Episode 4 – Movie Musicals
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Episode 4 of the Take Me To The World Musical Theatre Podcast is all about movie musicals. I get into some of the different types of movie musicals, what makes a good movie musical, and a few of my favourite and not so favourite movie musicals.
Just a quick note, I know I talked about the movie adaptation of Rent and the Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway version, but not the recent TV version they did of Rent. This is because I recorded this episode before that TV version aired. I actually haven’t watched any of the recent Live TV versions of musicals that have come out, aside from the Jesus Christ Superstar one last year. I’d like to watch a few of these first before I talk about them on this podcast. That’s why these “movie musicals” aren’t talked about in this episode.
There are a lot of movie musicals out there, and I barely mentioned a handful.
Where to Listen to Episode 4?
If you haven’t heard it yet you can listen to Episode 4 on Podcasts.com
Resources – Music
This has links (mostly on Spotify, unless otherwise stated) to the cast recordings/soundtracks that I mentioned in this podcast, as well as to some musical playlists.
It’s Broadway, Bitch – Spotify Playlist. This has over 1800 songs from different musicals I’ve either seen or have listened to obsessively. Most of the playlist is from stage musicals, but I have a few movie musicals and musical TV shows on here as well. Albums are in random order. Some songs contain strong language and subject matter, so listener discretion is advised.
Sounds of Broadway. This is an online radio station with over 4600 songs from 560 different musicals. It’s a fun way to listen to musicals you know and discover some musicals you may have never heard of before. The station also has a great weekly podcast about musicals.
Jesus Christ Superstar (1970 Original Studio Cast). There have been a lot of different productions of this show, but this cast recording is my personal favourite.
Resources – Video
These are links on Just Watch (unless otherwise noted) for the following movie versions of the musicals I talked about in this episode. Just Watch will have links to where you can watch these movies on various streaming sites.
Bye Bye Birdie (1963 Movie). This is an old school movie musical. It’s a pretty fluffy/silly show.
Chicago (2002 Movie). This is a great movie adaptation of this musical. It won a few Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (for Catherine Zeta-Jones), Best Costumes, Best Film Editing, Best Sound, and Best Art Direction.
Jesus Christ Superstar (1973 Movie). While I didn’t mention it in the episode there is a movie adaptation of Jesus Christ Superstar. Ted Neely originated the role of Jesus on Broadway and in this movie adaptation . He actually performed this role in several touring productions as well.
Into the Woods (2014 Movie). This is the recent Disney adaptation of this Stephen Sondheim classic.
Into the Woods (1991 Filmed Stage Movie). This is the filmed stage version of Into The Woods, starring the Original Broadway Cast including Joanna Gleason who won a Tony Award for her performance in the original run as the Baker’s Wife.
Les Misérables (2012 Movie). This is the recent movie adaptation with Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway (who won an Oscar for her performance).
Mamma Mia (2008 Movie). While Pierce Brosnan can’t sing, the rest of the cast does fairly well, and the movie is fun. It’s great to watch once, but I wouldn’t say this movie is a repeat viewing for me. I’ve yet to see the sequel though.
The Music Man (1962). This is a classic movie musical on the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name. The movie version stars Robert Preston and Shirley Jones (a.k.a the mom from the 70’s musical TV show The Partridge Family). The song “Ya Got Trouble” is one of the best patter songs in musical theatre.
The Phantom of the Opera (2004 Movie). This is a movie adaptation with Emmy Rossum as Christine Daaé, and Gerard Butler as the Phantom. As mentioned in the episode Lindsay Ellis did a great video essay on YouTube critiquing this movie adaptation.
Rent (2005 Movie). This is an adaptation of the musical featuring a lot of the original Broadway cast.
Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway (2008 Filmed Stage Movie). This was done in 2008 with the final Broadway cast. This live version is filmed like the musical.
Sunday in the Park with George (1986 Filmed Stage Movie). This is a filmed live version with the Original Broadway Cast including Bernadette Peters as Dot/Marie and Mandy Patinkin as George Seurat/George.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007 Movie). This is the Tim Burton movie adaptation starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and the late great Alan Rickman as the horrid Judge Turpin. I love this movie. Don’t @ me.
Resources – Websites and Apps
Reddit Musicals and Reddit Musical Theatre. Both of these subreddits are great places to go if you want to talk about musicals, get tips (if you’re a performer), and to get recommendations on shows to check out.
Broadway Musical Home. This is a great resource for anyone who loves musicals. They have an alphabetical list of over 300 musicals, and you can look up musicals by different categories like “based on a book” and “based on real life.” For anyone or any theatre company looking to put on a musical, you can check out the Rights page, which has information on where to get the rights to put on a variety of musicals.
Playbill has a listing for shows (musicals and plays) in New York, London and National Tours.
Today Tix has an App for both iOS and Android. You can use the app to buy cheap, same-day tickets for shows in cities like New York, London, Toronto, Chicago, and several others. I used this app with great success in London and highly recommend it.
What’s your favourite movie musical?