|STEVEN SPIELBERGTHE HOLIDAY|
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Jaws, director Steven Spielberg‘s iconic film that ushered in the modern era of Hollywood blockbusters. But before the retrospective pieces begin rolling in, let’s look ahead to 2021, because that’s when a stage musical called Bruce, named after the constantly-malfunctioning mechanical shark which plagued Spielberg’s set, is set to open at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse. And from the description of the play, it seems like Jaws fans from all over might want to plan on making a pilgrimage to Jersey to check this out in person.
Deadline brings word about this upcoming Jaws musical, which is officially described like this:
“Chronicling the making of an iconic movie, Bruce tells the story of then unknown director Steven Spielberg’s beleaguered film set and the challenges that thwarted his team at every turn, including the film’s star: an uncooperative mechanical shark named Bruce. At its heart, the show proves that when we are faced with hardship and work together as a team, great things can happen.”
That sounds…kind of great? I’ve seen several musical re-imaginings of classic movies on stage before, but never one with the meta approach of adapting the production of the film instead of the film itself. I’m extremely curious about the vision director and choreographer Donna Feore has for this – specifically if she intends to depict events that take place underwater. Richard Oberacker is writing the book and lyrics and Robert Taylor is handling the music; that duo previously worked together on a 2017 Broadway play called Bandstand. The story is based on Jaws screenwriter Carl Gottlieb‘s 1975 memoir The Jaws Log, which is described as “the only book on how twenty-six-year-old Steven Spielberg transformed Peter Benchley’s number-one bestselling novel into the classic film it became.”
If you haven’t heard the stories about the making of this movie, they’re absolutely legendary. For my money, there’s no better way to get fully immersed in the making of this movie than by watching filmmaker Jamie Benning‘s feature length “filmumentary” that was released in 2013. We wrote about it at the time, with Russ Fischer describing it as “a hyper-extended commentary [track] that collate[s] interviews, production info and photos, deleted scenes, alternate takes, and other materials into a hyper-detailed ‘making-of’ portrait.” If you find yourself with some free time on your hands and you’ve never made time to watch it, you can rectify that below:
Bruce, a co-production with Seattle Rep, will have its world premiere at the Paper Mill Playhouse and will run from June 9 – July 4, 2021. I’m sure the Jaws mayor will be...
For the first time in 35 years, Eddie Murphy returned to host Saturday Night Live. Since this was also the Christmas episode, the pressure was on for this to truly be a television event. Thankfully, Eddie Murphy didn’t disappoint, and he brought a bunch of his friends with him, not to mention the cavalcade of guest stars that’s been popping up for the Democratic debate spoofing. The result was not only the best episode of the season, but one of the best episodes in recent memory.
Let’s run through the best and worst sketches of the Eddie Murphy hosted Saturday Night Live.The Best
Gumby Returns – Even when the Weekend Update guest segments are among the best bits of the night, I relegate them to the standard Weekend Update section. But when Eddie Murphy returns as Gumby and shows why he was one of the best cast members to ever grace Studio 8H with his presence, I can’t help but break from tradition. Not only does he slip right back into this character, even though it’s without make-up this time, but he even improvises a bit and gets Colin Jost and Michael Che cracking up. This was pure comedy magic.
North Pole News Report – Kenan Thompson has made a name for himself on SNL, and one of the best things he does on the show is yell in a very specific and hilarious way. But no one yells frantically and funnily quite like Eddie Murphy, and this sketch is evidence of that to the max. It’s a simple premise that makes fun of the sensationalist man on the street interviews that local news always manages to get after some kind of big accident, but Murphy plays it so well that you can’t help but crack up. It gets bigger and funnier as it goes on, and that recurring “It don’t matter what my name is!” was gold every time.
Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood – Eddie Murphy said he wanted to revisit his most popular classic characters, and it was so good to see Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood back again. Even though I wish we got something that parodied the recent A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood or even the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, it was nice to get back to the classic format of the show, especially since it allowed the character to age a bit and deal with the modern growth of gentrification.Continue Reading Eddie Murphy SNL Review >>