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There to See: June — Tony Edition

June 4th, 2015 Comments off

At the beginning of each month we take a look at new productions opening on (and off) Broadway, offering our highly opinionated take on where you should spend your hard-earned theater bucks. This month we’re revisiting our three favorite shows of the season and suggesting you quickly scramble to get tickets before they run away with Tony honors.

Alex Sharp (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Alex Sharp (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Whether you’re a fan of the original book by Mark Haddon or are experiencing Simon Stephens’ adaptation for the first time, Curious Incident is one of those rare evenings of theater that will make your heart skip a beat. Director Marianne Elliott (who helmed the Oliver Award-winning production at the National Theatre) along with choreographers Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett utilize the 10-member ensemble in ingenious and infinite ways—as animate as well as inanimate objects. But it is the design team’s sensory framework that catapults the play from spectacular to pure genius.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Barrymore Theatre
243 West 47th Street

 

"An American in Paris" (photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

“An American in Paris” (photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

An American in Paris
For anyone who danced around the bedroom as a child, listening to cast recordings and dreaming of the day he or she might be on Broadway, An American in Paris is that dream come true.

Directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, there isn’t a show on Broadway that comes close when it comes to storytelling through dance. Carried along by George and Ira Gershwin’s score, the musical is a sweeping celebration of musical theater.

An American in Paris
Palace Theatre
1564 Broadway

Kelli O'Hara ('The King and I' on Broadway/Facebook)

Kelli O’Hara (‘The King and I’ on Broadway/Facebook)

Kelli O’Hara in The King and I
She’s received six Tony Award nominations (including this year’s notch for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical), but O’Hara has yet to snag the coveted prize… until now. Her star turn as Anna Leonowens leads a cast of 50 in Barlett Sher’s gorgeous staging of the Rodgers and Hammerstein 1951 classic. O’Hara is magnetic from the moment she appears on a magnificent ship sailing into Siam. And while that famous dress worn during “Shall We Dance?” took 20 yards of satin to create and delivers a circumference of nearly 30 feet, the actress is light as air. Her soaring soprano envelopes the rich score, but make no mistake—O’Hara is a superb actress on all fronts and delivers a performance of a lifetime.

The King and I
Vivian Beaumont Theater
Lincoln Center

Matthew Wexler is the Broadway Blog’s editor. Follow him on Twitter at @roodeloo.

In Memory of Celeste Holm

July 16th, 2012 Comments off

Celeste Holm. Image via CelesteHolm.com.

Oscar-winning actress Celeste Holm passed away yesterday at her home in New York City.

Perhaps best known for her supporting performances in classic films such as All About Eve (alone worthy of immortality) and Gentlemen’s Agreement, she had a long and distinguished career on Broadway with more than twenty credits to her name — from William Saroyan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Time of Your Life in 1939 to I Hate Hamlet in 1991. She even stepped in as a replacement for  heavy hitting divas Gertrude Lawrence in The King and I and Angela Lansbury in Mame.

Given that she often played a classy, witty woman of the world, it’s almost inconceivable to imagine that her breakthrough role was as the love-starved, countrified Ado Annie in the landmark original production of Oklahoma. But just listen to the original cast recording and you realize how indelible her performance was.

Here she is, from a film festival interview a few years ago, singing a bit of her signature song “I Cain’t Say No” at a film festival, still sassy and still playful with a lyric…

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