Burton Ballet

matthew-bourne-edward-scissorhands

I have my tickets, but do you?!

Yep, Matthew Bourne’s ballet reimagining of Tim Burton’s seminal ‘Edward Scissorhands’ is returning to the UK this year and into 2015. The New Adventures production of the dark fairytale follows last year’s Danny Elfman musical tribute in bringing the director’s best creations to a stage near you.

After having been dazzled by the show at Birmingham Hippodrome back in 2008, it took me less seconds than it does to snip scissors to snap up some tickets. I’d advise any Burton fans to book up now, as it captures the magic of the movie perfectly – even if, like me, you’re a ballet virgin to begin with! Trust me: you’ll be dancing like Winona around ice angels for the days following.

A Whole New World

Oh 1992, your cave of wonders was resplendent thanks to one magic carpet of a movie. ‘Aladdin’ is still the Prince Ali of Disney films, beating nostalgia kicks as evergreen awesome as ‘The Lion King’ and ‘The Little Mermaid’ thanks to its mix of tunes, magic, quality animation and Robin Williams in wisecracking big blue genie mode. I watch it at least once a year.

Which is why Aladdin coming to Broadway (and hopefully theatres beyond Midtown NYC) inspires a Christmas morning feeling in this street rat. The shining, shimmering, splendid Disney musical kicked off preview performances yesterday, with opening Broadway night scheduled for mid-March.

a whole new world

Adam Jacobs stars as the titular street urchin with Courtney Reed as Jasmine, with direction and choreography steered by Casey Nicholaw. Of course, it’s the music by Oscar winner Alan Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice and Howard Ashman that are the real draw for ’90s kid who still burst out a “Let’s not be too hastyyyy / Still I think he’s rather tastyyyy” when drunk. No, not me – erm, I know people…

Anyway, here’s hoping for the good reviews to come flying in ‘A Whole New World’ style so we have a new ‘Lion King’-size global hit on our hands so we don’t have to hop a plane to New York to see it. There’s one of my three wishes.

Opera to Travel Up Brokeback Mountain

opera

We’ll see if she’s still this happy when she walks into the tent…

Opera just got gayer! Yup, Rufus Wainwright’s favourite pastime is going gay with a new operatic version of a Hollywood hit – but no silly sniggering about bum notes, because the adaptation is of sobering Oscar-winning drama ‘Brokeback Mountain’.

Annie Proulx’s novella is perfect tragic material in keeping with the operatic tradition, and the Pulitzer winner has written the libretto for the new theatrical endeavour set to premiere in Madrid later this month.

brokeback mountain opera

The ‘cowboys in love’ saga famously starred Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal and won an Academy Award for director Ang Lee.

The new two-act opera features music by US composer Charles Wuorinen and will run from 28 January until 11 February at the Teatro Real. The project is a revival of an original commission made by the New York Opera in 2008 and is directed by Ivo van Hove.

Tori Gives Light to Musical Princess

tori amos the light princess

You’d be forgiven for glancing at the picture above and mistaking it for the album cover of Tori Amos’s early album ‘From the Choirgirl Hotel’. Take another look then, for this image is an entirely different proposition: it is a promotional still from the new musical ‘The Light Princess’, a theatrical fairytale featuring music penned by the flame-haired singer/songwriter herself.

Of course, Toriphiles will already have their tickets and the most devout Little Earthquakers will have already caught Amos’s debut theatre work during opening week. I shockingly am yet to purchase a ticket, but am greatly intrigued by the prospect of Amos translating her increasingly orchestra-led songcraft to the stage.

‘The Light Princess’ tells the tale of Althea, a princess who is unable to cry following the death of her mother and so becomes light with grief and floats away. With music and lyrics by the iconic Amos and a book by playwright Samuel Adamson, director Marianne Elliott’s play runs at the South Bank’s National Theatre until early January.

Danny Elfman #Scoregasm

All day, I’ve had the voice of Jack Skellington battling it out in my headspace with various mildly spooky refrains from some of my favourite Tim Burton films.

Danny Elfman

Despite remaining somewhat burnt over the lack of official tour programmes (the bladdy things were sold out soon after doors opened), the Birmingham stop of ‘Danny Elfman’s Music From the Films of Tim Burton’ was an amazing live show and a rare chance to hear highlights from the back catalogue of such a renowned film composer. By turns bombastic (the ‘da-da-da-dunnn’ of pre-Zimmerman ‘Batman’), elegant (the subdued majesty of ‘Big Fish’s climax) and downright scary (the Hammer horror of ‘Sleepy Hollow’), the concert saw the BBC Concert Orchestra tackle all 15 of the Burton/Elfman collabs.

Highlights? Well, all of it. But I can safely say I now want a theremin for Christmas, after the sci-fi suites of ‘Mars Attacks’ and ‘Frankenweenie’. The young soprano who led the choir on the ‘Alice In Wonderland’ theme also threatened to steal the show, but it was perhaps the films you would expect that had the audience of clear devotees (lots of black-and-white stripes on display) on the edge of their seats, goose-pimpling and getting a tad nostalgic. The ‘Ice Dance’ suite from ‘Edward Scissorhands’ was obviously gorgeous, while Elfman himself inspired at least two standing ovations with a perfectly performed medley of ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ songs, giving spindly-limbed life to both Skellington and Santa-napping nemesis Oogie Boogie.

Encore x 1000. Now, I really want this if someone would like to gift me a wad of cash. Maybe I’ll have to ask Sandy Claws…

Music From the Films of Tim Burton

American Psycho Doctor

Apologise for the hacket job below, but a hacket job really is on theme.

matt smith in american psycho

Fresh from news that Ben Affleck is to take over a role he made truly iconic, Christian Bale’s celluloid rendering of ‘American Psycho’ is to get a stage revamp by none other than frickin’ Doctor Who. Poor Affleck, as this casting twist has been a hit with fans who have flocked for tickets to the stage show of Bret Easton Ellis’s most controversial novel.

Hopefully, it will get an extended run as most of the initial December/January dates at London’s Almeida Theatre are already sold out. Which is news enough to get one’s nail gun from out the cupboard, or at least to axe some poor sop to death during a Huey Lewis & The News number. I wonder what the music will bring to the production, but Matt doing Ellis already has me more than intrigued.

What’s This?! Danny Elfman Tours UK

danny elfman music from the films of tim burton

Tim Burton fans are in for a treat without the requisite trick from Lock, Shock and Barrel. After the London Royal Albert Hall show sold out, it has been announced that Danny Elfman will tour ‘Music from the Films of Tim Burton’ in Leeds, Glasgow and Birmingham.

Cue geek explosions from Tim Burton fans across the UK, myself included. As the press release puts it, this ‘brand new orchestra event features Danny Elfman’s famous film scores brought to life on stage by the BBC Concert Orchestra under the baton of John Mauceri, and enhanced by visuals on the big screen of Tim Burton’s original film sketches, drawings and story boards.’ Featuring music from some of Burton’s biggest films – that’s you, ‘Edward Scissorhands’, ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’, ‘Beetlejuice’ and ‘Batman’ – these special shows will feature four-time Oscar nominee Elfman playing with the BBC Concert Orchestra and a 45-piece choir. Heck, he’ll even be singing the part of Jack Skellington – WHAT’S THIS?!

If you couldn’t tell, I’m a wee bit excited. Here’s hoping the faithful Elfman elves get tickets. Until then, I’m gonna be dancing about under an ice sculpture looking forward to October 10th…

Fuck You for the Music

fueonstage
Lucky enough to be spending summer in New York? After you’ve spent way too much time perusing the shelves of Midtown Comics, make sure you pick up a hot ticket for the fantastic ‘Fucking Up Everything’, an off-Broadway show that plays to the hearts of geeky romantics everywhere.

Having recently had the pleasure to catch a performance, I can safely say it’s a charmer. Imagine ‘How I Met Your Mother’ sidling up to ‘Scott Pilgrim’, only with more songs, hipster jokes, cool T-shirts, saucy shenanigans and a healthy dose of ukulele. Oh, and puppets – do not forget the puppets.

Running throughout the summer at the Elektra Theatre, FUE will put a spring in your step with catchy tunes that I eagerly await to be available on CD. #GetYourHeartOn