Les Misérables has been drenched in the saliva of so much internet gossip for the past year that it was easily one of the most anticipated movies of 2012, especially for us musical theatre geeks. I spent quite a significant amount of time pouring over articles, getting casting information (anyone else remember Taylor Swift being offered the role of Éponine?), and feeling anxious when I learned that Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) would have the actors sing live. It almost became a bit more hype than I wanted, and I had to scale back on how much I read beforehand, or how many pictures I wanted to see of Anne Hathaway without hair. It turns out this sort of publicity is rather traditional for the story; Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel, from which the 1980s stage musical is derived, was advertised in papers and discussed up to two years prior to publishing. Old habits die hard, I suppose.
The adjectives that come to mind when I think about how to describe the 2013 Canadian documentary film about singer/songwriter Rae Spoon are as numerous as they are complimentary. Beautiful. Gentle. Emotional. Quiet. Brave. In My Prairie Home, director Chelsea McMullan takes the viewer on the road with Spoon, as the transgender Canadian musician navigates the Canadian prairie by bus and performing in different towns and venues, communicating the message of honesty and artistry.
Those who’ve listened to the podcasts know that I am no stranger to theatre (<—the right way to spell it). So naturally, when I took my trip to New York last month, it would have been a crime against the humanities to not see a Broadway show. Of course, those who also know me personally know that next to film and theatre, I’m heavily influenced by comic books. And against the better judgement of my theatre friends, and anyone who saw the show, I decided that the first ever broadway show I would see would be none other than Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. And what did I think of this much talked-about (read: disparaged) musical?