Thank you so much to everyone that joined us for our screening of The Greatest Showman.
Read on for details on all the wines from the evening, our gallery of photos, and a bunch of trivia.
As promised, these are the wines we enjoyed ...
Dark Horse Sauvignon Blanc, Lodi, California, Tesco £9
Wine maker Beth Liston ensures the grapes are picked at night when the temperature drops to help prevent the grapes from fermenting before they get into the winery. The wine is aged in stainless steel tanks until bottling to preserve brightness and balance.
Bright aromas of grapefruit and gooseberry lined with fresh green notes. Layers of citrus and melon flavours create a bright palate with medium viscosity and a long, clean finish
The Big Top Chardonnay, Lodi, California, Boutinot £9.27
Bright and aromatic Chardonnay with notes of ripe tropical fruit. The palate is clean with a pure fruit driven expression. Mango and pineapple combine with green apple give a fantastically fruit driven style of unoaked Californian Chardonnay.
Burlesque White Zinfandel Rosé, Lodi, California, Boutinot £8.99
An entertaining number from start to finish! Selected from old vine vineyards in the Lodi region of central California. 100% zinfandel grapes, lightly crushed to create a pretty pink wine. Luscious strawberry ice cream on the nose supported by a bright, berry fruited palate and an off-dry finish. From personal experience this goes fantastically with Chicken Tikka Masalla.
Cabaret Frank No.2 ‘The Aviary’, Old Vine Cabernet Franc, Lodi, California, Boutinot £9.50
Made predominantly from Old Vine Cabernet Franc (85%), the balance being a harmonious blob of sibling Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes are harvested from 'old vines' (45 years) sourced from the single biggest Cabernet Franc vineyard in the world located in Lodi, Central California. The wine has spent just two months on oak to enable the true flavours and characters of the Cabernet Franc (and touch of Cabernet Sauvignon) to shine through.
Bright notes of juicy red fruits are complimented by blackcurrant leaf notes so typical of Cabernet Franc. Smooth, medium bodied and easy drinking wine that strikes a lovely balance with its blackberry, plum and dark cherry fruit characters coupled with classic varietal leafy tones.
Showdown 'Man with an Axe' Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Valley, California, Boutinot £10.99
This grapes are sourced from vineyards in the northern part of California’s Central Valley. The region around Lodi and Manteca enjoys significant influence from San Joaquin and Sacramento river deltas, which act as a natural cooling system to the often-searing heat. The effect is to provide freshness to the ripe, fruit charged Cabernet grapes. Ripe blackcurrant and wild berry fruit on the nose complimented sweet vanilla oak. Rich cassis and black cherry fruit on the palate with a soft, juicy, yet long finish. Framed by the subtle American oak.
Some highlights from our movie trivia ...
According to Hugh Jackman, the film's nine-year development process from conception to completion was, in part, due to studios' unwillingness to take a risk on an original musical. What finally sold the deal at 20th Century Fox was the future Oscar-nominated song "This is Me", which had literally been written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul during the two-hour flight to the studio meeting where the film was green-lit.
The film features eleven new songs written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the Academy Award winning lyricists of La La Land (2016). From early on in pre-production on the film, the decision was made to have the musical style to evoke more that of contemporary musical genres like pop and hip hop rather than that of a traditional, classical musical style that would accurately evoke the film's 1800s setting. As Pasek said, "The choice was to express not just the characters' feelings, but also how ahead of his time P.T. Barnum was. He wasn't bound by the world in which he lived; he wanted to create one."
Hugh Jackman read some three dozen books on P.T. Barnum to prepare for the title role.
Zac Efron said that the kiss that he and Zendaya had in this film was his favorite kiss of all time. However, he has also joked that his kiss with Dwayne Johnson in Baywatch (2017) was his favorite!!
This is Zac Efron's fifth musical along with the High School Musical trilogy and Hairspray (2007). Both Zac Efron and Zendaya are former Disney channel stars, Zac was in the High School Musical trilogy, and Zendaya was in Shake It Up (2010), Frenemies (2012) and K.C. Undercover (2015).
Anne Wheeler played by Zendaya is most likely based on Anna Olga Albertina Brown, alias Miss La La. Edgar Degas painted her as the subject of "Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando" in 1879. She was an Afro-German trapeze star. Miss La La married an African American contortionist named Emmanuel Woodson, and they had 3 daughters.
This is Hugh Jackman's third movie musical after Oklahoma! (1999) and Les Misérables (2012).
Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, and Zendaya have each played characters in films adapted from Marvel comics. Jackman played Wolverine in the X-Men film franchise, Williams played Anne in Venom (2018), and Zendaya played MJ in the Spider-Man installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Rebecca Ferguson admitted in an interview that she was extremely nervous when she had to perform a song in the film because she had to sing in front of a full audience, plus the entire crew. She commented that it was Hugh Jackman and his encouraging response to her performance that really helped her at the time.
Although Ferguson had studied music and admitted that she can carry a tune but since Jenny Lind, her character, is considered the best singer in the world, dubbing her voice would be in service of the movie and she was dubbed by Loren Allred.
Rebecca Ferguson was born in Stockholm, Sweden, just like Jenny Lind whom she played.
Among Barnum's "freaks," the film portrays Asian conjoined twins. The actual twins were Chang and Eng Bunker, two brothers born in Siam (modern day Thailand), whose heritage was the basis of the term "Siamese twins." Chang and Eng retired after their life in P.T. Barnum's circus to North Carolina, got married and had eleven children and ten children, respectively. However, they became destitute after the American Civil War and went on tour again. They both died in 1874, Chang from a brain blood clot and Eng from heart failure, or shock (the sources differ), merely three hours later.
At one point, when the museum is struggling, Barnum's girls suggest that he get something "sensational" like a unicorn or a mermaid. In reality, P.T. Barnum famously bought and exhibited the "Fiji Mermaid," a monkey carcass sewn to the body of a fish. In 1984 his circus also started displaying a live "unicorn" at its performances.
Sam Humphrey, the 22-year-old Australian actor who plays Tom Thumb in The Greatest Showman is 127cm or 4'2" in real life. The real Tom Thumb never grew taller than 103cm and was adopted by P.T. Barnum at the age of 4 to join Barnum Circus. Sam Humphrey had to walk on his knees in the movie, to make him look smaller. His real lower legs and feet were digitally edited out of the shots where they would have showed, but mostly he is filmed sitting or standing with his lower legs out of shot.
Counterintuitively, Shannon Holtzapffel, the actor who portrays "Tattoo Man," has no tattoos of his own. A body suit was used. However, the real life "Tattoo Man," also known as "Prince Constantine," (real name George Costentenus) was genuinely covered from head to toe in tattoos (save for portions of his ears and the soles of his feet). All together he had 387 separate tattoos including exotic animals, geometric shapes, flowers, and writing in various languages.
The albino sisters have no speaking lines in the film, but this wasn't always the case. Mishay Petronelli, who portrays one of the albinos, said in an interview that she originally had speaking lines, and even an improv scene with Hugh Jackman, but these scenes didn't make it into the final cut. However, she is seen prominently featured in multiple dance numbers.
Near the end of "A Million Dreams" when Barnum is cradling Charity's pregnant belly, you can see various signs in their apartment against the wall, presumably of failed businesses. One sign reads "Barnum Lottery". Barnum actually did run a lottery in Bethel from 1828 to 1834.
Hugh Jackman and director Michael Gracey met on a commercial shoot. Jackman told Gracey he wanted to make a film with him, and Gracey took it with a grain of salt - every famous person he'd worked with had made similar noises. To his surprise, Jackman later sent him the script of The Greatest Showman.
James Mangold, who directed Hugh Jackman in Kate & Leopold (2001), The Wolverine (2013) and Logan (2017), was brought in by the studio to oversee a week of reshoots and post-production, because the studio were concerned that director Michael Gracey would be overwhelmed by the scale of the production. Mangold was given an executive producer credit as a result. As a tribute to Logan (2017), the end credit card having Mangold's name has wolverine claws engraved on all four corners of the creative.
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Tony and the Wine Events Co. Crew
Trivia courtesy of IMDB