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Taika Waititi Says He Didn’t Even Try to Pitch Studios on His WWII Comedy ‘Jojo Rabbit’

  • The Wrap
This story first appeared in the Race Begins issue of TheWrap’s Oscar magazine.

On the face of it, this is not the most promising comic setup: A 10-year-old boy living in Germany in the second half of World War II wants so much to be a good little Nazi that he creates an imaginary friend who happens to be Adolf Hitler. Then the boy finds that his mother is hiding a teenage Jewish girl behind a wall in their home, which throws his carefully nurtured hate for a loop.

That is the premise of Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit,” which is loosely adapted from the Christine Leunens novel “Caging Skies” (which did not have an imaginary Hitler in it). The New Zealand-born director of “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” and “Thor: Ragnarok” took the premise, made a satiric comedy starring Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Thomasin McKenzie and newcomer Roman Griffin Davis
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Hercules’ Stage Musical Adaptation Finds Its Strongman: Jelani Alladin Among Cast Announced For Shakespeare In The Park Production

‘Hercules’ Stage Musical Adaptation Finds Its Strongman: Jelani Alladin Among Cast Announced For Shakespeare In The Park Production
Jelani Alladin, a star of the Broadway musical Frozen, will take on the title role in this summer’s new stage adaptation of Disney’s Hercules, with Roger Bart (Broadway’s The Producers) cast as the villainous Hades.

Casting was announced today by The Public Theater for the previously announced adaptation of Disney’s 1997 animated film. The musical, to be presented as part of the Public’s Shakespeare in the Park season, will feature six songs from the Oscar-nominated Alan Menken/David Zippel film score in addition to new songs by the songwriting team.

Hercules will include a new book by Kristoffer Diaz (Glow), choreography by Be More Chill choreographer Chase Brock, and direction by Lear deBessonet. The musical will run for seven nights – Aug. 31-Sept. 8 – at Delacorte Theater, concluding this summer’s free Shakespeare in the Park season.

Also in the cast announced today: Jeff Hiller (Panic), James Monroe Iglehart
See full article at Deadline »

The Silver Screen Meets The Great White Way

Kayti Burt Oct 11, 2018

From Mean Girls to Waitress, there’s a symbiotic relationship between film and musical theater.

This article originally appeared in Den of Geek's New York Comic Con magazine...

The Lion King musical has made more than $8 billion dollars for The House of Mouse in its 21-year run on Broadway. While most film-to-stage productions will never see this kind of success, over the past two decades, movie studios have become increasingly invested in developing stage productions based on their already-existing catalogues of cinematic content.

“People often incorrectly assume that movies have more potential to make money than live stage productions,” says Marisa Sechrest, who works as Paramount Pictures’ live stage representative. “While the revenue from a movie is generally more of a bell curve, a successful live show can run for decades with multiple productions running simultaneously in different markets worldwide.”

This is where someone like Sechrest comes in,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Sierra Burgess's Dad Is So Much More Than, Well, Sierra Burgess's Dad

  • Popsugar
Sierra Burgess's Dad Is So Much More Than, Well, Sierra Burgess's Dad
The cast of Sierra Burgess Is a Loser is filled to the brim with familiar faces. Its star, Shannon Purser, is better known as Stranger Things's beloved, beleaguered Barb. The actress playing her mother, Lea Thompson, is a Hollywood legend in her own right. And, of course, the leading man is none other than the internet's Summer obsession, Noah Centineo. These actors have been in some of the most talked-about projects of the past few decades. But it turns out they're not the only ones: Alan Ruck, who plays Sierra's dad, has an iconic role under his belt too.

In the 1980s, Ruck broke onto the scene alongside members of the "Brat Pack." He costarred with Sean Penn and Ally Sheedy in 1983's Bad Boys and with Andrew McCarthy and John Cusack in Class. Although his roles in these movies were supporting ones, they gave him steady work and
See full article at Popsugar »

Broadway’s ‘The Band’s Visit’ Recoups $8.75M Capitalization

  • Deadline
The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical The Band’s Visit has recouped its $8.75 million capitalization, producers announced today.

“We are deeply grateful to the artists, collaborators and colleagues who have worked with us tirelessly to bring The Band’s Visit to Broadway,” said producers Orin Wolf, John Styles and John Hart. “It has brought us all such joy to see audiences connect with this story of strangers finding common ground through small acts of kindness.”

Winner of 10 Tony Awards, including for best musical, actor, actress, direction, book and score, The Band’s Visit began performances Oct. 7, 2017, at Broadway’s Ethel Barrymore Theatre to universal critical raves and trophies. The production, with music and lyrics by David Yazbek and book by Itamar Moses, is tied with Hello, Dolly! and Billy Elliot in third place for most Tonys for a single show, behind The Producers (12) and Hamilton (11).

Based on the 2007 Israeli film, The
See full article at Deadline »

All 15 Egot Winners, From Audrey Hepburn to John Legend (Photos)

  • The Wrap
All 15 Egot Winners, From Audrey Hepburn to John Legend (Photos)
Only a select number of entertainers have earned a competitive Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony to earn the coveted Egot distinction.

Richard Rodgers, composer (1902-1979)

Emmy: Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composed, “Winston Churchill: The Valiant Years” (1962)

Grammy: Best Show Album, “The Sound of Music” (1960); Best Original Cast Show Album, “No Strings” (1962)

Oscar: Best Song, “It Might As Well Be Spring” from “State Fair” (1945)

Tony: three for “South Pacific” (1950); one each for “The King and I” (1952), “The Sound of Music” (1960) and “No Strings” (1962)

Helen Hayes, actress (1900 – 1993)

Emmy: Best Actress, “Schlitz Playhouse of Stars: Not a Chance” (1953)

Grammy: Best Spoken Word Recording, “Great American Documents” (1977)

Oscar: Best Actress, “The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1932); Best Supporting Actress, “Airport” (1970)

Tony: Best Actress in a Drama, “Happy Birthday” (1947); Best Actress in a Drama, “Time Remembered” (1958)

Rita Moreno (1931 -)

Emmy: Supporting Actress, Variety or Music, “The Muppet Show” (1977); Lead Actress for Single Appearance in a Comedy or Drama,
See full article at The Wrap »

Emmy episode analysis: Larry David (‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’) hilariously fumbles his ‘Fatwa!’ musical

Emmy episode analysis: Larry David (‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’) hilariously fumbles his ‘Fatwa!’ musical
Larry David took a six-year hiatus from playing himself on his HBO comedy series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” but this year Emmy voters seemed “pretty, pretty, pretty” enthused about his return. In addition to David’s sixth nomination for Best Comedy Actor, the long-running comedy earned three other bids this year, including Best Comedy Series. David, who previously won two Emmys for writing and producing “Seinfeld” in 1993, has submitted the ninth season finale, “Fatwa!,” for Emmy voters’ consideration.

In the episode, Larry prepares for the first performances of his new stage musical, “Fatwa!,” a comedy loosely based on the real-life fatwa issued against award-winning author Salman Rushdie. As the curtain nears, Larry agrees to house two of star Lin-Manuel Miranda’s unruly and unappreciative cousins, prepares to give a toast at the wedding of his friend and manager Jeff’s (Jeff Garlin) daughter, and plans a paintball excursion for the “Fatwa!
See full article at Gold Derby »

Gary Beach Dies: Tony Award-Winning ‘The Producers’ Actor Was 70

Gary Beach Dies: Tony Award-Winning ‘The Producers’ Actor Was 70
Gary Beach, the Broadway actor who created the role of Lumiere in Disney’s Beauty and The Beast and won a Tony Award for his unforgettable turn as director Roger DeBris in Mel BrooksThe Producers, died Tuesday in Palm Springs. He was 70.

His death was announced by his agent Steven Unger. No cause was given.

“I am the happiest boy in the fifth grade,” Beach said as he accepted the 2001 Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. He was nominated for the award two other times: In 1994 for Beauty and the Beast (same category) and 2001 as Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Albin in the revival of La Cage aux Folles.

“Gary Beach, an actor of consummate skill and artistry, was a glorious human being,” said The Baruch Frankel Routh Viertel Group, the producers of The Producers, “a gifted, generous and incredibly funny actor whose
See full article at Deadline »

Gary Beach, Tony-Winning Star of Broadway’s ‘The Producers,’ Dies at 70

Gary Beach, Tony-Winning Star of Broadway’s ‘The Producers,’ Dies at 70
Gary Beach, who earned a Tony Award in 2001 for Mel Brooks’ Broadway musical “The Producers,” died Monday in Palm Springs, Calif., his agent Steven Unger confirmed. No cause of death was given.

Beach also earned Tony nominations for playing Lumiere in Disney’s 1994 Broadway adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast” and the drag star Albin in the 2004 revival of Jerry Herman’s “La Cage aux Folles.”

But he is best remembered for his turn as the flamboyantly gay director Roger de Bris who tries to stage the musical-within-a-musical “Springtime for Hitler” in Brooks’ musical comedy “The Producers.”

He won wide acclaim — and one of the show’s record-breaking 12 Tony Awards — for the role, first played by Christopher Hewett in Brooks’ 1967 film of the same name. “I am the happiest boy in the fifth grade,” he said on accepting the award on the stage of Radio City Music Hall.

Also Read:
See full article at The Wrap »

New Trailer for 4K Restoration of Mel Brooks' Classic 'The Producers'

"We've got to find the worst play ever written!" Studiocanal UK has debuted a short new trailer for a 4K restoration re-release of Mel Brooks' original comedy classic The Producers, which first hit cinemas in 1968. They're celebrating the film's 50th anniversary, and putting it back in theaters for one day only this August (in the UK). There's no Us plans yet, but we expect to hear something soon. Brooks' The Producers is about two producers who decide to make a flop Broadway show since it will make them more money than a hit. They go on to produce the hilarious show Springtime for Hitler. Gene Wilder stars in the film, along with Zero Mostel as his producer cohort, with Kenneth Mars, Dick Shawn, Lorenzo St. DuBois, Lee Meredith, Estelle Winwood, Christopher Hewett, and Andreas Voutsinas. Jawohl! This is a major comedy classic and a film that everyone should have seen by now anyway.
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Mel Brooks’ ‘The Producers’ Is Returning To Screens With A 4K Restoration This Summer

We’ve just heard that Mel Brooks’ classic The Producers is returning to cinemas this August with a fantastic 4K restoration from Studiocanal. The release is timed to celebrate the film’s 50th anniversary and will hit in August. We have the celebration poster and a brand new trailer below.

The Oscar-winning feature will also include a very special Mel Brooks introduction from Turner Classic Movies.

Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) is a washed up Broadway producer forced to romance old ladies to finance his plays. When timid accountant Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder) is brought in to do his books, he inadvertently reveals to Bialystock that under the right circumstances, a producer could make more money with a flop than a hit. Bialystock cajoles Bloom into helping him achieve this end and together they come up with what they consider to be a sure-fire disaster waiting to happen – a musical version
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Tony Awards 2018: Records, milestones and fun facts about this year’s winners include ‘The Band’s Visit,’ ‘Harry Potter,’ Laurie Metcalf …

Tony Awards 2018: Records, milestones and fun facts about this year’s winners include ‘The Band’s Visit,’ ‘Harry Potter,’ Laurie Metcalf …
Out of all the winners (and losers) in the 26 competitive categories at the 2018 Tony Awards, several of them stand out as particularly noteworthy when considered in the context of history. So what were this year’s most interesting facts, records and milestones?

“The Band’s Visit” is the first Best Musical winner to have been based on a movie since “Kinky Boots” in 2013. Of its 11 Tony nominations it managed to win a whopping 10 awards (including Best Musical). The only prize it didn’t end up taking home was Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Scott Pask. It is now tied with “Hello, Dolly!” (1964) and “Billy Elliot” (2009) as the third most awarded production in Tony history, behind “The Producers” with 12 wins in 2001 and “Hamilton” with 11 victories in 2016.

“The Band’s Visit” is also the first Best Musical winner to have won every single acting award it was nominated for since
See full article at Gold Derby »

Tony Awards 2018: ‘Harry Potter,’ ‘Angels in America’ Win Big

  • Variety
Tony Awards 2018: ‘Harry Potter,’ ‘Angels in America’ Win Big
“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two” nabbed best play and “Angels in America” was recognized as best play revival in an emotional Tony Awards that mixed Broadway razzle-dazzle with politically-charged calls to arms.

Ostensibly a celebration of theater, the Tonys were also an opportunity for Broadway to talk up the virtues of inclusion and diversity, while also drawing attention to gay rights and gun control. Without directly mentioning President Donald Trump or Trump-ism by name, winners and presenters at the Tonys made it clear that their sympathies are with the resistance. Many wore pins trumpeting movements such as Time’s Up or ribbons highlighting left-leaning organizations such as the Aclu.

Tony Kushner, the playwright behind “Angels in America,” was most explicit, urging people to get out and vote in the mid-term elections in November. Telling viewers they have “21 weeks to save our democracy and heal our planet.”

Andrew Garfield won the Tony Award for best leading actor in a play for his work as Prior Walter, the AIDS-stricken prophet at the center of “Angels in America.” In a teary speech, Garfield said playing Walter was the biggest honor of his life.
See full article at Variety »

Tony Awards upset: Watch out for Tina Landau (‘SpongeBob SquarePants’)

Tony Awards upset: Watch out for Tina Landau (‘SpongeBob SquarePants’)
At last year’s Tony Awards, the two biggest upsets of the night came in the Best Director categories. On the musical side, Christopher Ashley (“Come From Away”) shocked by besting frontrunners Rachel Chavkin and Michael Greif (“Dear Evan Hansen”), while on the play side Rebecca Taichman (“Indecent”) prevailed over Bartlett Sher (“Oslo”) and Rubin Santiago-Hudson (“Jitney”), the two major contenders for the prize. Ashley and Taichman were ranked fourth and third in Gold Derby’s combined odds, respectively.

This year, we could see a similar upset on the musical front courtesy of Tina Landau, who helmed “SpongeBob SquarePants.” This stage adaptation of the popular cartoon that boasts a whopping 12 Tony nominations. Despite the impressive support “SpongeBob” received from the Tony nominating committee, less than 10% of Gold Derby users currently predicting the Tony Awards think Landau will prevail, with a majority favoring David Cromer for his direction of “The Band’s Visit.
See full article at Gold Derby »

Bww TV: Watch Highlights of Tony Yazbeck & More in The Beast In The Jungle

Vineyard Theatre is presenting the world-premiere production of The Beast In The Jungle- an original dance play by legendary composer and four-time Tony Award winner John Kander Cabaret, Chicago, Tony-nominated playwright David Thompson Steel Pier Flora, The Red Menace, and five-time Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Susan Stroman The Producers, Contact.The Beast In The Jungle will extend until through Sunday, June 24.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

‘Fire And Fury’ TV Series On The Way

A TV series based on the explosive book Fire and Fury: Inside The Trump White House is in active development, so reports The Hollywood Reporter. The Michael Wolff book hit shelves at the beginning of the month and went straight to the top of the charts, where it remains. The TV version has been optioned Endeavor Content with Wolff will serving as executive producer, alongside British television producer Michael Jackson.

Here’s the book synopsis from the publisher.

The first nine months of Donald Trump’s term were stormy, outrageous—and absolutely mesmerizing. Now, thanks to his deep access to the West Wing, bestselling author Michael Wolff tells the riveting story of how Trump launched a tenure as volatile and fiery as the man himself.’

“In this explosive book, Wolff provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office. Among the revelations:

— What President Trump’s
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Mel Brooks, Christopher Lloyd and Jacob Tremblay join untitled animated project

Lani Pixels has announced that Mel Brooks (The Producers), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Jacob Tremblay (Wonder) and Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live) have signed on to lend their voices to an as-yet-untitled animated feature, which marks the directorial debut of Kim Pagel.

Variety reports that the project “follows a brother and sister as they attempt to rescue their grandfather from supernatural forces that have invaded his isolated island. Guided by a charming Irish rogue, the siblings end up on a dangerous journey filled with magic and mystery.”

“It is an honor to be working with such a talented and dynamic cast on this project,” said Kim Pagel. “While this has been a passion project for many years, the themes of family unity and courage in the face of adversity are particularly important these days.”

“When we founded Lani Pixels it was our dream to tell exceptional stories and
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Review: The Death of Stalin (2017)

Anybody who discusses satire in audio-visual media at some point must mention the work of Armando Iannucci. Creator of TV’s The Thick Of It and Veep, with credits that include The Day Today and Alan Partridge, his work is some of the finest in Comedy. And in 2009, Iannucci made his big screen full feature directorial debut with The Thick Of It spin-off In The Loop (one of the best comedies of our times) and now, Iannucci casts his eye to even darker – and even more volatile – political territory with The Death of Stalin.

As concepts go, this film has a pitch black core, as it not only delves into a figure whose actions have reverberated throughout socio-political history but in looking at the events surrounding his death in 1953 and the power struggles within the Soviet Union, it is a brazen era, to say the least, in which to set a Comedy.
See full article at The Cultural Post »

Movie Poster of the Week: The Top 10 Favorite Posters of Nathan Gelgud

  • MUBI
A couple of weeks ago, I interviewed Nathan Gelgud, an artist who has brought a wry comic book charm to the world of cinephilia. It seemed only natural that I should find out more about the art that has influenced him and so I asked him to select his personal top ten favorite movie posters. He was more than up for the challenge and decided to narrow the field to illustrated posters, which makes perfect sense. Here are his ten favorites, in no special order.1. (Above) Us one sheet for Five on the Black Hand Side (Oscar Williams, USA, 1973). Artist: Jack Davis.I love all the accouterments on the main figure—the hat, the cigar, the umbrella, suitcase, those things that go over the shoes. But even better is the way Davis has arranged all the characters around him, the way the jumping guy’s arm joins with the guy
See full article at MUBI »

Mel Brooks Says ‘Blazing Saddles’ Would Never Get Made Today Because Political Correctness ‘Is the Death of Comedy’

  • Indiewire
Mel Brooks Says ‘Blazing Saddles’ Would Never Get Made Today Because Political Correctness ‘Is the Death of Comedy’
Blazing Saddles” has long been considered an all-time-great comedy, as have several other movies directed by Mel Brooks. In a new BBC Radio 4 interview, the revered actor and filmmaker was asked whether he thought he’d be able to make such films as “Young Frankenstein” and “The Producers” today. His response touched on a hot topic in the comedy world of late: political correctness.

Read More:Mel Brooks Jokes With President Obama as He Receives Medal of Arts at White House

“Maybe ‘Young Frankenstein,’ but never ‘Blazing Saddles,’” said Brooks. “Because we have become stupidly politically correct, which is the death of comedy. It’s okay not to hurt feelings of various tribes and groups. However, it’s not good for comedy. Comedy has to walk a thin line, take risks. Comedy is the lecherous little elf whispering in the king’s ear, always telling the truth about human behavior.
See full article at Indiewire »
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