. Here are the events New York City actors should have on their radars this week. Bow down to the prince.“Prince of Broadway,” the new musical revue featuring songs from the many shows directed by legendary Harold Prince, is now in previews at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Including selected tunes from classics such a “West Side Story,” “Cabaret,” “Phantom,” “Company,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” and so many more, the production will also feature brand new numbers from Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown (“The Last Five Years”), and an all-star cast including Brandon Uranowitz, Michael Xavier, Emily Skinner, and Karen Ziemba. (Tickets start at $89) Byom (bring your own mat).Yoga Tuesdays at MetroTech in Brooklyn are underway and on Aug.
See full article at Backstage »

‘Cabaret’ Tour Will Hold Open Casting Call in NYC for Nonunion Talent

Willkommen, nonunion performers! An upcoming North American tour of “Cabaret,” the classic John Kander and Fred Ebb tuner, will hold an open casting call for non-Equity talent who also play instruments in New York City. Casting directors Brian Enzman and Lauren Sobon—will pull double duty as co-artistic directors—are seeking male and female talent ages 20–35 to fill its ensemble. In addition to strong singing ability, actors should be able to play at least one of the following: saxophone, clarinet, violin, viola, or cello. A male actor aged 40–65 is also needed to serve as a cover for Herr Schultz, and must be able to play either saxophone or clarinet. If you fit any of the above criteria, get yourself to the open casting call, which will be held Aug. 8 in NYC. Rehearsals will begin in New York in November. The tour will kick off Dec. 17 and run until May 21, 2018, throughout North America.
See full article at Backstage »

Blood Drive's Colin Cunningham Details the Evolution of Slink — Plus: How He Asked for (And Got) Full Frontal Nudity

Blood Drive's Colin Cunningham Details the Evolution of Slink — Plus: How He Asked for (And Got) Full Frontal Nudity
Blood Drive‘s titular race for years had been a subversive affair sneaked to lookie-loos via closed-circuit TV. But as the gauntlet gained a following, evil overlord Heart Enterprises stepped forward with a national broadcast and (gasp/ugh) “notes.”

Julian Slink — the race’s Master of Mayhem — at first waved off the input, steadfastly “trying to retain his integrity as an artist, to come up with something of worth that is meaningful,” says portrayer Colin Cunningham. Or at least “something of worth” as pertains a contest where the cars are fueled by ill-gotten human blood. But in this Wednesday’s
See full article at TVLine.com »

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets – Review

Dane DeHaan stars in Luc Besson’s Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets.

Photo Credit: Lou Faulon. Photo courtesy of Stx Entertainment. Motion Picture Artwork © 2017 Stx Financing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets is writer/director Luc Besson’s latest sci-fi action/adventure film, starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne as a team of special agents wisecracking and flirting their way through danger as they race to unravel the puzzle of what or who is threatening to destroy the interstellar city of Alpha. The film also stars Clive Owen, Ethan Hawk and singer Rihanna.

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets is spectacular visually, with one fabulous, colorful, fantastical vision after another, and the film completely delivers on that level.

The 3D action/adventure film is based on a French sci-fi graphic novel series, “Valerian and Laureline,” or just “Valerian.” The long-running comic series,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

From Silent Film Icon and His Women to Nazi Era's Frightening 'Common Folk': Lgbt Pride Movie Series (Final)

From Silent Film Icon and His Women to Nazi Era's Frightening 'Common Folk': Lgbt Pride Movie Series (Final)
(See previous post: “Gay Pride Movie Series Comes to a Close: From Heterosexual Angst to Indonesian Coup.”) Ken Russell's Valentino (1977) is notable for starring ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev as silent era icon Rudolph Valentino, whose sexual orientation, despite countless gay rumors, seems to have been, according to the available evidence, heterosexual. (Valentino's supposed affair with fellow “Latin LoverRamon Novarro has no basis in reality.) The female cast is also impressive: Veteran Leslie Caron (Lili, Gigi) as stage and screen star Alla Nazimova, ex-The Mamas & the Papas singer Michelle Phillips as Valentino wife and Nazimova protégée Natacha Rambova, Felicity Kendal as screenwriter/producer June Mathis (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse), and Carol Kane – lately of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt fame. Bob Fosse's Cabaret (1972) is notable as one of the greatest musicals ever made. As a 1930s Cabaret presenter – and the Spirit of Germany – Joel Grey was the year's Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner. Liza Minnelli
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Interview: Brown Paper Box Co.’s ‘Positively Present’ Cabaret on Apr. 7-8, 2017

Chicago – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

At Mary’s Attic in Chicago, April 7th & 8th, 2017

Photo credit: Brown Paper Box Co.

Based in Chicago, Brown Paper Box Co. creates challenging and inspiring theatre that focuses on the text itself. By employing a smart, simple aesthetic in intimate spaces, their desire is to get to the heart of the stories they are staging. Anna Schutz is the Managing Director of the Company, and Kristi Szczepanek is an Artistic Associate, besides their participation as songstresses.
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

‘Star Wars’ Actor Oscar Isaac to Be (or Not to Be) ‘Hamlet’ in Off Broadway Revival

  • The Wrap
‘Star Wars’ Actor Oscar Isaac to Be (or Not to Be) ‘Hamlet’ in Off Broadway Revival
Star Wars” actor Oscar Isaac will star this summer in a new Off Broadway production of William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy “Hamlet,” The Public Theater announced Thursday. Tony Award winner Sam Gold will direct the revival, which will begin previews on June 20 before an official opening on July 13. The production is expected to run through Sept. 3. The new production will also feature Roberta Colindrez (Rosencrantz), Peter Friedman (Polonius), Keegan-Michael Key (Horatio), Gayle Rankin (Ophelia, Second Gravedigger), Matthew Saldívar (Guildenstern) and Anatol Yusef (Laertes). Also Read: 'Kid Victory' Theater Review: Life Is Not a Cabaret in John Kander's New Musical Complete casting.
See full article at The Wrap »

Witness the Evolution of Cinematography with Compilation of Oscar Winners

This past weekend, the American Society of Cinematographers awarded Greig Fraser for his contribution to Lion as last year’s greatest accomplishment in the field. Of course, his achievement was just a small sampling of the fantastic work from directors of photography, but it did give us a stronger hint at what may be the winner on Oscar night. Ahead of the ceremony, we have a new video compilation that honors all the past winners in the category at the Academy Awards

Created by Burger Fiction, it spans the stunning silent landmark Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans all the way up to the end of Emmanuel Lubezki‘s three-peat win for The Revenant. Aside from the advancements in color and aspect ration, it’s a thrill to see some of cinema’s most iconic shots side-by-side. However, the best way to experience the evolution of the craft is by
See full article at The Film Stage »

Oscars: How Often Do Musicals Result in Best Actor and Best Actress Nominations and Wins?

  • Scott Feinberg
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in ‘La La Land’ (Courtesy: Lionsgate)

By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

Not only is La La Land breaking records as the most-nominated musical in Oscar history but that haul of 14 nominations for its lead pair, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Musicals don’t often get that much love from the Academy Awards and getting recognition in both the best actor and best actress categories is even rarer. Let’s take a look back at the history of this happening and see how Stone and Gosling’s nominations — and potential wins — are important.

Taking a look at this year’s nominations, Stone is favored to win more than Gosling is for their work in the Damien Chazelle-directed musical. Gosling is up against Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), and Denzel Washington (Fences) — with the latter expected to reign supreme.
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

A Second Look at ‘La La Land’: Why It’s Not Just Good, But Great

A Second Look at ‘La La Land’: Why It’s Not Just Good, But Great
La La Land,” in theory, is a movie that needs no explanation. The simplest thing you could call it is “an old-fashioned musical” — which means, of course, that it’s a big colorful splashy cornball swoon of a movie, one that traffics in the kind of billboard emotions (Love! Sadness! Joy!) and timeless Hollywood forms (Singing! Dancing! A Lavish Freeway Production Number Done In One Unbroken Take!) that can hit audiences like a sweet shot to the heart. That’s the beauty of it, right?

Yet “La La Land” isn’t just old-fashioned. It’s the new-fangled version of a sprawling Tinseltown classic. It’s Old Hollywood meets Jacques Demy meets “New York, New York” meets postmodern indie backlot passion. It’s a grand Los Angeles epic that features “mainstream” sentiments, but it’s also a subtle and idiosyncratic journey that’s almost entirely unpredictable. (Half an hour before it ends,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Oscars: How Often Is There a Split Between Best Picture and Best Director?

  • Scott Feinberg
La La Land’ and ‘Moonlight’ (Courtesy: Dale Robinette; David Bornfriend/A24)

By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

Nothing is certain at the Oscars, and that absolutely applies to the best picture and best director categories. While it is common for films to win both of these trophies in a given year, sometimes they can go to two different works. There’s a chance that La La Land and Moonlight could split these categories at the upcoming ceremony — but how often does that happen?

Both of these films are considered frontrunners in both the best picture and best director category at the upcoming Oscars. This site’s namesake, The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg, lists La La Land — written and directed by Damien Chazelle — and Moonlight — written and directed by Barry Jenkins — as the top two contenders in both categories in his latest check-in on the race. The two films have been
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Interview: Damien Chazelle & Rosemarie DeWitt of ‘La La Land’

  • HollywoodChicago.com
Chicago – Bringing the musical movie genre back requires a bit of nostalgia, a nod to modernity and always old fashioned star power. Writer/director Damien Chazelle (“Whiplash”) combined all three to produce “La La Land,” with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as star-crossed lovers. Rosemarie DeWitt also has a featured role.

Set in the mythical land of Los Angeles, the story features actress Mia (Emma Stone) and jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) as artists who are trying to reach their own peaks in their respective professions. The tale feeds off the time-honored musical tradition of lovers trying to connect, often through song and dance, and the film embraces its soaring music and touchingly romantic choreography.

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in ‘La La Land

Photo credit: Lionsgate

Damien Chazelle exploded onto the film scene in 2014 with his feature debut “Whiplash,” the intense and searing drama about a jazz drummer. From Rhode Island,
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Broadway Legend Joel Grey on Hamilton Cast Statement to Mike Pence: ‘It’s All Part of the Theater Experience’

  • PEOPLE.com
Broadway Legend Joel Grey on Hamilton Cast Statement to Mike Pence: ‘It’s All Part of the Theater Experience’
When Joel Grey’s favorite leading ladies came together to celebrate his 75 years in show business Monday, they each had a different take on the Broadway legend.

Bernadette Peters remembered “falling in love with him” at their first meeting while costarring in the musical George M, Bebe Neuwirth danced and sang to “Mr. Cellophane” from Chicago, and Sutton Foster — his costar from Anything Goes — remembered the time he knocked on her dressing room door with a “present” in a paper bag. “It was half a donut,” she said. He’d eaten the other half. “He’s always full of surprises,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Oscars: How Do Leading Ladies From Musicals Fare in the Best Actress Category?

  • Scott Feinberg
Emma Stone in ‘La La Land’ (Courtesy: Lionsgate)

By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

Emma Stone is poised to do something very historic this year if she takes home the best actress Oscar for La La Land. The history of leading ladies from musicals in this category isn’t that long and, should the 28-year-old win — as critics are predicting even considering Natalie Portman in Jackie — it would be an occurrence we haven’t seen for quite some time.

In the Damien Chazelle-directed flick, Stone plays an aspiring actress named Mia opposite Ryan Gosling as a jazz musician named Sebastian — their third time playing love interests after 2011’s Crazy, Stupid, Love and 2013’s Gangster Squad. As these two fall in love amid their struggle to make it in Los Angeles, their individual quests for fame begin to pull them apart.

The other frontrunners to give Stone competition for best actress
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Viola Davis Pulls a Switcheroo For ‘Fences’ in Oscar Race — Is it Justified?

  • Scott Feinberg
Viola Davis in ‘Fences’ (Courtesy: Paramount Pictures)

By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

Viola Davis just caused a major shakeup in the best actress and best supporting actress Oscar races by deciding to compete in the latter, rather than the former, for her role as Rose Maxson in Denzel Washington’s directorial debut, Fences. This is mostly surprising because the How to Get Away With Murder star won the lead actress Tony Award in 2010—but has this switcheroo ever happened before?

Over the course of awards show history, there have been a grand total of nine actors and actresses that have won both a Tony and an Oscar for the same role from the same source material—so let’s take a look through these historic wins.

When looking at the actresses who have accomplished this, there have been three. The first was Shirley Booth for the role of Lola in Come Back,
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Why Movies Keep Going Back to the Holocaust

Why Movies Keep Going Back to the Holocaust
When making Oscar predictions, I’ve learned to never underestimate the Holocaust movie. When in doubt with those pesky documentary short subjects, pick the one about the Holocaust. It sounds crass, and it’s an eye-rolling industry truism, but if you chose “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” in 2014, you were right. Out of seven nominated Holocaust feature documentaries, six won the Oscar.

The Holocaust is a heart-rending and complicated subject. There have been many other genocides in history, of course; Oscar-winner “The Killing Fields” addressed Cambodia, and other films have examined Armenia, Rwanda, Indonesia, and Bosnia. Still, that’s nothing compared to the hundreds of movies that have addressed how Adolf Hitler and his Nazis exterminated 6 million Jews during World War II.

This year is no exception. Well-intentioned court procedural “Denial” (Bleecker Street), starring Rachel Weisz as an American academic on trial in Britain for defaming
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »
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