Will Maury Meet Oscar?

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"I have no idea about the Oscars. It's like applying for college, I'm given to understand. You have to fill out the application form and give them a written-out version of the music and a copy of the two-sheet — I don't know what that is because I'm a Broadway baby — and then, I guess, maybe you get recommendations . . ."
The press conference for the film musical "Nine" began on this naïve note from composer-lyricist Maury Yeston, who wrote three new songs for the film version of his Tony Award-winning musical.

They songs are: "Cinema Italiano," pranced out by Kate Hudson, exalting the glory days of Italian movies in the 1960s; "Take It All," sung by Marion Cotillard, written to replace the wife's original exit song, "Be On Your Own," and "Guarda La Luna," written specifically for Sophia Loren's contralto range to replace the Broadway show's original title tune (the mother's song, created for a high soprano, Taina Elg, in 1982).

The Motion Picture Academy subsequently ruled that all but the last was nominatable. The "Guarda La Luna" lyrics were from-the-ground-up new, but the melody was an instrumental in the original Broadway show's second act. (It's listed on the Columbia Broadway Masterworks CD as "Waltz from Nine.")

Maury's already met Tony, for Nine and Titanic. Will he shake Oscar's hand?

— Harry Haun

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