Thursday, June 26, 2008

SHOWGIRLS - The Musical!? has a great interview with Gina Gershon, the multi-talented actress currently appearing in the Tony-nominated Boeing-Boeing. In the interview, she raises the possibility of a musical based on her 1995 über-flop Showgirls:

"It wouldn't be Showgirls as we know it - it'd be Showgirls as told by me...You think Showgirls was good? You should have seen what went on behind the scenes! So, I would mix up my own weird thought patterns with what was going on with Showgirls...It's funny in my brain, but it would take a lot of time...If was my version, it could be great. If it's just a dumb version, it'll be dumb."

All I can say is: please oh please oh please make this Broadway wish come true! The original film was a delirious blend of All About Eve, 42nd Street and A Star is Born, mixed in a cocktail shaker and laced with tits, glitter and monkey shit. I fully believe that Verhoeven intended it to be a very sly, European joke on American audiences (just as his next film, Starship Troopers, was a spoof on gung-ho Reagan-era blockbusters by way of WWII) - and a musical version, as told by La Gershon, sounds like a delicious mix of bitchery and back-biting to warm the cockles of every show-queen's heart.

You're going to make a lot of money for the Stardust Shuberts!

Tip o' the hat to the FIlm Experience Blog...

Broadway Gets Creepy, Kooky, Altogether Ooky

Word on the street is that there is a new musical of The Addams Family in the works, with Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane being mentioned for Morticia and Gomez - great casting, it must be said. And with Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch on board - they designed the seriously cool Shockheaded Peter, as well as the ENO / Metropolitan Opera's recent production of Philip Glass' Satyagraha - there is some reason to believe it might turn out to be quite clever. No word on book or music, which will be the life or death of the project.

Is this just another case of Broadway's current lack of inspiration, mining old TV shows, book and films for sure-fire material since producers are too risk-averse and tourist-oriented to take a chance on something original? The idea of an Addams Family musical is not, in itself, a bad idea - the characters are so quirky, with a strange romanticism about them, and strong, if peculiar, takes on the world - and then there's the twisted love affair between Gomez and Morticia. (Once again, it's a shame that Raul Julia, with his wild eyes and booming baritone, isn't with us to reprise his Gomez! He is truly missed.) Certainly, the source material - Addams' comic panels, the TV series, the movies - provide a very fertile field of inspiration, and offer a wide variety of gags and situations for the writers to choose from and interpret as they will. I was among those who pooh-poohed the films, and they turned out pretty funny (and Addams Family Values is one of those rare sequels to better the original). So, time will tell, I suppose.

NY Post story here.


Teaser from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Congratulations, Patti LuPone!

OK, a bit off the "mondo" track but...I recently returned from a trip to New York City where I was lucky enough to see Patti LuPone in the revival of Gypsy (1959) at the St. James Theater. This classic musical, with score by Jules Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, has been handsomely mounted by script writer Arthur Laurents, and was one of the most powerful and affecting shows I have ever seen. The entire cast was excellent, but all eyes were on Hurricane LuPone, who portrayed Mama Rose with more ferocity and vulnerability than any other actress I can think of. She also sang the role with more musicality and power than anyone, Merman included. This is one of the most difficult and multi-faceted roles in all of theatre, and she nailed every nuance and tore the roof off the theater with her pipes of burnished brass.

LuPone won a well-deserved Tony award on Sunday night, three decades after winning for Evita. Brava! Sondheim also took home a special Lifetime Achievement award. And let's not forget Boyd Gaines as Herbie and Laura Benanti as Louise (the future Gypsy), both of whom also took home Tonys for Featured Actor and Actress in a Musical. All three are featured in this clip from the Tony Awards, performing the famous Act 1 closer "Everything's Coming Up Roses." Sing out, Patti!

THE FLY - The Opera

An opera based on David Cronenberg's 1986 remake of The Fly is set to premiere next month in Paris under the baton of Placido Domingo. The opera, with music by Howard Shore (who composed the film score), has a libretto by Henry David Hwang (M. Butterfly) and is directed by Cronenberg himself. The world premiere is July 2, 2008 at the legendary Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, with the American premiere set for the Los Angeles Opera on September 7.

I am most intrigued by this project - I love the opera, love Cronenberg, and The Fly is one of my favorite horror films. The remake's brilliant take on the material - less monster movie than love triangle gone horribly, tragically wrong - provides the outsized emotions that might lend themselves very well to operatic treament. Howard Shore's score for the film was excellent; I still have my vinyl copy of the soundtrack album. This promises to be a modernistic listening experience, with some romantic touches. With Cronenberg and Domingo on board, I have high hopes that this will be a daring, unusual, emotionally wringing operatic experience. Mondo Opera? Be afraid - be very afraid.

The Fly: The Opera Official Website

Photo from Doctor Who: Ghost Light (1989)