As hoped, Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, now in their third running, will be delivering a most musical Academy Awards this year.
The longtime movie musical impresarios have announced that host Neil Patrick Harris will perform an original song-and-dance number penned by the “Frozen” team. Oscar winners Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez are currently writing a multimedia musical sequence titled “Moving Pictures” for Harris, who tweeted the news Tuesday morning.
Lopez won Tonys and Grammys for his button-smashing Broadway musicals “Avenue Q” and “The Book of Mormon,” and is working on the upcoming stage musical “Up Here” along with “Frozen” co-writer Anderson-Lopez.
Golden Globe winners John Legend and Common will also perform their Oscar-nominated “Glory” from “Selma,” sure to be a big emotional moment on the Oscars telecast. Legend recently stopped by the Sundance Film Festival, where he live-covered Nina Simone at the fest premiere of the new documentary “What Happened, Miss Simone?”
Meanwhile, the producers also announced that Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine will perform the lovely, tuneful Oscar-nominated song “Lost Stars,” written by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois for the summer 2014 movie musical “Begin Again.” While Levine and costar Knightley do perform an unplugged, acoustic version of “Lost Stars” in the film, I’d bet on seeing Levine’s more power-pop-friendly take. (Watch below.)
Part of Zadan and Meron’s skill is knowing how to mount an awards show with strong musical numbers–they are adept musical producers in theater, film and television, whose productions have earned six Oscars (“Chicago”), 11 Emmys (“Annie”), two Tonys (“Promises, Promises” and “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying”), a Grammy, five Golden Globes, two Peabodys, five GGLAAD awards and two NAACP awards. (More on Zadan and Meron’s musical savvy production team here.)
The 87th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.