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Theater Composers at the Oscars 2018

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  • Jeffrey Kare
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    At last year’s Academy Awards, four of the nominated songwriters for Best Original Song had previously earned Tony nominations/wins.

    Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, future Tony winners for Dear Evan Hansen, won this award along with composer Justin Hurwitz for ‘City of Stars’ from La La Land. Three-time Tony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda was nominated for ‘How Far I’ll Go’ from Moana. I must say that had La La Land been out of the running, Miranda probably would’ve completed his EGOT. And Sting, who earned a Tony nomination for his short-lived Broadway musical, The Last Ship, contended for the fourth time with ‘The Empty Chair’ (which he co-wrote with J. Ralph) from Jim: The James Foley Story.

    This year, we may find the Best Original Song category once again filled with theater composers. Pasek & Paul will probably be back in the conversation with any of the songs they wrote for the upcoming Hugh Jackman-led musical, The Greatest Showman.

    The husband-and-wife team of Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez (who is a member of the EGOT club) have written a song titled ‘Remember Me’ for Pixar’s upcoming film, Coco. They’re both previous winners in this category for the song ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen, and they could also be contending at next year’s Tony Awards for its upcoming stage adaptation.

    Alan Menken (Tony winner for Newsies) & Tim Rice (three-time Tony winner for Evita and Aida) wrote three brand new songs for the live action remake of Beauty & the Beast. Menken had previously won two of his eight Oscars for the original animated film of Beauty & the Beast while Rice has won three Oscars for songs he’d written for Aladdin, The Lion King, and the film version of Evita.

    Six-time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles, who received a Tony nomination for her Broadway musical, Waitress, has written a song with Nicholas Britell for Battle of the Sexes titled ‘If I Dare’.

    What do you think?

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    Alex Meyer
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    “If I Dare” from Battle Of The Sexes is really good, and “Evermore” from Beauty And The Beast is my favorite new song from that film. We’ll see how the other songs fare once they’re released.

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    adamunc
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    If “Evermore” happens to win, would that make Menken the first person to win Oscars for two different versions of the same property? There have been lots of remakes, etc., but has anyone in any category ever won twice for an original and a remake?

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    Alex Meyer
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    #1202233599

    I don’t think so.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    On last night’s Dancing with the Stars, ‘Remember Me’ was debuted to the public for the first time in a routine performed by Nikki Bella & Artem Chigvintsev…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbkHkVO7xw8

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    If “Evermore” happens to win, would that make Menken the first person to win Oscars for two different versions of the same property?

    That could make him vulnerable. Some Academy members may feel “been there, done that”. Plus, if anyone’s familiar with the Broadway stage adaptation of Beauty & the Beast, some may feel “That song ‘Evermore’ is nice, but it’s no ‘If I Can’t Love Her'”.

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    Anonymous
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    If “Evermore” happens to win, would that make Menken the first person to win Oscars for two different versions of the same property? There have been lots of remakes, etc., but has anyone in any category ever won twice for an original and a remake?

    Patty Duke comes close. She won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker and then many other years later won the Best Actress Emmy for playing Annie Sullivan in the TV remake.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    Here is an exclusive first listen to not one, but two full-length songs from The Greatest Showman
    https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Listen-to-Two-Full-Songs-from-THE-GREATEST-SHOWMAN-Written-by-Pasek-Paul-20171027

    It sounds like ‘This is Me’ would make a great submission for an Original Song nomination. What do you think?

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    So the Critics Choice Documentary Awards were just held, and the winner for Best Song was ‘Jump’ from Step
    http://variety.com/2017/film/news/critics-choice-documentary-awards-winners-list-1202606051/

    While it may not have been written by any theater composers, it is performed by Tony winner Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple). Since Step was submitted for consideration for the Best Documentary Feature category at the Oscars, could ‘Jump’ land a nomination for Best Original Song? If so, that would be a thrill to see Cynthia Erivo perform on the Oscar stage.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    The soundtrack for Pixar’s soon-to-be released Coco came out today, and here is ‘Remember Me’ (which is the song Disney will be submitting for a nomination)…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsx0pvgls4E

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    Alex Meyer
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    Tony nominee Keala Settle will be performing “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman at the Oscars. http://www.playbill.com/article/the-greatest-showmans-keala-settle-will-perform-on-the-oscars

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    I’ve been meaning to bump up this thread that there are two songwriting teams from the theater world nominated for Best Original Song this year, and they’re both previous winners. Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez are nominated for ‘Remember Me’ from Coco, and they previously won back in 2014 for ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen. Benj Pasek & Justin Paul are nominated for ‘This is Me’ from The Greatest Showman, and they just won last year for ‘City of Stars’ from La La Land.

    Overlooked for nominations here is Alan Menken for all three new songs he wrote with Tim Rice for the live-action remake of Beauty & the Beast. Which I’m personally happy about because not only have I boycotted that film from the beginning, but I also suspect that Academy members might’ve felt “been there, done that”.

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    Alex Meyer
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    Trust me, “Evermore” was deserving of a nomination.

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    Alex Meyer
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    Well, now that’s 2 for 2 for the Lopezes with their second Oscar win for “Remember Me” from Coco, a well-deserved win. Sorry “This Is Me.”

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