Posts Tagged ‘Musicals’

Media Update 7/9/20

July 9, 2020


Hamilton

Sometimes I felt like I was the only person on Earth who had not seen Hamilton. When it got popular, ticket prices started going up while availability started going down. I contented myself by just listening to the music. After all, the music is the heart and soul of the show. There are very few spoken words in the show. I was overjoyed to hear that Disney+ would be presenting a theatrical recording of the original Broadway production. It was something I went into knowing that I would love it but I was absolutely blown away. There were songs I sometimes skipped on the soundtrack which I absolutely loved. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s performance was, of course, fantastic but I had no idea how good Phillipa Soo, Daveed Diggs, Jonathan Groff, Leslie Odom Jr., Chris Jackson, and so many more were. The story and music are so good and it is a great story about deeply flawed people who were tasked with creating my country. For me, the show really lived up to all of the hype and then some. I will be writing a more spoilery piece for this coming Monday. I definitely recommend watching this show.


Beetlejuice: The Musical

(Fair notice: I watched a bootlegged copy of this filmed back when the show was in the Winter Garden Theatre). I had watched a short documentary piece on the show and I became absolutely intrigued by it. I love the original Beetlejuice made by Tim Burton. It’s a classic. However, I also really liked the animated television show which came quite a bit later. This show attempts to mix both with a modern rock musical. I think they were absolutely successful. They took the original plot of the movie and then they massaged in more heart and a storyline that is somehow darker but also funnier. The character of Beetlejuice is a dynamic, fourth-wall-breaking lunatic more or less how he is in the movie but way more energy. The big change is that the character of Lydia is given far more to do and gets to be more than just a vague goth girl. I really want to see the show live now. I would pay for it. I recommend this show as well.


Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

I was hesitant to watch a movie based on Eurovision because of their ludicrous decision to step in a mess by holding the event in Israel and trying to get rid of Palestinian protests. However, when I looked into things a bit, I found that it was about Iceland who courageously joined Palestinian protests and was penalized for it. The movie follows a man and a woman who desperately want to compete at Eurovision (played by Will Ferrell and Rachel MacAdams). The movie has all the weird charm associated with Eurovision with all of the over the top special effects, weird cultural references, and odd song choices. I only had a few problems with it. First, I was completely thrown off by the movie being set in 2020. Everything seemed to be time-warped back to the seventies or eighties or even the nineties but I was completely thrown by it being set in 2020 without it affecting the plot that much. The other is I would have liked the movie even better without Will Ferrell but he made the movie so that is impossible. The movie is still good goofy fun and embraces a very European flair and it is a love letter to Eurovision days gone by. I recommend it as well.

Music of the Week:
Dschinghis Khan – Moskau

Demi Lovato – I Love Me

LORDI – Your Tongue’s Got The Cat

Hamilton Mixtape – Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)

Daveed Diggs – Fresh From The Hood

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Musical Stories”
– I watched more Elementary Season 2
– I watched more Flash Season 6
– I watched more Watcher videos
– I watched more Supergirl Season 5
– I watched more Riverdale Season 4
– I watched more Rizzoli and Isles Season 4
– I watched more Legends of Tomorrow Season 5
– I watched more Supernatural Season 15
– I watched more Doom Patrol Season 1

Media Update 8/31/17

August 31, 2017


Sing Street

I watched this one on monthly Movie Night with friends and, while I had seen the movie on the Netflix menu, I probably would not have watched it on my own. Anyway, I was three when this movie took place in 1985. All the same, I remember some of the fashions even when I was older which is what caused most of the shocked and delighted comments from my older friends. The movie is about a young boy who is forced to go to a Christian School by his parents where he is bullied. To cope, he decides to chase a girl by forming a band. Through the story, the music also becomes about him discovering his identity and his confidence and also bonding with his brother. There is a lot of original music inspired by bands of the eighties including various genres and subgenres of the time as the band struggles to find their own sound. There is also a ton of great music from the seventies and eighties (and there’s also Genesis). While this is a bit of a period piece, there is plenty that hit home for me. The relationship between brothers was particularly hard hitting for me. Also, the family on the verge of a breakdown. Anyway, I definitely recommend it as it will have you both laughing and feeling and singing along.


Hedwig and the Angry Inch

I had heard about this musical for a long time but I have never seen it on stage. I was excited when I found out that the movie stars the original stars of the stage show. The show stars John Cameron Mitchell as gender ambiguous Hedwig (who was born male) who is trying to get her music career off the ground. However, she ends up following the tour of a former friend/lover who stole all of her original songs. So, she tells each audience on her tour her story while singing songs associated with different parts of her past. We see flashbacks as she tells her story which is definitely not a happy one. I would compare this movie to The Who’s Tommy which has a similar musical genre and also had a lot of trippy imagery in it. There is a lot of emotional pain in the movie but somehow they manage to keep it light enough not to be too much of a downer. The movie also had a few moments that felt a lot like This is Spinal Tap. I would recommend it as it was pretty fun and definitely an interesting and uncomfortable ride.


Opening Night

I stumbled on this in the Netflix menu and I have been a fan of Topher Grace since I was introduced to him in That 70’s Show. He has definitely grown as an actor. He plays a Broadway stage manager and immediately his role is so familiar as are a lot of the situations backstage in the movie. The movie is a lot about the past and missed opportunities and whether you can find those opportunities again. Appropriately, the musical within a musical is called One Hit Wonderland and it is about showcasing all of the One Hit Wonders in music history and whether those groups could have had another hit. Topher’s deadpan delivery is my favorite thing about the movie but there is a whole cast of wacky characters played by Alona Tal, Anne Heche, Taye Diggs, Rob Riggle and Paul Scheer. Beside’s Topher and Alona’s central story, there are a lot of side stories that are often amusing. There are musical numbers on stage and also one hit wonders are sung backstage that apply to the current point in the story. I would actually recommend this as it was a pretty good romantic comedy (although it is a little raunchy for raunchy’s sake).

Music of the Week:
Jimmie Rodgers – Honeycomb

Royal Republic – Baby

ZZ Ward – Put the Gun Down

Against Me! – Crash

The LaFontaines – Release the Hounds

Media Update:
– This week’s theme is “Presentational Rock Musicals”
– I finally finished The Defenders
– I watched more White Collar Season 5
– I watched more Riverdale Season 1
– I watched more Supergirl Season 2
– I watched more Once Upon a Time Season 6
– I finished Criminal Minds Season 12

Media Update 3/16/2017

March 16, 2017


La La Land

Yes, it is the movie that became controversial in comparison to another movie this year. People turned on this movie pretty quickly when the Academy said they liked it. Anyway, all of the controversy made me want to watch this movie even more than I already did. I like musicals and I like Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone so it was probably something I would eventually see anyway. The movie is kind of a throwback to musicals like Singing in The Rain and Melody of Broadway 1936. Of course, those old musicals always had a happy ending. This movie goes out of its way to tell a story where everything is not wrapped up in a little bow. As the movie started, I was not immediately impressed. The movie crept into my heart as it continued and then it set up shop. I loved the jazz score and original songs. I always love Emma Stone and she was great in this. Her depiction of the audition process for theater (and television and film) is definitely what I heard from my colleagues in the theater. The story was definitely about her but Gosling’s story was also important and he was great as a miserable jerk. Both stories were about what you put up with to achieve your dream. I definitely recommend it as it was nominated for a lot of awards for good reason.


Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

I first heard about the star of this show (Rachel Bloom) when she lent her voice to a Starbomb album a while ago as the singing voice of Princess Peach. I had not heard of her before but I thought she was a great singer with a good sense of humor. Flash forward to a year and a half ago when I saw that this show was a thing. I read the premise and dismissed the show as not my thing and moved on. Recently, Kate Leth started watching the show and tweeted about it and I was intrigued and decided to try it. The show is about a top-earning lawyer who meets her ex-boyfriend from when she was fourteen and has a crisis moment where she realizes she is not happy in her life. She decides to chase her ex across the country to California. The premise sounded kind of trashy and weird but the show is very self-aware. The character realizes how crazy she may be and the show is more about more than its premise. It is also a musical comedy that likes to address the realities of being a woman in the modern world. For me, a lot of the humor comes from how deep into the crazy Bloom’s character digs and then how hard she has to work to dig out of it. The characters are both likable but also terrible people who end up being a lot of fun. I definitely recommend it.


Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Marilyn Monroe is a famous figure mostly for the worst reasons. She was an outrageous woman with real problems but also amazing victories. Until Monday, I had never actually seen her act in anything. I had heard the recording of Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend (which comes from this movie) but I had not seen her act. I had seen more parodies of her acting. In this movie, she adopts a very breathy acting style. Her character is a sweet girl who happens to be obsessed with money but is not a bad person. She comes off as dumb but is actually very intelligent when it comes to certain circumstances. Jane Russell contrasts as a very brassy woman who constantly speaks her mind and defends her ‘dumb blonde’ friend. The two of them are very funny together with consistently clever wordplay, great singing and funny line deliveries. The movie is supposed to be PG but, if you read between the lines, it flies a lot of stuff past the censors. After watching it, I can definitely see why people champion Monroe as an actress and why people kept working with her despite her difficult reputation. I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:
The Agonist – Business Suits and Combat Boots

Michelle Branch – Best You Ever

Meghan Trainor – Me Too

Nina Hagen – Smack Jack

Indigo Girls – Closer to Fine

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Musicals Centered on Women”
– I watched more Haven Season 5
– I watched more Blue Bloods Season 3
– I kept watching The Magicians Season 2
– I watched some more of The Crown
– I watched some old and new Conan
– I liked Amy Schumer: The Leather Special
– 3/16 says I just watched some stuff


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