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Breaking: Tony Awards to Present ‘LIVE! From the Red Carpet’

May 29th, 2015 Comments off

tonyFor the first time ever, the Tony Awards will present “LIVE! From the Red Carpet,” a live-streamed red carpet special helmed by TV and Stage Star Darren Criss and two-time Tony Nominee Laura Osnes. Criss and Osnes will be joined by George Takei, serving as the live stream’s official fan correspondent; Randi Zuckerberg as the tech/social correspondent; Blake Ross as the theater correspondent; and Emilio Sosa as the fashion correspondent.

The 2-hour, 30-minute special will air from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on TonyAwards.com, CBS.com, Playbill.com and TimeOut.com. Viewers will feel like they are right in the action, enjoying interviews with the 2015 Tony Nominees from the red carpet as they arrive for Broadway’s biggest night. In partnership with Stage17.tv and Playbill, the live special will also showcase exclusive behind-the-scenes features showcasing the nominated shows and actors of 2014-2015 Broadway season.

Darren Criss (photo: Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com)

Darren Criss (photo: Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com)

“There is no experience quite like being on the Tony Awards red carpet. The energy and excitement of the nominees, presenters and performers as they are about the enter Radio City Music Hall is exhilarating, and we are thrilled to share this unique experience with Broadway fans around the world – live – for the first time,” Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, and Charlotte St Martin, President of The Broadway League, said.

Fans who are in the New York City area can watch the live stream with fellow fans at the Times Square Simulcast via Clear Channel’s SpectacolorHD screens in the heart of the Broadway community—New York City’s Times Square. Exclusive content will also be available for fans to enjoy on the go through the Tony Awards Youtube channel and the Tony Awards Second Screen Experience at www.TonyAwards.com/secondscreen.

Review: The Way We Get By

May 29th, 2015 Comments off

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by Samuel L. Leiter

Thomas Sadoski and Amanda Seyfried in 'How We Get By' (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Thomas Sadoski and Amanda Seyfried in ‘How We Get By’ (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

There are two popular, talented, and attractive actors in The Way We Get By, Neil LaBute’s patchy new play at the Second Stage Theatre; under Leigh Silverman’s spirited direction, they’re appealing enough to hold you in their thrall for its 85 intermissionless minutes. However, for all its adroit, authentic-sounding dialogue, and its naturalistic ambience, the play too often seems an extended acting exercise that huffs and puffs to fill out the requirements of an evening at the theater.

Set within a generic New York apartment, designed by Neil Patel, the play begins with a guy named Doug (Thomas Sadoski, Newsroom, The Slap) tiptoeing around clumsily in the dark in his boxer shorts and open sweatshirt, his chest and six-pack exposed to the elements. Doug is unfamiliar with his surroundings, which belong to a pretty blonde named Beth (Amanda Seyfried, Les MisérablesBig Love), and her roommate Kim. When Doug wakes her by turning the TV on at full volume, Beth enters wearing his vintage Star Wars T-shirt, making him terribly uncomfortable, since he’s a rabid Star Wars geek with an obsession about this shirt, signed by the actor who played R2-D2.

Thomas Sadoski and Amanda Seyfried in 'The Way We Get By' (photo: Robert Ascroft via The Broadway Blog.)

Thomas Sadoski and Amanda Seyfried in ‘The Way We Get By’ (photo: Robert Ascroft via The Broadway Blog.)

What follows is a meandering conversation that jumps from topic to topic while gradually hinting that—unlike the initial impression that they first met at a party the night before—Doug and Beth actually have known each other for some time, although never in the sack. They talk about the shirt, naturally; Kim (unseen) and her territorial possessiveness; Doug’s talkativeness; what Beth drank the night before; Doug’s stay or go ambivalence; their mutual discomfort with the night’s events; Chelsea Handler, and various other mainly trivial matters. Beth also attempts to have oral sex with Doug, who makes her stop, suggesting—although, in LaBute’s inarticulately articulate dialogue, it takes him forever to spit it out—that he’s worried about a “pattern” forming in their relationship.

All of this turns out to be playwriting byplay setting the stage for LaBute’s big reveal, which comes about halfway through, and which the rules of spoilership preclude describing. Whether or not you saw it coming, it’s hard in retrospect not to view everything that’s happened up to now as a trick, and, regardless of the author’s deftness, to question its plausibility. And, while LaBute uses the second half to watch his people try to come to terms with their situation, his approach avoids the kind of interesting discussion the implications might have inspired.

Despite lots of nervous and frequently funny chatter, we don’t learn anything significant about Doug and Beth, not even their ages or what they do for a living, so the director and actors must have cooked up plenty of backstory to add acting meat to LaBute’s dramaturgic bones. The boyishly handsome, 38-year-old Sadoski portrays Doug as a kind of charming goofball with a host of vocal and physical characteristics but there’s an often awkward contrast between the actor’s obvious maturity and intelligence and Doug’s arrested development and insecurities. Seyfried, 29, making her theatrical debut, is a bit more believable at embodying her character’s adolescent verbal and behavioral tics.

The Way We Get By takes its flavorless title from one of Doug’s lines, spoken when he challenges Beth to make a bold decision about their future, and not settle for what’s safe, which is “the way we get by.” The play itself, while avoiding the misanthropy and misogyny often attributed to LaBute, and even ending on an upbeat note, might have benefited from taking the same advice.

The Way We Get By
Second Stage Theatre/Tony Kiser Theatre
305 West 43rd Street, NYC
Through June 21

Samuel L. Leiter is Distinguished Professor Emeritus (Theater) of Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He has written and/or edited 27 books on Japanese theater, New York theater, Shakespeare, and the great stage directors. For more of his reviews, visit Theatre’s Leiter Side (www.slleiter.blogspot.com).