Posts Tagged ‘Michael Crawford’

Over The Rainbow In A Different Oz

Tonight sees the opening of what sounds like a different production of The Wizard of Oz.  Produced by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, the London premiere has all the elements of the classic 1939 movie however, it has added elements which (according to Sir Andrew) make it more suitable to the stage.  Added are 4 songs which give Glinda, The Wicked Witch of the West, and the Wizard  a chance to use their singing chops.  Apparently, the Good Witch’s short bit in Munchkinland does not count as a song.  For the new songs, Lloyd Webber re-teamed with lyricist Tim Rice a partnership which dissolved 30 years ago after Evita.

Casting for Dorothy was done in what seems to be the Lord’s new-found trademark: the televised talent show.  He did it for Joseph, Maria in The Sound of Music, and now for Oz.  I dunno about this American Idol meets theatre concept.

A familiar name was cast in the title role.  Michael Crawford (the original Phantom of Lloyd Webber’s production) was number one on the list.  I can actually picture Mr. Crawford in the roles of Professor Marvel and the Great Humbug.  Wonder how many other roles he will be filling.  Taylhis, how many parts did Frank Morgan have in the movie?

This July, Fountain City Festival will be performing a version closer in production to the original movie.  As soon as I get back on my feet… I really pray that it is soon… I look forward to helping to bring one of my favorite shows to the stage.

A Truly Renaissance Robot

I recently sat and watched the movie Wall*E with my young nieces after they begged and pleaded to be able to do so.  They however, watched maybe 5 minutes of the movie and were off to other things.  I thought the movie was cute but far from all the praise it has received… even being mentioned as a contender for best picture of the year.

The Disney/Pixar film has similarities to Short Circuit.  The star of the show bears an uncanny resemblance to Number “Johnny” Five.  Wall*E seems to be one of the last remaining, functional objects left on Earth as the planet has been deemed uninhabitable because of the trash content.  He is left on Earth as a trash collector.  However, everything he finds is not discarded.  The robot collects a treasure trove of trinkets to add to his collection.  A Rubik’s Cube, a fish plaque that sings “Dont Worry, Be Happy,”  The most memorable trinket is a VCR that includes a tape of Hello Dolly and always placed at the scene featuring Michael Crawford as Cornelius singing “It Only Takes a Moment.”  Wall*E’s only companion is a cute(?) unnamed cockroach.

But what became of the humans inhabiting the planet?  A sleek, attractive robot named Eva is sent to Earth in order to find any sign of life.  When Wall-E finds a small plant, Eva’s directive is complete and she blasts off to the large spaceship full of human descendants from 700 years in the past.  The human’s are rather robust, lazy people who have to do nothing as robots have become the ultimate servants. Humans do not even need to walk anywhere.  They are transported by motorized recliners. When Eva returns, the robots on board the ship become jealous and mutiny against the human captain and will not allow the ship to return to Earth.  That’s the plot in a nutshell… enough to make those who have never seen it determine if it is for them.

Pixar’s animation continues to be cutting edge and the movie was cute but I don’t think it deserves all the attention it has garnered.

Which Of The Following Disney/Pixar Films Have You Seen?

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