Mashable
7 days
Voice Of America
13 days
And there's a slew of other live-action musicals in the works, a combination of originals, sequels and remakes. This Christmas, we'll have Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum in The Greatest Showman, with music by La La Land lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. A year later will come the high-profile Mary Poppins Returns with Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Meryl Streep, among others. Also reportedly on tap: a Will Ferrell-Kristen Wiig original musical about the little-known world of corporate musicals, and a Josh Gad musical with songs by Broadway luminaries Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. A musical version of the Broadway megahit Wicked is also coming down the pike. "Good movies beget other good movies," said Marc Platt, a producer of La La Land, not to mention the upcoming Mary Poppins Returns and Wicked films. "So when a movie captures the imagination and hearts of people around the world, it's going to have a positive influence on similar genres getting made.
TIME - Top Stories
19 days
Dear Evan Hansen is a heart-scorching musical about a teen boy so bound up by anxiety and loneliness that he makes mistakes he can't fix and gets stuck in the quicksand of social-media adulation. But eventually, he finds a way to leave self-loathing behind. It's also about parents reaching for their kids as they disappear into their phones and laptops. And it's about the struggle to connect in an era when it seems as if we're all awash in emotional hyperbole online and off. Sounds like a fun time, right? In fact, the play, which has become a huge hit on Broadway since it opened there in December, is cathartic and real and often so funny it's hard to believe that the catalytic event is the suicide of a kid we barely meet. The songs were written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the pair who just won an Oscar for their work on La La Land . This music reaches a generation that can seem jaded or desensitized having come of age with access to the entire world's pain and tribulations in the palm of their hand.
Den of Geek
21 days
Voice Of America
22 days
What is exciting is ... to be able to really feature the musicians and show exactly what they're doing." Tickets go on sale Friday. For the live shows, Hurwitz said they are using the same orchestra contractor from the movie. Following the Memorial Day dates in Los Angeles, the live production will visit Atlanta; San Diego; San Antonio; Nashville, Tennessee; Washington, D.C.; and other U.S. cities. It will also travel internationally to the United Kingdom, Mexico, Italy, Turkey, Switzerland and Canada. Those dates, along with more cities, will be announced later. La La Land won six Academy Awards, including best director for Chazelle and best actress for Stone. Hurwitz won best original score as well as best original song for "City of Stars," shared with songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. "There have been a couple times where I was in my apartment and I saw two Oscars sitting there [and] it almost took me a second to register what they were.
Associated Press
a month
Deadline
2 months
Deadline
2 months
Voice Of America
2 months
The Week
2 months
After scooping the pool at the Golden Globes , La La Land is now tipped to win big at the Oscars. Here are five reasons you should see it, plus one big criticism. The stars Gosling and Stone live up to the hype, says Gary Kramer in Salon. There's a "palpable chemistry" between them in their third film together and there are some "entrancing sequences" between Mia and Sebastian. It's a "worthy showcase for the magnificent Stone's talents, and she is heartbreaking throughout", says the critic, who adds: "Gosling is also in top form." The music Ian Freer at Empire calls La La Land "a funny Valentine" to the entire history of the musical genre. It also has a "clutch of great new songs", says the critic, and songwriters Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul should "take a bow". It "opens spectacularly", with a traffic jam on the LA freeway that turns into a single-take song-and-dance number, says Deborah Ross in The Spectator , adding that she almost "expired with the enchanted gorgeousness of this film".
Deadline
3 months
Mashable
3 months
In lots of different ways, 2016 was ... far from ideal. Which made various theatrical productions both serious and not so serious a welcome escape for many fans, whether that come in the form of taking in a show or listening to a cast album on repeat or marathoning YouTube clips in between rage-reading politics articles. In no particular order, here are eight shows that soared in 2016 (to pre-empt angry emails, a reminder that the excellent Hamilton, which you spent most of 2016 listening to on repeat, opened on Broadway in 2015). SEE ALSO: 10 movies we can't wait to see in 2017 1. Dear Evan Hansen Broadway's newest hit (it opened just a few weeks ago) stars Pitch Perfect 's Ben Platt as an awkward and deeply anxious teen who gets caught up in a big lie following the death of a classmate. Soaring and sad, with music by La La Land duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the show explores that all-too-familiar feeling of being an outsider in your world and what happens when you attempt to change that, in one troubling way or another.
Mashable
3 months
In lots of different ways, 2016 was ... far from ideal. Which made various theatrical productions both serious and not so serious a welcome escape for many fans, whether that come in the form of taking in a show or listening to a cast album on repeat or marathoning YouTube clips in between rage-reading politics articles. In no particular order, here are eight shows that soared in 2016 (to pre-empt angry emails, a reminder that the excellent Hamilton, which you spent most of 2016 listening to on repeat, opened on Broadway in 2015). SEE ALSO: 10 movies we can't wait to see in 2017 1. Dear Evan Hansen Broadway's newest hit (it opened just a few weeks ago) stars Pitch Perfect 's Ben Platt as an awkward and deeply anxious teen who gets caught up in a big lie following the death of a classmate. Soaring and sad, with music by La La Land duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the show explores that all-too-familiar feeling of being an outsider in your world and what happens when you attempt to change that, in one troubling way or another.
Mashable
3 months
In lots of different ways, 2016 was ... far from ideal. Which made various theatrical productions both serious and not so serious a welcome escape for many fans, whether that come in the form of taking in a show or listening to a cast album on repeat or marathoning YouTube clips in between rage-reading politics articles. In no particular order, here are eight shows that soared in 2016 (to pre-empt angry emails, a reminder that the excellent Hamilton, which you spent most of 2016 listening to on repeat, opened on Broadway in 2015). SEE ALSO: 10 movies we can't wait to see in 2017 1. Dear Evan Hansen Broadway's newest hit (it opened just a few weeks ago) stars Pitch Perfect 's Ben Platt as an awkward and deeply anxious teen who gets caught up in a big lie following the death of a classmate. Soaring and sad, with music by La La Land duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the show explores that all-too-familiar feeling of being an outsider in your world and what happens when you attempt to change that, in one troubling way or another.
The Huffington Post
3 months
The score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul provides soaring melodies that burrow in the subconscious but unfortunately the lyrics too often fall victim to simple rhymes. With Michael Greif at the helm though, these can be shrugged of as the world of "Dear Evan Hansen" is truly enthralling. I was intrigued when I heard that Classic Stage Company was staging a play adaptation of "Dead Poets Society" helmed by the theater's new artistic director, the inventive John Doyle. His take on Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Allegro" was a thrilling highlight of 2014. Unfortunately, DPS feels like it's always a couple notches below its desired emotional resonance. Part of this has to do with the sheer numbers discrepancy between the stage and screen. Tom Schulman wrote both the screenplay and this adaptation but fails to find the theatrical equivalent to an army of young actors belting "O Captain! My Captain.
The Huffington Post
3 months
Her toothy smile and huge eyes leave little unclaimed terrain on her face. Gosling is smitten and they move in together. The steps to success lead him to play with his old friend, mentor, alter ego and band leader, Keith (John Legend). Legend is seamless and winning as he pushes Gosling onto the road to success: travel and the sacrifice of personal life. They also make great music together. The soundtrack to success is a bit more pop than jazz, spirited melodic compositions which weave together the high gloss, bright colored look and mood of LA sets (by David and Sandy Reynolds Wasco) vaguely harkening back to the optimism of the thirties and musicals of the forties and fifties. The dash of contemporary angst doesn't dampen the spirit as much as whet the appetite for success. The spirited Justin Hurwitz music is well complemented by songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (School mates who met at University of Michigan).
The Huffington Post
3 months
I saw Les Miz in London and again at the Kennedy Center long before it came to Broadway. I saw a preview of "Rent" in the East Village. I saw a dress rehearsal of "Ragtime." And best of all, I saw "Hamilton" at the Public. And last night at the Music Box Theater I saw "Dear Evan Hansen," and though it wasn't an early performance--like those in Washington and at the Second Stage--it did feature one of the most amazing performances I've ever seen including all of the above. In today's Times, Katherine Rossman has a "Styles" feature on the gossip writer and Trump-and-Roy Cohn-and-George-Steinbrenner-and-Rupert-Murdoch-lover, Cindy Adams. In its opening scene, Adams can be heard (read?) complaining that there are no boldface names at her performance of the show. Sad! (though I imagine this is a typical reaction of Trump lovers to any cultural event that does not invite pussy-grabbing and peeping-tomming backstage (An aside: What she does get are " Justin Paul and Benj Pasek, the composers of the musical and also the lyricists of the film "La La Land.
TIME - News
4 months
You'll find that melancholy right there in the title: Another Day of Sun. Its upbeat, but there's something a little weary about it too. For lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, that push-and-pull informed their approach. What Damien inspired us to capture was that theres this difference between L.A. and New York, Paul explained. In New York, you grind and grind to pursue your dreams and accomplish what youre hoping to accomplish, and you get up the next day and its muddy and gross and the snow is just turned to black ice. Meanwhile, L.A. may also be a constant struggle, but its also constant blue skies. You pursue that dream, and you go to bed and get up the next day, and its a gorgeous day, Paul says. It encourages you in one breath, and in another breath doesnt acknowledge that you just failed miserably.
TIME - Top Stories
4 months
You'll find that melancholy right there in the title: Another Day of Sun. Its upbeat, but there's something a little weary about it too. For lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, that push-and-pull informed their approach. What Damien inspired us to capture was that theres this difference between L.A. and New York, Paul explained. In New York, you grind and grind to pursue your dreams and accomplish what youre hoping to accomplish, and you get up the next day and its muddy and gross and the snow is just turned to black ice. Meanwhile, L.A. may also be a constant struggle, but its also constant blue skies. You pursue that dream, and you go to bed and get up the next day, and its a gorgeous day, Paul says. It encourages you in one breath, and in another breath doesnt acknowledge that you just failed miserably.
TIME - Top Stories
4 months
Did you see yourself in the character of Mia? Of course. Being an auditioning actor at any time, you know that feeling of going in and giving it your all and it not working out. And there are periods of time when you feel like youre delusional and need to give up. What was it like working with Damien Chazelle, along with the music team [composer Justin Hurwitz and songwriting duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul]? Theyre all so brilliant and so young. It felt like a very original and alive kind of atmosphere, making something like this with all of them. There was a lot of open discussion. It was also kind of fun because they really rewrote [the song] Duet from what they were originally were. As they were brainstorming, there was one weekend where Damien and Justin [Hurwitz] sent Ryan and I this clip of the two of them singing the new proposed lyrics over a piano, and it was Damien and Justin singing the song.
Voice Of America
4 months
"Moonlight,'' which also triumphed at the Gotham Awards, is perhaps the year's most critically celebrated film. Across three chapters, it follows a boy growing up black, gay and poor in Miami. But La La Land,'' starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, is only just hitting theaters (it opens Friday). It has widely been seen as the best-picture front-runner since winning the audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival. While Moonlight'' is bracingly intimate, the song-and-dance "La La Land'' is a starry, show-stopping crowd-pleaser. "La La Land'' is also likely to dominate in sheer number of nomination, thanks to its lead performances, high-level of craft and original songs. It was honored by the LA critics for the musical work of Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. The only film that has rivaled either in the early awards is Kenneth Lonergan's "Manchester by the Sea.
Variety
4 months
The Broadway opening of buzzy new musical Dear Evan Hansen had Hollywood connections all over the place. First, of course, were the movie ties to songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, theater-world favorites who are having something of a Tinseltown moment. For one thing, they were the lyricists on La La Land, Damian Chazelles awards contender... Read more »
Variety
4 months
Mashable
4 months
A new Broadway show is attempting to smash down the barriers between reality and fiction by using technology. Dear Evan Hansen , a Broadway show by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul and Steven Levenson, is one of the first major musicals to incorporate social media on and off stage. During the show, the IRL audience is overwhelmed with social media feeds, Microsoft documents, email exchanges, Kickstarter petitions and this immersive push continues off stage with livestreams on Periscope. The integration of social media into this particular Broadway show makes a lot of sense. Not only does it help tap into a younger audience demographic, it also matches the underlying themes in Dear Evan Hansen , such as isolation in the internet age and the dangers of anonymity online. Read more... More about Social Media , Periscope , Broadway , and Entertainment