If, like me, you've ever wondered (and wondered) how that stunning opening scene in La La Land came together, do we have a treat for you.
Hold on to your crop tops: It sounds like Broadway might be getting a piece of Britney. EEE!
Well, not Ms. Spears herself, or at least not that we know of. But Forbes recently reported that Brit's managers met with Broadway veteran Jerry Mitchell to discuss making a jukebox musical out of her epic song catalog.
Backstage at BroadwayCon 2017, Hamilton's Tony-winning choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler told DS all about his new Broadway show Bandstand, which starts previews March 31. Set in 1945, Bandstand follows a ragtag group of just-returned World War II veterans forming—what else?—a swing band, so they can enter a national talent contest. Whether you're a longtime Hamilfan or just dream of dancing for a top Broadway choreographer like Blankenbuehler, trust us: this exclusive Q&A is major motivation.
You know how we've been teased, over and over again, with the promise of a Mean Girls musical? It happened back in 2013, prompting us to do some very aggressive Photoshopping. It happened earlier this year, when Queen Tina Fey herself talked vaguely about working on the project.
But now we have cold, hard evidence. We have beyond-a-reasonable-doubt proof. We have confirmation, via an official (blue-checkmarked and everything!) Twitter account, that our dreams are about to come true:
WE KNEW THIS DAY WOULD COME. IT'S LIKE WE HAVE ESPN OR SOMETHING.
(I have a powerful urge to just word vomit Mean Girls quotes at you right now, guys. Hold me back.)
We don't yet know the theater, or the exact premiere date, or the choreographer, or anything about the cast (although there's already been plenty of speculation about who'd make the perfect Regina George.)
But we do know that this is going to be incredibly major. How major? THE LIMIT DOES NOT EXIST. (#sorrynotsorry)
We'll be wearing pink every Wednesday from here on out in anticipation, and we're going to pretend like that's a new thing and not just a thing we've done every Wednesday since 2004.
Yes we can-can-can see Moulin Rouge! on Broadway—maybe!
The world just found out that a musical adaptation of Baz Luhrmann's fabulously over-the-top film is in the works. Which is excellent news for anyone who loves jukebox musicals, or 19th-century Paris, or spectacular sets and costumes, or (most importantly) HUUUUGE dance numbers.
The production is still in its infancy, so we don't know much about it, beyond the fact that Alex Timbers has been tapped to direct and John Logan will handle the script. But while there may not be a choreographer attached just yet (John O'Connell, who also worked on Luhrmann's 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby, choreographed the movie version), it's safe to assume that this show is going to involve some spectacular dancing. Remember the film's dramatic "Roxane" tango? Its circusy "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" number? Its marvelously manic can can medley? Every five minutes there's a dance-friendly scene that's pretty much tailor-made for the stage. (Little-known fact: The movie choreo was so intense that star Nicole Kidman actually fractured two ribs and injured her knee while rehearsing a dance number. Yeeps!)
Here's hoping Moulin Rouge! makes its way to the Great White Way eventually—we'll keep you posted as we hear more. In the meantime, we obviously need to talk fantasy casting. Idina Menzel as Satine, anyone?
Want more Dance Spirit?
Do you still sing along to the Frozen soundtrack every morning? Is Elsa's ice-princess dress featured prominently on your prom Pinterest board? Would you maybe consider naming your first-born son Kristoff? Do you get excited when the Weather Channel gives a winter storm a scary-sounding name, because that means you'll probably be able to BUILD A SNOWMAAAAAAN?
It may be three years since the hit movie's release, but there's no need to let your Frozen obsession go yet, friends—because Elsa and Anna and Kristoff and Olaf are officially coming to Broadway.
Here are the details: This week, Disney announced that a musical-theater adaptation of Frozen would make its way to a non-NYC theater in the summer of 2017, and arrive on the Great White Way itself in the spring of 2018. The show will feature the same writers as the film—plus choreography by Peter Darling, the genius behind Billy Elliot and Matilda the Musical. Which means this is going to be one dancetastic Broadway snowscape.
No word yet on whether Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell, who voiced Elsa and Anna (respectively) in the film, will be cast as their animated doppelgangers. But let's dream about that for a second, shall we? The lovely people at Buzzfeed have even given us a peek at what the Menzel/Bell dream team might look like in character:
[Never] let it go, [NEVER] LET IT GOOOOOO!
Wait for it: Abigail Breslin, the hero of Little Miss Sunshine, will star as the character Baby in a TV-musical remake of the iconic 80s film Dirty Dancing.
She can act, and she can sing. And we know she can dance.
Breslin has undoubtedly polished her moves since her Sunshine days. But the ability to pull off quirky awkwardness will definitely work in her favor for the first part of Dirty Dancing, when Baby desperately wants to be cool like the ballroom instructors at her family's resort.
Now, I have mixed feelings about the idea of a remake. Tinkering with something so beloved can end terribly. Or, it can be amazing—which is, of course, what I'm pulling for since Dirty Dancing is one of my favorite movies ever. And we know it's possible to take a movie with a dance-heavy plot and turn it into an amazing musical (Hi, Hairspray!)
If you haven't seen the original Dirty Dancing, you really should. How else will you set your standards for a date WAY TOO HIGH?
And how else will you learn the best thing to never say when your crush finally asks you a question?
Indeed. We'll fill you in as soon as we know details about the rest of cast, including who will fill Patrick Swayze's nearly untouchable shoes.
Confession: When I found out Aladdin was coming to Broadway, I was completely uninterested. With the exception of the ever-brilliant Newsies, Disney on Broadway isn't really my thing.
Or I guess I should say Disney on Broadway wasn't really my thing—because I saw Aladdin and I loved it. I'm sure you'll love it, too, so do me a favor and go get your tickets. In case you're not convinced, here are five reasons to see the show:
Adam Jacobs as Aladdin (Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)
1. The show stays true to story you know and love from the animated movie classic. Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, Aladdin opens with "Arabian Nights" before taking you down memory lane with "One Jump Ahead," "Friend Like Me," "Prince Ali" and "A Whole New World." Feel free to sing along from your seat. There are some changes, of course—Jasmine's tiger Rajah is replaced by a group of girlfriends, and Abu (Aladdin's monkey BFF) is replaced by three real-life friends, Babkak, Omar and Kassim—but all the major players are still there, including Aladdin, Jasmine, Genie, Jafar, Iago and even the magic carpet.
2. But there are also some new songs and they're really good (and totally catchy)! My favorites were "Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim," which is a silly boy-bandy number with tons of dancing, and "High Adventure," which again features Aladdin's crazy comrades dancing up a storm.
3. The sets and costumes go beyond anything I've ever seen. The "Cave of Wonders" is quite literally dripping in gold, from the New Amsterdam Theatre's ceiling right down to the orchestra pit, and the costumes are gaudy, over the top and downright fabulous. There are about a billion costume changes throughout the show, so keep an eye out for them.
James Monroe Iglehart as the Genie (Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)
4. The Genie is the best Broadway character on any stage right now. When Robin Williams voiced the original Genie role in the Disney film, he pretty much stole the show—and that's what happens in the Broadway version, too, but on a way grander scale. The Genie, played by James Monroe Iglehart, is so funny and is such a wild dancer and every word out of his mouth is hysterical. After Genie led the ensemble through a huge, lavish, dance-packed rendition of "Friend Like Me," the audience at my matinee show leapt to its feet. This was only the second time I've witnessed a mid-act standing ovation! Pretty magical, don't ya think?
5. Aladdin (played by Adam Jacobs) is hot. So are his friends. If nothing else, go for the abs. (OK, OK, they're all good singers, actors and dancers, too, and they're really funny. But also, abs.)
Sold? I thought so. (Have the best time!)