Tag Archives: Musical

An American in Paris: Art, Dance & Romance

WHAT A JOY! IT’S M–G–M‘S TECHNICOLOR MUSICAL!  ”An American in Paris” first saw the light of day in 1928. A jazzy orchestral piece, it was written by George Gershwin and inspired by his years in Paris, an attempt to capture the city’s sights and sounds. In later interviews, he called it a ”rhapsodic ballet” that … Continue reading An American in Paris: Art, Dance & Romance

Sound of Music: Still Climbing Ev’ry Mountain

RADIANCE THAT FLOODS THE SCREEN… AND WARMS THE HEART! The movie is too good to be true. The real-life von Trapp family in Austria, whose adventures were chronicled by Maria von Trapp in a 1949 best-selling book called ”The Story of the Trapp Family Singers”, did not escape Nazi-invaded Austria as dramatically as in the … Continue reading Sound of Music: Still Climbing Ev’ry Mountain

Dancer in the Dark

YOU DON’T NEED EYES TO SEE.  In 1964, Czech immigrant Selma Ježková (Björk), who’s nearly blind, is working in the U.S. to save money for her son’s eye surgery, but eventually ends up on death row. Lars von Trier’s musical, made in Sweden, set in the U.S. and starring Icelandic singer Björk, polarized audiences and … Continue reading Dancer in the Dark

Beauty and the Beast

BE OUR GUEST.  When her father (Kevin Kline) is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) inside a huge, wintry castle, Belle (Emma Watson) offers herself in exchange for his freedom. Another live-action remake of an animated Disney classic. This one can’t escape a certain sense of pointlessness considering how close it stays to the … Continue reading Beauty and the Beast

My Fair Lady: A Loverly Musical

THE LOVERLIEST MOTION PICTURE OF THEM ALL! When George Bernard Shaw’s stage play ”Pygmalion” premiered in London in 1913, it was daring for its time. Making fun of the British class system, suggesting that all it takes to elevate a worker into the upper class is teaching her to speak well and dress properly, must … Continue reading My Fair Lady: A Loverly Musical

La La Land: An Enchanting Year in the Sun

HERE’S TO THE FOOLS WHO DREAM. Remember that opening scene from Manhattan (1979)? It’s a montage of different New York City images beautifully captured in black and white by cinematographer Gordon Willis, set to George Gershwin’s ”Rhapsody in Blue” as it builds in intensity to an impressive display of fireworks. It is an unforgettable tribute … Continue reading La La Land: An Enchanting Year in the Sun

West Side Story: Dancing and Dying in America

THE SCREEN ACHIEVES ONE OF THE GREAT ENTERTAINMENTS IN THE HISTORY OF MOTION PICTURES. Stage director Jerome Robbins was a key reason why ”West Side Story” became a groundbreaking Broadway hit in 1957. When the time came to make a movie, the studio had it both ways. Apart from the music and the show’s artistic expression, … Continue reading West Side Story: Dancing and Dying in America

Grease

GREASE IS THE WORD. In 1958, Danny and Sandy (John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John) return to high school after summer, but their fling becomes complicated. An adaptation of the Broadway musical that found favor among both audiences and critics, especially since its period setting was popular at the time. This colorful movie has a dreamy quality … Continue reading Grease

Annie

IT’S A HARD KNOCK LIFE. Wealthy businessman William Stacks (Jamie Foxx) is running for mayor of New York City; in order to come across as more likable he invites a 10-year-old foster child (Quvenzhané Wallis) in Harlem to live with him. An updated version of the Broadway musical, with new arrangements of the old songs … Continue reading Annie