All in Stage To Screen

Movie Musicals On the Stage: Part Two – What Is the Recipe for Success?

In the last “Music That Makes Me Dance” column, we explored movie musicals that did not successfully transfer to the stage. From Meet Me in St. Louis to The Little Mermaid, there have been more than a few titles that failed to ignite when they ventured a life upon the wicked stage. We surmised that the art of looking at a musical through the lens of a camera is not the same beast as the art of filling a theatre auditorium with the same story, songs and characters. No, the stage requires a different recipe for success altogether.

Movie Musicals On the Stage: What Is the Recipe for Success? – Part One

Those classic Hollywood musicals of the old studio system (particularly Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) were, for many of us, our glorious introduction to the musical form. Our affection for the iconic moments and memorable songs in these cinematic masterpieces makes them ripe for the picking to transplant to the Broadway stage. Whether-or-not doing so does them any justice is another question altogether. We are often disappointed by the result; how do you effectively take what was artfully and intimately captured through a camera’s lens and reimagine it in the wider, more distant picture of the stage?

Bye Bye Birdie Live! Why This Is an EXCELLENT Idea!

Bye Bye Birdie opened on Broadway in 1960, a time when musical theatre began to move in new, more daring, directions. Bye Bye Birdie proved to be an innovative musical that introduced the idea of rock & roll music to Broadway audiences. Yes, the Charles Strouse (music) / Lee Adams (lyrics) score is mostly traditional musical theatre, but it did include three songs that were a pastiche of Elvis Presley-like numbers. Michael Stewart’s book is one of the most finely-crafted original stories ever to be shaped for Broadway: colorful characters, a compelling situation, a touch of ridiculous farce, romance, and a happy-ever-after ending. People often underappreciate how solid the story is because it seems so simple and easy, but the cause/effect relationship between characters and their actions is extremely complicated and well-justified. Marry this complexity of storytelling to a tuneful, often witty score, and Bye Bye Birdie really needs to be acknowledged for the fine piece of musical theatre that it is

The Highlights (and Horrors) of Rocky Horror

My blog today was supposed to be an exploration of Broadway sequels, but I am going to have to postpone that to another day. No, time and space demand that I write a reaction to Fox Networks remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Oh, how I wanted to love it (or at least like it) but this production sits on one like a bowl of slightly spoiled rice pudding sits in your stomach. It's not something I needed to begin with, and now I'm slightly nauseous for the experience.