Three Winning Musical Adaptations
Mark Baker | Santa Clarita, CA United States | 01/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've always loved musicals. They may be corny, and the idea of a bunch of people breaking out into the same song at the drop of a hat is unrealistic, but they are so much fun. And done right, there's very little that entertains in the same way.These three made for TV musicals were done right. Wonderful casts, gorgeous costumes and sets, and great choreography. Everything a musical lover could possibly want."Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella" is the oldest, having premiered in 1997. It tells the familiar story of the poor girl who goes to the ball and wins the heart of the prince thanks to her Fairy Godmother. It stars Brandy, Whitney Houston, Bernadette Peters, Jason Alexander, and Paolo Montalban. It looks incredible, like a story book come to life. And it's lots of fun. This is the only version of the musical I've seen, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I really enjoyed it.1999 brought the premier of a new version of "Annie" staring Alicia Morton, Kathy Bates, Victor Garber, and Audra McDonald. This one stuck much closer to the original stage version, so I much prefer it over the original movie. The rags to riches story of Annie is sheer fun with songs I love to sing along with. I can get a goofy grin on my face as soon as I start watching that doesn't go away until after the movie is over. And anyone worried about Kathy Bates, don't. She is perfect as Miss Hannigan.Rounding out the set is "The Music Man" from spring of 2003. This new adaptation stars Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth. Again, this was the first version of the musical I saw, and I loved it. It brings small town life of 90 years ago to life in a wonderful way while telling the story of a con man who gets and gives more then he bargained for in River City, Iowa.The DVD's are basically movie only versions. Presented in their original full frame ratio, they look and sound great. "The Music Man" does have a very brief behind the scenes documentary and a special performance of Kristin Chenoweth singing "Till there was You."These movies are also available individually. Either way, they are certainly worth getting.Any fan of musicals will love these new adaptations of some of the classics of the genre. New fans will be born with these movies as well. In two cases, it's certainly worked on me."