Oh do do the Xanadu that you do so well

Dec 12

Oh do do the <i>Xanadu</i> that you do so well

When I called playwright Douglas Carter Beane to interview him for a San Francisco Chronicle story on Xanadu: The Musical at the New Conservatory Theatre Center, he happened to be taking a break from rehearsals for his latest Broadway show, Lysistrata Jones. That musical, a hip, funny adaptation of the Aristophanes classic, happens to rehearse in the same building as the Foxwoods Theatre, home to Broadway's notorious web slinger, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

With his ear pressed to his cell phone, Beane surveyed the crowded sidewalk and quipped. "I hope people don't think I'm buying tickets."

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Bless my Blu-ray forever…

Feb 06

The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews, 1965. TM and Copyright © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection.   Back in the dark ages of VHS, I remember being thrilled when I could actually buy The Sound of Music and watch it whenever I wanted, not just on whatever holiday the networks chose to trot it out. Ever since I saw the...

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A jolly holiday with the Sherman Brothers

May 23

My love of things Disney is no secret, so imagine what a thrill it was to get a chance to talk with Disney songwriter Richard M. Sherman about his long-running rift with songwriting partner and brother Robert B. Sherman and about the just-released documentary about their lives and careers, The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story, which was made by...

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Go see `Were the World Mine’

Nov 23

Forget about High School Musical. The real teen movie musical to see is Were the World Mine, a favorite of the gay film festival circuit that is now seeing wider release. While Disney’s HSM franchise exploits the shiny pop pleasures of high school, Were the World Mine offers a darker fantasy guided by the magic of theater and, more specifically, by William...

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High School Musical 3: Senior moments

Oct 29

Perhaps it’s a sign that I’m old and have bad taste, but Disney’s High School Musical 3: Senior Year kept reminding of my favorite bad movie musical of all time: Grease 2. You’ve got a story that goes nowhere, a primary romantic couple that hits a few road blocks but ends up together, a cap-tossing graduation scene and the must unrealistic...

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Robots in love: WALL-E meets `Dolly’

Jul 09

Not only is Pixar’s WALL-E an extraordinary movie – it’s also, in its strange way, a paean to musical theater. You just don’t head into a computer-animated film set in the 2100s to feature tunes by the great Jerry Herman, but that’s exactly what you get. WALL-E is about a soulful little robot, one of the last moving creatures on Earth...

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