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Archive for December, 2009

The adaptation of the musical Nine to the screen is interestingly focused on a director’s drive to find a purpose to his about-to-be-made film.  What’s really interesting is that the director of the actual film clearly had no clue what he was doing, and the producers of the film should be shot.

Its very clear after seeing the movie that Rob Marshall has no idea how to shoot a movie.  He took his big-name cast to Italy, and yet we get maybe ten minutes of outdoor footage.  The camera angles on the musical numbers are almost uncomfortably bad.  Those same musical numbers themselves are poorly staged and show absolutely no vision of a musical moment (despite Marshall being a trained choreographer).  While Chicago put its numbers on a stage, that entire show was about the characters’ desire to be stage stars, so it made a modicum of sense.  Here, putting all of the musical numbers on a Roman sound stage is just stupid.

Take, for example, the early number, Guido.  A very miscast Daniel Day-Lewis climbs and screams along the half-built set, evoking a bad rendition of Paula Abdul’s Cold-Hearted Snake without a shred of emotional delivery or heat.  Saraghina (played by Fergie) is shot in a harsh, grainy black and white beach scene and gets transported to the same set to dance with a chair and a sand-filled tambourine.  Who the fuck thought of that great idea?  The minute she lifted the tambourine and sand came pouring out, I started laughing.  And not with the moment.

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As I move into a state of unemployment, I thought it fitting to post a song about going forward in life.  This clip of Move On, from Sunday In The Park With George, is from the 2008 Tony Awards.  Jenna Russell and Daniel Evans gave amazing performances in the revival, and this performance brings forth everything you need to know about the show.

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A little funk on a funky Monday.  Steve Wonder’s most funkadelic hit, Superstition.

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So, Fox’s Glee has been passing around the sugary goodness this fall.  A quick favorite of the gay crowd, the show has been hailed as the fusion of High School Musical to creator Ryan Murphy’s Popular.  It’s a show about a show choir, somehow mixing camp with real emotional connection.  Most of the time.  And its been successful enough, both in ratings and in iTunes downloads, so I expect the show to stick around for a bit.

But, in order for me to be happy about that, the writing needs to gel.  Simply put, the show is way too consistent both dramatically and musically.  As great as the performers seem to be, the chaotic character charts have been all over the place.

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Dexter’s 4th season wrapped up this weekend, and while it was a dramatically outstanding season, the show’s excellence also can make it difficult to watch.

I’m going to drop serious spoilerage, so if you haven’t seen the season in its entirety, wait to read this until you do.

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Dreamgirls is my kind of show.  It has fantastic, R&B music with real soul, a great cast of characters, and enough sass to patch up any rough melodramatic spots.  Having been raised on Motown (and showtunes), this show is simply what I enjoy.

I love the Dreamgirls score, and have three different recordings of it.  There’s the wonderful original Broadway cast (featuring the marvelous Jennifer Holiday, the divine Sheryl Lee Ralph, and the delightful Loretta Devine), the concert version (with diva trio Lilias White, Audra McDonald, and Heather Headley), and the movie soundtrack (hosting Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé, and Anika Noni Rose).

At the core of the show is a robust R&B score coupled with the rise of a diva (Deena Jones, originated by Sheryl Lee Ralph and played notably in the movie by Beyonce) while witnessing the shunning of a larger woman (Effie Melody White) who doesn’t fit the rising tide of style over substance that the 1960’s musical landscape pioneered that dominates today.

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Musical Monday: Ojos Asi

Shakira was on my radar long before she crossed over a blond with an English-language album.  Here is her biggest hit pre-crossover, Ojos Asi, in all of her brunette, hip-shaking glory.

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