All tagged Audra McDonald
With the forthcoming revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic Carousel set to open, I thought it would be fun to look back on the controversial gem from 1945. Based on the popular Ferenc Molnar play Liliom, but transposed from its original Hungarian setting to a New England fishing village in the United States, Carousel tells the story of factory worker Julie Jordan, a stubborn young woman who falls in love with a handsome, but troubled, carousel barker with a traveling carnival.
Musical theatre fans are simultaneously excited and circumspect when a stage musical is adapted for the screen. For every expertly transitioned musical such as My Fair Lady, West Side Story, and The Music Man, there is a Mame, Man of La Mancha, or Rent reminding us that musicals are a tricky medium to rethink through the camera’s lens. Another musical has made the leap from stage to screen. Michael John LaChiusa’s spare and compact 1994 musical Hello Again is set to hit theatres on November 8, 2017. Though the results are decidedly mixed, the film is a commendable adaptation of a stage show that probably was better left on the stage where its inherent theatricality is better served.
Broadway musicals and strong leading ladies walk hand in hand. Since the inception of the Broadway Musical, an actress who can command attention and generate box office revenue through her personality and talents is a sought after commodity. Somewhere along the way, the Broadway Musical Diva emerged and theatre fans became obsessed. I decided to examine each decade of musical theatre (starting with the 1920s) and weigh contributions, reviews, awards, career escalation, and the other je ne sais quois that make an actress unique and decipher who was the most-valuable player of that ten year span. Part of my rules for writing the piece was that no actress could appear on the list more than once, though many of these talented ladies’ careers span several decades. Read on and enjoy. I look forward to your comments and debates.
Last week, I wrote a piece about Broadway divas who showed exemplary acting skills. It got me thinking about some of our greatest living actresses of the musical stage and what classic musical theatre role I would most like to see them tackle next. Playing casting director is always a great deal of fun, and I hope you will chime in with your thoughts as well. For me, this is where I'd like to see some of our favorite leading ladies of the stage try their talents.