Tuesday, October 4, 2022

On PBS: Something Scary from Danny Elfman and Tim Burton; Chita Rivera Retrospective

Just in time for Halloween, October 30, to be exact, at 9 p.m, live from Lincoln Center [taped at July’s Lincoln Center Festival] presents four-time Oscar/three-time GG-nominated composer Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton, two hours of Elfman scores from Tim Burton films Batman, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and others.

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John Mauceri (founding director of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra) conducts full symphony orchestra, with Sandy Cameron on violin, and choral accompaniment. Elfman sings the role of Jack Skellington from Nightmare. The concert’s accompanied by clips and Burton’s costume sketches and storyboards.

As part of PBS’s Arts Fall Festival, legendary two-time Tony [10 nominations] and Drama Desk [six nominations] winner Chita Rivera sizzles in the hour career retrospective Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ to Do on November 6 at 8 p.m. [Check local PBS schedules].

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She’s been lighting up stages for over 70 years – from Seventh Heaven, Mr. Wonderful, West Side Story, Bye, Bye Birdie, and Chicago to Kiss of Spider Woman, The RinkNine [revival], The Mystery of Edwin Drood [revival], and, most recently, Kander and Ebb’s The Visit, their last as a team with the death of lyricist John Kander.

The special was taped at Jazz at Lincoln Center against a Central Park winter wonderland on the night of the January 26 blizzard. John Kander, Dick Van Dyke, Ben Vereen, and Carol Lawrence are among those relating Rivera’s peerless virtuosity. In addition, there are clips from her shows and TV appearances. Rivera’s longtime collaborator Michael Croiter music directs an 11-piece orchestra. David Horn directed.


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Ellis Nassour is an Ole Miss alum and noted arts journalist and author who recently donated an ever-growing exhibition of performing arts history to the University of Mississippi. He is the author of the best-selling Patsy Cline biography, Honky Tonk Angel, as well as the hit musical revue, Always, Patsy Cline.

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