Musicals

All posts in the Musicals category

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Barbara Stanwyck

Published September 8, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

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One of the most distinctive and skilled of the golden age performers, Barbara Stanwyck excelled in dramas (Stella Dallas, My Reputation), gritty noir classics (Double Indemnity, The File on Thelma Jordan) and comedy (Ball of Fire, Christmas in Connecticut). Several of the films that she embraced with her throaty presence in the ‘40s and ‘50s, including the tautly melodramatic Two Mrs. Carrolls and the chilling Sorry, Wrong Number, also featured significant elements of the horror canon.

Nicely, she fully embraced the genre in such latter day projects as William Castle’s The Night Walker and ‘70s television films like A Touch of Evil and The House That Would Not Die (above).

As with many silver screen damsels with numerous credits, a percentage of her saucy, hardened characters sang. Occasionally, she was dubbed by more skilled vocalists. But with projects such as the fun and frisky Lady of Burlesque, her own whisky tones were allowed to sell the tune.

Nicely, https://www.barbara-stanwyck.com/, a fan created site, plays eternal homage to this one of a kind icon and golden throat nominee.

Lady of burlesque

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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/.

Duo Dietz.jpg

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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: Jane Summerhays

Published May 12, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Jane Summerhays

One of Broadway’s true treasures, Jane Summerhays also brought her vital energy to Let the Games Begin, a third season episode of the George Romero created anthology series Tales From The Darkside.

Of course, Summerhays frequently gave veteran theater goers the chills. Who can forget her amazing work with Ann Miller in Sugar Babies and Eartha Kitt in The Wild Party? No one, that’s who!!!

Nicely, the footage below shows her in her prime from the original production of A Chorus Line.

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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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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Shirley Jones

Published March 31, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

Shirely

Roles in Oklahoma, Carousel and The Music Man pegged the exquisite Shirley Jones as one of America’s true sweethearts. Glossy production numbers on variety specials, like the one below, only enhanced that image.

But every performer has a dual nature. Jones, who won an Academy Award for playing a lady of the evening in Elmer Gantry, has been nicely showing hers in such latter day horror productions as Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th and Zombie Night. If that isn’t proof of her full bounty of talent then I don’t know what is!

Shriek_If_You_Know_What_I_Did_Last_Friday_the_Thirteenth

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