Cabaret

All posts in the Cabaret category

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Helen Morgan and Lillian Roth

Published October 8, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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Helen Morgan’s lovely take on Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man from Show Boat is used to grand effect in Alfred Sole’s unusually powerful horror effort Alice, Sweet Alice. Introducing the pivotal presence of Mr. Alphonso, a creepy landlord who antagonistically preys upon the title character, Sole uses this number in the background to illustrate the strange emotional landscape of this sometimes pitiful, always unsavory character.

Morgan (above left), who died of alcoholism at an early age, had two biographies filmed of her life and troubled times. In an interesting coincidence, Sole cast Lillian Roth (above right), a singer and actress in the tradition of Morgan, in a small but pivotal role of a pathologist in the film. In reality, Roth’s path echoed Morgan’s on many levels, adding a nice layer of show business coincidence to this well loved film, which was recently given the deluxe Blu-ray treatment from Arrow Video. As with Morgan, Roth’s life was given a cinematic appraisal by Susan Hayward, who was nominated for an Oscar for her work, in I’ll Cry Tomorrow.

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Cowardly Scarecrow Announces Cabaret

Published August 27, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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The Chicago theater community has, as a friend likes to say, “Huge News!!!” Cowardly Scarecrow Productions has recently announced its fall production of Cabaret, beginning on October 5th, 2019. Renowned for their long running production of Musical of the Living Dead, this version of the Kander & Ebb classic is sure to be filled with this production house’s finely tuned sense of the gothic. No macabre essence of this piece is sure to go unexplored here.

This version is also armed with the undeniable talents of Caitlin Jackson (above), this site’s choice as the Midwest’s premium diva of the silver tongued boards! Jackson, who was recently nominated for a Jeff Award for her skillful performance of Cheryl in (last year’s hysterically fun, progressive version of) Evil Dead: The Musical, is sure to create a Sally Bowles for the memory books!

Cowardly Scarecrow Benefit Picture

Local enthusiasts can help CSP achieve their ultimate creative intentions by attending a benefit for them on August 31st: https://www.facebook.com/events/2426383007409353/.

Others, meanwhile, can hum charmingly off key versions of Tomorrow Belongs to Me while checking out the show’s growth at https://www.cowardlyscarecrow.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/CSTCINC/.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Dietz and Schwartz

Published August 18, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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Composed for the 1931 Broadway show The Bandwagon, Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz’s classic tune Dancing in the Dark has found its way into many films, including a self titled offering in 1949 starring William Powell. Of course, many of these movies feature the song with an emphasis on its classic, moody jazz tones – much like this live version by the irreplaceable Sarah Vaughan.

The gloomier implications of its title, though, have helped this distinguished number find a home in a number of horror projects including 1988’s Twice Dead and 1995’s Lord of Illusions. Nicely, the version in the latter film was dominated, ominously, by avant garde singing sensation Diamanda Galas.

Meanwhile, Dietz and Schwartz, whose other well known compositions include That’s Entertainment and I Guess I’ll Have to Change My Plans, are given a nice career overview at https://masterworksbroadway.com/artist/howard-dietz-and-arthur-schwartz/.

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Duo

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Barbara Cook

Published July 7, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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She was one of the queens of the Broadway stage and the cabaret circuit. But the multi-talented Barbara Cook also took a turn towards the gothic as one of Hitchcock’s famously conflicted blondes in the A Little Sleep episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

Long considered to possess one of the sweetest, nuanced soprano voices, Cook was a 2011 Kennedy Center Honoree and, appropriately, received many other honors (including a Tony Award) before her death in 2017 at the age of 89.

Barbara Cook Kennedy

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Robert Goulet

Published June 30, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Robert Goulet Beefcake

Best known for his exquisite musical performances, the handsome Robert Goulet enlivened Tim Burton’s horror fueled comedy Beetlejuice with his majestic smoothness.

Thus, as Pride Month jogs healthily to a close, a melody of Cole Porter tunes done in Goulet’s impressive style seems like the perfect way to lower the curtain on June’s rainbow fueled activities.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

Robertgoulet beetlejuice

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Lena Horne

Published June 9, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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She is the essence of smooth cool… a proud performer whose reign at MGM in the ‘40s was compromised by racism. She held her head high, though, and after tiring of being used predominantly in specialty numbers (that were often cut out of the pictures in the southern states), she triumphantly returned to concert halls and cabarets to make her living.

 

Simply stated, Lena Horne is a goddess and while her connection to horror films is limited to the use of her music in an episode of American Horror Story, her uncompromising stance in the face of adversity is something that every genre lover can admire.lena motion

 

 

Her take on The Beatles’ Rocky Raccoon also points out the fact that no style was immune to her charms. She most definitely would have made a sophisticated yet sassy rock n roller!

She would have punked out with a humanitarian edge, though. In one of her final interviews before her death in 2010 at the age of 92, Horne kept on insisting that the way to true success was to “Just be nice to people”…”Just be nice to people!” Let’s take her advice and keep her magnetic spirit alive for decades to come!

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Anita Ellis

Published April 22, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Anita Ellis

Providing the ‘40s singing voice for everyone from MGM’s Vera Ellen to the stunning Rita Haworth, the versatile Anita Ellis earned her terror pedigree by having her vocals included in the 1964 horror cheese fest The Flesh Eaters. The sister of Larry Kert, the gay actor-singer who found acclaim in the original stage production of West Side Story, Ellis eventually courted success as a jazz singer in her latter day career – even though a particularly vicious form of stage fright often robbed her of her voice.

Still, her talent and skill will forever reverberate in numbers such as this.

Meanwhile, a more complete biography of this magnificent performer is available at https://www.oldies.com/artist-biography/Anita-Ellis.html.

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Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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