All tagged The Greatest Showman
Long before there was a film called The Greatest Showman, Broadway had its own musical version of the life of P.T. Barnum. This show, simply called Barnum, featured a score with music by Cy Coleman (Sweet Charity, City of Angels), lyrics by Michael Stewart (I Love My Wife) and a book by Mark Bramble (42ndStreet). Using the three-ring circus as the conceit for telling Barnum’s rise to fame as the King of Flim-Flam, much in the way Cabaret was set within a cabaret and Chicago within the confines of a vaudeville show, Barnum utilized its setting as a metaphor the risks that come with becoming a success, walking that proverbial tightrope known as “life”.
I cannot get enough of the band Collabro. From the moment I first heard them sing “Stars” on Britain’s Got Talent, I felt plunged into a joy of theatre music delivered in an angelic way that has never been equally captured through four-part harmony. Not long after my introduction to Collabro, I had the fortune of interviewing the four young men that make up the group. I soon learned that Michael Auger, Jamie Lambert, Matthew Pagan and Thomas J. Redgrave are not only extremely talented, but generous of spirit, kind, industrious, eloquent, and dedicated to their art of making showtunes sing with a special flair. It was a honor to speak to them and if their musical hadn’t already won me over, this interview would make me a fan for life. The announcement of their new album “Road to the Royal Albert Hall” was exciting news to me, but would it live up to expectations?
It has been a battle going on for years: making sure that musical theatre fans know the difference between a “cast album” and a “soundtrack”. One might think this is an easy thing to sort out, but those who have devoted their lives to listening to theatre music know that “soundtrack” is used interchangeably with “cast album” to designate Broadway and Off-Broadway) musicals that have been preserved on vinyl (and CD and for download). Retailers haven’t exactly helped the situation, often bundling both soundtracks and cast albums into the same sections and bins in stores.
So, the Oscar are this Sunday and I, of course, feel the need to try to predict the future. I’m notoriously bad at it, I’m afraid, letting my personal feelings about films cloud my judgment where the general population’s opinions are concerned. It’s vanity, pride, and hope, all balled up into one overly-invested moviegoer. Regardless, I’ve done my best to set aside personal biases and have done my best to try to predict the Oscars in nine categories. Let’s see how many I can get wrong this year!