On the Town is a 1949 musical film with music by Leonard Bernstein and Roger Edens and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. It is an adaptation of the Broadway stage musical of the same name produced in 1944 (which itself is an adaptation of the Jerome Robbins ballet entitled Fancy Free which was also produced in 1944), although many changes in script and score were made from the original stage version; for instance, most of Bernstein’s music was dropped in favor of new songs by Edens, who disliked the majority of the Bernstein score for being too complex and too operatic. This caused Bernstein to boycott the film.More
Cabin in the Sky is a 1943 American musical film based on the 1940 stage musical of the same name. Directed by Vincente Minnelli, the film stars Ethel Waters and Rex Ingram, who reprised their roles from the Broadway production, as well Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson and Lena Horne. It was Horne’s first and only leading role in an MGM musical. Louis Armstrong was also featured in the film as one of Lucifer Junior’s minions, and Duke Ellington and his Orchestra have a showcase musical number in the film.
Little Joe, a man killed over gambling debts, is restored to life by angelic powers and given six months to redeem his soul and become worthy of entering Heaven—otherwise he will be condemned to Hell...More
A Hard Day’s Night is a 1964 British musical comedy film directed by Richard Lester and starring the Beatles—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr—during the height of Beatlemania. It was written by Alun Owen and originally released by United Artists. A Hard Day’s Night portrays several days in the lives of the group.
The film was a financial and critical success. Time magazine rated it as one of the all-time great 100 films. British critic Leslie Halliwell described it as a “comic fantasia with music; an enormous commercial success with the director trying every cinematic gag in the book” and awarded it a full four stars. The film is credited as being one of the most influential of all musical films, inspiring numerous spy films, the Monkees’ television show and pop music videos.More
Rodgers and Hammerstein are two of musical theater’s best collaborators. The Sound of Music is the best known of their productions.
Mention the names Rodgers and Hammerstein and almost everyone knows a bit about them. Rodgers and Hammerstein are two of musical theater’s best collaborators. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II are best known for the musicals, The Sound of Music, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, The King and I, and Carousel.
Rodgers first partnered with Lorenz Hart. The partnership was a successful one, and they produced a number of Broadway works. Chief among these were Babes in Arms and A Connecticut Yankee. Hammerstein was also building a successful career on Broadway working with a number of composers. He collaborated with Jerome Kern to produce the well-known musical, Show Boat, in 1927.
The genesis of their first work together, Oklahoma!, resulted fro...More
Babes in Arms is the 1939 American film version of the 1937 Broadway musical of the same name. The film version stars Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, and features Charles Winninger, Guy Kibbee, June Preisser, Grace Hayes and Betty Jaynes. The film concerns a group of youngsters trying to put on a show to prove their vaudevillian parents wrong and make it to Broadway. The original Broadway script was significantly revamped, restructured and rewritten to accommodate Hollywood’s needs.
In 1921 vaudeville performer Joe Moran (Charles Winninger) announces the birth of a son; but after the advent of talking pictures in 1928, vaudeville fails. His son Mickey Moran (Mickey Rooney) writes songs, and Patsy Barton (Judy Garland) sings “Good Morning.” Mickey sells the song for $100. He gives Patsy his pin and kisses her...More
The principal characters of The Phantom of the Opera continue their stories in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s LOVE NEVER DIES, currently playing at The Adelphi Theatre London. From the Gothic surrounds of the Paris Opera House to the dazzling heights of New York’s Coney Island – the Phantom returns. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spectacular new musical reunites the masked Phantom with his only true love and musical protege, the stunning beauty Christine Daae. Love Never Dies is a roller coaster ride of intrigue, obsession and romance – where little is as it first appears.
With Madame Giry’s help the Phantom escaped the Paris mobs to construct a glittering brand new empire in the new world. For ten long years the Phantom has hidden himself amongst the freaks and sideshows nursing his broken heart along with yearning for his true love to return.
Now, blinded by money and also the bright li...More
Musical composition can happen in advance with an aim towards repeat performance or it can happen on the spot when musicians improvise or jam. Composition describes the formal construction of a piece of music, both its incarnation on paper and its performance incarnation. Originally Western music was composed for the church and for worship. Its function was to be repeated but the artistic/creative elements of musical composition were lacking as the music itself was more pedagogical in purpose. Once polyphonic sounds began to creep in, composers began to record music on paper for future performance. This begins to happen when the view of music starts to change from that of a form of worship to a form of worship that also provides audio pleasure.
There is a mathematical precision to musical composition that is present in most studies of musical theory...More
I once had a friend that wanted to help out any way that she could at her church. Let’s just say that it didn’t take anyone in the church long to realize that they had hit pay dirt as they did not have a Childs Choir Director. They called her in and asked her if she would be in charge of one of the most important positions in the church – Director of Childs Choir Music. How could she refuse? After all this was one of the most important positions, and how hard could it be to get children to sing songs.
Her duties, she found, including setting up their first choir fundraiser and helping with all aspects of choir including song selection and recruiting. As in many cases the job of the volunteer can cover many different areas that are not anticipated. When it comes to choir, though, there are so many fun things to do to make it enjoyable for the kids.
After all, they natur...More
Victor/Victoria is a 1982 British-American musical comedy film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Julie Andrews, James Garner, Robert Preston, Lesley Ann Warren, Alex Karras, and John Rhys-Davies.
Set in 1934 Paris, the film opens with Richard di Nardo, a young hustler, emerging from the bed of gay middle-aged Carroll Todd (Robert Preston), a.k.a. Toddy; Richard dresses, takes money from Toddy’s wallet and leaves Toddy’s apartment. Going about his day, Toddy, a performer at Chez Lui in Paris, sees Labisse, the club owner, auditioning a frail, impoverished soprano, Victoria Grant (Julie Andrews). After the audition, Labisse drily writes her off, and she responds by sustaining a pitch to shatter his wine glass using resonant frequency. That night, Richard comes to Chez Lui as part of a straight foursome and Toddy incites a brawl by insulting Richard and the women in his group...More
The international hit musical Mamma Mia is best seen in the West End because of value for money, professionalism, safety and variety of other activities. The West End has the UK’s best talent. Public transportation is also available so the car can be left at home.
You would have to be living under a rock not to have heard about the hit musical Mamma Mia, based on the music of Swedish pop sensation ABBA. Although productions of Mamma Mia can be found from coast to coast all over the UK since the very first showing in 1999, the best place to see it is London’s West End.
It is a common misconception that the strength of a musical stands on its plot and songs. If that was true, then there would be no reason for anyone to go to the West End or even across the Pond to Broadway when the local drama club is putting on a revue...More
42nd Street is a 1933 American pre-Code musical film, directed by Lloyd Bacon. The choreography was staged by Busby Berkeley. The songs were written by Harry Warren (music) and Al Dubin (lyrics). The script was written by Rian James and James Seymour, with Whitney Bolton, who was not credited, from the 1932 novel of the same name by Bradford Ropes.
It is 1932, the depth of the Depression, and noted Broadway producers Jones (Robert McWade) and Barry (Ned Sparks) are putting on Pretty Lady, a musical starring Dorothy Brock (Bebe Daniels). She is involved with wealthy Abner Dillon (Guy Kibbee), the show’s “angel” (financial backer), but while she is busy keeping him both hooked and at arm’s length, she is secretly seeing her old vaudeville partner, out-of-work Pat Denning (George Brent).
Julian Marsh (Warner Baxter) is hired to direct, even though his doctor warns that he risks his life if ...More
The first time we went to Prague it was to see the city and its history, but music in Prague is part of the fabric of the city. I remember saying I had never seen a city where everyone seemed to be walking around with a musical instrument of some type under their arm.
The first thing we did when we got to Prague wasn’t to go and see the Charles Bridge or the Castle… it was to go to an opera…. and that’s what we suggest to all of our friends.
Whoa… wait a minute, you’re saying. “I’m not an opera buff.” We’re not either, and we don’t usually go looking for musical performances when we travel, but music in Prague just called out to us.
Back to that opera… We went to see “Don Giovanni” in the Estates Theatre Prague. This jewel box of a theater opened in 1783...More
A Star Is Born is a 1976 American musical drama film telling the story of a young woman, played by Barbra Streisand, who enters show business, and meets and falls in love with an established male star, played by Kris Kristofferson, only to find her career ascending while his goes into decline. It is a remake of two earlier versions – the 1937 version was a drama starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, and the 1954 version was a musical starring Judy Garland and James Mason. It will be remade for a third time in 2018 starring Stefani Germanotta and Bradley Cooper.
Esther Hoffman, an aspiring singer-songwriter, meets John Norman Howard, a famous, successful and self-destructive singer/songwriter rock star, whom, after a series of coincidental meetings, she finally starts dating. Believing in her talent, John gives her a helping hand and her career begins to eclipse his.
Writer and direc...More
Come holiday season, all the musical theatre fans are excited. After all, they have a chance to catch up on all the new musicals at the various venues across London, and enjoy late night theatre performances or take pleasure in a late night stroll at the West End theatre district, after having watched a wonderful musical play. Of course, there is that one issue to be tackled first; how are you going to find affordable musical tickets for such favoured shows? The answer is simple. Just buy them online.
You can find a host of different official ticketing websites that boast of selling discounted tickets of all theatre genres from operas to musicals, in addition to meal packages, theatre gift vouchers and London attractions like the London Eye, cruises on the river, London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds, etc., which are ideal for an wonderful evening out...More
High Society is a 1956 American musical comedy film directed by Charles Walters and starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, and Frank Sinatra. The film was produced by Sol C. Siegel for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and shot in VistaVision and Technicolor, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter.
Based on the play The Philadelphia Story by Philip Barry, with a screenplay by John Patrick, the film High Society is about a successful popular jazz musician who tries to win back the affections of his ex-wife, who is preparing to marry another man. The cast also features Celeste Holm, John Lund and Louis Calhern, with a musical contribution by Louis Armstrong.
The highly successful jazz musician C.K. Dexter Haven (Bing Crosby) was divorced from wealthy Newport, Rhode Island socialite Tracy Samantha Lord (Grace Kelly), but remains in love with her...More
Mame is a 1974 Technicolor musical film in Panavision based on the 1966 Broadway musical of the same name (itself based on the 1958 film Auntie Mame) and the 1955 novel Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis.
It was directed by Gene Saks, and adapted by Paul Zindel, and starred Lucille Ball in her final theatrical film performance. The cast also stars Bea Arthur, Bruce Davison and Robert Preston.
At the reading of the will of young Patrick Dennis’s (Kirby Furlong) father, a trustee, Mr. Babcock (John McGiver), reveals that Patrick is to be left in the care of his aunt, Mame Dennis (Lucille Ball), as well as his nanny, Agnes Gooch (Jane Connell). Taking a train to New York City (Main Title Including St. Bridget), Agnes and the boy arrive at Mame’s home, where they walk into a wild party that she is giving for a holiday she herself created (It’s Today)...More
New York, New York is a 1977 American musical drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Mardik Martin and Earl Mac Rauch based on a story by Rauch. It is a musical tribute, featuring new songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb as well as jazz standards, to Scorsese’s home town of New York City, and stars Robert De Niro and Liza Minnelli as a pair of musicians and lovers. The story is “…about a jazz saxophonist (De Niro) and a pop singer (Minnelli) who fall madly in love and marry”; however, the “…saxophonist’s outrageously volatile personality places a continual strain on their relationship, and after they have a baby, their marriage crumbles”, even as their careers develop on separate paths. The film marked the final screen appearance of actor Jack Haley.More
Brigadoon is a 1954 MGM musical feature film made in CinemaScope and Ansco Color based on the Broadway musical of the same name by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. The film was directed by Vincente Minnelli and stars Gene Kelly, Van Johnson, and Cyd Charisse. Brigadoon has been broadcast on American television and is available in VHS and DVD formats.
Americans Tommy Albright (Gene Kelly) and Jeff Douglas (Van Johnson) are on a hunting trip in Scotland and become lost in the woodlands. They happen upon Brigadoon, a miraculously blessed village that rises out of the mists every hundred years for only a day. (This was done so that the village would never be changed or destroyed by the outside world...More
Royal Wedding is a 1951 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musical comedy film starring Fred Astaire and Jane Powell, with music by Burton Lane and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner. The film was directed by Stanley Donen; it was his second film and the first he directed on his own. It was released as Wedding Bells in the United Kingdom.
The story is set in London in 1947 at the time of the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh. Astaire and Powell play siblings in a song and dance duo, echoing the real-life theatrical relationship of Fred and Adele Astaire.
The story sees brother and sister Tom and Ellen Bowen as stars of a show Every Night at Seven, a Broadway success. They are persuaded to take the show to London, capitalizing on an imminent royal wedding.
All That Jazz is a 1979 American musical film directed by Bob Fosse. The screenplay by Robert Alan Aurthur and Fosse is a semi-autobiographical fantasy based on aspects of Fosse’s life and career as dancer, choreographer and director. The film was inspired by Bob Fosse’s manic effort to edit his film Lenny while simultaneously staging the 1975 Broadway musical Chicago. It borrows its title from the Kander and Ebb tune “All That Jazz” in that production. The film won the Palme d’Or at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.
Joe Gideon is a theater director and choreographer trying to balance work on his latest Broadway musical with editing a Hollywood film he has directed. He is a workaholic who chain-smokes cigarettes, and without a daily dose of Vivaldi, Visine, Alka-Seltzer, Dexedrine, and sex, he wouldn’t have the energy to keep up the biggest “show” of all — his life...More