Saturday at the Movies #12 - musicals
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I remember when I first heard of The Wiz, and being a wee little princess who would beg and plead to stay up late to see The Wizard of Oz on its then-annual showing, I was skeptical about messing with a classic. I came around. The visuals are beyond amazing, the "Brand New Day" sequence is one of my favorites, ever, and I love the sheer creativity involved in this adaptation. Dorothy might not be in Kansas anymore, but she is in NYC, and well, I'd like to remember Michael Jackson like this. No embedding on this one, so click here.
Dreamgirls - at the same time I was seeing advertisments for the movie The Wiz, I saw ads also for the stage version of Dreamgirls, but again, being too young, I had to wait for the movie. Boy, was that worth the wait. Jennifer Hudson was always a favorite of mine when she was on American Idol, and Simon Cowell was right on the money (heh, pun)when he told Ms. Hudson that songs for the movies were her forte after she sang "Circle of Life" from The Lion King. I know Beyonce got top billing, but for my money, this is Jennifer Hudson's movie, no doubt about it. The period feel, the delightfully dizzying ride through the 60s and 70s as seen through the eyes of three female singers has an amazing cast including Eddie Murphy in his finest hour, and Jamie Foxx whose performance let me see him in a whole new light.
Where to start with Little Shop of Horrors? The musical for the truly twisted, there is much perfection here, from Rick Moranis as Seymour, a very unusual lead, to the whole Skid Row aesthetic, Steve Martin's truly classic dentist song and the flawless use of a 60s girl group as Greek chorus. Only Frank Oz could direct a musical whose star is a bloodthirsty plant.
What sort of historical romance writer would I be if I didn't include Camelot? I think this cemented my love of the medieval era and tortured love triangles.
I don't think I ever apologized to my parents for the countless number of times I played the soundtrack to The Muppet Movie in my room, but I probably should have. As a kid who grew up on Sesame Street (in English and Spanish, thankyouverymuch) twice a day, this was a true delight. Plus it has Kermit and Miss Piggy, a true couple for the ages.