Tag: musical

New TV Adaptation of  Les Misérables Is Here!

In the preface to Les MisérablesVictor Hugo wrote:

 

As long as there are ignorance and poverty on Earth, books such as this one may not be useless.

 

Those words have held true. The book was published in 1862— over a 150 years ago—and it was a breakout hit that still hasn’t lost its popularity nor its relevance.

Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
Image Via Manybooks

 

This might have something to do with the musical. Heck, maybe it has everything to do with the musical, but to test that theory out is PBS, who is coming in at full swing.
PBS’ adaption of Les Miserables isn’t a musical, but instead an in-depth look at the classic story about poverty, desperation, and redemption. Forbes writes that the screenwriter, Andrew Davies, who is known for his adaptions such as Pride and Prejudice (1995 TV series) and War & Peace (2016 TV series)preserves Hugo’s intricate plotting, striking historical vignettes, powerful themes and evocative characterizations”.
The television series is set to be a six-part adaptation of the famous story. Here, we follow fugitive Jean Valjean, played here by Dominic West (James ‘Jimmy’ McNulty on The Wire) who is relentlessly followed by Inspector Javert, played here by David Oyelowo, who infamously took on the role of Dr. King in Selma.
PBS Valjean and Javert
Image Via Time Magazine
The rest of the cast includes Lilly Collins, who played Collins Tuohy in The Blind Side and more recently led Netflix film To the Bone will be Fantine, a young woman forced into prostitution.
PBS Fantine
Image Via Variety
Adeel Akhtar, who played Naveed in The Big Stick, will be devious and devious Thénardier.
PBS Thénardier
Image Via Radio Times
Olivia Colman, who plays Queen Elizabeth II on Season 4 of The Crown and just won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in The FavoriteI, will be devious and cruel Madame Thénardier.
PBS Madame Thénardier
Image Via PBS
Ellie Bamber, who played Lydia Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, will be Cosette, the daughter of Fantine and the adopted daughter of Valjean. Josh O’Connor, plays Prince Charles on Season 4 of The Crown, will be Marius, Cosette’s young lover.
PBS Cosette and Marius
Image Via WETA
The first episode premiered on April 14th at 9/8c. You can check it out for yourself here and see if you like it. The second episode comes out the 24th at 9/8c.

 

 

“Lilly [Collins] was saying the other day that, you know, in one song lyric, in one line, she has a whole episode. You know, what happened to her? Where did she come from? Who did she fall in love with, how did he treat her? How did she end up a prostitute on the street? And we get to see all that. And so I think that anyone who loved the musical would really love this.”

A greater understanding of characters I already love? That’s got my ear, so I’ll tune in.
Are you?
Featured Image Via Les Mis.com

‘The Secret Life of Bees’ Is Now a Musical!

Exciting news for literature and musical fans! The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd was already critically acclaimed as both a novel and its feature film adaptation starring Dakota Fanning, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, and Queen Latifah. The novel was a bestseller on the New York Times’s bestsellers list. The novel itself dealt with weighty emotional issues, including child abuse and trauma. Beautifully written, it deals with its issues with maturity and grace, making for a potentially excellent stage adaptation.

Closeup of LaChanze for a publicity photo

Image Via Twitter

LaChanze, famed for her role in The Color Purplewill play beekeeper August Boatwright. Other cast members have been announced to be Eisa Davis as June, Manoel Felciano as T-Ray, Lily’s abusive father, Brett Gray as Zach, and Anastacia McCleskey as May. Set to begin previews on May 12th, 2019, the play will begin an off-Broadway show starting in June and eventually is eyeing a Broadway transfer. The play will feature music by Duncan Sheik and will be directed by Sam Gold. Performances will end July 7th but we hope this proves popular enough to get the eyes of Broadway! The show will deal with themes of faith, spirituality, and healing.

We can’t wait to see this book come alive on stage!

 

Featured Image Via Wikipedia 

Steven Spielberg’s Anticipated ‘West Side Story’ Remake Has Found Its Maria

A fresh new face will be playing a classic role in Steven Spielberg’s remake of the 1961 musical West Side Story.

Image Via Variety

 

The role of Maria, the titular love interest of the story, will be played by newcomer Rachel Zegler in her first film role. Zegler was one of 30,000 Latina actresses to audition for the role of Maria.

 

Zegler has stated that she is honored to play the role of Maria in a film, having previously portrayed her in a school play.

 

West Side Story was the first musical I encountered with a Latina lead character. As a Colombian-American, I am humbled by the opportunity to play a role that means so much to the Hispanic community.”

 

The news comes as the other film’s stars have also been announced. Tony, Maria’s love interest, will be portrayed by Ansel Elgort, the star of Baby Driver. The roles of Bernardo, Maria’s brother, and Anita, Bernardo’s girlfriend, will be portrayed by Broadway veterans Ariana DeBose and David Alvarez, respectively. Hamilton performer Josh Andres Rivera has been case as Chino, Maria’s would-be suitor. Rita Moreno, one of the film’s original stars who won an Oscar for her performance as Anita, will return in a new role and also serve as executive producer.

 

 

arian debose david alvarez josh andres rivera rachel zegler

Image Via Deadline

 

The casting of mostly Latino and Latina actors was important for Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner. The original film has been accused on whitewashing over the years since its release. Most notably the casting of Natalie Wood, a white actress, in the role of Maria. Spielberg said that he is proud of the diverse group of actors who were cast in the film.

 

“When we began this process a year ago, we announced that we would cast the roles of Maria, Anita, Bernardo, Chino and the Sharks with Latina and Latino actors. I’m so happy that we’ve assembled a cast that reflects the astonishing depth of talent in America’s multifaceted Hispanic community.”

 

 

The film is set to start filming this summer.

 

 

Featured Image Via ComingSoon.net

Musicals

‘The Lightning Thief’ Will Have a Musical Twist This January!

The Lightning Thief was the book that, for many, started a magical journey that would stay with the reader for a lifetime. Rick Riordan masterfully crafted a beautiful, dangerous, and beyond unique setting with a blend of our modern reality with mythological deities, locations, and creatures. Now, the story that started it all is getting a fresh new adaptation. One that Apollo would be proud of.

 

 

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Image Via The Hanover Theatre

 

 

Rick Riordan’s story will be adapted into a musical play! The play is scheduled to tour the U.S. this January, but the songbook will soon be available October 5th. Percy and the other lovable cast of creatures and demigods have long deserved a good adaptation after the poorly received film adaptations a couple years ago. 

 

The play first debuted at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in an Off-Broadway attempt. So far the reviews have been positive, so hopes are high for fans. This version of Percy Jackson’s story is sure to be well received while also lending its own unique style to its presentation. The musical will be produced by Theatreworks USA, Martian Entertainment, Greg Schaffert Productions, and Lang Entertainment Group, in partnership with The Road Company. 

 

 

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Image Via Sight-Loss Support Group of Central PA

 

 

For more info on the production or for pricing on tickets check out The lightning Thief’s website here. Don’t forget to pre-order your copy of the songbook so you don’t lag behind at the show!

 

 

 

 

Featured Image Via The Knockturnal

Cats Musical - Leaping Cats

‘Cats’ Film Set to Take the Place of ‘Wicked’ Holiday Air Date!

It seems that Wicked won’t be flying high to the movies anytime soon! Production is being pushed back with the release date now to be announced. In its place, Universal Pictures and Working Title Films are releasing Cats, the adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical from 1981.

 

 

Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman / Image Via: Angela Weiss/Getty Images North America)

 

Lyricist and Composer Stephen Schwartz, who worked on Wicked the musical, revealed that production is currently in the process of working on the screenplay. Schwartz also revealed that he is working on the film with Winnie Holzman, who wrote the book for the stage musical. Though far from its completion, at least we know the production is in good hands.

 

The Cats production on the other hand seems to be well on its way. Not only is there a star-studded cast revealed with Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, Sir Ian McKellen, and James Corden, but award-winning choreographer Wayne McGregor was also hired to coach the cast into catlike movement! Andrew Lloyd Webber himself is also part of the production! With filming scheduled to start this November, it’s no wonder the air date was moved up!

 

 

Wayne McGregor / Image Via Anne Deniau

 

Image Via James Duncan Davidson

 

So yes, we have to wait a little longer for the Witch of the West to defy gravity on the big screen, but hopefully that means Hollywood is taking the right time and creative effort to work its own magic! Until then, we can look forward to the cats of the Jellicle Tribe pouncing into theaters instead on December 20th 2019.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Peter Coombs and the Marriott Theatre