drcpunk (drcpunk) wrote,

Recent Viewing

In preparation for Lullaby of Broadway 3: Into the Woods, mneme have been watching a lot of movie musicals. We've seen:

Once Upon a Mattress with Tracy Ullman and Carol Burnett. My brain went, "But... no minstrel?" But, it was still a lot of fun to watch.

Cinderella, the 1997 version, with Whitney Houston as the fairy godmother and Brandy as Cinderella and Bernadette Peters as the stepmother and Whoopie Goldberg as the queen. Also a lot of fun.

Pippin, the 1981 film version. I remember loving the play when I saw it done in a drama camp I went to. It doesn't seem to have aged well, but perhaps that's because this version cut sections. Or perhaps it's the sort of play that is best enjoyed when one is an adolescent and has a crush on the guy playing Pippin.

Jesus Christ Superstar, both the 1973 version and the 2000 version. We hadn't realized that this started off life as a concept album, so we stared at the 1973 version in... well, not horror. Not confusion. I could see why this might have been a big deal when it came out, but it just didn't do it for us. I didn't listen to the album growing up, and only knew, I think, two bits of the music -- Mary's song, as I'd heard that done before, and the title theme.

Then we saw the 2000 version, and suddenly, the story worked. Or, from our point of view, suddenly there was a story. It wasn't an acting thing so much as interpretation and direction -- the acting in both versions seemed good. But, as with Henry V, where Olivier's version left me cold, but Branagh's version had clearly been written for my generation, the 2000 version is the one I can relate to, to the degree I'm going to relate to the story. We watched the interviews on the dvd, and Glenn Carter pointed out one of the many reasons that the role of Jesus in the show is so challenging: At some of the most musically demanding parts of the role, the instruments drop out. The actor has to carry this all on his own.
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