February 10, 2003
A Tale of Two Musicals

So it was a musical-rich weekend.

I saw Chicago on Saturday and was impressed. Now, I like a) jazz and b) musicals, but hate a) Richard Gere and b) Renιe Zellweger. So I like to think I went in with a neutral bias. But the movie is great, and not just for all the skimpy outfits:
– DON'T expect much plot. DO expect hot chix behind bars.
– The Murderess' Tango is amazing. And not just for the costumes.
– Richard Gere is still very very annoying. And he sings in a strange kind of pseudo-accent that make me want to hurt him more than usual.
– When you put Zellweger and Zeta-Jones beside each other there is NO comparison. Zeta-Jones is an amazing dancer and sings grandly (though I expect Studio Magic should receive some of the praise). Zellweger dances poorly and just doesn't have the chops.
– John C. Reilly has the best number in the movie. Really.

Sunday night I saw Evita at Theatre Calgary. I hadn't seen the play before, nor had I seen the Madonna version. Now, given the venue the production values weren't exactly off the scale but I was still entertained:
– The guy who played Chι was the Emcee in the performance of Cabaret last year. He's stolen the show both times. He got more applause than the woman who played Evita.
– Having heard the songs from the musical on tape, I was surprised at the placement of some of them. For instance, "Another Suitcase..." is not sung by Evita but by the woman she's replacing as Peron's mistress. And "Don't Cry for Me..." is a plea for the people to accept her as the first lady, and not after she finds out she's dying (as I thought).
– I think ALW deserves his rep (with some) as a hack. The play recycles the same tunes (especially "Don't Cry...") over and over again, just in a different tempo and with different words. Also, one of the songs sounded a lot like "Memory" from Cats, and another a lot like a song from Starlight Express (don't know the name). I compare this to Chicago, with each song different from the last, and grow displeased.
– Paraphrased drom the program, regarding the Madonna movie: "... a movie version, featuring Madonna and the flashy latin star Antonio Banderas..."

So Chicago is worth seeing, and Evita too if you live in Calgary.

Posted by savidant at February 10, 2003 03:32 PM
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