Tuesday Tunes: The Musical

Between the 1930s and the 1960s musicals were the done thing, they produced box office hits like Singin’ In The RainThe Wizard of OzWestside Story, and Cabaret. The big musical production could show off a cast of triple-threat stars like no other. Sadly what goes up must come down, and while they have never fully disappeared, musicals seemed to fade from public favor around the 1970s. In recent years, since the popularity of High School Musical, musicals seem to be making a heavy comeback with hits like HairsprayBurlesqueMamma Mia, and Les Misérable. Musicals may never make a full recovery to their former glory but its becoming attractive enough that Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin and Bryan Cranston didn’t seem to think twice before signing up for Rock of Ages. It is worth noting that during the time when musicals lost favor with audiences a few exceptions came about. Today MoviefiedNYC presents the “Top 5 Exceptional Musicals”.

—Sinann Fetherston

1. The Blues Brothers

In 1980, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi became Jake and Elwood, better known as The Blues Brothers. This movie starred Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Cab Calloway, Chaka Khan, and John Lee Hooker. If that doesn’t make up one of the finest musicals of all time, nothing will. The film follows the two brothers as they try to get their band back together to raise money for the Catholic home they were raised in. John Landis creates an homage to all things blues with lines like: “We’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.” It’s a classic.
The Most Dangerous Combination Since Nitro and Glycerine.

2. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

In 1975 The Rocky Horror Picture Show became an instant cult classic that included a young, wide eyed Susan Sarandon, a transvestite Tim Curry, and a myriad of strange and unusual characters. The film may not have received any critical acclaim on arrival but in 2005 it won it’s place in the National Film Registry. The movie’s strange assembly of characters, songs, and costumes has made it a cult classic that is still celebrated today with Rocky Horror audience participation screenings as well as being celebrated in movies such as 2012’s Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Another Kind Of Rocky

3. Moulin Rouge!

In 2001 Baz Luhrmann created a world of absinthe, green fairies, courtesans, and poets all set to a 20th century soundtrack. The year is 1899 but the Moulin Rouge can-can dancers are dancing to Nirvana. The film is all things Luhrmann: fantastical, over the top, epic, and steeped in tragic love. The two lovers, Satine and Christian, are put through a series of trials and tribulations that are played out through song and dance. Music from just about everyone, including Elton John, Madonna, David Bowie are included, along with the film’s original songs.

Above All Things This Story Is About Love

4. Chicago

In 2002 Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, John C. Reilly, Richard Gere, and Queen Latifah banded together under the direction of Rob Marshall to make Chicago. The movie was a huge success, winning 6 of its 13 Oscar nominations and 3 of its 8 Golden Glob nominations. The film follows two murderous women destined for fame in 1920s Chicago. They sing and dance their way through fantasy, fame, and murderous rampage while their lawyers, husbands, and matrons look on. The movie has been cleverly transferred from stage to screen and the result is highly entertaining.

If You Can’t Be Famous, Be Infamous.

5. Grease

Possibly one of the greatest guilty pleasure movies of all time, Grease tells the story of Danny and Sandy, two young love birds who must deal with the issues of peer pressure, gossip, pink ladies and black jacket greasers. Of course the only appropriate way to battle these issues is through song and luckily for us all the songs are exceptionally catchy.
Grease is the word.

Don’t forget to tweet us @MoviefiedNYC #TuesdayTunes


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