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Wednesday, January 10, 2007


You Tube of the Week: Euan, Vicky and Hedwig

I've been having a friendly war of words with my funk soul sister Catherine over at Cinemarati about musical performance and the nature of acting. It came from her suggestion that, while Jennifer Hudson can certainly interpret songs in Dreamgirls very well, acting is another thing altogether. I, on the other hand, feel that acting with words and acting with music require the similar skill sets, but that contemporary musical performance has been so constricted -- by pop mannerisms, by American Idol scat-singing, by choreography -- that it doesn't mesh well with naturalistic acting.

So I tried to think: where have I recently seen great musical acting...not the showy, diva stuff, but actual performance quality? And I came up with three answers, two from the theatre and one from the movies. My favorite is Tony nominee Euan Morton as Boy George in the London run of Taboo (truly underrated work). The others are Tony winner Victoria Clark in the finale of The Light in the Piazza, and John Cameron Mitchell singing "Midnight Radio" in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Enjoy some fine, fine, fine acting.

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