Randy Newman and "Princess and the Frog" Make a Splash

PlayBlog   Randy Newman and "Princess and the Frog" Make a Splash
It was a great weekend for Disney's "The Princess and the Frog," and the rewards continued into Tuesday.

The animated musical retelling of "The Frog Prince" story with a Jazz-Age New Orleans twist crossed the $100 million threshold ($100,352,358 to be exact) over the weekend of Jan. 29-31, according to boxofficemojo.com. To top off that accomplishment, on Feb. 2 the film's composer-lyricist Randy Newman got two Oscar nominations for the songs "Almost There" and "Down in New Orleans," and the film itself was nominated for Best Animated Feature of the Year.

Newman, who has a previous 17 Oscar nominations to his credit, including an award for the song "If I Didn't Have You" from "Monsters, Inc.," has written for the musical theatre, most notably an adaptation of Goethe's Faust. Mark Taper Forum will premiere a musical called Harps and Angels, to bow in Los Angeles in late 2010. His songbook is the heart of the show, which is billed as "a commentary on what it is like to be born, grow up, fall in love, and live and die in America." Read the Playbill.com story here.

Newman's first two Oscar nominations were for his work on the score and the original song "One More Hour" for the 1981 film version of E.L. Doctorow's novel "Ragtime," years before the novel was adapted into a Tony-winning Broadway musical by librettist Terrence McNally, composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens.

"The Princess and the Frog" features the voice talents of many theatre performers, including Tony winner Anika Noni Rose (as Princess Tiana), Keith David, Michael Leon-Wooley, Jennifer Cody, Peter Bartlett and Jenifer Lewis. Other voices heard in the film include Bruno Campos (as Naveen, the frog prince) and Oprah Winfrey.

For a clip of the animated movie's "Almost There," click here click here.

— Thomas Peter

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