Disney's FROZEN: How one simple suggestion broke the ice on the Snow Queen's decades-long story problem
The First Photo on the Web: A story of crossdressing, particle physics, humorous science-based novelty songs, and terrible photoshop.
A decade on, the Coen brothers' woefully underrated O Brother, Where Art Thou? [alt] is remembered for a lot of things: its sun-drenched, sepia-rich cinematography (a pioneer of digital color grading), its whimsical humor, fluid vernacular, and many subtle references to Homer's Odyssey. But one part of its legacy truly stands out: the music. Assembled by T-Bone Burnett, the soundtrack is a cornucopia of American folk music, exhibiting everything from cheery ballads and angelic hymns to wistful blues and chain-gang anthems. Woven into the plot of the film through radio and live performances, the songs lent the story a heartfelt, homespun feel that echoed its cultural heritage, a paean and uchronia of the Old South. Though the multiplatinum album was recently reissued, the movie's medley is best heard via famed documentarian D. A. Pennebaker's Down from the Mountain, an extraordinary yet intimate concert film focused on a night of live music by the soundtrack's stars (among them Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, Chris Thomas King, bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley) and wryly hosted by John Hartford, an accomplished fiddler, riverboat captain, and raconteur whose struggle with terminal cancer made this his last major performance. The film is free in its entirety on Hulu and YouTube -- click inside for individual clips, song links, and breakdowns of the set list's fascinating history. [more inside]
Opening Night: October 8, 1985 at the Barbican in London. It scored mixed reviews, but word of mouth still took hold. In the 25 years since that first show, 45,000 performances have been produced in 42 countries, 308 cities and 21 languages that have been seen by 56 million people. It is the third-longest running show in Broadway history. 40 cast recordings have been released. And on October 30th, 2010, a special concert production of the play based on the book Les Miserables by Victor Hugo will take place at The 02 Arena in North Greenwich. (YouTube Video) [more inside]
"When stewardesses were sexy and the world was sexist" is the tagline of this years-in-making musical by Suzy Conn, who also runs the blogway baby musicals log (which talks about this musical quite a bit). It's meant to be based around the early 1960's, when airlines were truly a luxury, not unlike a sea cruise or a first-class train ride pre-Amtrak. (The website spends some time going on about Braniff International, and it's worth it to check out the history of that airline. This is also laid out on top of the era of Women's Liberation, although it does so using the aesthetic of 1960's music and phraseology, which was, basically, designed by male-dominated hollywood. For everyone who sits in the cheap seats, if you let the flash animation at the beginning of the site load, it plays the entire opening title song for you. Hey, free show!