CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.
CHICAGO – What is the remedy for the holiday blues? How about a dose of “Liza with a ‘Z’!” The sparkling and funny “We Three Lizas” is back for the holiday season from About Face Theatre of Chicago, just in time for the lights and tinsel. Danielle Plisz, Mark David Kaplan and Bethany Thomas play the three title Liza Minellis, with a deft direction by Scott Ferguson.
CHICAGO – It’s easy to see why “Cabaret” was such a phenomenon when it was released in 1972. The film not only tackles issues of sexuality that the musical genre had largely ignored up to that point, it features the kind of evocative visual compositions and performances not often seen in the genre. It is a “serious musical.”
CHICAGO – Critics were pretty hard on the remake of “Arthur” starring Russell Brand, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Garner, and Greta Gerwig (including our very own Patrick McDonald, who gave the film 2 stars out of five) and the film relatively bombed at the box office, opening in 2nd place to “Hop” and making only $12.7 million in its first frame with a lower per-screen average than “Hanna” or “Soul Surfer.” Now you can compare the new version to the award-winning original and its dreadful sequel in a 2-movie collection, now on Blu-ray.
CHICAGO – Those of you longing for a film version of “The Sopranos,” “Friends,” or “24” (all of which have been rumored at some point or another), should look no further than “Sex and the City 2,” which was recently released on Blu-Ray and DVD, for a cautionary tale. HBO’s “Sex and the City” was a fantastic comedy but both films based on it have been disastrous. Their only value is for filmmakers to learn what not to do with a creative property.