MUSIC FROM STAGE & SCREEN
Music from Stage and Screen
with Jo Connop
Nominated in the HBA Awards 2019 for Best Specialist Music Programme
If you love visiting the theatre, the movies, watching TV or all of the above this is the BHBN show for you!
I’ll do my best to pack in as many pop tunes used on the silver screen and the smallscreen, show tunes and film scores as a one hour show allows.
For added fun there are a number of features, including both some regular ones and some ad hoc seasonal specials. Regular features include ‘the Overture’ – exactly that, from a film, show or Opera, ‘The Composers’ Zone’ where I showcase a piece of music from a particular composer whilst sharing a bit of a biog about their life and career, ‘The Awards Ceremony’ – a piece of music that has won either an Academy Award, BAFTA, Tony or Olivier Award and to bow out ‘the Final Score’ – an epic piece of instrumental music.
So, grab your popcorn and your opera glasses and take to that great central seat in row F of the stalls and join me, Jo Connop every Monday afternoon at 4pm for BHBN’s ‘Stage and Screen’.
Green Book Review
There are road trip movies and road trip movies. This one incorporates classical, rock and roll and soul music, a retro 1960’s feel, American social history, humour and the relationship between two people that seems doomed to fail from the outset.
Someone once taught me that the ideal outcome when two strangers meet is that they both gain something from the experience.
This is a true story of that type which will make you laugh, cry, rant and feel nostalgic, even if you were not around in the USA in the 1960’s. 10/10
Stan and Ollie Review
It seems John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan have both disappeared recently and Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel have taken their place. Maybe it was the work of aliens or fairies or a magic unicorn? Whoever is responsible they’re rather clever. Of course, the multiple talents of both actors might have had something to do with it too.
Much of the movie is devoted to the happenings during the 1953 UK Laurel and Hardy stage show, following a sixteen year hiatus. As we are treated to some classic Laurel and Hardy slapstick moments both on and off stage we are also made aware of the cracks that had appeared in the duo’s relationship – a result of happenings that we are introduced to during the movie’s opening scene.
It is of paramount importance to mention that there are many stars of this film, not least the wardrobe and make-up departments that transformed our leading men into arguably one of the funniest double acts that ever existed. Indeed, the Bottle and Glass Inn and the 1950’s street at the West Midlands’ very own Black Country Living Museum also put in an appearance to give the movie an authentic feel.
The two female leads who play the wives are also beautifully presented and their unique chemistry works as a perfect foil to the main protagonists’ partnership.
If you are the sort of person who likes to take away a message when leaving the cinema this one would be ‘friendship is priceless’. If you are not, go see it anyway it is one big hilarious romp. 10/10.
A Star is Born
One of this year’s musical films of note, ‘A Star is Born’, remade once again, following three previous incarnations, tells a musical discovery story against the backdrop of the modern music industry.
Lady Gaga once said ‘Being different is a talent. You illuminate what makes you special in the sea of
sameness around you.’ Perhaps this quote was in the minds of the casting team when considering Gaga
for the part of ‘Ally’.
The film’s director, Bradley Cooper, in the role of Jack and Lady Gaga both deliver stunning performances with highly believable on-screen chemistry whilst the outstanding supporting cast ensure a fully-formed story.
The result is an emotionally charged rollercoaster of a plot which does not shy away from alcoholism, drug-addiction and mental health issues, making the love story all the more bittersweet.
Gaga fans will enjoy much of what she does best, looking larger than life, with great self-penned songs and top-notch electrifying live music performance, coupled with a natural acting ability – whilst the ever watchable Bradley Cooper pulls an impressive talent for singing and songwriting out of the hat to complete a phenomenal soundtrack.
An epic love story borne out of a love for music – bravo! 10/10