17 items from 2014
Here's Jose to talk about a currently odd Broadway trend.
People like to complain about the movies running out of ideas, with only remakes and sequels in production. But the stage is no different.
Here in New York, Times Square can fool you into thinking you've fallen in a time vortex which has dropped you back in the mid-90s. Billboards for Broadway shows adapted from 1990’s movies are all over the place (The Lion King, Aladdin, Kinky Boots) and two of the newest and biggest are for Bullets Over Broadway (which starts previews next week!) and The Bridges of Madison County. The latter makes me ponder the peculiar choices of its leading lady Kelli O'Hara. Is she secretly a cinephile or actressexual?
More after the jump (help us guess what Kelli will star in next!?)
Jason Robert Brown just might be one of the busiest individuals currently on the theater scene. The composer and lyricist, best known for his off-Broadway hit The Last Five Years, is currently preparing for the release of the musical’s film adaptation and is also on track to bring a new production to the stage: a musical comedy called Honeymoon in Vegas, based on the 1992 film of the same name starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicolas Cage. In addition, his newest Broadway offering, The Bridges of Madison County, just opened at the Schoenfeld Theatre.
EW talked to the talented composer »
- Andrea Towers
John Travolta memorably mangled Idina Menzel’s name during the Oscars on March 3 and that may have been rough for Menzel right before she belted out the hit tune from Disney’s “Frozen.” But in the silver lining department, it could actually be a good thing for “If/Then,” the upcoming Broadway musical in which Menzel stars.
The latest work by the creative team of Pulitzer winner “Next to Normal,” “If/Then” begins previews this week as the spring’s only new musical not attached to a big-name Hollywood property. Whereas “Rocky,” “Aladdin,” “Bullets Over Broadway” and the just-opened “The Bridges of Madison County” can all capitalize on a high level of audience familiarity, “If/Then” must try to turn Broadway theatergoers’ heads without that leg up.
The only new tuner of the spring not adapted from a pre-existing source, “If/Then” can position itself as the entirely original, prestige title of the season, »
- Gordon Cox
Our Oscar coverage continues. Here we overview the best acting and best directing award nominees.
Best Actor Nominees
Previously Best Known For:
Bruce Wayne/Batman – Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy
Patrick Bateman – American Psycho
Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:
Interesting Fact: If he plays an American character, he will use an American accent in all the interviews related to the film. He says he does this so the audience isn't confused
Previously Best Known For:
Freeman Lowell – Silent Running
Asa Watts – The Cowboys
Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:
- firstname.lastname@example.org (G.S. Perno)
Bronx Bombers has just announced a closing date of March 2, proving yet again that sports fans and Broadway do not make good bedfellows. There’s already a whisper in the air that the soon-to-be-vacant Circle in the Square might see Audra McDonald in a production of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill a staple of regional theaters about Billie Holiday (not to be confused with last fall’s Off Broadway show Lady Day). That would complicate the Tony race for Best Actress in a Musical, which is already shaping up as a showdown between Sutton Foster (Violet), Idina Menzel »
- Jason Clark
The quiet, brief romance at the center of Robert James Waller’s bestseller “The Bridges of Madison County” would not seem to be ideal material for the stage. But talent is everything, and book writer Marsha Norman and lyricist-composer Jason Robert Brown have fashioned this ultra-simple story into a musical that’s superior not only to its source material but the 1995 movie adaptation by Clint Eastwood. “Bridges,” the musical, opened Thursday at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. It raises the stakes dramatically to give the Italian-born heroine Francesca (Kelli O’Hara) a singing voice that quickly expresses her isolation among the cornfields of 1960s. »
- Robert Hofler
The lights come up, with no fuss or pizazz, on a plainly dressed farmwoman, the endless American heartland stretching behind her. Are we in Oklahoma? Or even Oklahoma!? No, it’s Iowa, but we may be forgiven for thinking of Aunt Eller with her butter churn. And though the thought is quickly dispelled as we learn, in a long musical sequence including barcaroles and waltzes and arias and chorales, that this woman, Francesca, came to the town of Winterset as a war bride from Naples, and that she is beautiful and sad and in a state of perma-longing, the connection to Rodgers and Hammerstein is not irrelevant. The Bridges of Madison County, though based on an insipid novel, is a very serious musical indeed, both rapturous and moral, with a gorgeous score by Jason Robert Brown. It is also one of the few recent Broadway shows to take up the »
- Jesse Green
New York – One of the works that put Jason Robert Brown on the map is The Last Five Years, a 2001 two-character chamber musical that deconstructs in microscopic detail the entirety of a relationship, from first encounter through marriage to breakup. A variation on that theme, this time chronicling just four whirlwind days of intense passion, is trapped inside the composer-lyricist’s cluttered stage retelling of The Bridges of Madison County. Fussy direction and design choices and cumbersome book scenes crowd the central couple, but the gorgeous voices and thoughtful characterizations of Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale in
- David Rooney
Broadway’s New York Yankees love-fest Bronx Bombers, starring Peter Scolari as Yogi Berra, isn’t exactly pulling major-league numbers at the box office. In the first full week since its Feb. 6 opening, the new drama took in a measly $177,559, according to figures released by The Broadway League. That’s less than a quarter of the potential gross at Circle in the Square (one of Broadway’s smallest theaters) — and does not bode well for its future.
The biggest surprise this winter has been the season’s unlikeliest but very palpable hit(s): the Mark Rylance-led productions of »
- Thom Geier
The very classy crew of the British flim The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2 is currently shooting very quietly in Jaipur and Udaipur in Rajasthan. The cast of this sequel directed by John Madden, comprises a distinguished bouquet of British and Indian troupers both old and young including Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith, Dev Patel, Tina Desae and Lilette Dubey. The new addition to the original cast for the sequel is Richard Gere. Though he has visited India several times as a goodwill ambassador for AIDS campaigns and for his Buddhist activities, this is the first time that Gere is shooting for a film in India. "Richard is coming here on Thursday," a member of the film's unit says from Udaipur. "He is very excited about shooting in India, and so are we. He has specially asked to be accommodated in a hotel close to the shooting which need not be super-luxurious. »
- Subhash K. Jha
“The Bridges of Madison County” is a phenomenon. The hit book by Robert James Waller sold 50 million copies, inspired an Oscar-nominated film with Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep and forms the basis for a new Broadway musical that opens this month. Given that it deals with infidelity, it counts as an unorthodox, even unlikely success. After all, readers and film fans don’t tend to lose their hearts to a couple of cheaters. But the underlying story of two lost souls who forge an enduring bond resonated around the world and lifted the material out of sordid territory. The moral questions raised by. »
- Brent Lang
No actress of modern times has subjected matrimony to more vigorous onscreen interrogation than Kate Winslet. What began in a fit of melodrama, with Winslet threatening to throw herself from the aft of the Titanic rather than face loveless marriage to caddish Billy Zane, has turned into a series of fine-grained portraits – in Little Children, Revolutionary Road, Mildred Pierce – of suburban drudges, marooned in their marriages, doomed by their intelligence, staring at the dust motes.
Her happy marriage to Alan Rickman at end of Sense & Sensibility is beginning to look like the joker in the pack. Winslet's early performances fizzed like firecrackers, giddy with their own freedom, but now she dulls her own innate brightness to play American Madame Bovaries. Then she sets something loose in their »
- Tom Shone
With just three months to go till the end of the season on April 24, let's take a look at the leading contenders for this year's Tony Awards. The 67th edition of these top theater honors will take place on June 8. First up, the musicals. Best Musical "After Midnight" "Aladdin" "Beautiful" "The Bridges of Madison County" "Bullets Over Broadway" "A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder" "If/Then" "Rocky" Unlike last season, there are no clear frontrunners for Best Musical. Rather, this year's roster has eight contenders competing for the four slots. Indeed, this is shaping up to be one of the most diverse categories in recent years, with new tuners ranging from jukebox musicals ("After Midnight," "Beautiful"), to big budget stage adaptations of Oscar winners ("Rocky," "Bullets Over Br »
Meryl Streep breaks Oscar record: Oscar 2014 nominations (photo: Meryl Streep in ‘August: Osage County’) The 2014 Oscar nominations were announced earlier today at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Thor: The Dark World and Snow White and the Huntsman actor Chris Hemsworth — whose Rush was completely shut out — made the announcements, including that of Best Actress contender Meryl Streep, in the running for her performance in John Wells’ August: Osage County. Streep’s competitors are her Doubt and Julie & Julia co-star Amy Adams for David O. Russell’s American Hustle, Sandra Bullock for Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, Judi Dench for Stephen Frears’ Philomena, and likely winner Cate Blanchett for Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. (Emma Thompson’s absence from the Best Actress roster — for her performance in John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks — was quite a surprise. »
- Steve Montgomery
Looking back over the year at what films moved and impressed us, it is clear that watching old films is a crucial part of making new films meaningful. Thus, the annual tradition of our end of year poll, which calls upon our writers to pick both a new and an old film: they were challenged to choose a new film they saw in 2013—in theaters or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2013 to create a unique double feature.
All the contributors were given the option to write some text explaining their 2013 fantasy double feature. What's more, each writer was given the option to list more pairings, with or without explanation, as further imaginative film programming we'd be lucky to catch in that perfect world we know doesn't exist but can keep dreaming of every time we go to the movies.
Viewing the first fifteen or so minutes of Jason (Up in the Air) Reitman’s latest offering unencumbered with any foreknowledge of its genre, you might just imagine you were encountering a gripping thriller in the making a la Panic Room.
First there’s the narration taken directly from Joyce Maynard’s novel upon which the film is based. The adult Henry (Tobey Maguire), looking back at the three days that transformed his world, the Labor Day weekend of 1987, notes:
“It was just the two of us . . . after my father left.”
His mom, Adele (Kate Winslet), approaching 40, has become a recluse since her divorce, seldom leaving her home anymore. She’s enveloped herself in unceasing sadness that began with several contiguous personal losses. Being abandoned by her spouse was the final straw. But as Henry notes, I don’t think losing my father broke my mother’s heart; rather losing love itself. »
- Brandon Judell
Oscar Predictions 2014: Best Actress (photo: Meryl Streep in ‘August: Osage County’) (See also: "Oscar Predictions 2014: Best Actor.") Compared to the vibrant Best Actor field, the 2014 Academy Awards’ Best Actress category looks somewhat anemic. Not in terms of quality, but in terms of quantity. Whereas ten actors could be called strong competitors for the Oscar 2014 shortlist, only five actresses can be considered truly strong candidates for this year’s Best Actress shortlist. Besides these five, there are three unlikely runners-up and a handful of long shots — and we mean "long" as in "light-years-away long." Note: Exact SAG Award and Academy Award matches are actually less common than you might think for the reasons mentioned in our previous Oscar 2014 predictions post (see link in the paragraph above). For instance, last year Marion Cotillard and Helen Mirren were both shortlisted for the Best Actress SAG Awards for, respectively, Jacques Audiard’s »
- Steve Montgomery
17 items from 2014
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners