Saturday, April 05, 2008

Musical Chairs

I love it when musicians get to act in movies and series, but tend to hate it when actors try to slum as musicians in "real life." For now, I'll stick to the musicians-as-actors. Elvis and Doris Day were stuck with a lot of cheesy material, but Frank Sinatra enjoyed good roles. Take, for example, his performance in The Manchurian Candidate (1962). Great work. Take Fred Astaire, dapper dancer, in On the Beach (1959) -- fantastic.

Steve Van Zandt as Silvio Dante in HBO's The Sopranos (1999-2007). Thoroughly convincing as Tony Soprano's (James Gandolfini's) "associate in the business"

Steve Earle as Walon, Bubbles' NA sponsor , in HBO's The Wire (2002-2008). Again, thoroughly convincing. Terrific singer-songwriter and musical performer, too. Reminds me of country pop singer Randy Travis playing a bearded curmudgeon in some otherwise forgettable B movie, and the ubiquitous Willie Nelson, and Meatloaf, too. Effective character actors, all.

A more fanciful tier of roles have gone to Will Smith, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, Grace Jones, Prince, Eminem, Madonna (Desperately Seeking Susan, 1985), and more. Always more. But you get the idea.

Now that the weather's fine in Detroit, the dogs are barking, the squirrels are hopping, sparrows are chirping, ducks are quacking in an overgrown lot down the alleyway, and the sun is shining, I can run outside happily again -- with Final Four action this evening. Go Tar Heels!

Today's Rune: Movement.


Anonymous said...

Bruins dance away with it.--Whitey the Bear

Erik Donald France said...

UNC slaughtered last night -- hideous.

But, add Dwight Yoakam to the list of musician-actors: eg. in Swingblade.

Charles Gramlich said...

What really bugs me is when actors moonlight as writers and make ten times the money any real writer makes.

Sidney said...

I wouldn't have thought of Astair in "On the Beach" off the top of my head but that was a great turn.