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‘Into the Woods’ Movie Boosts Stage Productions

19 December 2014 12:20 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Into the Woods” is everywhere these days — and not just at a movie theater near you.

With the Disney film version of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s 1986 musical now in marketing overdrive for its Christmas release, you can catch stage productions of the show at the Wallis in L.A. (through this weekend), at the Roundabout Theater Company in New York (through March 22) and, this summer, at the Muny in St. Louis. Considering “Into the Woods” is an enduring favorite of theater fans, these productions don’t owe their existence solely to the film’s release — but theater programmers were almost certainly keeping one eye on the movie as season schedules fell into place.

“The movie definitely played a part in the timing,” said Muny artistic director Mike Isaacson. “‘Into the Woods’ was on my list to do; it was just a matter of when.”

The thinking goes that »

- Gordon Cox

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Anniversaries: Sergei Rachmaninoff Conducted Philadelphia Orchestra in Recording of His Symphony No. 3 75 Years Ago

10 December 2014 9:16 PM, PST | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

Philadelphia Orchestra/Sergei Rachmaninoff Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 3/Isle of the Dead/Vocalise (RCA Gold Seal)

During most of his life, Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) was best known as a pianist and composer. He only took up conducting through an odd set of circumstances. The premiere of his First Symphony in 1897 was seriously marred by the inept conducting of Glazunov, who was reputedly drunk. Not only did this impress on the young Rachmaninoff how crucial a good conductor was to the success of his music, the critical rejection of his First Symphony on the basis of that performance sent him into a depression and caused a mental block against composing.

The mental block was eventually overcome through hypnosis, but in the meantime, business magnate Savva Mamontov somewhat charitably hired Rachmaninoff to conduct his Moscow Private Russian Opera Company, overlooking the composer's lack of experience in that role. He quickly became a fine baton-wielder, »

- SteveHoltje

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Stephen Colbert Transforms Into Bilbo, Gandalf, and Legolas in New The Hobbit EW Covers

10 December 2014 9:49 AM, PST | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

It’s no secret that Stephen Colbert is a massive J.R.R. Tolkein fan.  Director Peter Jackson even brought him down to the New Zealand set of The Hobbit and gave Colbert and his family a pretty prominent cameo in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.  Colbert is no poser, though.  I witnessed his passion and immense knowledge of Tolkein first hand at Comic-Con this summer when he spouted off obscure passages from memory, and so it’s fitting that Colbert has been enlisted to help bring Jackson’s saga to a close with a new series of Entertainment Weekly covers promoting the final film.  The future Late Show host dons the wardrobe and makeup of some of the series’ most popular characters to surprisingly great results in these new covers; the guy makes a pretty damn convincing Bilbo. Check out the Stephen Colbert Hobbit EW covers after the jump. »

- Adam Chitwood

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‘Into The Woods’ Sings Its Way Straight Into The Oscar Race

23 November 2014 12:42 AM, PST | Deadline New York | See recent Deadline New York news »

Dinsey unveiled another piece of the Oscar season puzzle Saturday night with an innovative bi-coastal screening of their big holiday release, the musical adaptation of Into The Woods, which screened simultaneously in New York City and at Disney Studios in Burbank (where I saw it).

Post-screening, a satellite-transmitted Q&A featured director Rob Marshall, screenwriter James Lapine and key cast members. Full disclosure:  I have been in love with this Stephen Sondheim masterpiece since even before it debuted on Broadway on Nov. 5, 1987.  Southern California native that I am, I trekked down to San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre in 1986 for its pre-Broadway tryout and instantly fell in love.

It’s not only one of my favorite Sondheim musicals (in the top three to be sure with Company and West Side Story), but high among the greatest theatrical experiences I have ever had. I have seen the show in various incarnations several times since. »

- Pete Hammond

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Could 'Paddington' turn into a surprise family flick hit?

21 November 2014 8:08 PM, PST | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Perception is not always reality. Especially in the movie business. Ever since the first trailer for "Paddington" arrived last March, eyebrows were raised. Would this CG-animated-live action hybrid do Michael Bond's beloved literary bear justice? Many thought the teaser looked more "Smurfs" or (perish the thought) "Garfield" than in the vein of a well-regarded "Fantastic Mr. Fox." It didn't matter that "Harry Potter" and "Gravity" producer David Heyman was shepherding the production; this was a movie that ended up having one bad publicity crisis after another.   When word came down that Ben Wishaw was replacing none other than Colin Firth as the Peruvian bear's voice, that raised a red flag. When the film's U.S. distributor, The Weinstein Company, decided to move "Paddington" out of its longstanding Christmas Day opening to a January 15 bow, most media smelled trouble. Moreover, many Brits were appalled when the movie earned a PG »

- Gregory Ellwood

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Elaine Stritch Given Starry Broadway Tribute

18 November 2014 3:40 AM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Nathan Lane, Bernadette Peters, Laura Benanti and Holland Taylor and writer Liz Smith lead a tearful and raucous tribute Monday to Elaine Stritch, the funny and irascible theater star who put the broad in Broadway. "This event would have pleased her to no end because, for one, it's all about her," deadpanned Lane, who called her "a brilliant force of nature" and hoped she was in "God's house seats." The show, Everybody, Rise! A Celebration of Elaine Stritch, was directed by George C. Wolfe at The Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Stritch died July 17 at her home in Birmingham, Michigan, at age 89. From the stage, »

- Associated Press

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Elaine Stritch Given Starry Broadway Tribute

18 November 2014 3:40 AM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Nathan Lane, Bernadette Peters, Laura Benanti and Holland Taylor and writer Liz Smith lead a tearful and raucous tribute Monday to Elaine Stritch, the funny and irascible theater star who put the broad in Broadway. "This event would have pleased her to no end because, for one, it's all about her," deadpanned Lane, who called her "a brilliant force of nature" and hoped she was in "God's house seats." The show, Everybody, Rise! A Celebration of Elaine Stritch, was directed by George C. Wolfe at The Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Stritch died July 17 at her home in Birmingham, Michigan, at age 89. From the stage, »

- Associated Press

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Into The Woods Soundtrack Available December 16

11 November 2014 2:55 PM, PST | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Walt Disney Records is set to release the Into the Woods original motion picture soundtrack and the Into the Woods Deluxe Edition on December 16, 2014. Into the Woods features 20 songs from the film and the 2-disc Into the Woods Deluxe Edition also includes score. Both versions are available for pre-order now.

The film will be released in theaters December 25, 2014.

Into the Woods” premiered on Broadway on November 5, 1987, at the Martin Beck Theatre. The production, which ran for 764 performances, won Tony Awards for Best Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Actress in a Musical. Among other awards, the musical received five Drama Desk Awards, including Best Musical. “Into the Woods” has been produced around the world, including a 1988 U.S. tour, a 1990 West End production and Broadway and London revivals, in addition to a PBS television production and a 10-year-anniversary concert.

The big-screen adaptation welcomes songs from the stage musical, »

- Melissa Thompson

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Presidential Medal Of Freedom Honorees Include Meryl Streep, Tom Brokaw & Stephen Sondheim

10 November 2014 3:08 PM, PST | Deadline New York | See recent Deadline New York news »

Meryl Streep, Tom Brokaw, Stephen Sondheim, Marlo Thomas, Stevie Wonder, choreographer Alvin Ailey and author Isabel Allende were among the 19 names chosen by President Obama today to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. The awards will be bestowed at the White House on November 24. Here’s the full list of recipients just released:

Alvin Ailey (posthumous)

Ailey was a choreographer, dancer, and the founder of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which is renowned for its inspiring performances in 71 countries on 6 continents since 1958. Ailey’s work was groundbreaking in its exploration of the African American experience and the enrichment of the modern dance tradition, including his beloved American masterpiece Revelations. The Ailey organization, based in New York City, carries on his pioneering legacy with performances, training, educational, and community programs for people of all backgrounds.

Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende is a highly acclaimed author »

- The Deadline Team

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‘Paddington’ Trailer: Nicole Kidman Wants To Stuff Our Cuddly, Clumsy Hero

7 November 2014 12:35 PM, PST | Deadline New York | See recent Deadline New York news »

A jungle bear comes to London and perks up the lives of a local family in Paddington, a CGI/live-action adaptation of the beloved children’s books from Harry Potter producer David Heyman. Ben Winshaw voices the cuddly ursine creature who wreaks havoc while dispensing even greater amounts of cuteness. Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins star as the parental units along with Peter Capaldi and Nicole Kidman as a villainous taxidermist with stuffing on her mind. The voice cast also includes Imelda Staunton and Michael Gambon. Director Paul King wrote the screenplay from a story by Michael Bond, who wrote the book series that launched in 1958. The Weinstein Company opens the pic January 16.

»

- The Deadline Team

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Rob Marshall Boldly Explores Disney’s Take on Twisted Tale ‘Into the Woods’

4 November 2014 10:00 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Imagine a musical in which Cinderella’s prince cheats, Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel suffer horrible fates, and Jack (of the Beanstalk fame) nearly brings about the end of civilization: It’s not exactly traditional Disney fare.

Yet that’s what moviegoers can expect at Christmas: the Disney-produced “Into the Woods,” director Rob Marshall’s adaptation of the Tony Award-winning Stephen Sondheim musical that turns “happily ever after” into “be careful what you wish for.”

Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick and Chris Pine lead the cast of the season’s most-anticipated musical — by a studio best-known for its sunny, animated fairy-tale characters dating back more than 70 years to “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

“It is a very un-Disney film,” says Blunt, who inhabits the critical role of the Baker’s Wife, the character that sets much of the plot in motion with her desire for a child. »

- Jon Burlingame

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Top 10 Musicals That Should Be Made Into Movies

20 October 2014 9:30 AM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

There are two upcoming movie musicals that, for a long time, I've wanted to make into motion pictures, should someone with money be willing to give me the funds to make them -- Into The Woods and The Last 5 Years. I'm both nervous and excited to see how directors Rob Marshall and Richard Lagravenese, respectfully, have interpreted the material I hold so close to my heart. I am especially nervous for Into The Woods, given Marshall's less than impressive track record. If someone is going to screw up something I cherish, it should be me. Of course, there are far more than two musicals I have a deep connection to. Some have already been made into films, like Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Les Miserables, but there is a vast collection of musicals I have thought could make fantastic films, but have never been made. »

- Mike Shutt

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Podcast: Reviewing 'Fury' and 'Best of Me', More DC Movies & Inarritu's Superhero Smackdown

17 October 2014 8:00 AM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

On today's episode we have a pair of reviews with the new Brad Pitt, World War II drama Fury as well as the new Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Best of Me starring James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan. On top of that we discuss Warner Bros/' big announcement of DC Comics movies, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's comments on superhero movies, Neil Patrick Harris hosting the Oscars and much more. If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-bnl-pod. Just call, leave us a voice mail and we'll add those to the show and respond directly. »

- Brad Brevet

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Ben Affleck vs. Jennifer Garner for no. 1 and 7 surprises about Friday's new movies

9 October 2014 6:03 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

We're not sure we can remember the last time a husband and wife battled each other for no. 1 at the box office, but it looks like that's whats in store for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner this weekend.   Affleck stars in "Gone Girl," the David Fincher's thriller which has already earned over $48 million in the U.S. and should find somewhere between $20-22 million in its second frame. Garner appears opposite Steve Carell in Disney's "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" which is also expected to earn between $20-24 million over the weekend.  For "Girl" it will be the second time it's trying to sneak by a competitor after the 20th Century Fox flick beat "Annabelle" by just $378,000. The other new wide releases may be close, but likely won't be battling for no. 1. Universal Pictures' "Dracula Untold" is expected to pull in $18-20 million »

- Gregory Ellwood

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Research Firm C4 Names Ben Spergel Evp for Consumer Insights

29 September 2014 2:00 PM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Research company C4 has appointed Ben Spergel as executive vice-president of consumer insights, the company's chief executive Vincent Bruzzese said Monday. Spergel will oversee all of the company's online and offline research including screenings and ad testing. In addition he will engage with clients across the media and entertainment industry to develop innovative research solutions, and will be a key player in the launch of the company's new tracking products. “Ben's wealth of knowledge and expertise will be crucial to C4 as it launches new and innovative productions, taking the research industry into the next phase of analysis,” said Bruzzese. »

- Todd Cunningham

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Emma Thompson Slings Meat Pies As ‘Sweeney Todd’ Launches Commercial Partnership With English National Opera

16 September 2014 8:01 AM, PDT | Deadline New York | See recent Deadline New York news »

Emma Thompson and Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel will play Mrs. Lovett and the Demon Barber of Fleet Street this spring as the English National Opera begins a partnership with the GradeLinnit Company on a production of Sweeney Todd. The semi-staged mounting resembles the popular Encores! series at New York’s City Center as well as regular fund-raising concerts by the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center, which originated this production.

Actor-director Lonny Price, long associated with the musicals of Stephen Sondheim, will direct Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s musical thriller, the first show in what the two companies are billing as a major new long-term co-production venture.

The 13-performance run at Eno’s London Coliseum is slated to begin March 30, 2015, officially open the next night and run through April 12. The Eno orchestra, conducted by David Charles Abell, will appear on stage alongside the cast. Further casting will be announced shortly. »

- The Deadline Team

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Toronto: The Top 10 Films to Generate Buzz

12 September 2014 2:34 PM, PDT | Scott Feinberg | See recent Scott Feinberg news »

By Anjelica Oswald 

Managing Editor 

The Toronto International Film Festival ends Sunday and hundreds of films have been screened since the 11-day festival began. Throughout the years, Toronto has featured a number of Oscar hopefuls that have gone on to Oscar success. Just last year, best picture 12 Years a Slave (2013) was shown at Toronto (along with a number of other nominees). Hoping for the same success, some Tiff films have been met with instant Oscar chatter this year. Here are the top 10 films to generate buzz coming out of Tiff:

10. Maps to the StarsJulianne Moore’s role in David Cronenberg’s dark satire of life in Hollywood won her the best actress award at the Cannes Film Festival, but it doesn’t look like the role is being pushed towards an Oscar nomination. Though the film might not be heading to the Academy Awards, it has generated quite the »

- Anjelica Oswald

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Make a Plan: 2014 Fall Film Calendar

5 September 2014 1:37 PM, PDT | kidspickflicks | See recent kidspickflicks news »

School is back in session, but weirdly, more movies will be coming out now than in the summer! Here's what you have to look forward to seeing:

September

Sept. 12: Dolphin Tale 2 (PG). After a young dolphin's surrogate mother passes, a team of people must find a new companion. Will a baby dolphin be the perfect fit?

Sept. 19: The Maze Runner (PG-13). A group of boys must find a way to escape the maze that keeps them trapped inside their community.

Sept. 26: The Boxtrolls (PG). Underground trash collectors and a young boy team up to stop an evil exterminator from destroying their home.

October

October 3: Left Behind. Following the Rapture, a group of survivors must determine how to protect themselves after the world plunges into total chaos.

Oct. 10: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (PG). Alexander wakes up and already knows »

- dbethke@fanlala.com (Dave B.)

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'66th Primetime Emmy Awards' Winners!

25 August 2014 5:32 PM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Today is the television industry's biggest event, with the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Seth Meyers, airing live today, starting at 8 Pm Et/5 Pm Et on NBC. We'll be updating this story throughout the night with the latest winners, so keep checking back to find out who takes home The Emmy Awards this year. Some of these awards listed below were already handed out at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards earlier this month.

Outstanding Drama Series

Breaking Bad

Downton Abbey

Game of Thrones

House of Cards

Mad Men

True Detective

Outstanding Comedy Series

Modern Family

The Big Bang Theory

Louie

Orange Is the New Black

Silicon Valley

Veep

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series

Breaking Bad &#8226 AMC &#8226 Sony Pictures Television - Bryan Cranston as Walter White

House of Cards &#8226 Netflix &#8226 Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix - »

- MovieWeb

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Watch Robin Williams accept his Oscar for ‘Good Will Hunting’

12 August 2014 5:00 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

With Good Will Hunting surprising audiences in 1997 with its genuine tenderness and sharp wit, the world got to see the dramatic side of Robin Williams that showed itself every now and then. His role of Dr. Sean Maguire, a compassionate yet flawed therapist who has a great deal in common with the title character (Matt Damon), was so highly praised that he was a shoo-in for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Williams had been nominated for an Academy Award three times prior, but in 1998 he finally sealed the deal. When he got up on stage to accept his prize, he did what he did best: perform. He gave heartfelt thanks to his wife at the time and stars/scribes Damon and Ben Affleck saying, “Thank you Ben and Matt, I still want to see some I.D.” He even broke out a little Yiddish when thanking the Weinstein Company. »

- Randall Unger

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