A prequel to the iconic 1971 musical and 1978 movie Grease is in development at Paramount. Written by John August (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), the new film, titled Summer Loving, will tell the story of Danny and Sandy's summer romance at the beach as famously recounted from two different perspectives in the original movie's song "Summer Nights."
I only wish Summer Loving would be an animated feature in the style of John D. Wilson's incredible opening titles to the original Grease and star John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John:
No, this isn't a movie about North Korea's Kim Jung-un, but rather, "Rocketman" singer Elton John. The film, which stars Welsh actor Taron Egerton as Elton John, comes out next summer. Here is its first trailer. Read the rest
Elite was the original 3D space-trading game, spinning a vast universe to explore from a few lines of code, birthing a series that's still going strong. It famously came boxed with a novella by Rob Holdstock to give literary life to its procecurally-generated expanse, but did you know there was also Elite: The Musical?
By Aidan Bell, brother of Elite co-creator Ian Bell, the musical clocks in at 1 hour and 44 minutes and you can listen to the whole thing right here, right now in your browser. [via]
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The Elite Musical seems to have gone forgotten, which is a real shame because it's amazing even if it's a bit dated. So I took it into my own hands to stitch all the audio together to try and log to forgotten Musical. One problem is that the quality in audio changes scene to scene, it seems like some of the songs where recorded live while others where done in a studio setting. However I did my best to get the audio in chronological order. There is some missing audio at the start of scene 6 and some music has crowed cheers, i decided to leave them in as I felt it brought some life to the musical knowing that this was preformed in front of a live audience.
Next year, the American Repertory Theater in Massachusetts will premier a new musical based on Alanis Morissette's classic 1995 album Jagged Little Pill. Diablo Cody ("Juno" and "Ricki and the Flash") will write the book while Tony Award winner Diane Paulus ("Pippin) is directing.
Jagged Little Pill "had so much meaning in its time,” Paulus told the New York Times, and Morissette is an artist “with courage and power and vulnerability.”
With Hillary, Bill, and Chelsea Clinton in the audience, The Color Purple played its final show on Broadway this Sunday. And the musical’s Facebook page live streamed Tony-winning star Cynthia Erivo’s performance of the climatic song “I’m Here.” After she became moved to tears during the number, the crowd leapt to its feet to cheer Erivo on.
You can watch the final performance above and the show’s Tony Awards medley right here:
Broadway stars Laura Osnes and Christopher Rice pay homage to classic MGM films in this holiday performance. Read the rest
Here are the first 5 minutes of a full-length musical about Burning Man and life in Silicon Valley that these people are hoping you'll want to pitch in and fund. Read the rest
A Ninth Circuit Appeals Court has ruled that the producers of the musical "Jersey Boys" did not violate copyright law by using a clip from the Ed Sullivan Show in their production. They'd been sued by SOFA Entertainment, who holds the Sullivan Show rights. The judges awarded costs to the Jersey Boys production company, so SOFA will have to pay $155,000 in attorneys' fees and costs -- an award that the judges specifically stated was intended to "deter future lawsuits that might chill the creative endeavors of others."
Appellant SOFA Entertainment, Inc. claimed Dodger infringed its copyright in the clip and could not justify its unlicensed use of the clip as "fair use."
"SOFA is mistaken," said Circuit Judge Stephen S. Trott. "The defendants used the clip in Jersey Boys, their musical about the Four Seasons, to mark a historical point in the band's career. The panel held that this was a fair use because by using the clip for its historical significance, the defendants had imbued it with new meaning and had done so without usurping whatever demand there was for the original clip."
The district court viewed SOFA's infringement claim as "objectively unreasonable and determined that awarding fees would deter future lawsuits that might chill the creative endeavors of others."
Court Says Jersey Boys Producers Were Free to Use Copyrighted "Ed Sullivan" Clip in Show [Kenneth Jones/Playbill]
(Thanks, Dick!) Read the rest
You might be a cynic when it comes to movies adapted from Broadway musicals, and that's fine. They're not for everyone. But no matter what you might think of Les Misérables or its cast -- Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, among others -- you will undoubtedly be impressed by the approach taken by director Tom Hooper and the other filmmakers. Because they had their cast perform all the songs from the musical tragedy live on set, as opposed to being pre-recorded in a booth and then cleaned up later for a lip-sync on-set. It brought the actors to a different emotional place than a lip-sync ever could. (For example, let's just give Anne Hathaway her Oscar now.) But mostly, it makes this musical make sense.
Go ahead -- let this extended preview of Les Misérables shake your Grinchy core. You might need this today.