How could veteran musical producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, whose credits include "Hairspray" and "Footloose," among others, create an Oscars telecast without a tribute to their favored genre?
With an introduction by John Travolta, the star of two of the 1970s' biggest musicals, "Saturday Night Fever" and Grease," the 10-minute musical montage featured film clips and live performances from three of the last decades' most popular musicals: "Chicago," "Dreamgirls" and "Les Miserables."
Chicago star Catherine Zeta-Jones was the first performer to take advantage of the moving stage, rising up from underneath the floor in a black fringy number to reprise her song "All That Jazz" from 2002's "Chicago." Though her fellow castmates Renee Zellweger, Queen Latifah and Richard Gere later paired up with the singer to present an award, they did not perform with her onstage.
That duty was left to a slew of black-clad dancers who helped Zeta-Jones with the routine that looked markedly similar to what she performed on-screen a decade ago.