Off my lawn

(1) A black Annie makes perfect sense to me. A black orphan today seems like a pretty good analog to how people would have regarded a ginger orphan in the Great Depression. Not a perfect analogy for various reasons, but close enough. Plus the impotent rage of racists on Twitter makes the whole thing more than worth it.

(2) In a fair world Quvenzhané Wallis will have as much Hollywood work as she wants. However,

(3) She deserves a better movie than this. I watched the trailer and it looks…dull. Annie calls for something more fun than an eight times warmed-over plot about picking up an orphan for PR and then discovering that you care. Is it too much to ask for Batman-worthy thugs, outer space or a gyrocopter? Seriously people, the franchise gives you carte blanche to go a little nuts and you give me the sort of thing Jennifer Lopez tosses off between perfume commercials. Plus,

(4) Cameron Diaz is grievously miscast. Also,

(5) Whoever decided to auto-tune Tomorrow should apologize. There are approximately a thousand talented kids working on or near Broadway who would be happy to sub in an edgy modern take without that trendy techno-crap. Or let Wallis do it au naturel. It could not turn out worse than Russell Crowe and Tugger in Le Miz.

OK fine, so I am the kind of purist who can only bear to hear the original Broadway cast recordings of West Side Story or Sweeney Todd. Sue me. And get off my damn lawn.






167 replies
  1. 1
    Cassidy says:

    I see your problem: you’re listening to West Side Story.

  2. 2
    Amir Khalid says:

    Russell (with two Ls) Crowe sings just fine in Les Misérables. Who’s Tugger?

  3. 3
    Tim F. says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Who’s Tugger

    South Park reference.

    Russell (with two Ls)

    Fixd. Thanks.

    Crowe sings just fine in Les Misérables.

    Does not.

  4. 4
    efgoldman says:

    I’ve never been crazy about Annie, but the stage version is way better than the [last] movie.
    No reason at all to remake it (except the usual reason: someone thinks they can make money from it.) But if you’re going to remake it, no reason the leads have to be white. I don’t expect it to be done well, or to make a lot of money. Filmed musicals are hard, and most, since the 60s, suck.
    Anything that makes RW TeaHadi heads explode is, of course, worthwhile.

  5. 5
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I am the kind of purist who can only bear to hear the original Broadway cast recordings of West Side Story or Sweeney Todd.

    Me too. Well, not that much about WSS, but I don’t even want to think about anyone other than Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Lovett or Len Cariou as Sweeney.

  6. 6
    Rex Everything says:

    Nice South Park ref, AL.

  7. 7
    Tim F. says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Hellz to the yeah.

    @Rex Everything: Who is AL?

  8. 8
    efgoldman says:

    @Tim F.:

    Crowe sings just fine in Les Misérables.

    Does not.

    It’s like the famous dancing dog: we are amazed that he can do it at all.
    mrs efgoldman, the trained opera singer, was pretty impressed.
    The story never passed the threshold of believability to me (all the way back to the book), and the movie could have stood about 1/2 hour more of cuts

  9. 9
    Keith P says:

    Just imagine how pissed people would be if they cast Willow Smith as Annie.

  10. 10

    @efgoldman:
    I had trouble noticing how anyone sang in Les Misérables. I was too busy being baffled by the lack of choreography and wondering who thought a closeup of one person singing for minutes on end was good musical direction.

  11. 11
    Randy P says:

    Wanda Sykes did Miss Hannigan in our little local regional theater in PA a couple of years back (I believe she lives around here for some reason as I spot her periodically). That was probably pretty cool, but I’ve never been much interested in “Annie” so I didn’t catch it.

    About original cast recordings; I grew up listening to the London cast recording of My Fair Lady, with Julie Andrews. She is the only Liza Dooittle for me. I was appalled at the insipid, meek little mousy version played by Audrey Hepburn in the movie after growing up with Andrews’ fiery version.

  12. 12
    NotMax says:

    It’s a craptacular vat of saccharinitude and mediocre tunes, no matter where, when or by whom performed.

    /subtle critique

  13. 13
    Cassidy says:

    I can’t stand Les Miz. It takes talent to perform, but I despise every song.

  14. 14
    Zam says:

    If they really want to shine a light on the people who need it Annie should be portrayed as a rich white man.

  15. 15
    cckids says:

    @Keith P: I might join in with them on that one :) However, I think Ms. Wallis & Co will do a creditable job with that cheesy, sappy story. She is beyond adorable.

    My little sister LOVED the last big-screen Annie, so I’ve seen/heard it WAY too many times, and that child was so horrifyingly bad at acting as well as singing, the bar is quite low.

  16. 16
    Darkrose says:

    @Randy P:

    About original cast recordings; I grew up listening to the London cast recording of My Fair Lady, with Julie Andrews. She is the only Liza Dooittle for me. I was appalled at the insipid, meek little mousy version played by Audrey Hepburn in the movie after growing up with Andrews’ fiery version.

    Me too! I used to make it a one-8-year-old show in the living room. The first time I saw the movie I was deeply disappointed.

  17. 17
    Anoniminous says:

    Dear White People,

    The next time you find yourself starting a sentence with “I’m not a racist but …” just stop and STFU.

    Sincerely,

    A White Person

  18. 18
    Belafon says:

    @Cassidy: “I dreamed a dream, and everyone died.” My middle son likes to sing.

  19. 19
    lamh36 says:

    Well, good singing or not, dull to an adult viewer or not, Broadway purity or not, when I showed the trailer clip to my goddaughter Maddie, she was mesmerized and dancing along. She literally said “I want to see that”, and she was severely disappointed when I had to tell her she’d have to wait until Christmas.

    As for Wallis deserving better as an Oscar nominated kid actress, I agree, but then again, how many roles are out their for actors of color at any age, let alone a young one. Hollywood big wigs are willing to give roles to young white kids like Dakota Fanning or Abigail Breslin (when they were younger), but for children of color, the roles are fewer and farther between than for older actors of color. So yeah, Quvenzhané Wallis deserves better, but thanks to the Smith kid (Willow) dropping out of the project, Quvenzhane is able to work.

    Also too, let’s not belittle the importannce of seeing one’s self represented in movies or on tv, even crappy ones. When you’re never seen even a little bit of crappy movie sunshine feels okay.

  20. 20
    NotMax says:

    @SiubhanDuinne

    Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Lovett or Len Cariou as Sweeney.

    Saw them on B’way back when. Great time.

    Possibly still a little deaf from sitting on the side of the aisle and in the row closest to that dang steam whistle.

  21. 21
    cckids says:

    @Darkrose: I was a teen before I saw the movie, and had read Pygmalion already. Harrison & Hepburn were good, but I still cannot stand the ending. Eliza would not go back to Henry!!

    Shaw even said so.

  22. 22
    Robert says:

    But they already wasted the entire budget on autotuning Willow Smith before she backed out of the film. Do you really want to put that poor autotune robot out of business? She has a family to feed.

  23. 23
    Darkrose says:

    OK fine, so I am the kind of purist who can only bear to hear the original Broadway cast recordings of West Side Story or Sweeney Todd. Sue me. And get off my damn lawn.

    You kidding? I’m wondering if there’s room on your lawn for me to join you.

  24. 24
    Belafon says:

    @lamh36: Idris Elba as Noah.

  25. 25
    Cassidy says:

    @Belafon: I’m a sucker for Phantom.

  26. 26
    lamh36 says:

    @lamh36:

    On the subject of seeing yourself represented on mass media and such, please check out this speech given by (now) Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o at the annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon. If you liked her Oscar speech, then this one will leave you speechless.

    Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o Speech on Black Beauty

    …”“I too remember a time when I would turn on the TV and only see pale skin. I got teased and taunted about my night shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter skinned.

    “The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself before I was in front of a mirror, because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced just the same disappointment at being just as dark as I had been the day before…

    “I tried to negotiate with God. I told him I would stop steeling sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted. I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But, I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because I never woke up lighter.”

    But, thanks to one particularly prominent black model, she received the validation she needed.

    “And then Alek Wek came on the scene. A celebrated model, she was dark as night,” she said, adding: “I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman that looked so much like me as beautiful. Now I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far-away gatekeepers of beauty.”

    …so I hope that my presence on your screens and in magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation for your beauty, but also get to the deeper business of feeling beautiful inside. There is no shade in that beauty.”

    Please watch the entire speech. It was very heart

  27. 27
    lamh36 says:

    @Belafon: hey, they always have Jesus being White and we all know Jesus wasn’t “white”, so hell yeah Idris can play Noah…why the heck not…lol

  28. 28
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Cassidy: man. That’s harsh. I know it’s not Starlight Express or Oh, Calcutta, but there’s no pleasing some people.

  29. 29
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    This is a movie I will NOT watch…ever.

  30. 30
    Cap'n Phealy says:

    I saw the original broadway cast with Megan McArdle.

    Oops, my mistake. It was Andrea McArdle.

  31. 31
    Cassidy says:

    @Suffern ACE: I don’t mean it to be harsh. The talent people have to have to perform it exceptional, but I just don’t like any of the songs.

  32. 32
    PurpleGirl says:

    @lamh36:

    seeing one’s self represented in movies

    Slightly off, but I know what you mean. I stutter and am very attuned to the way actors may portray a stutter. I absolutely loved the ending of A Fish Named Wanda. It was the fulfillment of many, many day dreams of taking revenge on assholes who had made fun of me, etc.

  33. 33
    ruemara says:

    I can’t believe no one is standing up for the quality that is Xanadu.

  34. 34
    NotMax says:

    Re: cast albums –

    Much as I love me some Zero Mostel, the cast album of the revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum* starring Nathan Lane is eminently and excellently enjoyable and as a total package more fun to listen to than the original cast album.

    (Having seen the original production with Zero, that’s a bigger plug than it might first seem.)

    *if you’ve only ever seen the movie, it doesn’t hold the stub of a candle to the stage production

  35. 35
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ruemara: I can’t believe you are drunk enough to type that but sober enough to type.

  36. 36

    Wow. I seem to be the only person in the world who loved Les Miserables. Oh well. No accounting for (my bad) taste.

  37. 37
    MikeJ says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo): Amir has seen it 472 times. Or something like that.

  38. 38
    Joseph Nobles says:

    They’ve been doing diverse casting with Annie on Broadway for a while now.

    As for the content, Annie has never been Next to Normal. But we don’t have to explore every nook and cranny of the human heart in each story. Sometimes the living room will do.

    P.S. I think I saw that Emma Thompson had a hand in the screenplay.

  39. 39
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo): I like the book.

  40. 40
    David Koch says:

    “We have a broad right to discrimination in this country. We just don’t exercise it!” -Matt Welch, Reason Magazine Editor-In-Chief #CPAC2014

    To glibertarians free-dumb is limited to white privileged straight males.

  41. 41
    Belafon says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo): My wife loves it. Me, I’m not into musicals. About the only musical song I can stand is the tavern song in Tangled.

  42. 42
    ruemara says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: You make a grown Muse cry.

    #totessober

  43. 43
    Cassidy says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo): I don’t go claiming any kind of good taste. I like the aforementioned Starlight Express.

  44. 44
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Cassidy: lol!

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ruemara: I like Gigi. But then, I like Leslie Caron and Honoré Lachaille is a personal hero.

  46. 46
    Peter says:

    There’s definitely been a mild filter applied to the kid’s voice near the end, but it’s not autotune. Autotune has a really distinctive sound to it, and that isn’t it.

    And honestly Cameron Diaz looks hysterical. I’m looking forward to this movie.

  47. 47
    Suffern ACE says:

    Carol Burnette was “miscast”, too. Now I’m pulling for Cameron to upset y’all and show a side that you didn’t know she had.

  48. 48
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suffern ACE: I think she is a pretty decent actress. She should be fine.

  49. 49
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @NotMax:

    Saw them on B’way back when. Great time.

    I can’t tell you how envious that makes me.

  50. 50
    kindness says:

    I saw the promo clip for Annie elsewhere today. Everyone in it seems really good. Annie is cute & talented. What was it, Crooks&Liars? Not sure. They also posted a whole bunch of racist & clueless tweets of people. I can’t believe that anyone would want a twitter account and be publicly racist & assholy. There is no anonymity on the web any more. Folks will know it was you doing it.

    Eh, takes all types.

  51. 51
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Tim F.:
    Does too. (Sticks tongue out at Tim F.) Russell Crowe started out in musical theatre; Cameron Mackintosh saw him doing The Rocky Horror Picture Show in Australia. You want to hear truly wretched singing in a movie musical? Try Pierce Brosnan’s rending of SOS in Mamma Mia!

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    A four-minute close-up of Anne Hathaway singing I Dreamed A Dream helped her sweep the awards season in the Best Supporting Actress category last year.

  52. 52
    NotMax says:

    @Suffern ACE

    Were Tim Burton to make his version, Johnny Depp would play all the roles save one.

    Annie, of course, would be portrayed by Michael Keaton, suitably CGI downsized.

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Try Pierce Brosnan’s rending of SOS in Mamma Mia!

    I saw that movie. I cannot unsee it.

  54. 54
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Suffern ACE: Whoa! Whoever said Carol Burnett was miscast as Miss Hannigan at any stage whatsoever??? That’s the kind of casting you hear about and jump for joy that you’re alive to see it.

  55. 55
    efgoldman says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo):

    I seem to be the only person in the world who loved Les Miserables.

    mrs efgoldman loves it more than enough for all three of us.

  56. 56
    Cassidy says:

    What the world really needs us a remake of Back to the Beach.

  57. 57
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    This is O/T, but I’m hoping for some good news on that Malaysia Airlines flight that seems to have gone missing, and of course I especially hope that nobody you know is in harm’s way.

  58. 58
    Amir Khalid says:

    @MikeJ:
    It might be 473 now. I also like Les Mis in German. There’s still one full German-language performance that Cameron Mackintosh hasn’t taken down from YouTube. I always cry at this number:
    Cosette mein Kind, du frierst
    Cosette, dein warmes Bett ruft
    Du hast den Tag verspielt, und bald beginnt die Nacht …

  59. 59
    efgoldman says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    You want to hear truly wretched singing in a movie musical?

    No. No I don’t. Thanks anyway.

    I always cry at this number:

    :::imagines Hugh Jackman in Wotan garb:::

  60. 60
    NotMax says:

    The story goes that the comic strip was originally pitched as “Little Orphan Otto,” but when the samples the publisher/editor who bought an option on it requested showed up picturing a dimpled lad with an overabundance of curls, he supposedly said “The kid looks like a pansy to me. Put a skirt on him and we’ll call it ‘Little Orphan Annie.”

  61. 61
    Amir Khalid says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    Latest reports say Malaysia Airlines has started notifying next of kin — a sign it fears the worst.

  62. 62
    eemom says:

    Lucille Ball as Mame. Discuss.

  63. 63
    Amir Khalid says:

    @efgoldman:
    That’s actually Fantine on her deathbed, at the beginning of Fantines Tod (Fantine’s Death).

  64. 64
    Yatsuno says:

    @eemom: Roz did it better.

  65. 65
    efgoldman says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    That’s actually Fantine on her deathbed, at the beginning of Fantines Tod (Fantine’s Death).

    Ah, a Brunhilde breastplate and helmet. Even better!
    (Sorry, Amir, I don’t have a lot of respect for the picture, or for Claude-Michel Schonberg in general.)

  66. 66
    John Revolta says:

    Autotune was invented NOT to be heard. It was being used for a long time before somebody decided that it sounded cool if you turned it way up to where you could actually tell it was there.

  67. 67
    NotMax says:

    @eemom

    Lucille Ball as Mame. Discuss.

    Maybe it was auto-correct, but ‘disgust’ is misspelled.

  68. 68
    MikeJ says:

    @efgoldman: With his spear and magic helmet?

  69. 69
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @efgoldman:

    Ah, a Brunhilde breastplate and helmet. Even better!

    Das ist kein Mann!

  70. 70
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MikeJ: Simply genius.

  71. 71
    NotMax says:

    @Yatsuno

    How goes the hip?

  72. 72
    Suffern ACE says:

    @John Revolta: curse you, Cher!

  73. 73
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I am very sorry, although not really surprised, to learn this.

  74. 74
    Amir Khalid says:

    @efgoldman:
    Nobody’s perfect.

  75. 75
    efgoldman says:

    @MikeJ:

    With his spear and magic helmet?

    I was going to do it soon if nobody else did.
    Greatest. Animated. Short. Ever.
    Period.

  76. 76
    opiejeanne says:

    @Cassidy: Even I Dreamed a Dream as performed by Patti LuPone??? I actually like that one recording of that song. All the others suck.

  77. 77
    efgoldman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Das ist kein Mann!

    Where’s Anna Russell when we really need her?

    ETA: Come to think of it, I’m imagining what her take on Les Miz would have been. Hilarious, that’s what.

  78. 78
    PurpleGirl says:

    @NotMax: I saw the stage production with Nathan Lane. The non-profit I worked for used it for a theater benefit and I was able to buy one of the unsold tickets at cost. (Sixth or so row in the orchestra, although on the far left.)

    Lane was great.

  79. 79
    Amir Khalid says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    More bad news. Per ABC News, four passengers on MH370 are Americans, including one of the two infants mentioned in earlier reports.

  80. 80
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Yatsuno: apples to oranges. Listen to her “sing” in Gypsy. Now imagine her trying that 12 years later.

  81. 81
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @efgoldman:

    Where’s Anna Russell when we really need her?

    “‘Be careful, Wotan. Be careful.’ She then bears him eight daughters.”

    “She’s his aunt, by the way.”

    “I’m not making this up, you know!”

  82. 82
    efgoldman says:

    @NotMax:

    Having seen the original production with Zero, that’s a bigger plug than it might first seem.

    I saw it in Boston back in the day, when the stars of the original Broadway production went out with the first road company, to drum up business. I was either a senior in high school or a freshman in college.

  83. 83
    Yatsuno says:

    Stupid question: what is up with the Google hangtime thing?

  84. 84
    efgoldman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    “I’m not making this up, you know!”

    Come to our house on your post-retirement grand tour. You and mrs efgoldman and I can watch the DVD and recite along.

    ETA: And of course we’ll feed you, too.

  85. 85
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    OT, but sort of not, Noisemax in a dither…:

    Chris Matthews Insults CPAC: ‘Crazy Car’

    To put it mildly…

  86. 86
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’ve seen some of the newer reports with a photo of a weeping woman at Beijing airport. You can see a man’s arm in the foreground, possibly a policeman or airport official, trying to fend off the photographer. There’s simply no need for a journalist to intrude on people’s grief at such a time.

  87. 87
    opiejeanne says:

    @Cassidy: Yeah, yeah, but do you know about the Other Phantom? The musical with music and lyrics by Maury Yeston and a book by Arthur Kopit? Some critics like it even better, and it’s more like an operetta than the ALW version.
    I’ve seen both and I’d say it’s a push, they’re both excellent. This version lost it’s Broadway backers when ALW announced his London version was moving to Broadway.

  88. 88
    PurpleGirl says:

    @eemom: Rosalind Russell or Angela Lansbury. Not Lucille Ball, no way, no how.

  89. 89
    Anne Laurie says:

    @lamh36: Or young Whoopie Goldberg seeing Lt. Uhura for the first time: “There’s a Black lady on the TV and she ain’t no maid!!!”…

    Y’know, given Hollywood’s idea of Hipness, I think they threw away a tankloader full of money not giving us a steampunk Annie. Don’t know the musical, but I grew up reading old comic collections and the whole ‘magical world of Daddy Warbucks’ had a major Victorian-Gothic vibe…

  90. 90
  91. 91
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cassidy: God, I hate Andrew Lloyd Webber.

  92. 92
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @efgoldman: I would completely love to do that!

  93. 93
    opiejeanne says:

    @Amir Khalid: Rending is the right term, in this case.

  94. 94
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    There’s simply no need for a journalist to intrude on people’s grief at such a time.

    Oh, there’s plenty of need$$$$$ for it. It’s all about the ratings in the US, and local news is really big on grief stricken relatives, and asking them “how they feel” right now.

    Gotta be every bit as mercenary as William Holden and Faye Dunaway in Network.

  95. 95
    Suzanne says:

    @efgoldman: I unapologetically love Les Miz. Wasn’t so into the movie, because Crowe sucked as Javert, and he is the best part of the story. But I think it’s a great musical.

  96. 96
    mdblanche says:

    @efgoldman:

    Where’s Anna Russell when we really need her?

    Here she is!

  97. 97
    Suzanne says:

    @opiejeanne: I prefer Ruthie Henshall’s version to Patti LuPone’s. Patti doesn’t seem frail or beat down. Ruthie seems pissed. It works.

  98. 98
    gwangung says:

    As a theatre person, I’m not beholden to the original. I’m always looking for superlative performances. And every performance is different…searching for that super performance is always a fun thing…

  99. 99
    NotMax says:

    @PurpleGirl

    Add Ginger Rogers, who had a very successful run.

  100. 100
    Anne Laurie says:

    This is the trailer Tim F refers to, right?

    Looks… perfectly cromulent, in the best Hollywood-innocuous way. Both Ms. Wallis and Ms. Diaz seem up to their respective roles.

  101. 101
    opiejeanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: he’s not a patch on Sondheim.

  102. 102
    opiejeanne says:

    @Suzanne: Ok, I take it back. I haven’t heard that version, just the three others that were out at the same time as Ms Lupone’s, and we were using it for a dance number. Her version was the only one that worked.

  103. 103
    efgoldman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    God, I hate Andrew Lloyd Webber.

    I’m with you. FSM’s got nothing to do with it.

  104. 104
    Suffern ACE says:

    Nope. I take it back. Even if Angela Lansbury wasn’t available, Rosalind would have done at least a passable job.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....038;sns=em

  105. 105
    opiejeanne says:

    @Anne Laurie: That looks excellent.

  106. 106
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @opiejeanne: That trailer does not cause me to want to see the film. Of course, no trailer would cause me to want to see the film. OTOH, I ain’t the target audience, are I?.

  107. 107
    🍀 Martin says:

    Conservatives should LOVE the idea of a black Annie, given how often they argue that African Americans should be conservatives because of black genocide. Black orphans are their whole selling argument here, why not show how cute and talented they’ll be?

  108. 108
    efgoldman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I would completely love to do that!

    We’re all waiting for the announcement of the Grand Tour.

  109. 109
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @🍀 Martin:

    Black children should not be seen outside their natural setting, which is a cotton field.

  110. 110
    cckids says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    Whoa! Whoever said Carol Burnett was miscast as Miss Hannigan at any stage whatsoever??? That’s the kind of casting you hear about and jump for joy that you’re alive to see it.

    Carol was wonderful. The direction for that movie was horrifyingly bad (thanks, John Huston). The kids were those mugging, “Hollywood cute” abominations who are unlike any actual human child you will ever meet.

    A decent remake of Annie aired on TV in 1999 years ago, with Kathy Bates as Miss Hannigan & Victor Garber as Warbucks, also Kristen Chenowith & Audra McDonald. It was well done, always excusing the actual script/book.

    It was before Twitter, but the racist asses were out then,too, because Audra McDonald & Garber had an interracial relationship as Warbucks & Grace. They never change or grow up, do they?

  111. 111
    🍀 Martin says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: True. Quite the conundrum.

  112. 112
    Violet says:

    @Amir Khalid: Just came here to see if you were on and had any info. Hope they find the plane. Fearing the worst.

  113. 113
    Anne Laurie says:

    @opiejeanne: I’m developing a theory that — even in the tiny minority of people who enjoy watching song&dance theatre — there are people who like musicals, and people who like Sondheim.

    There doesn’t seem to be a lot of overlap between the two; some people like Company, and others like Les Miserables, and each side rolls their eyes about the other group’s taste.

  114. 114
    cckids says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’d hope not. Given your commenting history here, I’d hate to think you are a girl under 10 years old. :)

  115. 115
    ruemara says:

    This is an odd, OT story. Last year I had an interview that was the most bizarre one I’ve had in a while. It was for a very… controlling animal behaviourist that had the makings of a media empire. It took nearly 3 hours and featured 2 group interviews and a skills test. I could tell that the grand dame was middling on me, since I was very not an impressive person for her, but her main assistant looked like if she could, she’d push me into a well. I was hopeful, but fairly sure if the assistant had her way, I wasn’t going to get it.

    Fast Forward.

    Met up with a friend and we were chattering about this and that and I mentioned that it was great she could make time to see me, since both she and her husband have travel heavy jobs and it’s hard to get time with each other much less make time for other friends. “Oh, he’s working in your town now, with a regular schedule.” “Where?” “For Dr. So and so. It’s been great” “WHAAAA–??” Turns out the assistant approved another person to hire, and that person fully made up his credentials except for editing. Then, once he took the job, refused to do anything other than edit. My friend was called in to do some contract shooting and they figured once he turned out to be good, they could fire the other guy. But then the other guy up and quit.

    Bob as my witless. I’m blown away that they went for fake resume guy, tiptoed around him while he refused to do the work and then my friend kinda walks into the job. That was a 3 hour interview and they went with the cheater. ja-heez.

  116. 116
    John Revolta says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    They talk to the sister
    The father and the mother
    With a microphone in one hand and a checkbook in the other
    And the camera noses in to the tears on her face
    The tears on her face
    The tears on her face
    You can put them back together with your paper and paste
    But you can’t put them back together
    You can’t put them back together

  117. 117
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    That trailer does not cause me to want to see the film. Of course, no trailer would cause me to want to see the film. OTOH, I ain’t the target audience, are I?.

    Bingo. It’s not a film I’d choose to see, but if I thought I’d be stuck with a couple of overexcited sugared-up middle-school relatives to entertain any time between Xmas and school vacation week, this trailer would make me put this film on my checklist — noisy enough to keep them enthralled, quiet enough not to make me want to puncture my own eardrums.

  118. 118
    kdaug says:

    Stay coolie cool, boy.

  119. 119
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Violet:
    MH370 would have exhausted its fuel reserve hours ago, and it has not landed at any alternative airport.
    MAS (that’s what we call Malaysia Airlines around here) has announced a breakdown of the passengers’ nationalities: 153 Chinese nationals, 38 Malaysians, 12 Indonesians, six Australians, three French, four Americans, two Ukrainians, two New Zealanders, two Canadians, one Russian, one Taiwan, one Italian, one Dutch and one Austrian.

  120. 120
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anne Laurie: Eh, I’d take the kids to an R rated thing. My Aunt [redacted] took me to an overnight Wood Allen thing – years later I understood the orgasmatron thing…. Uncles and aunts may have a duty to show the kids something new.

  121. 121
    Suzanne says:

    @Amir Khalid: I have a feeling that they’ve found that plane.

  122. 122
    NotMax says:

    Now that it’s beyond actual little kiddies’ bedtime, which African-American should play Little Annie Fanny?

  123. 123
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: Beyonce, duh.

  124. 124
    MomSense says:

    @ruemara:

    A million lights are shining and there you are a shooting star!

  125. 125
    Hobbes says:

    I’d guess they probably cast Mr Fox first. The racists who hate a black Annie would have conniptions if he was adopting a little white girl.

  126. 126
    efgoldman says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    there are people who like musicals, and people who like Sondheim.

    There are also people who love both (me, mrs efgoldman, many of our friends,relatives, and acquaintances) but can’t abide Lloyd-Webber or Schonberg.
    Whatever you may think of Rodgers and Hammerstein, or Sondheim, or Gershwin, or Cole Porter, or Frank Loesser, or Irving Berlin, or even Meredith Willson, their musicals are full of songs, each unique and different from the others. ALW and CMS write a melody, and then give it “treatments” all through the show.
    Plus ALW should never be forgiven for inflicting Sarah Brightman on the classical music world.

  127. 127
  128. 128
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Trailers don’t necessarily tell you if the movie’s any good. If one piqued my curiosity enough, I’d see the movie even if I thought the trailer made it look unpromising.

  129. 129
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Hobbes: nah. This movie, Annie was cast first. It was put together as a vehicle for Will Smith’s daughter. Since he was an initiator, I’m not certain why she backed out.

  130. 130
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: ALW is evil. Pure evil. Someone who simply must be destroyed.

  131. 131
    Violet says:

    @Amir Khalid: It does not look good. I guess there’s still faint hope it could have had a successful water landing, but I know that’s a longshot. Sigh.

  132. 132
    efgoldman says:

    @Joel:

    Ruin a classic, genre-defining musical?, been there, done that.

    Gah! Just Menahem Golen’s name is enough to give me hives!
    I was unaware of this abomination, and I’d like it to stay that way.

  133. 133
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Joel: Nothing personal, but if I ever meet you in person, I will have to stab you several times.

  134. 134
    efgoldman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Someone who simply must be destroyed.

    Too late, I’m afraid. He’s made his bazillions and gone back to his mountain top cave with the moat and flaming cauldrons of oil… in B-flat.

  135. 135
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Since he was an initiator, I’m not certain why she backed out.

    What I saw (Fug Girls, probably), Willow decided she didn’t want to be a movie star — “I just wanna be twelve, Daddy!” Her brother seems to have enjoyed his early movie experience (although the critics sure weren’t kind about After Earth) but I can imagine a little girl deciding she didn’t want follow her sib’s footsteps.

  136. 136
    Violet says:

    Why don’t people like Andrew Lloyd Webber? Is it a personal thing–like he’s an ass? Or is it his musicals? Or both?

    What’s wrong with his musicals, if that’s what people don’t like? He’s got a different style from old school Lerner and Lowe or Rogers and Hammerstein or Sondheim, but he’s still talented.

  137. 137
    rikyrah says:

    1. Can’t wait to take Peanut to see Annie.
    2. I love The Phantom of the Opera. I have worn out two CD’s of the original London recording. I have seen it in five different cities. I just found the 25th anniversary concert on Netflix this week and spent an afternoon listening to it.
    3. I adore Les Miz, and even accepted Crowe in the movie. The concert anniversary videos are wonderful.
    4. I also love Sondheim.

  138. 138
    NotMax says:

    @Anne Laurie

    After Earth? 100 minutes of tryptophan. A turkey big enough to provide Thanksgiving dinner to a small country and have enough left over for doggie bags for all.

  139. 139
    John Revolta says:

    It was put together as a vehicle for Will Smith’s daughter. Since he was an initiator, I’m not certain why she backed out.

    After Earth may have had something to do with it.

    Also, ALW’s new show just closed in the West End after four lousy months.
    So there’s that.

  140. 140
    Amir Khalid says:

    @rikyrah:
    There’s only one thing wrong with the 25th anniversary concert: Nick Jonas is not up to scratch as Marius. He looks and sounds too young, as though he were still playing Eponine’s kid brother (which he did as the last Gavroche of the original Broadway run).

  141. 141
    Hobbes says:

    @Suffern ACE: Thank you. I was unaware of that.

  142. 142
    Amir Khalid says:

    Vietnamese Navy is saying MH370 crashed into the sea. It is sending ships to the area to look for wreckage and survivors.

  143. 143
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Anne Laurie:
    The critics did like Jaden in The Pursuit of Happyness and the Karate Kid remake.

  144. 144
    cckids says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Trailers don’t necessarily tell you if the movie’s any good. If one piqued my curiosity enough, I’d see the movie even if I thought the trailer made it look unpromising

    I believe Hitchcock once said, that if he could only have one or the other, he’d choose to have a great trailer over a great film, because it would still be a hit.

    I have no idea if that is true, but it is a great line.

  145. 145
    cckids says:

    @rikyrah: I’m with you. I just like musicals, don’t care about people who hate them – don’t go see them! Yes, I even sat thru Xanadu (ok, I was 15), and didn’t hate it.

    Like what you like, people.

  146. 146
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Amir Khalid: I saw that in Fathom Events. I thought the same thing, especially when Michael Ball comes out in the encore. The first note out of his throat and the audience erupted.

  147. 147
    Aimai says:

    @Anne Laurie: A little princess, basically.

  148. 148
    Matt McIrvin says:

    “Is it too much to ask for Batman-worthy thugs, outer space or a gyrocopter?”

    I don’t know… the 1982 movie added in the gyrocopter, a couple of embarrassing “ethnic” action characters from the comic strip and some chase sequences, and it really didn’t work well.

  149. 149
    ThresherK says:

    My two cents: Les Miz Le Film was live-recorded, wasn’t it? Why, in gawd’s name? Did we learn nothing from “Singin’ in the Rain” (or the early 70s flop, also live-sung-to-film, “At Long Last Love”, with a singing Burt Reynolds) about how that doesn’t work?

    Curious if the new Annie will be ’30s set. Also, any truth to the idea that Daddy Warbucks will be renamed “Benjamin Stacks”? (i.e. stacks of $100 bills?)

  150. 150
    AdamK says:

    I hate Annie. Hate it. Die, Annie, die!

  151. 151
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    Two thoughts.

    One, I loved the 1982 movie solely because I’m a huge Carol Burnett fan. Anyone who thought she was miscast had never seen her perform.

    Two, if you loved Phantom, do not, under any circumstances, see the sequel.

  152. 152
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @ThresherK: Bill Stacks is the new name for Daddy Warbucks. I thought Benjamin, too, but close!

  153. 153
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Why, in a town where people are paid a shit ton of money to come up with great ideas for a movie, is a remake of a mediocre 37 year old musical the best that they can do? Fuck me, how about a remake of “seven Brides for Seven Brothers” starring Justin Bieber and the Black Eyed Peas?

  154. 154
    shelly says:

    So, noone’s twitter-complaining that it’s been changed to contemporary times? No nostalgic Depression era?
    ************
    I’m just glad Sandy isn’t the usual Benji-type mutt.

  155. 155
    Nora says:

    You are really missing a bet if you don’t listen to the Sweeney Todd soundtrack of the most recent Broadway version, with Patti LuPone and Michael Cerveris. Saw the show on Broadway, a stripped down powerhouse, and it just blew me away. Having seen that first, I’m kind of lukewarm on the original, which doesn’t feel half as threatening/scary to me.

  156. 156
    efgoldman says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Fuck me, how about a remake of “seven Brides for Seven Brothers” starring Justin Bieber and the Black Eyed Peas?

    Now that made me laugh.
    Gotta’ wonder how many people on this blog (or anywhere else) even remember Seven Brides… or ever saw it.

  157. 157

    @cckids:

    As I’ve said before, the 1980s version of “Annie” is the first movie I can remember seeing and thinking, Well, that sucked. Already a critic at age 12 or so.

    I’m looking forward to this version and hoping my 14-year-old niece won’t be too jaded to want to see it. (My younger niece lives in Chicago, so I don’t get to see her at Christmas. Plus her great-aunt is a HUGE fan of “Annie,” so she’ll probably take her.)

  158. 158

    @efgoldman:

    Don’t get me started on that film (and G hates it more than I do). Who thought that basing a musical on the legend of the rape of the Sabine women would be a good idea? Ewwwwww.

  159. 159

    Also, too, a couple of recommendations for musical fans:

    The “Six by Sondheim” documentary they did on HBO was really fascinating — it may be on DVD for non-subscribers by now. There’s a lot of interesting insider stuff, like how “Send in the Clowns” was written specifically for Glynis Johns’s voice.

    Also, “Saving Mr. Banks.” Yes, Walt Disney is a character in it, but it’s really about the process of writing the songs for “Mary Poppins” and the scenes in the writers’ room are taken from the actual tapes made during the sessions. Plus Emma Thompson and Colin Farrell are fabulous.

  160. 160
    Tehanu says:

    @NotMax:
    Never saw Zero on stage, alas, but the production of A Funny Thing that will always live in my heart is the 1972 revival with Phil Silvers as Pseudolus and Larry Blyden as Hysterium. Wikipedia btw says that Silvers was the original choice for Pseudolus and they only cast Zero when he turned it down.

    I also agree that Julie Andrews was, and is, the only Liza Doolittle for My Fair Lady. If I had a time machine I would use it to go to the Broadway opening night of that show. I did see her (from the first row, too) in Victor, Victoria and she was wonderful.

    My favorite musical ever, though, is Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Norbert Leo Butz in, well, anything, onstage.

  161. 161
    Tehanu says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Uncles and aunts may have a duty to show the kids something new.

    Couldn’t agree more. It’s good for kids to be exposed to things they don’t quite understand yet; it broadens their horizons. Things that seem odd stick in their minds and generate curiosity and openness to the new. Sure, you can go too far — I’m not suggesting abandoning all judgment about suitability — but I still think the open attitude is better than spoon-feeding only stuff that’s “suitable.”

  162. 162
    Svensker says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Yes! His stuff is PUTRID.

    Thank you.

  163. 163

    Speaking of non traditional casting, I saw an interview with George Takei where he said that his dream role was to play Willy Loman in an all-Asian version of “Death of a Salesman” and I can’t believe no one has done that yet (though, sadly, Takei himself is probably too old for the role since he’s in his 70s or 80s). An all-Latino cast would work really well, too

  164. 164
    Svensker says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    how about a remake of “seven Brides for Seven Brothers” starring Justin Bieber and the Black Eyed Peas?

    Sounds great! How soon can you run it up?

  165. 165
    julia says:

    I love musical theater; my oldest child is a NYC-based performer. So we are both pretty picky about what is “good” or not. That being said, I love many shows and many composers. My favorites are Kander & Ebb and Sondheim; Loesser is amazing as well but didn’t have the huge output. ALW is not my cup of tea generally, although he writes some beautiful melodies and diva songs. And “Evita” is a very strong show. I unabashedly love “Les Mis” even though I see and understand completely the negatives. My issue with the movie had to do mainly with the live recording of the music. I get where Hooper was trying to go, but it would have sounded a million times better with sound stage recording. For me, the thrill and emotion of the stage show just did not transfer to film effectively. The new “Annie”? Since half the songs reference FDR and the Depression, interested to see what they are replaced with. I have no problem with the color-blind casting, but I just feel “meh” since I know the book, songs and characters have had to be changed drastically. No Rooster and Lily, for example?

  166. 166
    Anne Laurie says:

    @efgoldman: I saw it, when it first came out. Even read the story it was based on — Stephen Vincent Benet’s The Sobbin’ Women. Knew it was “tongue-in-check” even then — “tongue so firmly in cheek, as to protrude from the vulgar bodily orifice”…

    Beiber’s the wrong star, though. What you want is to get Miley Cyrus as ‘Milly”, and have her send her urban brothers-in-law down to the Mouse Compound to kidnap a half-dozen Disney tween starlets, who after a few months of detox decide they’d rather live in Carl Hiaasen’s world than go back to being robots on TV…

  167. 167
    Heliopause says:

    A black Annie makes perfect sense to me

    An Annie of any race, creed, religion, or species makes no sense at all to me. This is shit that should have been retired about 1934.

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