Musicals

All posts in the Musicals category

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Melba Moore

Published September 23, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

 

Melba read

From the gilded Broadway stages to poverty row, the luminescent Melba Moore has seen it all. Her appearances in Def By Temptation and The Mandrake Root episode of Monsters also prove that she likes to put a little fear into the hearts of her devoted fans.

Further showing her eclectic nature, Moore, known for the fluidity of her rhythm and blues crooning, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Female Rock Performance for her sexy take on Read My Lips, the title track of her successful 1985 album.

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Man Meat

Published August 12, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

 

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The one thing that has always struck me as both unique and heartbreaking about the theatrical performance is its impermanence. Once it is done, it’s done and if you weren’t there, it isn’t even a vaporous speck in your consciousness. Of course occasionally, whether in rehearsal or secretively done during a performance, footage can be recorded for posterity.

Such is the case with Zombie Bathhouse: A Rock Musical. I wrote the book for this show that premiered during the Halloween season in Chicago last fall. Along with the ghastly limb chewing action and romance – (Yes, romance. This was a musical, after all.) – that occurred onstage; some ghostly presence got some recorded evidence of the show. Now we have a super cool music video of one of composer-lyricist Scott Free’s most aggressive numbers, Man Meat.

Nicely, this leaves an imprint for both the work of director Dan Foss and one of the show’s inspirations, Joey Kissling. Foss, who was suffering from kidney and heart disease, died nine days after the close of the show. His imaginativeness helped flesh out the show’s structure and his love for the cast allowed everyone to overcome the emotional hurdles involved with mounting a larger production with ease.  Kissling, meanwhile, provided the spiritual outline for Michael, the show’s conflicted and defiant lead. Kissling succumbed to an aggressive form of cancer in the spring of 2016 and Michael was created in his honor. Now, thanks to the existence of this video, they both have a more permanent and much deserved legacy.

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Dan Foss directing the ZB cast.

For those interested in the production itself, please feel free to visit www.zombiebathhouse.net/.

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

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Music To Make Horror Movies By: Ann Sothern

Published July 29, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

 

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In a career spanning 60 years, the magnetic Ann Sothern mastered everything from the pratfalls of delightful physical comedy to the art of pulling heartstrings, subtly, in the form of classic musicals. As many Pre-Code beauties before her, Sothern also dabbled in the darker avenues offered by such Gothic outings as Lady in a Cage, The Killing Kind and The Manitouann sothern lady in a cage

 

1948’s Words and Music, nicely, gave Sothern a justifiably deserved Technicolor moment as she, feelingly, asked Where’s That Rainbow?

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Fred Astaire

Published June 24, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

 

fred astaire

The essence of cool suave in an every man’s persona, Fred Astaire lit up dozens of enjoyable musicals for a stretch of over twenty years.

His final role in the film adaptation of Peter Straub’s powerful Ghost Story, meanwhile, saw him adding a nice helping of contemplative sorrow to the spooky proceedings.

Of course, this celluloid ease was put to grand display in The Gay Divorcee, one of the classics that he made with Ginger Rogers, his most notable dancing partner. Cole Porter’s Night and Day may have been sung better by others, but it never looked more grandly elegant.

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Dorothy Lamour

Published May 20, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

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The glorious Dorothy Lamour was probably best known for the multiple Road pictures that she did with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope (and for the vibrant wraparound dresses that she wore in them) in Hollywood’s golden age. There, and in other brightly filmed projects, she often burst into inventive song. Anthology buffs, though, probably know her best as the doomed Martha Spruce in the Old Chief Wooden’head episode of Creepshow 2. Thankfully, she had a much more colorful (and happier) role in Cecil DeMille’s grandiose The Greatest Show on Earth.

Lamour, who also appeared in the fun  1975 television terror Death at Love House also showed some new generation teens how to sell a production number in 1964’s Pajama Party.

Saying sarong…and until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Horror Mash-up: Maureen O’Hara and Maria Ouspenskaya

Published April 28, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

Dance 3

The scarlet streaked Maureen O’Hara began her career in such gothic offerings as Jamaica Inn, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and the classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame, both featuring her mentor Charles Laughton. Famed as an acting teacher, the luminescent Maria Ouspenskaya is best remembered for the spooky warnings that she gave to the unfortunate Lon Chaney, Jr. in the original The Wolf Man. Reprising that favored role in Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman, Ouspenskaya also gave a humorously vibrant performance in the Universal shocker The Mystery of Marie RogetDance 2

Thankfully, these two dynamic forces met face-to-face in the 1940 romantic-comedy musical Dance, Girl, Dance. Here, O’Hara is the strong willed Judy O’Brien. Longing for a career as a professional dancer, O’Brien’s extreme pride finds her turning a blind eye to true offers of help while establishing herself as a joke act in burlesque – setting up her rival, Bubbles, played with sharp intent by Lucille Ball, for applause.

Ouspenskaya, meanwhile, plays O’Hara’s loving movement mentor, Madame Lydia Basilova. They two have a tender and affectionate relationship, one that is cut short when tragedy removes Basilova from the scene…just as she is about to help launch O’Brien on a true artistic journey.

lucille danceDirected by Dorothy Arzner, one of the few female directors working in Hollywood’s Golden Age, this truly enjoyable outing, nicely, has several moments of feminist intent. The last act, in particular, features a truly fiery O’Hara, excelling as O’Brien blasts society’s double standards with pointed fervor.

But, overall, this is simply just a fun romp wherein,  unsurprisingly, Ball nearly steals the show here with her snappy demeanor. But , importantly, it is O’Hara and Ouspenskaya  who decorate it with visual significance and real heart.

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

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Portia Nelson

Published April 8, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

portiaFor generations of children the scariest thing about the distinguished Portia Nelson was probably the fact that her decisive Sister Berthe didn’t like Julie Andrews’ lovable Maria in the 1965 film version of The Sound of Music. But Nelson’s friendship with author Tom Tryon actually resulted in a role with even more haunting consequences. Cast as Mrs. Rowe in the atmospheric film version of Tryon’s The Other, this eclectic artist found herself as a part of the cinematic universe of one of the most popular horror novels of the early ‘70s.

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But Nelson, who was also an influential author and songwriter, was perhaps best known for her work in the cabaret. Her beautiful soprano voice, which deepened adroitly with age, was nimble enough to find subtle meanings in the songs she sang, allowing listeners to, as her most popular lyrical composition attested, “make a rainbow” in their minds.

Nelson, whose poem Autobiography in Five Chapters is a notable tool for those in recovery, also battled cancer for many years. Ever the warrior, she, ultimately, lost her life to the disease, at the age of 80, in 2001.

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

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