Posts Tagged ‘The Musical’

Media Update 6/23/2016

June 23, 2016

Evil Dead: The Musical

I first heard of this musical during my tenure working in professional theater up in the boonies of New Jersey. There were five years up there but I think it was during A Streetcar Named Desire when a friend of mine named Jason played it for me. It’s probably a rare Venn diagram where Musical lovers meet Horror fans. I got a kick out of it when he played the soundtrack but I kind of forgot about it because I did not have a chance to go see the show. I am a huge Evil Dead fan and when I stumbled across a performance on YouTube, I just had to jump on it. The show is adapted from the first two movies which makes sense as Evil Dead 2 was mostly just an extended remake of the first film. First, if you’re wondering, the music is really good. The music is catchy as hell and extremely campy. In fact, a lot of the show is really, really campy in all the best ways. The show is pretty self-aware and there are plenty of allusions to the movies, Bruce and Sam. I think I watched the original Just for Laughs performance and it was really good. There’s plenty of gore to satisfy fans of the series but also enough comedy to keep you laughing. As I said, it basically shows the story of Evil Dead 2 but there are references to all three movies. The guy who played Ash is particularly good at doing Ash without doing Bruce Campbell. Check this out if you can before the lawyers take it down.

Cannibal: The Musical

So I had heard about this a long time ago but I never was able to check it out. People were so overjoyed and surprised when Trey Parker and Matt Stone succeeded on Broadway with the Book of Mormon. I was not really surprised since it was the third full musical they had written together. They had written, produced and directed Cannibal: The Musical and South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut a good while before the Book of Mormon opened. The South Park movie is actually a musical with a lot of heart but it is definitely heavily South Park flavored. Cannibal started life as a short student film but evolved into a feature length film. It was distributed by Troma and it definitely has a lot of the Troma trademarks. Mostly it’s just the cheap but gory practical effects that are done with such glee. Parker and Stone’s comedy definitely clicks with the usual wackiness of Troma and you can see a lot of their future in this first project together. At one point, you can even hear somebody doing Cartman’s voice. The movie is a dark comedy about several men trying to travel into the Colorado Territory in 1883. Several flashforwards show one of them (Trey Parker) on trial for cannibalism. The musical numbers are all incredibly bouncy considering how gory some of the scenes are. The musical is a fun time and it was obvious that everybody had a lot of fun putting it together. It led to great things in the future and I definitely recommend it for those who do not have weak stomachs.

Young Frankenstein: The Musical

Mel Brooks is a great comic mind. He was always a legend at mixing very stupid comedy with very smart comedy and making it all work. A lot of his stuff was parody and Young Frankenstein was no different. It was a great little story of the heir to Victor Frankenstein coming to check out his birthright. It had some of the best comedians of the day including Gene Wilder and Marty Feldman who knocked it right out of the park. Feldman  was particularly at the top of his game and most of the memorable quotes come from him. The movie still rates in my top fifty movies at a minimum. Mel Brooks struck gold with The Producers on Broadway and it made sense to also put another great movie up there in musical form. Like The Producers, I probably never could have gotten tickets to Young Frankenstein. The musical has a lot of the tongue-in-cheek humor of the original and, of course, has a lot of the same jokes. The music is more in the style of classic broadway which makes sense for a black and white movie made in the seventies. The show comes off even more vaudeville-esque and is pretty fun to watch. Like the other musicals on this list, they hit a lot of the feel of the original characters without getting stuck too much in doing impressions. If you have a chance to check this musical out, I definitely recommend it, especially if you are a fan of the original.

Music of the Week:
Madness – Night Boat to Cairo
The Mystic Knights – You Got Your Baby Back
Zedd – I Want You To Know ft. Selena Gomez
Kool Moe Dee – I Go To Work
Dio – Holy Diver

Weekly Updates:
– The theme of the week is “Morbidly Funny Musicals”
– I am catching up on Agents of Shield and it’s great
– Still watching Seven Deadly Sins and it is badass
– I watched a lot of YouTube this week
– I need to write about that soon
– I’m in the mood to watch some old cinema
– Happy Birthday to my Mom!

Media Update 6/9/2016

June 9, 2016

Legally Blonde: The Musical

It has been a while since I watched Legally Blonde or its sequel. They’re both great movies and I consider them to be well-written movies about a main character (and some minor characters) finding their inner strength and exceeding everyone’s expectations. I consider the movie to be one of the first feminist movies that I watched and was conscious of. I think a lot of people consider Legally Blonde to be kind of a girly movie and I can see where they would get that. However, this is way more intelligent than your average chick flick or dick flick for that matter. The main character is Elle Woods who goes to law school for all the wrong reasons but proves to herself that she’s stronger and smarter than anybody thought including herself. She also changes the lives of several people around her who are able to find their voices as well and better their lives. On a side note, in no way am I belittling somebody who chooses to be a fashion major or women who go out for their MRS degree. The musical does an excellent job of adapting the movie and the recording I watched had a very dynamic and talented cast. The show is high energy and the music is incredibly infectious. The musical numbers also play around a lot with conventional musical structure. There are a lot of interesting things done for the sake of comedy or storytelling. For the most part, the musical stays faithful to the movie as an inspirational tale of law students banding together under the command of one plucky young lady. There are a lot of interesting, thrilling moments that work just as well or better in musical form. Check the whole thing out on YouTube while it lasts or catch a stage version.

State Fair

When I was in high school, our drama department always did a certain kind of musical. We didn’t do anything that would need an electric guitar but plenty of piano-driven, cute musicals. We did old time musicals like Fiddler on the Roof, Anything Goes and Once Upon a Mattress. When it comes to that type of musical, Rodgers and Hammerstein are probably the most well-known team. They created musicals like The King and I, Oklahoma! and The Sound of Music. They specialize in some of the catchiest tunes around and lyrics that are pretty easy to remember because they flow well. I had heard of State Fair but I never had a chance to see it before now. As you’d expect the music is really good and very much like many of the musicals of its time. The first thing that struck me is that one of the main characters depicts the specific ennui and restlessness of being young perfectly. The story follows two young siblings who are both having trouble with their love lives back in their small time. Things start to change when they travel with their parents to the state fair and they each meet somebody who represents something completely new. The subplots have to do with the fair activities of livestock and cooking competitions which allow for more comic relief. The story is actually really interesting because I could not tell exactly where things were going and I just sat back and enjoyed the ride. Long time readers know that I have a soft spot for upbeat classic movies and this was definitely one of them. I definitely recommend this for musical lovers.

Shrek: The Musical

I remember when Shrek came out. At the time, it was an innovative look at fairy tales at the time with a slightly new take on The Tiger’s Bride. It basically added some heart and pop culture references to the classic transformation tale but the performances and heart pulled it off. It would end up being one of the last good movies for both Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy. I saw an ad for the musical when I was up in New Jersey and I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I ever saw. When the musical popped up on Netflix recently I had had time to let the idea percolate and I thought why not? So, the modern music like Smash Mouth is obviously replaced with show tunes which actually fits the story better. The visual design and script hit a lot of the same points as the original. I thought it felt more mature for a little bit but instead, I decided that it’s simply less juvenile and yes there’s a difference. Some of the songs are catchy but the lyrics are actually really fun and creative. The main difference from the original is that there seems to be a lot more exposition. We get more of Shrek’s, Fiona’s and Farquad’s backstories and the dragon talks now. In general, characters felt more developed and motivations were clearer. Both are refreshing and add to the story. The new jokes land a little better than some of the ones they replaced. There are also some really innovative special effects that were cool to watch. The actors are unknown to me but it felt like they put their own spin on things and didn’t just copy the movie too much. Check it out if you’re interested.


Music of the Week:

Slaughter – Spend My Life
The Jesus And Mary Chain – Head On
Creature – Pop Culture
May May- When I Enter Your Mind… (RIP Muhammad Ali)
Madeon – Pop Culture

Weekly Updates:

– I am loving season 2 of Person of Interest
– I finished watching season 1 of Better Call Saul and it destroyed me
– I got back into Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries this week
– So many movies in theaters I want to check out
– So many things on the docket in coming weeks to talk about
– Youtube will definitely make another appearance soon
– Muhammad Ali meant a lot to me. But still we move on.
– Check out I Am Ali on Netflix. It’s great.

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