Stage To Screen: He Who Gets Slapped

Plenty of us film buffs, including me, are aware that 1924's He Who Gets Slapped was MGM's first movie. There were a few other films in production at the time of MGM's incorporation, but He Who Gets Slapped is the first movie made by MGM as a new distinct entity. What I didn't know until recently … Continue reading Stage To Screen: He Who Gets Slapped

Stage To Screen: This Is the Army

This is the Army, Mister Jones. No private rooms or telephones. You had your breakfast in bed before, but you won't have it there anymore. (Irving Berlin, "This Is the Army," 1942.) Happy New Year! Welcome to the wild and wacky world of the Irving Berlin Wartime Musical. Nothing like starting off 2020 with a mix … Continue reading Stage To Screen: This Is the Army

Stage To Screen: On the Town

"New York, New York, it's a {insert adjective here} town..." Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green's story of three sailors on leave in New York City is probably one of the most famous musicals of the World War Two period. It was both satire and commentary, as it came from a time when relationships … Continue reading Stage To Screen: On the Town

Stage To Screen: As You Like It

As You Like It is one of Shakespeare's later and more mysterious works, although it contains a lot of famous lines, such as "All the world's a stage." Thought to be written in 1598 or 1599 and possibly not performed until 1603, the play is a comedy about finding freedom through disguise and breaking through barriers. … Continue reading Stage To Screen: As You Like It

Stage To Screen: Mister Roberts

They say that truth is stranger than fiction, and some life experiences beg to be made into stories. Mister Roberts is one of those. Originally a novel by Thomas Heggen, it was published in 1946, premiered as a play in 1948, and released as a film in 1955. The story takes place very late in the war. … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Mister Roberts

Stage To Screen: Show Boat

Street corners. Tourist traps. Flatbed trailers. Any place is fair game for an entertainer to ply their craft as long as there's an audience. Or even if there isn't. When I was with the Continental Singers, we once did an impromptu mini-concert in an old folks' home in Nebraska while waiting for our bus's air … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Show Boat

Stage To Screen: Little Shop of Horrors

There's no getting around it: Little Shop of Horrors is an unusual musical. Anything with a carniverous talking plant is not going to be a typical garden-variety story (See what I did there? 😉 ). What's really unusual is that Little Shop of Horrors started out as a 1960 Roger Corman film, then became a stage musical in … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Little Shop of Horrors

Stage To Screen: Cry ‘Havoc’

Happy New Year, everyone! How were your holidays? My son has a few days of vacation left before the rat race starts again, and we're savoring these last little bits of carefree non-scheduled time. Lots of binging on DVDs, for one thing. And Sims 3. Anywhoo...  As we've talked about before, Hollywood had to get … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Cry ‘Havoc’

Stage To Screen: Pygmalion

The idea of a master proving his prowess via a supposedly hopeless case is an old, old tale, and one of its most famous modern iterations is George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. First exhibited in Vienna, Austria in 1913, it follows Professor Higgins and his subject, Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle, as that august gentleman teaches … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Pygmalion

Stage To Screen: Fiddler On the Roof

This really ought to be a "Page To Stage To Screen" look, because Fiddler On the Roof is based on a collection of short stories entitled Tevye And His Daughters, or Tevye the Dairyman, written by Sholem Aleichem, whose real name was Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich. First published in Yiddish in 1894, they are set in the Ukranian village of … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Fiddler On the Roof

Stage To Screen: Something For the Boys

Happy Fourth of July, all! During World War Two, there was no shortage of entertainment that encouraged audiences to do their part and help the servicepeople. Movies, radio, magazines, Broadway...every platform was used to the fullest. Sometimes the results came off better than others, of course, and one example of the "others" is Something For the … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Something For the Boys

Stage To Screen: Arsenic and Old Lace

Arsenic and Old Lace is a classic play and film, a slightly macabre mix of black humor and irony. Written by Joseph Kesselring, its original run on Broadway was 1,444 performances, and it still holds up today. The story initially seems very simple, but it likes to grab the viewer with lots of gotchas, done so … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Arsenic and Old Lace

Stage To Screen: Romeo And Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is Shakespeare's most infamous play. Even those who don't know much about Shakespeare know its elements. The balcony scene, for one thing (which is a window in the original script, by the way), has been parodied and referenced more times than anyone can count--everyone from Bugs Bunny to school drama teams to … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Romeo And Juliet