Run. Run. Run to the Hills!

A quick perusal of news items while eating my salad for lunch uncovered the following nuggets, all having to do with theatre on the large or small screen. They all seem to have the aura of “this is a bad idea” around them:

  • From the “When Will They Ever Learn?” Department: Work continues (alas) on the sequel to the movie-musical “Hairspray”. The second film musical will follow zaftig dancer Tracy Turnblad and the Corny Collins gang into what the director describes as the “next era of music,” the late 1960’s. The character of Link Larkin, portrayed by Zac Efron in the film musical, will become steeped in the Beatles-fueled British Invasion. John Waters is currently working on an outline, and they are looking for a screen writers. I have a few words about this idea: “Grease 2”, “Annie 2”, “Bring Back Birdie”, “The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public”. Musical sequels, in general, don’t work.
  • From the “Where Everybody Knows Your Name (and thus there is no need to remember)” Department: More casting has been announced for the remake of the musical film “Fame” (tenuous relation to what was on the stage). Variety reports that instructors and supervisors at the New York City High School of Performing Arts, where the film is set, will include theatre and film veterans Debbie Allen [of the original 1980 Fame cast] (as the school’s principal), Charles S. Dutton (as an acting teacher), Kelsey Grammer (as an orchestra maestro), Megan Mullally (as a voice teacher) and Bebe Neuwirth (as a dance instructor). This is in addition to the previously announced Kristy Flores as a dancer named Rosie, Paul Iacono as filmmaker Neil, Paul McGill a gay dancer named Kevin, Naturi Naughton as a classical pianist named Denise, Kay Panabaker as actress Jenny, Kherington Payne as ballerina Alice, Collins Pennie as an artist named Malik, Walter Perez as a musician named Victor and Anna Maria Perez de Tagle as Joy Moy. The movie will begin filming Dec. 3 for an expected Sept. 25, 2009, release by MGM. Sigh. Another of my favorites remade–and with the cast of Fraiser/Cheers. What’s next? A remake of Rocky Horror? Oh, right.
  • From the “I Coulda’ Predicted This” Department: Rosie’s variety show won’t get a second outing. Good, it was drek. I just hope they realize that the problem wasn’t the notion of a variety show–the problem was Rosie!