Coming soon to a stage near you: George Takei (of "Star Trek" fame) is one of the creators of "Allegiance," a new musical about the United States internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps during WWII, an experience that Takei himself recalls from childhood. (This moment in our history was also recalled in David Guterson's novel Snow Falling on Cedars, which I thought translated pretty well to film.) "Allegiance" is still gaining traction, but we hope to see a version of it on Broadway sooner rather than later!
Ask most people what life in Africa is like, and their answer will most likely be inspired by things they've seen in movies such as "Blood Diamond" and "The Constant Gardener." The organization Mama Hope has assembled a video called "African Men. Hollywood Stereotypes" in hopes of dispelling some of these misconceptions. (It turns out they're more likely to play on a soccer team than ride around in a Jeep shooting off rocket launchers.) This little boy's recap of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie "Commando" is also oddly endearing.
There aren't too many documentary/musical crossovers out there, so I'm especially excited about "Hands on a Hard Body," which opened at the La Jolla Playhouse this weekend. It's based on the film of the same name: Twenty-four people participate in a contest in which they try to win a new pickup truck by being the last one to take their hands off of it. Since learning from the 2010 Robert Altman oral biography that at the time of his death, Altman himself had been in the process of filming his own version of a story based on the documentary, I'm especially desperate to see this new musical -- maybe it too will turn up onscreen eventually?
If you enjoyed the recent "Titanic" re-release, then you might be happy to note that there is potential for a sequel: An Australian billionaire is building a real-life replica of the ship that sank in 1912. Will it stay afloat? You might as well go ahead and start working on a screenplay about it sinking, just in case.