Tag Archives: musicals

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Cats Zooms Past So Bad it’s Good Territory

Cats

Look, Cats was always going to be a disaster. There’s simply no way you could take the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical and turn it into a coherent film because Cats is and always has been nonsensical garbage dolled up with amazing costumes, dancing, and setpieces. Notice I didn’t say music, because Cats has exactly one great song, “Memory,” and the rest is more ridiculous garbage.

Imagine the amount of cocaine that was ingested in the writing, conception, production design and staging of Cats beginning with TS Elliot’s poetry to the 1981 musical to every production of the musical since then to this film. Every bit of celluloid screams “WE ARE ON DRUGS” up to and including the way the cats’ CGI animated ears and tails WON’T STOP MOVING. Yes, cats can and do move like that, but apparently “Jellicle” cats can and do EVERY 2 SECONDS.

One way the film does improve on the play is its attempts to actually convey some sort of plot: every year on a special night, our band of jellicle cats meet and their matriarch (played by Maggie Smith) chooses one to go up to kitty cat heaven and be reborn. So the cats put on a series of elaborate song and dance numbers to compete for that honor, like you do. Except one of the bad cats (played by Idris Elba) is trying to rig the competition in his favor by kidnapping other top kitties. It is not a plot-forward movie.

Instead, you basically get a dozen little vignettes each devoted to introducing one cat or another and there’s singing and dancing. Ok, the dancing is pretty great. Francesca Hayward plays Victoria, our audience surrogate cat, who is new to the junkyard and this band of jellicles, so we learn through her eyes. She is an amazing dancer. There is no way to oversell how great she is. It’s just such a shame she isn’t in a better film, especially one that doesn’t weirdly sexualize her so much.

What do I mean by weirdly sexualize? Well, you come away from the film with a weird feeling like. . . maybe director Tom Hooper has a cat fetish? If you are a cat furry and love the Cats musical, then this movie is 100% for you. Everyone else? Ehhhhhh. . .

Is it so bad it’s good? Like a cult classic sort of way, like a sneak in some edibles and enjoy it way? No. It zooms past so bad it’s good territory that it’s so bad it’s bad again. I pity anyone who goes to this movie high on drugs. It’s going to be a bad trip.

Cat Meow GIF by Cats Movie - Find & Share on GIPHY

This film has such an amazing cast and they are all wasted here. I have no idea what Idris Elba is doing in this movie. I have no idea what Judi Dench is doing in this movie. I have no idea what Ian McKellan is doing in this movie. I have no idea what Jennifer Hudson is doing in this movie. Ok, I sort of know what James Corden, Jason Derullo, and Rebel Wilson are doing in this movie and that is hamming it up as much as possible. I have no idea what Taylor Swift is doing in this movie.

And speaking of Taylor, she has a new song she co-wrote with Andrew Lloyd Webber and it is exactly the unholy abomination a combination of those two would be. Meanwhile, Jennifer Hudson seems determined to make “Memory” hers as much as possible, full-on ugly-crying under the weight of all that makeup and CGI as if to say, “Remember when Anne Hathaway ugly-cried in Les Mes and you all ate it up? Well here’s THIS.” When she finally lets loose and belts as hard as she can, it’s actually pretty good for a few seconds. But it can in no way redeem the rest of this thoroughly inexplicable movie.

Cats will have a fanbase. There will be people who love this. I’m glad they’ll find what they like. And I will say this for it: between this and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, one of these two movies took a big audacious swing. And there’s something to be said for that. Yes, it’s still a giant festering garbage fire, but at least they were thinking big enough to ask, “What if Cats, but with CGI ear and tail twitching and more like humans and sexier?”

1 out of 5 stars

Fun Home has its best week yet on Broadway

fun home coverThe Tony Awards was good for Fun Home. The best new musical had its best week to date. The musical earned $716,631 which is less than some of the other award winners, but the musical also is playing in a smaller theater than most, the Circle in the Square theater.

The theater was filled at capacity, filling up with 103 percent of the seats. So every seat was occupied, and there were people watching from standing-room areas.

Fun Home won for:

  • Best Musical
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical – Michael Cerveris
  • Best Direction of a Musical – Sam Gold
  • Best Book of a Musical
  • Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

Fun Home has a Fun Time at the 2015 Tony Awards, Walking Away with Numerous Wins

fun home coverIt was a great night for graphic novel turned musical Fun Home at the 2015 Tony Awards. The musical was the bell of the ball winning 5 times out of its 12 nominations (3 of which were in one category!). It led the night for wins that saw The King and I, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time also come out big winners.

Fun Home the musical is based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel and her relationship with her father. In college Alison came out as a lesbian, and discovered her father was also gay. He died a few weeks after the revelation leaving a legacy of mystery for Bechdel to resolve.

Fun Home won for:

  • Best Musical
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical – Michael Cerveris
  • Best Direction of a Musical – Sam Gold
  • Best Book of a Musical
  • Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

The musical didn’t win for “Best Orchestrations,” “Best Lighting Design of a Musical,” “Best Design of a Musical,” “Best Performance of an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical” where it had three nominations, and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical.”

Expect the demand for tickets to skyrocket with this many wins, and I can’t wait to see it when it begins touring and comes to DC.

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The weekend is almost here! What’s everyone doing now that the weather’s warm? While you figure that out, here’s some news to keep you busy.

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The Hollywood Reporter – ‘Walking Dead’ Creator Inks Overall Deal at AMC – Not too shocking considering the success he’s had for them.

CBS News – Inside “Fun Home,” graphic novel turned Broadway musical – Can’t wait to see this.

 

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Fun Home Gets a Boost from Tony Nominations

fun home coverFun Home, the musical based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, received a boost and had its biggest week at the Broadway box office. The musical was nominated for 12 Tony Awards, receiving the most along with An American in Paris which received the same amound

The show earned $531,985, a massive increase from the previous week, by more than $95,000.

Congrats to all, and I can’t wait to see it myself.

(via ArtsBeat)

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The weekend is almost here! What’s everyone doing to enjoy it?

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The New York Times – ‘Brooklynite,’ a Superhero Musical With Matt Doyle and Nicolette Robinson – I kind of want to see this.

The New York Times – Hey, the Hulk’s in Central Park! Marvel Comics Covers Highlight New York – Nice.

 

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Bleeding Cool – Curb Stomp #1

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Fun Home Wins 3 Lortel Awards

The Lucille Lortel Awards honor Off Broadway works, and on Sunday night Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel‘s graphic novel, was a winner. The story is a girl’s coming-of-age as a lesbian and her awakening to her father’s troubles. The production won numerous awards including outstanding musical, Michael Cerveris for best actor, and Judy Kuhn for best featured actress in a musical.

The show is closed, but producers are looking to move it to Broadway.

fun home cover

 

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It’s new comic book day! Yes, due to New Years, new comics are being released today, instead of the normal Wednesday.

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CBR – Marvel Suspends Periodical Distribution to Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million – The fact that this has been the case for months, and spread around without fact checking, just shows how poor comics journalism is.

ArtsBeat – ‘Spider-Man’ Not a Flop, Broadway Restaurateur Declares – Good to know.

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Shadowhawk’s Shade – Batgirl: Redemption

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It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone getting?

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GamePolitics – Andrew Eisen: Scribblenauts Unmasked Is Surprisingly Gruesome – Ever Scribblenaut game is a bit subversive.

ICv2 – Another Loss for Stan Lee Media – Shocker.

Artsbeat – Injured ‘Spider-Man’ Actor Makes First Appearance Since Performance Accident – This is good to hear.

Metal Underground – Cradle Of Filth To Release Graphic Novel “Curse Of Venus Aversa” – Nice!

Around the Tubes Reviews

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