When I hear the word “concert” I think of a stage with a band and microphones where artists perform their latest hits. Even some of the most ambitious tours I’ve seen (Madonna’s “Blonde Ambition” comes to mind) were bold in their theatrics but were still, in the end, the very definition of a concert. NBC had been billing JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR as a concert event. To say that is a dis-service to what was actually presented, although I suspect there is a reason for this somewhat deceptive marketing.
Time for my annual “throw a dart at some names and hope for the best” post.
A CHRISTMAS STORY is a sacred film to many people. Cable channels have run it for 24 hours straight during the holidays and it is required viewing for many. So it should be no surprise that some were skeptical when plans for a musical stage version (and later a live TV special) were announced. The stage show, which played The Hobby Center in 2015, was a pleasant surprise and quite charming. Last night’s live TV event was a bit more problematic.
NBC is no stranger to the live musical genre, having already produced “The Sound of Music,” “Peter Pan” and last year’s “The Wiz.” So you’d think that by now, they’ve got this down to a science. The answer is mostly yes – with a large and unfortunate no or two along the way.
With Hollywood seemingly focused on remakes and broadcast television struggling to get many shows past a first or second season, it is refreshing to find something both daring and original. Netflix and cable television tend to lead the way in bold new works and “Black Mirror,” which just released its third series on the streaming platform, is not to be ignored.
In “Hamilton’s America,” a documentary about the creation of the musical juggernaut premiering on PBS last night, the show’s creator Lin-Manuel Miranda says, “Musicals rarely get off the arts page.” Even more rare is a 90-minute film chronicling a show’s history. But this is no regular musical — and “Hamilton’s America” is quite possibly the best documentary made about musical theatre.
The title logo for Fox TV’s reboot of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” ended with the tag line “Let’s do the time warp again!”