Thursday, January 05, 2006


Reality Check: 2005 Musicals Off-Key

As mentioned in an earlier "Movies on My Mind" piece, 2005 was a make-or-break year for the return of the movie musical. Well the jury is in. Director Chris Columbus' version of Rent never found a wide enough audience, and Susan Stroman's film version of her Broadway phenomenon, The Producers failed to impress critics or moviegoers. So, it's beginning to look like the movie musical revival (started by Moulin Rouge and Chicago but slowed down by The Phantom of the Opera) is going to be short-lived. However, Hollywood is still planning two more for 2006: Across the Universe, directed by Julie Taymor (who received high marks for her stage version of The Lion King), will be set to the music of The Beatles, as it tells a trans-Atlantic love story set in the 1960s. But I'm betting the real money will be on the long-awaited screen version of the legendary Broadway musical Dreamgirls. Written and directed by Academy Award-winner Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters), the film is set to hit the big screen in December 2006 starring former American Idol singer Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce Knowles, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy and Danny Glover. If Dreamgirls does not create Chicago-like excitement, look for the movie musical to dance off into the sunset quickly thereafter. For updated information on the development of movie musicals, you may want to check out the informative website

Moulin Rouge! was one of the best movies ever produced, I think all the other musicals are still just riding out the wave of that one.

(Yes Chicago was successful, but i think a lot of that was due to Moulin Rouge’s success.)
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