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13 items from 2017


‘Wicked’ Composer Stephen Schwartz Honored in Words and Song at Ascap Screen Music Awards

17 May 2017 9:33 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Broadway and film composer Stephen Schwartz received the Founders Award of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (Ascap) at its annual Screen Music Awards Tuesday night at Los Angeles’ historic Wiltern Theatre.

The “Wicked” and “Prince of Egypt” songwriter was praised as “a genius” by fellow songwriter Paul Williams, president and board chairman of the performing-rights organization, citing such classic songs as “Day by Day” from “Godspell” and “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas.”

Schwartz was serenaded by an eight-person chorus of younger Broadway songwriters who had been mentored by Schwartz over the years; they sang “For Good” from “Wicked.” Schwartz has served as artistic director for Ascap’s Musical Theatre workshop in New York and Los Angeles for more than 20 years.

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Stephen Schwartz: ‘Wicked’ Movie to Feature ‘at Least Two’ New Songs

Schwartz said Ascap “has always had my back as a songwriter, and has »

- Jon Burlingame

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Stephen Schwartz: ‘Wicked’ Movie to Feature ‘At Least Two’ New Songs

15 May 2017 2:38 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Stephen Schwartz, who will receive the founders award at Tuesday night’s Ascap Screen Music Awards in Los Angeles, says the forthcoming movie of his Broadway mega-hit “Wicked” will feature “at least two” new songs.

“Director Stephen Daldry is waiting on us for a draft of the screenplay,” Schwartz tells Variety, referring to himself and original book writer Winnie Holzman. “We’re just having so much fun, revisiting that material we love so much, and thinking about everything you can do on screen to retell the story.”

Schwartz says he hasn’t written any new music yet, “but there are new songs planned.” And, he says, fans expecting a carbon copy of the Broadway show should steel themselves for a new experience. “There are things that work on stage but won’t work on film,” the songwriter notes. “In order to do something that will work on its own merits, »

- Jon Burlingame

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‘Rent’ Live Musical Event from Marc Platt to Air on Fox

12 May 2017 3:34 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

A live production of Jonathan Larson’s groundbreaking musical “Rent” is in the works at Fox. The network announced Friday that Marc Platt, the acclaimed film, television and theater producer behind “La La Land,” “Wicked” and last year’s “Grease: Live!,” will executive produce the show, along with Larson’s estate.

Read More: ‘A Christmas Story’ Live Musical Event from Marc Platt to Air on Fox This December

Larson’s re-imagining of Giacomo Puccini’s opera “La Bohème” is set in New York City’s East Village. It tells the story of seven artists and their struggle to follow their dreams during a time of great social and political turmoil. The musical earned Larson four Tony Awards in 1996, including Best Musical and Best Original Score Written for the Theatre, and the Pulitzer Prize.

“‘Rent’​​ was Jonathan’s dream of sharing the ​theater and the passion he had for it with a whole new generation, »

- Yoselin Acevedo

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‘Rent’ Live Musical Event from Marc Platt to Air on Fox

12 May 2017 3:34 PM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

A live production of Jonathan Larson’s groundbreaking musical “Rent” is in the works at Fox. The network announced Friday that Marc Platt, the acclaimed film, television and theater producer behind “La La Land,” “Wicked” and last year’s “Grease: Live!,” will executive produce the show, along with Larson’s estate.

Read More: ‘A Christmas Story’ Live Musical Event from Marc Platt to Air on Fox This December

Larson’s re-imagining of Giacomo Puccini’s opera “La Bohème” is set in New York City’s East Village. It tells the story of seven artists and their struggle to follow their dreams during a time of great social and political turmoil. The musical earned Larson four Tony Awards in 1996, including Best Musical and Best Original Score Written for the Theatre, and the Pulitzer Prize.

“‘Rent’​​ was Jonathan’s dream of sharing the ​theater and the passion he had for it with a whole new generation, »

- Yoselin Acevedo

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A Christmas Story Is Becoming a Live Musical at Fox

12 May 2017 3:21 PM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Fox Broadcasting Company and Warner Horizon Unscripted Television have partnered with award-winning film, television and theater producer Marc Platt (Grease: Live, La La Land) on the live musical event A Christmas Story, inspired by the holiday classic feature A Christmas Story and the Tony Award-nominated Broadway production A Christmas Story: The Musical. The three-hour live television production of A Christmas Story will air this December on Fox.

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, recent Tony Award nominees for the musical Dear Evan Hansen, and lyricists of La La Land's Academy Award-winning song, "City of Stars," also scored A Christmas Story: The Musical, and will compose several new songs for the Live television event, with Jonathan Tolins and Robert Cary (Grease: Live) adapting the book. Here's what David Madden, President, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company, had to say in his statement.

"A Christmas Story is one of the most beloved »

- MovieWeb

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‘Rent’ Selected as Fox’s Next Live Musical

12 May 2017 2:31 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Rent” is heading to television.

The award-winning musical is being adapted as one of Fox’s next live productions, Variety has learned. Fox’s show comes as the musical celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

Rent” tells the story of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams during a time of great social and political turmoil, under the shadow of AIDS. Set in New York City’s gritty East Village, the show is a re-imagining of Puccini’s “La Bohème.”

With the estate of the late original playwright Jonathan Larson, Marc Platt — who worked on Fox’s “Grease: Live” musical,” “La La Land” and “Wicked” — will executive produce the event. Other executive producers are Adam Siegel, Julie Larson, Al Larson and Revolution StudiosVince Totino, Scott Hemming and Marla Levine.

More details and casting will be announced later. No premiere date has been set for “Rent.”

“We are so honored to partner with the estate of the »

- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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'Rent' Set as Fox's Next Live Musical

12 May 2017 2:30 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - TV News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - TV News news »

Fox has found its follow-up to Grease Live.

Following prolonged negotiations, Jonathan Larson's Tony-winning HIV/AIDS-themed musical Rent is set as the network's next live musical, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Larson's estate is on board to exec produce alongside Marc Platt (La La Land, Wicked). Rent marks Platt's latest live project for following NBC's Jesus Christ Superstar and Fox's newly announced A Christmas Story and last year's Grease. Additional auspices, as well as a premiere date and casting, will be announced later.

The rock musical — loosely based on La Boheme — tells the story of a »

- Lesley Goldberg

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Jesus Christ Superstar Live!: NBC Plans Andrew Lloyd Webber Hit for Easter

10 May 2017 12:45 PM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

Hosanna, hey sanna sanna sanna ho: NBC will ring in Easter 2018 with Jesus Christ Superstar Live!.

The network will stage the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Time Rice 1971 rock opera on Easter Sunday, April 1.

PhotosTV’s 15 Best Musical Episodes, Ranked (Plus the One Absolute Worst)

“As we continue to expand the profile of our live musicals, we are thrilled to be partnering with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to bring a new live staging of the iconic Jesus Christ Superstar to NBC,” NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement. He added that casting — which will focus heavily on recording artists — had just begun. »

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How Pitch Perfect’s Ben Platt Became a Tony-Nominated Broadway Sensation with Dear Evan Hansen

2 May 2017 6:50 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Broadway has a bright new star, and his name is Ben Platt.

The 23-year-old L.A. native — movie fans may know him as Benji from Pitch Perfect — is currently playing to sold-out-crowds and earning rave reviews for his emotionally raw performance in Dear Evan Hansen, the new musical from composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (the lyricists for the Golden Globe-winning film La La Land).

The musical has now been nominated for nine Tony Awards, including best musical and — yes — lead actor in a musical for Platt.

“It’s completely beyond my wildest dreams,” Platt told People in January of »

- Dave Quinn

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Talks to Direct, Star in Musical Comedy With Channing Tatum (Exclusive)

24 March 2017 3:47 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is eyeing a return to the director’s chair, tackling a movie musical with Channing Tatum by his side.

Sources tell Variety that Gordon-Levitt is in early negotiations to direct Universal’s R-rated musical comedy with the running title “Wingmen.” He’s already attached to star in the movie alongside Tatum.

Universal landed the pitch that Gordon-Levitt and “21 Jump Street” scribe Michael Bacall hatched last year following a competitive bidding war that saw several studios chasing the project.

Related

Joseph Gordon-Levitt on ‘Snowden’: What He Did Was a Really Positive Thing for the Country

The story follows two pilots who crash-land in Las Vegas. According to sources, the film is in the vein of “Pitch Perfect” meets “Book of Mormon,” with the dup covering Top 100 hits with a touch of adult humor.

The studio courted filmmakers that included Seth Gordon, James Bobin, and “Book of Mormon” director »

- Justin Kroll

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Film About Olympian Swimmer and Syrian Refugee Yusra Mardini in the Works

17 March 2017 1:02 PM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Yusra Mardini: Mardini’s Instagram account

In 2015, Yusra Mardini and her sister Sara saved themselves and the fellow refugees on their dinghy by jumping into the freezing Aegean Sea and swimming the boat to safety. The Mardini sisters had fled Syria and were en route to the Greek island of Lesbos when the dinghy began to sink. Mardini’s story came to light when she swam at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and now it’s getting the big screen treatment. Deadline reports that Working Title Films has acquired the rights to Mardini’s life story and is planning to develop it into a film.

According to the source, Stephen Daldry (“The Reader”) will direct the project, while Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce with Ali Jaafar (“The Idol”).

After surviving the journey from Syria, Yusra and Sara settled in Berlin. “Without any other family or friends, Mardini and Sara were forced to fend for themselves before Mardini met local swimming coach Sven Spannekrebs, who took her under his wing,” Deadline writes. “During the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, the [International Olympic Committee] launched for the first time ever a Team Refugee. Against the odds, Mardini made it to the Olympics and won her qualifying heat during the games. Since then, she’s become an impassioned champion and ambassador for refugees across the world.”

Since becoming an activist, Mardini has met with leaders like President Barack Obama and Pope Francis and delivered a series of keynote speeches at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

As xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiments in the U.S. become more widespread and normalized, it’s vital that stories like Mardini’s are shared. The true story of a young woman trying to find a better life for herself and others, and becoming a hero along the way is inspiring in itself. But it’s especially important considering the United States’ shameful response — or lack thereof, really — to the refugee crisis. This film about Mardini has the potential to further galvanize the current resistance to Trumpian policy, inspire empathy in those who equate refugees with terrorism, and provide a much-needed wake-up call in the face to those who are indifferent or ignorant.

This certainly seems to be Daldry’s view: “I am thrilled to be involved in bringing Yusra’s extraordinary story to a wider audience through the medium of film,” he said. “Yusra reminds us of the human cost of the tragedy and the incredible fortitude, perseverance, and hope of one young woman who struggles for a future.”

“In a time of such uncertainty and fear, Yusra’s incredible story is a shining reminder that what binds us together is so much stronger than what keeps us apart,” Jaafar agreed. “At its heart, this is the story of someone who had a dream and was able to overcome the most immense obstacles to achieve it.”

Yusra Mardini will not be the first high-profile woman Daldry brings to the big screen. The director did the same with Virginia Woolf in “The Hours,” and Queen Elizabeth II in the play “The Audience” as well as the Netflix series “The Crown,” on which he serves as a producer. Daldry is set to direct the film adaptation of the musical “Wicked.” Here’s hoping the team behind the Mardini project taps a talented female scribe to write the screenplay.

Film About Olympian Swimmer and Syrian Refugee Yusra Mardini in the Works was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Rachel Montpelier

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Lindsay Lohan Wants to Be Ariel in The Little Mermaid Remake

19 February 2017 2:28 PM, PST | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Back in August, Disney revealed that the studio is teaming up with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken, who are set to write new music for the studio's The Little Mermaid remake. We haven't heard any more on the remake since then, including who will be cast, or who will serve as writer or director on this coveted project. Today we have word that actress Lindsay Lohan may be throwing her hat in the ring for the Ariel role, after a new post on Instagram this weekend.

While Lindsay Lohan doesn't specifically state that she wants the Ariel role, she posted a side-by-side picture of herself with red hair, and the redhaired animated version of Ariel. She didn't state anything else on Instagram, only using the hashtag #TheLittleMermaid. It isn't known if the script is even ready or if the studio is ready to start the auditioning process, but we don't »

- MovieWeb

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Will Musicals See a ‘La La Land’ Boost?

9 February 2017 10:00 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The rap on musicals used to be “audiences don’t want to see people breaking into song.” Now that “La La Land” has charmed audiences by doing just that, what does it mean for the future of live-action screen musicals?

“Whatever musicals come next will have to be good. That’s the test,” says Justin Paul, one of the Oscar-nominated lyricists for “La La Land.” “I have to believe that other studios, other producers, would only be encouraged by the impact of ‘La La Land,’ both critically and at the box office.”

Adds fellow “La La Land” lyricist Benj Pasek: “We feel like our generation has been so primed for musical content. We grew up with the resurgence of Disney animation and all that followed from that. In hindsight, it makes sense that people would be receptive; so many of us grew up with our first stories being told through song. »

- Jon Burlingame

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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

13 items from 2017


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