Stories & Cast Interviews
Don't miss the Oscars on Sunday! Our good friend, Maury Yeston, the composer/lyricist for NINE, was nominated for Best Original Song! His haunting song, "Take It All", is sung by Luisa (Marion Cotillard), Guido Contini's wife in the film. It replaces the song "Be On Your Own" which Luisa sings in the stage version. Both are equally impressive! NINE, the movie, was also nominated for ART DIRECTION (John Myhre), SET DECORATION (Gordon Sim), COSTUME DESIGN (Colleen Atwood) and BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE (Penelope Cruz).
Let's Cheer MAURY on & then come to see NINE, the STAGE MUSICAL ....as it was ORIGINALLY CONCEIVED..in full splendor at WBT! Starring Robert Cuccioli & Glory Crampton. CHE MERAVIGLIA!
Maury Yeston with Marion Cotillard
Maury Sheds Light!
Maury Yeston, in a recent interview in the Scarsdale Inquirer, explains a few things and sheds light on the Themes in NINE!
“The last thing I expected was for it to become a film musical,” Yeston said. There was a long period of time between the film musicals of the ’60s and Rob Marshall’s “Chicago.” “Nine” was his second splashy film musical. “I could not have predicted it and am thrilled by it,” Yeston said.
“As a kid I fell in love with the movie ‘8 ½.’ When I was young I was inspired to write a work of fiction based on it. It’s an homage to the film that so inspired me. I couldn’t have predicted its fantastic debut on Broadway. The film [“Nine”] was a wonderful experience. The theater and the film are so different. What I said to Rob was, ‘the show will always be the show, but film is a director’s art. You need the freedom to make it cinematic. I’m sure things will change. I trust you. I will change anything you want.’ Marshall wanted to add new songs. He had perfectly rational reasons for it. A song that Sophia Loren’s character sings is for a soprano. It would be irresponsible of me to take music written for flute and give it to a bassoon. I created a new song for her, to play to her strengths.”
Yeston wrote three new songs for the film. “What I love most about composing is to create new things, inspired by the performance gifts of people I’m working with. The payoff is to see Marion Cotillard nominated for an Oscar. The job of the writer is not to be an old fogey, but to be alive.”
Yeston is in no way a fogey, taking creative risks, like finding the optimistic side of a shipping disaster in the 1997 musical “Titanic.”
“It wasn’t hard to get back into the music of ‘Nine,’” Yeston said. “I obsessively loved this piece so it’s given me an endless amount of inspiration to write on the theme of a man who lives like so many Italian princes, Jewish princes, it doesn’t matter what ethnic group you’re from, surrounded by the unconditional love of mothers, aunts, emotionally stunted to think women are still going to treat him like that for the rest of his life. Guido is like that, a serial monogamist. He wants everything. He believes he’s in love with the woman he’s with. He needs to grow up. The issues he has are universal. I found room to express myself in fleshing out the emotional reactions of women who are victimized by him.”
“I’m learning how different theater is from film. I spent my life in the theater,” Yeston said. “Each medium has its own magic. You see the dream on the screen. In the theater, it’s a magic box. The imagination of the audience harpooned. We provide our own details of reality. That’s why live theater is so exciting.
“The film can be film, the show can be a show. It’s a separate entity.”
“WBT raises the bar so high for regional theater,” Yeston said. “That’s the great secret of regional theater. American theater isn’t Broadway. Now, a high percentage of Broadway shows are very safe, revivals. Regional theaters are cutting edge. WBT combines both worlds. They have the innovation of a true regional theater and they can draw top flight talent from New York City. It has given them a wonderful edge.”