With the Academy Awards just a few days away, the behind-the-scenes plans for Oscar night are starting to go public, and they look... long, with a side of questionable vocals.
As we've mentioned before this year's ceremony is packing on the tunes with a movie musical tribute and a performance from Barbra Streisand. This morning the Academy revealed just who would be performing in that tribute: Jennifer Hudson from Dreamgirls, Catherine Zeta-Jones from Chicago, and a plethora of Les Miz stars, including Russell Crowe. Now, while Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman have done the whole singing-at-the-Oscars before, Russell Crowe—whose vocals in the movie were widely lampooned—could be disastrous. Hopefully he'll just grumble "24601" and then leave the stage. Hudson should do a fine job of belting out "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." (We assume she's singing that, because what else would she sing?) Zeta-Jones has also had some recent practice singing "Send in the Clowns" at the Tonys.
We also now know that the Oscar producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan—who, mind you, have theater pedigree and are responsible, for better or for worse, for Smash—are banking on you keeping you hooked after the Best Picture envelope with a splashy closing number featuring Seth MacFarlane and singing Broadway pixie Kristin Chenoweth, who is also one of the red carpet hosts. According to The Hollywood Reporter Zadan said, "We want to have an actual ending." But with this extra ending and all these performances (don't forget the James Bond tribute, as well) does this mean we're in for a long night? Sounds like it, based on an interview with Deadline:
Deadline: You have a big musical theme for the Oscar show this year with a lot more entertainment planned than usual. How are you going to bring this in at three hours?
Zadan: They would like it to be three hours and we are doing as much as we can to bring it in as close to three hours. It’s not going to be three hours but we will try to get it close to that.
Meron: What Oscar show has been? If you look at the past shows as we have done they are not. Take a look at the Grammy Awards. They hand about 11 awards in 3 1/2 hours. And we have to do all 24 awards plus we want to do our theme which is music of the movies.
We're not sure what he's trying to get at with the Grammys. Does this mean we're in for a seven-hour evening? As musical theater nerds, we're excited. As people looking to go to bed sometime before the next morning, we're apprehensive. We can only imagine how Tommy Lee Jones feels.