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Theater Composers at the 2020 Oscars

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  • Jeffrey Kare
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    #1203151411

    At this year’s Academy Awards coming up, there are several theater composers (and in some cases, performers) who may find themselves nominated in the category of Best Original Song. In fact, a couple of them also happen to be members of the exclusive EGOT club.

    The husband-and-wife team of Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez have written several new songs for the upcoming Frozen II. They’ve both already won this award twice before: In 2013 for ‘Let It Go’ from the first film (where Robert completed his EGOT) and in 2017 for ‘Remember Me’ from Coco.

    Elton John, who won a Tony Award with Tim Rice in 2000 for their Aida score, wrote an original song titled ‘I’m Gonna Love Me Again’ with his longtime collaborator, Bernie Taupin, for the biographical movie musical, Rocketman. The two of them also worked together on a flop 2006 Broadway musical titled Lestat. While Elton did also write an original song with Tim Rice for the end credits of the recent photo-releastic remake of The Lion King, I doubt he’s gonna be doing any campaigning for that.
    https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/10/16/elton-john-says-disneys-lion-king-remake-was-a-huge-disappointment

    Meanwhile, Tony-winning actress Cynthia Erivo has actually co-written a song with Joshuah Brian Campbell titled ‘Stand Up’ for the soon-to-be released movie, Harriet, which she also happens to be starring in. If Cynthia doesn’t end up receiving a Best Actress nomination, she could still have a shot at becoming an Oscar nominee (and potential EGOT recipient) in this category.

    Alan Menken wrote a new song along with Benj Pasek & Justin Paul titled ‘Speechless’ for the recent live action remake of Aladdin. Menken may have previously won two of his eight Oscars for the original animated film of Aladdin, but I have a feeling that ‘Speechless’ (as well as Beyoncé’s song, ‘Spirit’, from The Lion King remake) will end up following a similar trajectory to ‘Evermore’ from the live action Beauty & the Beast two years ago where it goes on to be completely ignored by the academy. We’ve seen how the music branch in recent years have been quite snobby when it comes to adding new songs to a pre-existing score.

    Speaking of which, Andrew Lloyd Webber, who had just completed his EGOT last year as an executive producer on NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, wrote a new song with Taylor Swift titled ‘Beautiful Ghosts’ for the upcoming film adaptation of Cats. While that movie has already been mocked by people on the internet because of the trailer, please keep in mind that Andrew has so far earned all of his Oscar nominations for each of the three previous screen adaptations of his work: His first nomination was in the retired category of Best Adapted Score for Norman Jewison’s Jesus Christ Superstar back in 1973; He ended up winning Best Original Song with Tim Rice in 1996 for ‘You Must Love Me’ from Alan Parker’s Evita; and he was last nominated in that same category for ‘Learn to Be Lonely’ from Joel Schumacher’s The Phantom of the Opera in 2004.

    Thoughts?

    • This topic was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  Jeffrey Kare.
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    Kevin Klawitter
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    #1203151421

    If Beautiful Ghosts really does draw its lyrics from TS Eliot the way the articles say, there’s a chance the song could be ruled ineligible the way the song from the first Hobbit movie was.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    Taylor Swift’s cover of the song she co-wrote with Andrew Lloyd Webber for the upcoming Cats movie will be released at midnight tonight.
    https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Taylor-Swift-Will-Release-New-CATS-Movie-Song-Beautiful-Ghosts-November-15-20191114

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    The shortlists for this year’s Oscars in several categories have been revealed.
    https://oscars.org/oscars/92nd-oscars-shortlists

    The following numbers written by theater composers (or in some cases, performers) that made the shortlist for Best Original Song are…

    ‘Speechless’ from Aladdin
    ‘Into The Unknown’ from Frozen II
    ‘Stand Up’ from Harriet
    ‘Never Too Late’ from The Lion King
    ‘(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again’ from Rocketman
    ‘Glasgow’ from Wild Rose*

    *co-songwriter Mary Steenburgen actually appeared on Broadway once in a revival of George Bernard Shaw’s Candida back in 1993.

    ‘Beautiful Ghosts’ from Cats did not make the shortlist, so this will be Andrew Lloyd Webber’s first stage-to-screen musical adaptation where he won’t be receiving an Oscar nomination for any of his contributions.

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    Awardsfan1990
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    “Into The Unknown”, “Stand Up”, and “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” are probably solid locks. If “Evermore” from Beauty And The Beast couldn’t get in two years ago, I’m not sure “Speechless” will get in either. I honestly don’t remember much about the song, even though I thought the movie was decent.

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