Only 325 days until Broadway's Hilton Theater hosts the first preview of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
, a $40 million musical directed by Juliet Taymor with music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge of U2. Investors hope it will fare better than another
big-budget pulp adaptation.
posted by Joe Beese
on Feb 25, 2009 -
"To make off with hubby's fortune, yea, I think I heard of that happenin' once or twice around L.A. And… you want me to do what exactly?" He found the paper bag he'd brought his supper home in and got busy pretending to scribble notes on it, because straight-chick uniform, makeup supposed to look like no makeup or whatever, here came that old well-known hard-on Shasta was always good for sooner or later. Does it ever end, he wondered. Of course it does. It did. Thomas Pynchon
's next novel, the 416-page Inherent Vice
, is described by Penguin Press
as "part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon — private eye Doc Sportello comes, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the L.A. fog." While we wait for its August 4 publication, we can read an essay on the dystopian musical he co-wrote at Cornell
or watch a clip of that movie they made of Gravity's Rainbow
. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on Feb 6, 2009 -
Back in 1940, a young singer called Virginia O'Brien
made her debut in the LA production of "Meet the People"
when she was seized by a paralyzing case of stage fright. The policeman daughter nevertheless bravely kept on singing while the audience roared with laughter. Surprisingly, her frozen-faced delivery, far from cutting her career short, created a unique niche for her instead (her wide vocal range and stunning looks also helped). Within short, she'd be appearing as deadpan "featured singer" in a number of golden-age MGM comedies, such as the "In the Storehouse"
, "Panama Hattie"
, or, most memorably, "Du Barry was a Lady"
. It's a bit sad that such a singing and acting talent was reduced to a novelty act, but, damn, what an act
posted by Skeptic
on Oct 27, 2008 -
"Someone in a Tree" -- an incedibly rare video from the original, 1976 production of "Pacific Overtures."
I grew up listening to an L.P. of these same people perform this same song, but I've never before seen them perform it. I grew up in Southern Indiana, so actually seeing a Broadway show was out of the question. But I loved this song, and -- years later -- I read that it was Stephen Sondheim's favorite of all the songs he ever wrote. Today, I found this video on YouTube and it was like finally seeing someone after being blind for years. I still have chills running up and down my spine. Also: Sondheim forum
, online journal
, and various gems (and bombs) on youtube
-- including the man
himself teaching a master class and this
12-year-old's spirited performance!
posted by grumblebee
on Apr 28, 2007 -
The LoTR musical needs Hobbits of a certain stature.
What stature is that, budding thespians might ask? Well, smoot
-height, of course! (Actually, 5'7" — or 170 cm — is the maximum height a would-be Frodo or Bilbo could be.) Another requirement is the ability to sing two songs ... and hairy appendages wouldn't hurt. So start knitting those foot-merkins
! Auditions: 18 September, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine St (tube stop: Covent Garden).
posted by rob511
on Sep 12, 2006 -
"I would like to do better, to be better than I am".
He's the French New Wave maverick
and Academy Award winner (at 26, for his first short
) who, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz -- with considerable personal pain and the admission that "no description, no picture can reveal the true dimension
" of what happened in the camps -- made what François Truffaut called "the greatest film ever made
", duly censored by French authorities
. Four years later he baffled audiences with "the first modern film of sound cinema
", shattering the rules of chronology
to describe the “anguish of the future”: even if all he ever wanted was "to stop death in its tracks
" (French language link)
, only for one minute
. But he is also the unabashed lover of la bande dessinée
who learnt English by reading comic books
and in the Seventies dreamed (French language link)
of making "Spider-Man" into a movie
(the Hollywood studios were not convinced), the MGM old-school musical
nut so in love with design that "half of the fashion photography of the past 40 years owes a debt
" to him. Now, Alain Resnais
' new work
, just shown at the Venice Film Festival
where his buddy David Lynch was awarded a lifetime achievement Golden Lion
, is a French film inspired
by an English play with 54 short scenes
, music by the X-Files's Mark Snow. (more inside)
posted by matteo
on Sep 8, 2006 -
"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!
posted by jscott
on Apr 12, 2005 -
We're Knights of the Round Table
whene'er we're able.
We do routines and chorus scenes
With footwork impeccable.
We dine well here in Camelot.
We eat ham and jam and Spam a lot
We're Knights of the Round Table.
But many times we're given rhymes
That are quite unsingable.
We're opera mad
We sing from the diaphragm a lot.
In war we're tough and able,
Between our quests we sequin vests and impersonate Clark Gable.
It's a busy life in Camelot.
posted by terrapin
on Mar 11, 2005 -