Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rent Goes Hollywood (11/11/05)

Ever since 1927, when Al Jolson told audiences, "You ain't heard nothin' yet!" in "The Jazz Singer," film studios have been adapting Broadway musicals to the silver screen. From such blockbusters as "West Side Story," "Grease," and "Chicago" to, um, somewhat less successful films as "A Chorus Line," "Man of La Mancha," and "Annie," actors keep shouting, "Gotta sing! Gotta dance!" The latest musical to receive the Hollywood treatment is Jonathan Larson's "Rent." Director Chris Columbus has used most of the original Broadway cast to recreate the story (based loosely on Giacomo Puccini's "La Bohème") of love and art in 1980s Greenwich Village. No one knows if "Rent" will turn out to be a classic like "The Sound of Music" or a flop like "Hello, Dolly!" But whether it's a hit or a miss, fans won't have to wait long for the next great musical to hit the screen -- "The Producers" premieres in December.

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