TV MusicalsLatest News and Opinion
Posted Monday 9/10/18 at 2:00PM EDT
John Legend, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice join the EGOT club thanks to NBC's Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
Source: The New York Times
The trio join 12 other winners who've won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony following their Creative Arts Emmys victory.
Posted Thursday 9/06/18 at 3:23PM EDT
High School Musical: The Musical will be shot as a docuseries about students putting on a production of High School Musical
Disney has released details of its previously-announced new High School Musical TV project that will be made available on Disney's streaming service, including cast descriptions. The 10-episode scripted series will document the production of a high school musical, with each episode featuring a "new rendition" of a High School Musical song plus a new original song.
Posted Tuesday 8/21/18 at 10:26PM EDT
Craig Zadan dies: Former Oscars producer helped bring live TV musicals to NBC
Source: Entertainment Weekly
Zadan died Tuesday at age 69 of complications following shoulder replacement surgery. Together with longtime producing partner Neil Meron, Zadan brought live musicals back to TV in 2013, starting with NBC's The Sound of Music Live! starring Carrie Underwood. Zadan and Meron would go on to produce 2014's Peter Pan Live!, 2015's The Wiz Live!, 2016's Hairspray Live! and this year's Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert. The producing duo previously produced the CBS TV movie musical Gypsy starring Bette Midler, as well as musicals for ABC's Wonderful World of Disney. Zadan and Meron also produced the Oscars for three years in a row, from 2013 through 2015, with hosts Seth MacFarlane, Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris. "I’m stunned and saddened the unexpected passing of Craig Zadan," tweeted Harris. "He’s been a friend my entire adult life, championed me to host the Oscars, brought musical theatre back to TV. A wonderful, kind spirit." John Legend tweeted: "RIP to our friend Craig. He produced Jesus Christ Superstar with us and also produced the Oscars when Common and I sang 'Glory' in front of a replica of the Pettus Bridge. A wonderful producer and a lovely man." NBC Entertainment president Robert Greenblatt, who tapped the producing partners to bring back live musicals to TV, called Zadan "my dear friend," adding: "Craig’s distinguished career as a passionate and consummate producer is eclipsed only by his genuine love for the thousands of actors, directors, writers, musicians, designers, and technicians he worked with over the years. His absence will be felt in our hearts and throughout our business." Others paying tribute include Kevin Bacon, whose breakout role in Footloose was co-produced by Zadan, and Sean Hayes, who tweeted "my life and career were forever changed by the opportunities he and his producing partner, @neilmeron, provided me over the years."
Posted Tuesday 7/24/18 at 2:04PM EDT
Hair Live! gets May premiere date
NBC's next musical production, based on the Broadway hit Hair!, will be broadcast on May 19, 2019, the final Sunday of the TV season.
Posted Wednesday 6/13/18 at 1:59PM EDT
Disney Channel's Freaky Friday musical will premiere on a Friday in August
The newest version of the classic mother-daughter body-swap will air on Friday, Aug. 10.
Posted Thursday 5/24/18 at 7:14PM EDT
Hair will be NBC's next live musical, but don't expect to see the show's famous nudity
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The 50-year-old Broadway musical about young hippies living in New York City will air in spring 2019 as Hair Live! That means the planned Bye, Bye Birdie musical, which was to have starred Jennifer Lopez, will continue being on the back burner. “I’m overjoyed that James Rado and Galt MacDermot are trusting us with their masterpiece Hair, one of the most original shows ever conceived for Broadway with one of the greatest scores,” said NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt in a statement. “These songs are part of the vocabulary of popular music, and this rebellious story of young people protesting and standing up for what they believe in is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago. This will be the perfect live event, and I’m looking forward to seeing Craig and Neil, along with our partners at MGM and the original creators bring the audience to their feet as they experience these beloved songs and recognizable young characters.”
Posted Tuesday 4/17/18 at 7:01PM EDT
Riverdale unveils two big musical numbers from the Carrie musical episode
Songs from Carrie: The Musical will be available to stream after the airing of Wednesday's episode.
Posted Monday 4/02/18 at 9:00PM EDT
Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert offered three lessons in staging a TV musical
One lesson is that concert staging works. "The larger lesson is one that all live TV musicals can learn from: Strict photorealism is not your friend," says Constance Grady. "The trick is to borrow from performance styles that already have accepted cinematographies, that audiences know how to watch on television already. We’re used to watching rock concerts on TV. We know what they’re supposed to look like." Another lesson is that sung-through shows, where the audience doesn't have to move between "different layers of artifice and emotional reality" between dialogue and songs, help keep the energy level of viewers high, says Grady. The third lesson is that spectacle is the most important. "In Jesus Christ Superstar Live," she says, "the spectacle was as simple and evocative as the shot of the back of the stage opening up, forming a cross made out of negative space, as Jesus’s cross floats back into the fog. It’s a moment that would do very little in a produced movie, and the effects could be tricky to handle in a theater. But in a live TV musical special, it became the kind of extraordinary, haunting image that future live TV musicals would do well to emulate."
- "A blasphemous piece of well-crafted trash": Much of religious America hated Jesus Christ Superstar Live because old criticisms die hard
- It's a minor miracle!: Jesus Christ Superstar Live "was the closest that live television has come to creating a hybrid new form, combining elements of epic cinema, the stage musical, and the concert film," says Matt Zoller Seitz
- Hamilton's Brandon Victor Dixon stole the show as Judas
- TV musicals are judged on the "outright disaster" scale, but Jesus Christ Superstar Live never registered as a joke
Posted Monday 4/02/18 at 2:55PM EDT
Jesus Christ Superstar Live tops Easter Sunday with 9.6 million viewers
The John Legend-led NBC TV musical was No. 1 on Sunday night, beating American Idol. Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert also topped previous TV musicals like Fox's A Christmas Story Live! and The Passion, and NBC's Hairspray Live! and Peter Pan Live!
Posted Monday 4/02/18 at 9:51AM EDT
Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert had a lot of excess, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing
NBC's latest live musical was a lot to take in, says Maureen Ryan. "This musical threw together glitter, sequins, leather, writhing hotties, a few big performances pitched to the last row, and camerawork that often felt as though it was hopped up on too many lattes," she says. "Actually, the ragged edges of a unifying concept did emerge over the course of the NBC musical’s two-hour-and-20-minute running time: If its philosophy could be summed up in one word, 'excess' would just about cover it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But this live show was a lot. The musical was intensely earnest, often endearingly so."
- This was the best TV musical yet, providing viewers with an actual spiritual experience
- It was a "very successful experiment" that marked the revival of the TV musical
- The emotional climax saved the overblown first half
- NBC wisely surrounded John Legend with spectacular theater vets
- It was an exhilarating production that revolutionized the "still-evolving live musical format"
- The star power was equaled by depth of feeling and characterization in all the principals
- Chrissy Teigen took on trolls, but had a fun time live-tweeting her husband as Jesus
- Jesus Christ Superstar lyricist Tim Rice tweeted: "Good to see something we wrote a while back still appreciated"
- Here are seven things you didn't see on the TV broadcast
Posted Friday 3/30/18 at 9:30PM EDT
Jesus Christ Superstar Live director plans to "send many thousands of volts of surprising energy through a TV screen"
Director David Leveaux says Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert is a new experience, even for veterans of live TV musicals. "There are so many raw live elements of this show, it’s quite new," he says. "They may not admit it, but some people are quite nervous because you can’t control everything. That’s what makes it exciting. And if it fails, we’re hoping to fail forward.”
Posted Tuesday 3/13/18 at 10:17PM EDT
Check out Jesus Christ Superstar Live's rehearsal photos
John Legend, Alice Cooper and Sara Bareilles have been busy in New York City prepping for the April 1 Easter Sunday performance. ALSO: See NBC's promo clip.
Posted Friday 3/02/18 at 2:13PM EST
NBC delays Bye Bye Birdie Live again due to Jennifer Lopez's busy schedule
Lopez currently has two movies in the works, plus her NBC shows Shades of Blue and World of Dance. Her busy schedule has kept her from rehearsing for the lead role in Bye Bye Birdie Live, which was originally supposed to air last year before it was rescheduled for this year.
Posted Thursday 2/22/18 at 2:24PM EST
Hamilton's Brandon Victor Dixon to play Judas on NBC's Jesus Christ Superstar Live
The two-time Tony nominee will play Jesus’ betrayer in the Easter Sunday live musical.
Posted Sunday 1/07/18 at 3:33AM EST
Sara Bareilles joins NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert! as Mary Magdalene
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The singer-songwriter will star opposite John Legend and Alice Cooper on the April 1 Easter Sunday production.