char roberts

Things That Should Be Stage Musicals: Ella Enchanted

So, of the five on my list, Ella Enchanted was one of the most popular choices. Let’s talk about this!!

The Score: I think the score would have to sound like a cross between Sondheim’s A Little Night Music and GGLAM - light, witty and bouncy - considering its setting, although I wouldn’t be opposed to a more folksy, Tuck Everlasting-esque score (honestly, can we get Miller and Tysen to write this? please?)

Song Ideas: 

- The entire plot up to her mother’s death is told in one big prologue song, detailing her suffering under the curse as a child and how it feels to have the only person never to order around die. 

- Hattie would have a song when she discovers that Ella is obedient (it would start with her complaining in one big long list, and then when she realizes Ella’s curse, she starts listing all her orders for Ella to follow)

- Finishing School montage

- Song about Ella enchanting the ogres !!!!! This would be good!

- Lucinda has a big number about how great her gifts are

- And then after Mandy convinces her to try them out for herself, she has a sad reprise

- A back-and-forth song about Char and Ella’s letters that ends with them realizing they love each other

- plus a reprise as Ella decides to break Char’s heart

- A big number at the ball!!

- Internal monologue song at the climax as Ella breaks her curse

And now, to close this out, I present you with my dreamcast:

Ella - Laura Osnes (I mean, she’s already Cinderella. So)

Char - Robert Lenzi

Mandy - Carolee Carmello (sue me, I’m stealing a lot from Tuck)

Lucinda - I lowkey would want Patti Lupone to play her but she’s not the right age :P

Those are the ones that came to mind, please help me dreamcast the rest!

Also tell me your thoughts/ideas about this! Help my dream musical become more concrete!

Coming up next, Scott Pilgrim the Musical.


Yesterday, horror lost one of its Mount Rushmore figures. Wes Craven was a rare breed: he worked almost exclusively in the genre, directing multiple titles of massive import. His films were laced with a certain wit that was uniquely his and a devout reverence for horror itself, never ashamed to be what they were while still finding ways to expand the boundaries of what scary movies could be. This week, I feel compelled to mourn the master by examining his magnum opus: A Nightmare On Elm Street.

Seminal Elm Street antagonist Freddy Krueger – or Fred, as he’s known in the series’ first entry – is a legitimate pop culture icon, and unquestionably Craven’s biggest of many contributions to our fandom. The Dream Master’s reign as king of the movie monsters may be over but his legacy will endure forever. Freddy’s creative kills and even more creative one-liners propelled horror into the mainstream in the ‘80s in ways the genre had never been before; Freddy actor Robert Englund’s charred face was used to sell everything from board games to rap albums to bubble gum to a 900 hotline and just about anything else you can imagine in between. But it was Freddy’s first appearance – in one of only two Nightmare films directed by Craven – that casts the longest shadow.

Considerably darker in tone than its more tongue-in-cheek sequels, the original A Nightmare On Elm Street is actually a pretty scary film. It’s an amalgam of the horror and exploitation films Craven cut his teeth on and the results are disturbing and wholly unique. When you strip the character of Freddy Krueger down to barebones he’s absolutely eerie: a murdered murderer, physically dead but spiritually eternal, invading the dreams of the innocent to prey upon them while they sleep. This is Fred Krueger as we see him initially. It’s not the skateboarding, N.E.S. playing, pizza baking pop culture phenom Freddy - this is a monster: a cruel, murderous phantom who terrorizes his victims with a clawed glove he refers to as “God” before cutting them to ribbons with sinister glee. Pretty ghastly, right? The character, inspired by a mysterious man Craven once saw smiling up at him from below the second story window of his childhood bedroom, is brought to life here in frightening fashion by Englund’s nuanced mannerisms and measured speech to create a villain who could’ve remained terrifying for years to come… if he hadn’t been so damned cool.

But there’s more to the film to love than Freddy, of course, and that’s what really makes Elm Street a one of a kind slasher film. The other characters don’t exist merely to inflate the body count – the protagonists are vibrant and likable, with personalities and character quirks that make you root for them. They’re still tropes but they’re not just there to get it on and then get picked off in typical slasher fashion. Heather Langenkamp’s Nancy is among the very best survivor girls in horror history, in fact; she’s a strong, independent, scrappy heroine who starts off utterly unremarkable but rises up to fight through insurmountable odds, becoming a formidable foe for Freddy by the movie’s climax. And costar Johnny Depp is, well, Johnny Depp – one of the finest actors who ever lived, every bit as charming and talented in his acting debut as he is in the rest of his work… even if he’s a little rough around the edges here. The supporting cast is great too, with everyone having a purpose and a moment to shine.

The cast is amazing, but Elm Street’s unsung hero is its plot and pacing, expertly guided by Craven with the type of certainty that only the greats have. It ebbs and flows, focused more on story than shock factor, foregoing jump scares for a gradual onset of tension punctuated by an unsettling (and very synthy!) score. When the scares come they’re intense and inventive – who can forget the scene with Freddy hobbling slowly through that alley way, his arms stretching gradually into enormous, snake-like tendrils that hang from his lopsided frame as he edges closer and closer to Amanda Wyss’ girl-next-door Tina, ready to destroy her, her grasp on reality shattering further with every forward lurch? Or the infamous “bed” scene… which, for the record, is even more gruesome in its original, uncut form. How about the bloody body bag scene? And those are just a few! Elm Street is a film with more iconic imagery than most entire film series could ever dream of having, and when you separate it from the (awesome, but very different) sequels that came in its wake it stands proudly as one of the best horror films you’ll ever see.

I’m sure you’ve all watched Elm Street a million times. Today it’s time to watch it again, in honor of a fallen icon. Rest in peace, Mr. Craven.