There are over 28 musicals looking to come to the big screen. Already filming are Wicked, Mean Girls, Merrily We Roll Along. Then there is South Pacific directed by Michael Mayer with Hugh Jackman, Justin Timberlake and Michelle Williams, Oliver with Ice Cube and Sunset Blvd with Glenn Close.
The Little Mermaid will be released May 26, 2023 by Walt Disney Pictures, Lucamar Productions, Marc Platt Productions. Directed by Rob Marshall, starring Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Awkwafina, Daveed Diggs, Noma Dumezweni, Jacob Tremblay, Melissa McCarthy and Javier Bardem. There will be new songs added by Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The Color Purple will be released December 20, 2023 by Warner Bros. starring Fantasia Barrino, Halle Bailey, Jon Batiste, Danielle Brooks, Ciara, Deon Cole, Colman Domingo, Aunjanue Ellis, Louis Gossett Jr., David Alan Grier, Corey Hawkins, Taraji P. Henson, H.E.R., Stephen Hill, Tamela Mann, Elizabeth Marvel and Phylicia Mpasi. This version is directed by Blitz Bazawule.
For the rest here is what we know:
Joining Ariana Grande as Glinda, Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba are Ethan Slater as Boq, Michelle Yeoh as Madame Morrible, Jeff Goldblum as The Wizard and Jonathan Bailey as Fiyero. Also recently added are Marissa Bode as Nessarose, Elphaba’s younger sister, Bowen Yang and Bronwyn James as Shiz University classmates Pfannee and ShenShen, Aaron Teoh as Avaric, Michael Carmichael as Nikidik and Keala Settle as Miss Coddle. Doctor Dillamond has not yet been announced.
Marissa Bode is a disabled actress who has performed in musicals like Little Shop of Horrors, The Diviners, Peter Pan, and Mary Poppins.
Bowen Yang was nominated for an Emmy Award for his performance as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. He has also been seen in films like Fire Island and Bros.
Bronwyn James was seen in The Ballad of Renegade Nell on Disney+ and in Lockwood & Co. on Netflix.
Aaron Teoh was seen in U.K. in Merrily We Roll Along and The King and I.
Michael Carmichael will shortly be seen in Disney’s upcoming live action remake of Snow White, starring Rachel Zegler and Gal Godot.
Keala Settle is best known for her portrayal of bearded woman “Lettie Lutz” inl “The Greatest Showman.” The film’s song, “This Is Me,” won the 2018 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Settle made her Broadway debut in 2011 in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. She originated the role of “Norma Valverde” in Hands on a Hardbody and was nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk Award and Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Settle originated the role of “Becky” in the musical Waitress, and played the roles of “Madame Thenardier” in the revival of Les Misérables and “Tracy Turnblad” in the national tour of Hairspray.
In 2019, Settle sang “Seasons of Love” in Fox’s Rent: Live. She was recently seen on the West End in the revival of Sister Act.
The musical’s book writer, Winnie Holzman, is adapting her piece into a screenplay. Composer Stephen Schwartz is returning to write new music for the film. He recently revealed that the second part of the film will include two new songs. The Wicked movie will also include costumes from Paul Tazewell and choreography from Christopher Scott.
Jon M. Chu’s two-part film adaption of the hit Broadway musical Wicked. The first part will be released during the 2024 holiday season.
Reneé Rapp, Angourie Rice, Jaquel Spivey and Auli’i Cravalho will star in Paramount’s upcoming “Mean Girls” movie musical. Rapp, who played Regina George in the Broadway musical, will reprise her role in the film. Rice, Spivey and Cravalho will play Cady, Damian and and Janis.
Rapp is currently starring in Season 2 of HBO Max’s “Sex Lives of College Girls.” She also recently released her first EP, “Everything to Everyone.” Rice broke out last year starring opposite Kate Winslet on HBO’s “Mare of Easttown,” and has recently starred in Paramount+’s “Honor Society” and Netflix’s “Senior Year.” Cravalho became a household voice in 2016 when she was cast as the lead in Disney’s “Moana,” and has since appeared in Netflix’s “All Together Now” and Hulu’s “Crush.” Tony and Grammy-nominated Spivey made his professional theater debut as Usher in Michael R. Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical A Strange Loop.
Original film and stage musical writer Tina Fey is penning the movie, with Arturo Perez and and Samantha Jayne directing. The music is by Jeff Richmond with lyrics from Nell Benjamin.
Also in development are the following:
“American Psycho” Duncan Sheik Playtone
“Bare: A Pop Opera” Screenplay and director Kristin Hanggi
“Be More Chill” 21 Laps, Berlanti Productions
“Beautiful, The Life of Carole King” Sony Pictures, Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, and Paul Blake are set to produce.
“Flower Drum Song” Concord Originals, 3AD, Janet Yang Productions. A new adaptation of Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Joseph Fields’ 1958 musical based on the C.Y. Lee novel.
“Follies” BBC Films, Heyday Films Director Dominic Cooke
“Guys and Dolls” TriStar Pictures Director: Bill Condon
“Gypsy” in development with Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino New Regency
Frank Wildhorn’s “Jekyll & Hyde” Lexicon, Bluestone Entertainment, Fezziwig Studios
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Elton John “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat“ STX, The Really Useful Group, Rocket Pictures
“Little Shop of Horrors” Marc Platt Productions, Warner Bros.Screenplay: Matthew Robinson Director: Greg Berlanti
“Lysistrata Jones” Branded Pictures Entertainment, Peck Entertainment Screenplay: Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn Director: Andy Fickman
“Memphis” Alcon Entertainment, Belle Pictures, The Mark Gordon Company, Warner Bros. Screenplay: Joe DiPietro
“Merrily We Roll Along” Blumhouse Director: Richard Linklater Cast: Beanie Feldstein, Blake Jenner, and Ben Platt
“Miss Saigon“ `Cameron Mackintosh, Working Title Films Director: Danny Boyle
“Once On This Island” Walt Disney Studios, Marc Platt Productions Screenplay: Jocelyn Bioh Director: Wanuri Kahiu
“Oliver! ” Disney, Cube Vision, Marc Platt Productions Screenplay: Danny Strong Director: Thomas Kail Cast: Ice Cube
“Pippin” Craig Zadan and Neil Meron Will Partner with the Weinstein Company
“Porgy and Bess ” MGM, Winkler Films Screenplay and director Dee Rees
“The Shaggs” In Cahoots Screenplay: Joy Gregory Director: Ken Kwapis Cast: Elsie Fisher
“Spamalot” Paramount Pictures Screenplay: Eric Idle Director: Casey Nicholaw
“South Pacific” Chicagofilms Screenplay: Lynn Grossman Director: Michael Mayer Cast: Hugh Jackman, Justin Timberlake and Michelle Williams
“Spring Awakening” Playtone Screenplay: Steven Sater
“Sunset Boulevard“Paramount Pictures Rob Ashford director Cast: Glenn Close
” The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” Walt Disney Pictures
“The King and I“ Paramount Pictures, Temple Hill, Concord
TAP 2 — (Via Rock Cellar) Doubling down after a May 2022 report that indicated everything was a go for a sequel to 1984’s classic comedy/music industry satire This Is Spinal Tap, filmmaker Rob Reiner has now confirmed that plans are taking shape in a big way.
Not only is the sequel on tap (pun intended) to begin filming in early 2024, but Reiner recently told comedian/podcast host Richard Herring that “everybody’s back” for the sequel. This no doubt refers to principal cast members Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest, though Tony Hendra (who portrayed the band’s manager, Ian Faith, passed away in 2021).
The U.K.’s Guardian notes that the plot will reportedly center on Faith’s death, after which his widow inherits a contract that requires the band to do one last concert. Reiner is also due to return in the character of film-maker Marty DiBergi, a figure supposedly based on Martin Scorsese, who had directed celebrated music documentary The Last Waltz in 1976.
What’s more, Reiner also spilled the beans that appearances from Sirs Paul McCartney and Elton John and Garth Brooks are in the works too, among what one must assume will be a million other amusing cameos. After all, a film as beloved and influential as the original This Is Spinal Tap counts pretty much every living musician as a fan (give or take), so you know the sequel will hold nothing back when it comes to the entertainment factor.
In the podcast, Reiner also talked about This Is Spinal Tap’s remarkable afterlife, culminating in selection for the National Film Registry in 2002, after its initially unfavourable reception on its first release. “To wind up in the National Film Registry, that’s bizarre,” Reiner said. “We previewed it in a theatre in Dallas, Texas, and the people didn’t know what the heck they were looking at. They came up to me afterwards and said, ‘I don’t understand, why would you make a movie about a band that no one has ever heard of, and they are so bad? Why would you ever do that? Why don’t you make a movie about the Beatles or the Rolling Stones?’ I would say, ‘It’s satire,’ and I tried to explain. But over the years people got it, and started to like it.”
Personally, I found the 1984 original movie just hilarious. Aside from a great send-up of the music biz, the cameos were just fascinating: Paul Shaffer as PR-man Artie Fufkin; Dana Carvey and Billy Crystal as ‘mime’ waiters; Fred Willard; Anjelica Houston; Russ Kunkel; Danny Kortchmar and Fran Drescher as promo-gal Bobbi Fleckman … all just inspired.
Reiner’s on a roll – his Albert Brooks doc Defending My Life is sensational. A must-see.
Maybe an update of The Monkees’ HEAD next?
SHORT TAKES — Mark Bego’s Joe Cocker tome hit #4 on theAmazon charts this week. Here’s a great review from Goldmine on the book by their Lee Zimmerman: https://l.messenger.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goldminemag.com%2Freviews%2Fjoe-cocker-book-shines-light-on-unfortunate-undercurrents-of-a-stars-career&h=AT2zaG2QKuxuHdpJO1nPHKaiO7IWkbAHCBRAeq3m4-J45axSc_wBott7ABve8Wcd7GpQC13gybDWb2Hale6D809pTdtqqmpDoxC4u6FLA7SNNJ2jHbVKKpSaH1kxX4Ide1AyXDJXSZL2idNWvOch4A
… Micky Dolenz sang “Silly Love Songs” at Monday’s Troubadour benefit for Denny Laine and our spy said he really rocked it. Maybe a Dolenz Sings McCartney album is next? … So, Merriam-Webster’s word of the year is authentic? Interesting choice for sure …
Writer and reporter Pablo Guzman passed this last weekend. An original member of The Young Lords, Guzman was a fierce fighter and brilliant writer. On Fox 5/Good Day NY for decades, he most recently was a reporter at WCBS. Here’s the Daily News take: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12799071/Legendary-NYC-news-anchor-Pablo-Guzman-dies-aged-73-Big-Apple-veteran-reporter-dubbed-son-Bronx-founded-Puerto-Rican-activist-group-Young-Lords-journalist.html …
And it’s official, the NY-launch for the Mark Bego Joe Cocker book will be Tuesday, January 9 at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Sara Gore; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Daryl Estrea; Tony King; Ace Shortly; Kjersti and Jeremy Long; Debbie Gibson; Van Dean; Liz Skollar; Maude Adams; Robert Vaughn; Steve McQueen; Zach Martin; Coati Mundi; Avery Sharp; Steve Walter; Gary Gershoff; Jane Blunkell; Kimberly Cornell; Paul Iorio; Lee Jeske; MArt Ostrow; Peter Shendell; Sharon White; and ZIGGY!
Avengers Tower Sets Meet And Greet With Signing
C. B. Cebulski, Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics, and The LEGO Group Senior Graphic Designer Mark Tranter will be at the Fifth Ave LEGO Store this Friday, December 1st from 5pm-6pm signing the Avengers Tower set—the most iconic building in the Avengers Universe, with 5,201 pieces and an all-star cast of 31 figures.
The Avengers Tower, formerly known as Stark Tower, was a high-rise building complex located in Manhattan. Constructed by Tony Stark, the tower was powered by an Arc Reactor that made it capable of running itself for over a year. The top ten floors housed the research and development initiatives.
Following the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D., Stark Tower became the main headquarters of the Avengers. However, after the Ultron Offensive, Stark refurbished a Stark Industries warehouse upstate into the Avengers Compound to use as their primary base while Avengers Tower was repurposed for Stark Industries’ use. In the aftermath of the Avengers Civil War, Stark sold the tower and moved all of its equipment to the Avengers Compound.
By 2024, the tower, under its new ownership, had gone through extensive construction and renovation.
A CHER STEAL — This year’s 97th edition of the Macy’s Day Parade was a rather underwhelming one, save for Chicago – inexplicably singing “Your My Inspiration” – and the always, indefatigable Cher, singing a track “DJ Play a Christmas Song” off her new holiday-themed album. The first few bars will terribly auto-tuned, but that seemed to disappear and Cher’s vocals rang full and bold.
She was, typically, a pro. Mixing effortlessly and emotionally with the dancers in a terrific set. Some pundits reported the clip was shot days earlier, but she was live and, just sensational. I wish more of today’s performers possessed her vigor and skills. That’s why most of the current acts, here today, will be gone tomorrow.
As we went to press, we learned that this parade was Macy’s most-watched edition ever! Congrats.
HALL VS. OATES — Some terrible news appeared in Wednesday’s media that Daryl Hall had taken out a TRO against partner-John Oates. I’ve loved what these two have done for decades and I loved Hall’s solo albums; especially the one he did with Robert Fripp in 1977 Sacred Songs. His record company at the time (RCA) hated it so much, they held up its release for three years.
I also well remember them in the 80’s when it seemed you could’t turn on a radio without hearing their music. 29 of their 33 singles were major chart hits on Billboard. But I do go back to them even in the 70’s, with their terrific “She’s Gone” which basically launched them. And, my favorite album of their War Babies, produced by Todd Rundgren. Quick note: That album sounds as good and relevant as it did when it came out in 1974.
The problem seems to arise from Oates wanting to sell his portion of certain songs to Primary Wave Artists – which ironically owns several of their songs already. It’s a small point, but that seems to be the issue. In all actuality, it’s another case of a classic-rocker selling his music.
In Oates’ book several years ago (Change of Seasons: A Memoir), he hardly mentioned Hall and regrettably that animus has apparently reared its angry head. They’re Philly boys, I’m from Philly and it’s just an awful coda to what was one of music’s major success stories. Sad all around.
SHORT TAKES — Terrific article in this week’s Closer on Micky Dolenz. Check it out here: https://www.closerweekly.com/posts/micky-dolenz-on-telling-stories-on-stage-and-in-his-book/
btw: Dolenz tapes KTLA’s Countdown To 2024 this week in LA …
I first met Phil Quartararo in the lobby of the old Mondrian Hotel in LA with John Sykes and we struck up a friendship that lasted until he passed last week. He was at Virgin for a time and worked with the artists there including The Spice Girls and Paul Abdul. In these fast-changing-times in the music business, he remained somewhat behind the scenes of late, but admitted he missed working with the artists. Phil was a guy you never ever heard a bad word about. Huge loss. Here’s Billboard’s take on Phil:
… As you’ve not doubt read, there is trouble in the Marvel-comic kingdom. The latest Captain Marvel movie (The Marvels) didn’t perform nearly as well as everyone hoped for and their newest star, Jonathan Majors as Kang, is tied up in several court matters.
So, we hear that Kang is out and Doctor Doom is in. Stay tuned …
And Forbes’ James M. Clash has released Amplified; culled from his terrific interviews with the icons of rock ‘n roll; including Grace Slick; Art Garfunkel; Ginger Baker; Micky Dolenz; and Roger Daltry. Here’s the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CNJZYW2J?ref_=cm_sw_r_apan_dp_WKCSH7AC0ZTK18RZF4ED&language=en-US NAMES IN THE NEWS — Steve Leeds; Kate Hyman; Bono; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Peter Abraham; Bobby Bank; Dina Pitenis; Frank DiLella; Donnie Kehr; Steve Leber; Don Wardell; Anne Adams; Billy Smith; John Boulos; Kimberly Cornell; Sam Rubin; Nexstar; and ZIGGY!
Midnight Moment For December: Doku: Digital Reincarnation
The shape-shifting protagonist in this five-channel work is Doku – the name derived from the phrase “Dokusho Dokushi,” which translates to “We are born alone, and we die alone,” and references a canonical Buddhist scripture. While sharing Lu Yang’s facial expressions and features, the nonbinary character was generated from an amalgamation of various dancers and musicians, and created in collaboration with a team of scientists, 3D animators, and digital technicians using the latest in motion capture technology. Through this repeated incarnation, the artist is reborn as an ever-present avatar, endowed with talents surpassing physical limitations – uniting ancient concepts such as reincarnation with the latest technological innovations.
Lu Yang is a Shanghai-based artist who creates work exploring themes and formats, inspired by both traditional Chinese medicine and contemporary digital cultures. Through the medium of video, installation and performance, Lu Yang explores the fluidity of gender representation through 3D animated works inspired by Japanese manga and gaming subcultures. With a fascination with the human body and neurology, Lu Yang’s work bridges the scientific and the technological with aesthetics drawn from popular youth culture creating new visions of China in the face of modernity.
Born in 1986 in Shanghai where they are currently based, Lu Yang prefers to play with pronouns and insists she “lives on the internet” to further confuse fixed notions of identity. They attended the China Academy of Fine Art in Hangzhou, BFA and MFA, under the tutelage of Zhang Peili, the godfather of Chinese video art. A 2019 winner of the BMW Art Journey award, she has shown internationally including the M Woods Museum in Beijing, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne, and in many other shows, including the Asia Society Triennial in New York.
NINA CHASE LIVES! — (Via Deadline) Shantal VanSanten is moving from FBI to FBI: Most Wanted for the latter show’s fifth season. She will reprise the role of Special Agent Nina Chase.
Nina is a well-seasoned FBI agent who is strong-willed, sharp and used to working undercover. The character was first introduced on the mothership series toward the end of Season 4 and she continued her recurring role in various episodes of Season 5 which concluded in May. Nina remains in a relationship with FBI’s Stuart Scola (John Boyd) as they raise their infant son Douglas together.
VanSanten is joining the cast following Alexa Davalos’ exit from FBI: Most Wanted, which Deadline reported exclusively in August. Their new season will debut on Tuesday, February 13.
The show is part of the massive Dick Wolff-empire and is actually a rather brilliant move; as the character has established itself on the other show and should fit nicely with Dylan McDermott and cast. The Wolff-machine just lost Jeffrey Donovan from Law & Order and recently installed their fifth showrunner on the much-troubled Law & Order: Organized Crime with Christopher Meloni; which is due to start their fourth season next year.
VanSanten also portrayed Karen Baldwin in the Apple TV+ show For All Mankind and was just terrific. Never heard of her before that show, but just a stunningly good performance, Nina Chase.
SHORT TAKES — Always read the posts. Loved this one: I was so confused! In Australia the show is called Morning Wars. And, yes, they were talking about Apple TV+’s Morning Show. That would be a more apt title … Looks like the NYC-launch for Mark Bego’s Joe Cocker-tome will be Tuesday, January 9 at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room. And Bego does an 11-city radio tour next week for Premiere Radio … Micky Dolenz’s R.E.M. cover of “Shiny Happy People hit #5 of the Heritage Chart in the U.K. … Every six months or so I read something about how The Starship’s “We Built This City” is the worst record of all time. Being home-bound for a time, I began hearing it regularly on my iHeart Hits of the 80’s and began to like it. Here’s a terrific summary of the song by Rob Tannenbaum. It’s actually hilarious: https://www.gq.com/story/oral-history-we-built-this-city-worst-song-of-all-time …
Deadline reported that NBC’s La Brea will end with a six-episode season next year. This is the show about a massive sinkhole in Hollywood that tuns into a time-travel escapade. Crazy writing, but somehow addictive. I found it a guilty-pleasure. Here’s the story: https://deadline.com/2023/11/la-brea-canceled-season-3-1235630123/ …
Sad that CBS’ Blue Bloods is ending after a spectacular 14-season run. I watched it when it started, then was out for a few seasons, but came back after Steve Schirripa joined the cast. Costs indeed did the show in, but you have to admit those family dinners which closed out each episode were sensational. Selleck, an icon. There’s not another show like this on TV right now; smart writing and brilliant acting. Treat Williams had a re-occurring role as an old mate of Selleck’s. Hope they do a proper tribute to him as he was stellar. Will be missed for sure … A 16-date Rolling Stones tour was announced Tuesday. Sponsored by AARP no less. Stones Tour 24 …
NY-Nightlife-Mayor Eric Adams seems to walking a tightrope – what with the ongoing FBI probe and city budget-cuts … Wintercon’s Frank Patz is interviewed for Medium today. It’s December 2 and 3 … Happy Thanksgiving!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Richard Johnson; Ian Mohr; Harvey Levin; Kimberly Cornell; Plastic EP; Jane Blunkell; Tony King; Dave Mason; Michael McDonald; Kenny Loggins; Fortune Benatar; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Race Taylor; Jim Kerr; Ken Dashow; Plastic EP; Brad Balfour; Frank Patz; and ZIGGY!
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