Producers: 'Chicago' cast to join Oscar performers

LOS ANGELES - Academy Awards producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have run out of rehearsal space. Dressing rooms, too.

The award-winning production duo is planning the most performance-filled Oscar show ever. They promise a "wow moment" in each of its 13 acts, so the show demands a more dynamic stage and more dressing rooms and rehearsal time than previous Oscar productions.

"I don't think any Oscars have been as performance-based," Meron said.

It's no surprise, given the pair's hit-filled history: They produced 2003's best picture, "Chicago," and count TV's "Smash" and the recent Broadway revival of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" among their credits.

Running out of space for their Oscar production's A-list roster of performers -- including Barbra Streisand, Adele and Norah Jones -- is what Zadan calls a "great problem."

"When you do an Oscar show, you don't have a dressing room problem. The presenters don't get dressing rooms. And how many people perform on the Oscars, like one or two?" he said. "We have a staggering amount of performers, and each of them needs a dressing room... We're measuring the magnitude of how big the show is by the fact that we don't have (enough) dressing rooms."

Just added to the list of stars who may need spots? The cast of "Chicago."

The producers announced Monday that Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Queen Latifah and Richard Gere will reunite on the stage where "Chicago" won its Oscar 10 years ago.

"In a night of celebration of the music of the movies, we find it very appropriate," Meron said.

So will the musical cast sing?

"We can't talk about what they're going to do!" Zadan said.

Here's what they will talk about:

-- Expect a dynamic, screen-filled set to accommodate the movie-focused numbers: "We're using a lot of cutting-edge technology with new LED screens of different sizes, shapes and configurations... It's kind of thrilling what we're doing with screens," Zadan said. "There will be, too, the regular screen that you have to use each year... but then we have all kinds of other screens that we're using in the show that are completely unique and different and allow us to do stuff with cinema, so it's not a concert thing where somebody comes out and sings a song. It's all integrated into movies."

-- Look for a lot of host Seth MacFarlane: "He's going to be very present as a host, as a host should," Meron said.

-- And expect to hear him show off his chops: "Seth will sing. He's got a great voice," Zadan said.

"Seth really does understand and have great reverence for the music of the movies," Meron added. "He loves it."

-- And about those "wow moments?" Among them will be a celebration of the James Bond film franchise, a tribute to movie musicals, Streisand, Adele, a "special appearance" by Daniel Radcliffe, Charlize Theron, Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and maybe something from the cast of "Chicago."

"We think seeing the cast of `The Avengers' is pretty wow," Meron said.

Better book them a dressing room.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments

Oscar 2013 News

Oscars 2013: Dress shop offers red carpet fashion look for less Oscars 2013: Dress shop offers red carpet fashion look for less

David's Bridal in Lyndhurst offers affordable fashion that looks like the fashions that were worn by movie stars on Oscar night.

Oscar hosting: Is it a thankless task? Oscar hosting: Is it a thankless task?

The love-him-or-hate-him reaction to Seth MacFarlane's turn as Academy Awards host is evidence that one of the most high-profile jobs in show business is becoming one of its most thankless.

2013 Oscars best and worst dressed: Local stylist includes Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Stewart, more 2013 Oscars best and worst dressed: Local stylist includes Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Stewart, more

Local stylist Christine Lee was on Good Morning Cleveland Monday morning doling out her opinions of the best and worst on the red carpet.

Oberlin woman trains pigs that make cameo in Oscar-nominated Oberlin woman trains pigs that make cameo in Oscar-nominated 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'

A woman from Oberlin, Ohio trained pot-bellied pigs that starred in the movie "Beasts Of The Southern Wild."

PHOTOS: Road to the Red Carpet Oscars event at Pickwick and Frolic in downtown Cleveland PHOTOS: Road to the Red Carpet Oscars event at Pickwick and Frolic in downtown Cleveland

Check out photos from the annual Oscars watch party at Pickwick and Frolic in downtown Cleveland.

Anne Hathaway wins Oscar for best supporting actress Anne Hathaway wins Oscar for best supporting actress

Anne Hathaway has won the Academy Award for best supporting actor for her teary, show-stopping performance in "Les Miserables."

PHOTOS: 85th Annual Academy Awards show PHOTOS: 85th Annual Academy Awards show

Highlights from the 85th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California.

List of 85th annual Academy Award winners List of 85th annual Academy Award winners

List of the 85th annual Academy Award winners announced Sunday in Los Angeles.

Seth MacFarlane accepts assist from William Shatner as Oscars host Seth MacFarlane accepts assist from William Shatner as Oscars host

With jokes about domestic violence, breast-baring actresses, picking up Sally Field and a presidential assassination, Seth MacFarlane certainly didn't go soft during his first turn as Oscars host.

Armani, Dior rack up fashion wins at Oscars Armani, Dior rack up fashion wins at Oscars

Giorgio Armani could claim some big wins at the Oscars on Sunday night: the designer dressed Jessica Chastain and Quvenzhane Wallis.