Friday, January 27, 2006

Mozart and Mark Hamill

In honor of the celebration of Mozart's 250th birthday I thought I'd share connections between Mozart and Star Wars.
I'll expand upon the most well-known of the group.

Mark Hamill got the part of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Peter Schafer's Amadeus, first on tour nationally, starting in May of 1983, then landing on Broadway (yes, THE Broadway), at the Broadhurst Theatre at 235 West 44th Street in NYC.
In order to prepare for his role in Amadeus he was coached on the keyboard by Nathan R. Matthews who was and is a New York based music director, conductor vocal coach, pianist and composer. In spite of the piano training, Hamill admitted that he only got as far as Jingle Bells in real life yet still managed to pull of the look of playing the piano for the stage production.

Trivia tidbit: Hamill moved to New York with his wife and two sons (Griffin, the youngest, was only 3 months old), from California, to make sure that the family stayed together during the run of the play.
Trivia tidbit:
Hamill turned down the opportunity to play Amadeus in the film version in 1984, that part eventually went to Tom Hulce.

~~
These are the other Star Wars actors that have Mozart connections:
Click the links for more information on each actor:

*Kenny Baker - 1984 (Film) - Parody Commendatore

*Todd Boekelheide - 1984 (Film) Sound designer (Received an Oscar for his work on the film)

*Marc Bauman - 1998 (Stage) - Antonio Salieri (Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, MA)

*David Dukes - 1980 (Stage) - replacement Antonio Salieri (Broadhurst Theatre, NY)

*Dermot Crowley - 1979 (Stage) (Royal National Theatre & Her Majesty's, London)

*Peter Firth - 1981 - Amadeus (Stage) - Mozart (Broadhurst Theatre, New York, NY)

*Robert Machray - 1999 (Stage) - Salieri's Cook/Citizen of Vienna/understudy for Baron Van Swieten (Music Box Theatre, New York, NY)

Mozart fans are in heaven as the classic stations, orchestras, philharmonics and symphonies, etc. are putting extra effort to celebrate Mozart's legacy this year.

For more information on Mozart go to The Mozart Project.

Enjoy!
Leah

8 comments:

Nerf-Herders Anonymous said...

janlomona
Smugglers Rants

date Posted: Jan 28, 2006 4:37 AM
Cool blog, I remember Hamill playing Mozart on Broadway (and the Elephant Man as I recal) but I didn't know he turned down the role in the film. And Tom Hulce was brilliant, F Murray Abaraham won the Oscar as Salkieri...that would have shut Marks critics up.
Oh, who cares, he's the frikkin' Joker for frecks sake - Mark Hamill rules!!

Nerf-Herders Anonymous said...

MelreNebarri
The Bad, The Badder, and the Baddest

date Posted: Jan 28, 2006 5:12 AM
why, oh why did Mark Hamill turn down the part for the movie? I wasn't even alive when the Broadway show was running and I would love to see him playing Mozart. Something about my favorite actors and good music just makes me really really happy inside. (like the most recent episode of LOST, in which Charlie plays piano and sings something other than "You, All, Everybody")

Nerf-Herders Anonymous said...

ewanandhaydenfan5
I Have You Now!

date Posted: Jan 28, 2006 7:19 AM
Leah,
great blog. "Amadeus" was a great movie! Mark Hamill would have been great in it, but I don't know if he could do that famous Mozart giggle as well as Tom Hulce! Thanks for the information and the Mozart Project link, it's very interesting.

Nerf-Herders Anonymous said...

ewanandhaydenfan5
I Have You Now!

date Posted: Jan 28, 2006 7:24 AM
Woa, I said "great" a lot in that last comment...sounds kind of silly! I hit the Submit button before I had a chance to edit.

Nerf-Herders Anonymous said...

fett2201980
Fettspawn

date Posted: Jan 28, 2006 8:54 AM
I love Mozart, I would like to see a symphony play one his symphonies one day. I did not know that Mark Hamill turned down the part, I think he could have pulled it off. I have liked that movie ever since I had to watch it in my high school chorus class.

Nerf-Herders Anonymous said...

NerfHerdersAnonymous
Life, the Star Wars Universe and Everything

date Posted: Jan 28, 2006 11:08 AM
"And Tom Hulce was brilliant, F Murray Abraham won the Oscar as Salieri...that would have shut Marks critics up. Oh, who cares, he's the frikkin' Joker for frecks sake - Mark Hamill rules!!"
Yes! It's a little hard now to imagine anyone else in those two roles but I could SO see Hamill playing Mozart. I really wish people could see beyond his iconic shadow, the man has superb timing (comic or otherwise).
One cool thing was that in London (National Theatre) Sir Ian McKellen played Salieri to Tim Curry's Mozart...that would have been brilliant too.

Nerf-Herders Anonymous said...

NerfHerdersAnonymous
Life, the Star Wars Universe and Everything

date Posted: Jan 28, 2006 11:16 AM
"Something about my favorite actors and good music just makes me really really happy inside."
You said it!

great blog. "Amadeus" was a great movie! Mark Hamill would have been great in it, but I don't know if he could do that famous Mozart giggle as well as Tom Hulce! Thanks for the information and the Mozart Project link, it's very interesting."
Great! That laugh was perfect.
You are welcome!

"I love Mozart, I would like to see a symphony play one his symphonies one day."

I don't know if you have a symphony/philharmonic in your town/city but if you do keep a watch on the programming..or better yet call to see if they're doing any Mozart this year...I don't think it's too late but I'm sure at some point next season they'll throw a little Wolfgang into the mix. ...season starts in the fall.

Nerf-Herders Anonymous said...

jkthunder
Attack of the Blog

date Posted: Jan 28, 2006 5:38 PM
thanks for the nod to mozart. good to see here.