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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

May 3, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Anjelica Huston sings in ‘Smash’

(Speaking of musicals — we were, weren’t we? — word is today that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is planning to star as Seymour in a remake of “Little Shop of Horrors.” I love J G-L, but this is a truly awful idea, because the 1986 musical version of “LIttle Shop” is terrific, and nobody could sing the dentist song better than Steve Martin. No one. And this news is making me want to belt out “SUDDENLY, SEYMOUR,” right here at the office, which is probably a truly awful idea as well.)
Anyway. You all know that I have my issues with “Smash” (as do many of you), but I found this rather sweet: Anjelica Huston, who plays the tough producer Eileen Rand (who, as this week’s episode proved, seems to have a superhero ability to travel between New York and Boston in a single bound), has not yet sung on the show, though nearly every other cast member has. But she’ll sing next week, performing a song close to her heart: “September Song,” made famous by her grandfather Walter Huston, who first sang it in 1938 in the Broadway musical “Knickerbocker Holiday.” Interviewed by the New York Times, Huston tells of her disastrous singing audition for a Tommy Tune show, explains why she’s uncomfortable singing (it’s emotional for her, because singing reminds her of her mother, who died when Huston was young), and how songwriter/producers Marc Shaiman and Scott Whitman approached her with the idea to sing this particular song on the show. It’s a lovely interview; read it, and watch. (Note that this is a preview clip for next week’s episode and thus contains a few minor visual spoilers; close your eyes and listen if you don’t want to know.)

Clearly Huston’s not a trained singer, but she delivers the song with an emotional honesty that’s very moving. Nicely done.

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