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John Cameron Mitchell to Receive Special Tony Award

April 27th, 2015 Comments off
John Cameron Mitchell (JStone/Shutterstock)

John Cameron Mitchell (JStone/Shutterstock)

Calling all Hedwig fans! The Tony Awards Administration Committee has announced that John Cameron Mitchell will receive the 2015 Special Tony Award.

“John’s return to Hedwig and the Angry Inch is one for the history books. He not only wrote and co-created the role with Stephen Trask – before directing and starring in the film – but returned to Broadway to star as Hedwig this season after a series of rave performances by Neil Patrick Harris, Andrew Rannells and Michael C. Hall. This is a remarkable undertaking, and we are honored to recognize his outstanding success with this honor,” Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, and Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, said.

John Cameron Mitchell’s New York stage appearances included Broadway’s Big River, and the original casts of The Secret Garden (Drama Desk nomination) and Six Degrees of Separation. Off-Broadway: Larry Kramer’s The Destiny of Me (Obie Award and Drama Desk nom.) and Michael John LaChiusa’s Hello Again (Drama Desk nom.). He adapted and directed Tennessee Williams’ Kingdom of Earth starring Cynthia Nixon and Peter Sarsgaard and starred in and wrote the book for the 1998 Off-Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch (directed by Peter Askin) for which he won an Obie Award along with co-creator/songwriter Stephen Trask.

MV5BMjE1NTIxNzQ5NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMDMzODA5._V1._CR0,1,265,404__SX1189_SY612_The film adaptation (2001) of Hedwig and the Angry Inch won him Best Director at Sundance and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. He directed Shortbus (2006) and Rabbit Hole (2011) adapted from David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play and starring Nicole Kidman in an Oscar-nominated performance. He recently appeared in HBO’s Girls and is preparing to direct a film adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s punk-era story How to Talk to Girls at Parties starring Elle Fanning and Nicole Kidman.

Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker will announce the 2015 Tony Award Nominations LIVE on Tuesday, April 28 from the Paramount Hotel’s Diamond Horseshoe in New York City. The Tony Award Nominations can be viewed LIVE on “CBS This Morning” and in their entirety, at www.TonyAwards.com.

The 2015 Tony Awards will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, on Sunday, June 7th, 2015 on the CBS, live from the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Tony Awards, which honors theater professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway, has been broadcast on CBS since 1978. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

A limited number of tickets to the 2015 Tony Awards will be made available to the general public. Tickets will be available at www.TonyAwards.com starting on April 28, 2015.

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre Awards Announced

April 7th, 2015 Comments off

tonyThe Tony Awards Administration Committee has announced this year’s recipients of 2015 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre. These honors will be presented at the Tony Honors Cocktail Party, a private cocktail reception, on Monday, June 1 at the Paramount Hotel’s Diamond Horseshoe. The 2015 Tony Awards will be broadcast live on Sunday, June 7 on CBS, and are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

The Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre were established in 1990 and are awarded annually to institutions, individuals and/or organizations that have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in theatre, but are not eligible in any of the established Tony Award categories. This year’s Tony Honors will be presented to:

Arnold Abramson: Abramson began his career at Triangle Studios and Dunkel Studios. When William Nolan open Nolan Scenery Studios in the newly purposed Brooklyn Ice Palace in 1956, he became Charge Scenic Artist and a partner in the business. During this time, Abramson taught scene painting for seven years at Yale University and 22 years at New York University Tisch School of the Arts. Abramson moved to Florida in 1991 and opened a Union shop called Studio South where he painted several backdrops for New York City Ballet, as well as productions that were sent to New York for Broadway. Studio South also painted sets and backdrops for the Miami City Ballet, and Abramson designed four productions for Miami City Ballet. Studio South was closed in 2005, after which Abramson painted at Coconut Studios until his retirement in 2012. Abramson was the second to be honored as a Master and Legend in 2012 at SUNY Purchase.

Neil Patrick Harris at the Tony Awards (photo: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com via The Broadway Blog.)

Neil Patrick Harris at the Tony Awards (photo: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com via The Broadway Blog.)

Adrian Bryan-Brown: Adrian is a partner in Boneau/Bryan-Brown, one of the largest theatrical public relations offices working today, established in 1991 with his business partner, Chris Boneau. Adrian has worked on more than 400 shows on and Off-Broadway, consulted on theatrical productions across the country and around the world, as well as providing strategic public relations advice to the film and music businesses and other areas of the entertainment industry. Productions represented by Boneau/Bryan-Brown have received 8 Pulitzer Prizes and 195 Tony Awards. A proud member of the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers (ATPAM) for more than 25 years, Adrian has taught theatrical public relations as an adjunct professor at Brooklyn College and has written about the work of a press agent in numerous publications. Adrian is married to the theatrical photographer Joan Marcus, who received a Tony Honor last year.

Gene O’Donovan: One of Broadway’s most respected and successful theatre technicians, Gene has been a member of the Broadway community for more than 40 years. His passion, commitment and technical expertise has directly enhanced a host of legendary Broadway productions, including The Wiz, Barnum, Annie, 42nd Street, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Les Miserables, Phantom Of The Opera, The Who’s Tommy, Master Class, Titanic, Spamalot, Frost Nixon, The Book Of Mormon, Matilda, Hedwig And The Angry Inch and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Starting off his career in one of the preeminent scene shops of its time, Feller Scenery, Gene moved on to become a Local One stagehand, a production carpenter and the founder of one of the most influential scene shops of the past 30+ years (Hudson Scenic Studio). He founded Aurora Productions, which over the last 20 years has supervised a combined total of more than 200 Broadway Shows, many Off Broadway shows tours, and international productions in London’s West End, Europe, Japan and Australia. For more than 13 years, Gene has been teaching production management at SUNY Purchase and Columbia University. Gene will be the fourth to be honored as a Master and Legend in 2015 at SUNY Purchase.

“We are thrilled to announce that Arnold Abramson, Adrian Bryan-Brown and Gene O’Donovan are this year’s recipients for the Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre. They exemplify the dedication, creativity and tireless work that goes on behind-the-scenes to make attending a Broadway show the sensational and unforgettable experience we know it to be. We could not be more proud to honor these three outstanding individuals with this year’s Tony Honors,” Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, said.

The American Theatre Wing’s 69th Annual Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards, which are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, on Sunday, June 7, 2015 (8:00 – 11:00 p.m. ET/PT time delay) on the CBS Television Network, live from the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Tony Awards, which honors theater professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway, has been broadcast on CBS since 1978. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

67th Annual Tony Awards Wins Two Emmys

August 18th, 2014 Comments off

tonyThe June 2013 broadcast of the 67th Annual Tony Awards was honored Saturday evening with two Primetime Emmy Awards at the Creative Arts Awards presentation in Los Angeles. The Awards won in the following categories:

Outstanding Special Class Program – Ricky Kirshner, Executive Producer, Glenn Weiss Executive Producer and Neil Patrick Harris, Host/Producer

Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics “Bigger!” – Music by Tom Kitt, Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda

This is the third consecutive year that the Tony Awards have won in these categories.

The Awards are nominated in two additional categories – Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special, directed by Glenn Weiss, and Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special, written by Dave Boone, Special Material by Paul Greenberg – that will be announced at the Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony on Monday, Aug. 25, in Los Angeles.

“This show certainly was ‘bigger’, living up to the lyrics of the opening song,” Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner said. “This could not have happened without the talents of hundreds of theater and television professionals working hand in hand. Our gratitude to everyone on the production and especially Neil Patrick Harris, whose talents helped the Tonys bring home another two Emmys.”

“The 67th Annual Tony Awards was certainly an outstanding production from the spectacular opening number to the moment the lights dimmed at the end of the show,” Heather Hitchens, Executive Director of the American Theater Wing, and Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, said. “We are incredibly proud of the entire team for their hard work and are honored that the Awards continue to be recognized.”

Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment have acted as executive producers of the Tony Awards telecast since 2004. During White Cherry’s tenure, the Tony Awards have been recognized with an unprecedented 34 Emmy nominations and 18 Emmy wins, including the best show in its class for the last five consecutive years, and seven of the last eight outings.

The Antoinette Perry “Tony” Award, which was founded by the American Theatre Wing in 1947, is bestowed annually on theatre professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway. The Tony is one of the most coveted awards in the entertainment industry and the annual telecast—the night America watches Broadway—is considered one of the most prestigious programs on television.

The opening number from the 2013 Tony Awards.

Tony Award Rants, Raves and Wins

June 9th, 2014 Comments off
Hugh Jackman (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions via The Broadway Blog.)

Hugh Jackman (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions via The Broadway Blog.)

“Everybody loves a winner, so nobody loves me.”

So sings Sally Bowles in Cabaret, but we didn’t hear Michelle Williams belt it out last night at the 68th Annual Tony Awards. Was she even in the room? Instead, we were treated to Alan Cumming recreating his Tony Award-winning role as the Emcee in the revival of the 1998 revival. How meta. That and other artistic oddities dominated this year’s Tony Award broadcast that aimed to invigorate a relatively anemic season on the Great White Way. We can’t say that we laughed, we cried, or it was better than Cats, but there were a few “a-ha” moments worthy of chuckles and tears.

Idina Menzel (Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions via The Broadway Blog.)

Idina Menzel (Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions via The Broadway Blog.)

Rant: What’s with the jumping, Hugh? The entire opening sequence had Jackman bouncing past vignettes of nominated performers and shows through the massive hallways of Radio City Music Hall. According to CNN, the bouncing was in reference to Bobby Van’s performance of “Take Me to Broadway” in the 1953 film Small Town Girl. Most (all?) avid theatergoers missed the reference and it ended up coming off like a last-minute fix for an elaborate opening dance sequence that perhaps went awry during rehearsals.

Rave: Audra McDonald won her sixth Tony Award for her performance of Billie Holliday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. Tricky that it was for the Best Play category, but we won’t squabble. McDonald is Broadway royalty.

Rant: Idina Menzel… let it go. And by that, we mean the crazy eyes and Olympic mouth stretching during your performance from If/Then. We were getting a bit of Elphaba, which also brings us to another rant as we were hoping you’d go green for the 10th anniversary performance from Wicked.

Jefferson Mays (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions via The Broadway Blog.)

Jefferson Mays (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions via The Broadway Blog.)

Rave: They should give out a Tony for Best Performance by an Actor Introducing a Musical… and when they do, please bestow it on Jefferson Mayes, for his gender-bending, denture-swapping narrative that preceded the best musical excerpt of the evening, which also happened to be from the show that won Best Musical: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.

Rave: Neil Patrick Harris – you rock. Period.

Rant? The jury is out on Jennifer Hudson’s performance from the forthcoming Finding Neverland. According to the New York Daily News, Harvey Weinstein wanted to bring Hollywood cache to create hype for the show, but Broadway purists were pissed that members of the actual cast were kept on the sidelines.

Rave: Could Carole King be any cuter? Yes, when performing with Broadway’s newest A-Lister Jessie Mueller. The pair were all rainbows and free love, and Mueller, who has trudged through less-than-thrilling revivals of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever and Into the Woods is a shining star in the Chicago-based Mueller family of actors, who have been on the regional boards for decades.

What will the 2014-15 Broadway season bring? We can’t wait to find out. But in the meantime, we’ll be reveling in the hit shows of the current season.

Take the leap for the full winner list.

Read more…

The Tony Awards by the Numbers

June 6th, 2014 Comments off
Neil Patrick Harris and the cast of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" (photo: Joan Marcus) via The Broadway Blog.

Neil Patrick Harris and the cast of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” (photo: Joan Marcus) via The Broadway Blog.

Before Broadway’s biggest night on Sunday, June 8th, 44 productions will have opened on Broadway in the 2013-14 season. Of those productions, 12 were eligible for Best New Musical and 10 were eligible for Best New Play at the 68th Annual Tony Awards.

Ramin Karimloo in "Les Misérables" (photo: Matthew Murphy) via The Broadway Blog.

Ramin Karimloo in “Les Misérables” (photo: Matthew Murphy) via The Broadway Blog.

Before the Awards ceremony begins, the 110 Tony Award Nominees will walk down 210 feet of red carpet. The Nominees will join an expected 5,500 guests in Radio City Music Hall, which spans a full New York City block wide.

During the Tony Awards broadcast, the winners from 26 categories will be announced. These winners will each receive a Tony Award with its signature 3-inch-diameter Tony Medallion that spins atop a 9-inch-tall Tony Statue.

By the time they hit the stage at the 68th-Annual Tony Awards, many of the performers and productions appearing at this year’s Awards show will have accomplished the following:

  • 908: Number of total costumes made this year by the eight Tony-nominated costume designers from Bullets Over Broadway, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Act One, Casa Valentina, AfterMidnight, Machinal and Twelfth Night
  • 478.5: Number of performances Alan Cumming has portrayed the Emcee in Cabaret on Broadway
  • 337: Number of costumes in each performance of Aladdin
  • 300: Number of raw eggs Tony Nominee Andy Karl has consumed on stage in Rocky
  • 67: Number of votes Lyndon B. Johnson, played by Tony Nominee Bryan Cranston, gets to pass his proposed bill inAll the Way
  • 26: Number of Carole King’s hit songs featured in Beautiful – The Carole King Musical
  • 16: Carole King’s age when she wrote her first song, as told in Beautiful – The Carole King Musical
  • 5: Number of Tony Awards Nominee Audra McDonald has won in her career
  • 4: The height (in inches) of Tony Nominee Neil Patrick Harris’ highest pair of heels worn in Hedwig and the Angry Inch
  • 1: Number of inches Hedwig is angry about

 

The Tony Awards will be broadcast in a live three-hour ceremony from Radio City Music Hall, on the CBS television network on Sunday, June 8, 2014, at 8pm ET. For more information on the Tony Awards, please visitwww.TonyAwards.com.

Terence Archie and Andy Karl in "Rocky" (photo: Matthew Murphy) via The Broadway Blog.

Terence Archie and Andy Karl in “Rocky” (photo: Matthew Murphy) via The Broadway Blog.

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Breaking News: Guess Who’s Peforming at the Tonys?

May 29th, 2014 Comments off
The Tony Award. Image via Google.

The Tony Award. Image via Google.

The Tony Awards have announced the line-up of performances for the 68th Annual Tony Awards, which will broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, on CBS, on Sunday, June 8th 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. (ET/PT time delay).

The entertainment-packed evening will feature performances by 2014 Tony Nominee Neil Patrick Harris and the cast of Hedwig and the Angry Inch; 2014 Tony nominee Sutton Foster with the cast of Violet; Alan Cumming reprising his Tony Award winning role in a performance from the revival of Cabaret and 2014 Tony Nominee Idina Menzel performing from the new musical If/Then.   

The evening will also feature not-to-be missed performances by the casts of this year’s Best Musical and Best Musical Revival Nominees, as well as other new musicals: Aladdin, Les Misérables, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Bullets Over Broadway and Rocky.

Idina Menzel in the original cast of "Wicked" (photo: wickedthemusical.com) via The Broadway Blog.

Idina Menzel in the original cast of “Wicked” (photo: wickedthemusical.com) via The Broadway Blog.

The cast of Wicked will return to Radio City Music Hall for the first time since 2004, when they won three Tony Awards. The cast will take the stage once again in what is sure to be a very special performance to celebrate Wicked’s 10th Anniversary. Also not to be missed: music legends Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight and Fantasia, who will take the stage for an unforgettable performance with the cast of After Midnight.Sting will also perform a song from his upcoming musical, The Last Ship.

Hosted by Tony Award winner, Emmy Award-winning, Academy Award®-nominated and Golden Globe-winning actor Hugh Jackman, Broadway’s biggest night will feature appearances by Bradley Cooper, Kevin Bacon, Carole King, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Will Ferrell, Liev Schreiber, Emmy Rossum, Kate Mara, Zachary Quinto, Zachary Levi, Lucy Liu, Clint Eastwood, Patricia Clarkson, Leighton Meester, Ethan Hawke, Zach Braff, Matt Bomer, Anna Gunn, Gloria & Emilio Estefan, Tony nominee Audra McDonald, Fran Drescher, Wayne Brady, Kenneth Branagh, Tony Goldwyn, Vera Farmiga and Alessandro Nivola.

The Tony Awards will be broadcast in a live three-hour ceremony from Radio City Music Hall, on the CBS television network on Sunday, June 8, 2014. For more information on the Tony Awards, visit www.TonyAwards.com.

A scene from "Les Misérables" (photo: Matthew Murphy) via The Broadway Blog.

A scene from “Les Misérables” (photo: Matthew Murphy) via The Broadway Blog.

Tony Award Nominations Announced!

April 29th, 2014 Comments off

tonyNominations in 26 competitive categories for the American Theatre Wing’s 68th Annual Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards® were announced today by actress of stage and screen Lucy Liu and Tony-nominee Jonathan Groff, at the Tony Award Nominations ceremony sponsored by IBM.  The nominees were selected by an independent committee of 33 theatre professionals appointed by the Tony Awards Administration Committee.  The 2014 Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.  (The list of nominations follows.)

Marking 68 years of excellence on Broadway, The Tony Awards will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall on CBS, on Sunday, June 8th, 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. (ET/PT time delay).

 

As previously announced, the 2014 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre will be presented to costume designer Jane Greenwood and the Isabelle Stevenson Award will be presented to Rosie O’Donnell.  The 2014 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre will be presented to President and CEO of The Actor’s Fund Joseph P. Benincasa, photographer Joan Marcus and General Manager Charlotte Wilcox.

Each year, the Tony Awards Administration Committee presents a Tony Award to a regional theatre on the recommendation of the American Theatre Critics Association. The 2014 Regional Theatre Award will be presented to the Signature Theatre of New York.

                                                            

The Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards are bestowed annually on theatre professionals for distinguished achievement. The Tony is one of the most coveted awards in the entertainment industry and the annual telecast is considered one of the most prestigious programs on television.

IBM, the official information technology partner of the Tony Awards, develops, designs, and hosts the official Tony Awards website, www.TonyAwards.com across digital platforms.  Audemars Piguet is the presenting sponsor of the Tony Awards Red Carpet. United Airlines is the official airline of the Tony Awards. The New York Times is the official and exclusive print media partner of the Tony Awards. Nexxus Salon Hair Care is the official beauty partner of the Tony Awards. Paramount Hotel is the official hotel partner of the Tonys. PEOPLE is the official magazine partner of the Tony Awards. City National Bank is the official bank of the Tony Awards. Carnegie Mellon University is the first-ever, exclusive higher education partner of the Tony Awards.

The cast of "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" (photo: Joan Marcus) via The Broadway Blog.

The cast of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” (photo: Joan Marcus) via The Broadway Blog.

Nominations for the 2014 American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards®
Presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing


Best Play

Act One
Author:  James Lapine

All The Way
Author:  Robert Schenkkan 

Casa Valentina
Author:  Harvey Fierstein

Mothers and Sons
Author:  Terrence McNally 

Outside Mullingar
Author:  John Patrick Shanley

Jessie Mueller in "Beautiful—The Carole King Musical." (photo: Joan Marcus)

Jessie Mueller in “Beautiful—The Carole King Musical.”
(photo: Joan Marcus)

Best Musical
After Midnight
Aladdin
Beautiful – The Carole King Musical
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

Best Revival of a Play
The Cripple of Inishmaan
The Glass Menagerie
A Raisin in the Sun
Twelfth Night

Best Revival of a Musical
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Les Misérables
Violet 

Best Book of a Musical
Aladdin
Beautiful – The Carole King Musical
Bullets Over Broadway
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

"The Bridges of Madison County"

“The Bridges of Madison County”

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

Aladdin
Music: Alan Menken
Lyrics: Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin

The Bridges of Madison County
Music & Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
Music: Steven Lutvak
Lyrics: Robert L. Freedman & Steven Lutvak

If/Then
Music: Tom Kitt
Lyrics: Brian Yorkey

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Samuel Barnett, Twelfth Night
Bryan Cranston, All The Way
Chris O’Dowd, Of Mice and Men
Mark Rylance, Richard III
Tony Shalhoub, Act One

 

Tyne Daly in "Mothers and Sons" (photo: Joan Marcus) via The Broadway Blog.

Tyne Daly in “Mothers and Sons” (photo: Joan Marcus) via The Broadway Blog.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Tyne Daly, Mothers and Sons
LaTanya Richardson Jackson, A Raisin in the Sun
Cherry Jones, The Glass Menagerie
Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
Estelle Parsons, The Velocity of Autumn


Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Neil Patrick Harris, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Ramin Karimloo, Les Misérables
Andy Karl, Rocky
Jefferson Mays, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
Bryce Pinkham, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder


Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Mary Bridget Davies, A Night with Janis Joplin
Sutton Foster, Violet
Idina Menzel, If/Then
Jessie Mueller, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical
Kelli O’Hara, The Bridges of Madison County


Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Reed Birney, Casa Valentina
Paul Chahidi, Twelfth Night
Stephen Fry, Twelfth Night
Mark Rylance, Twelfth Night
Brian J. Smith, The Glass Menagerie


Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Sarah Greene, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Celia Keenan-Bolger, The Glass Menagerie
Sophie Okonedo, A Raisin in the Sun
Anika Noni Rose, A Raisin in the Sun
Mare Winningham, Casa Valentina

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Danny Burstein, Cabaret
Nick Cordero, Bullets Over Broadway
Joshua Henry, Violet
James Monroe Iglehart, Aladdin
Jarrod Spector, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical


Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Linda Emond, Cabaret
Lena Hall, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Anika Larsen, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical
Adriane Lenox, After Midnight
Lauren Worsham, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder


Best Scenic Design of a Play

Beowulf Boritt, Act One
Bob Crowley, The Glass Menagerie
Es Devlin, Machinal
Christopher Oram, The Cripple of Inishmaan

"Bullets Over Broadway," set design by Santo Loquasto. (photo: Paul Kolnik via The Broadway Blog)

“Bullets Over Broadway,” set design by Santo Loquasto. (photo: Paul Kolnik via The Broadway Blog)


Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Christopher Barreca, Rocky
Julian Crouch, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Alexander Dodge, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
Santo Loquasto, Bullets Over Broadway


Best Costume Design of a Play

Jane Greenwood, Act One
Michael Krass, Machinal
Rita Ryack, Casa Valentina
Jenny Tiramani, Twelfth Night


Best Costume Design of a Musical

Linda Cho, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
William Ivey Long, Bullets Over Broadway
Arianne Phillips, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Isabel Toledo, After Midnight


Best Lighting Design of a Play

Paule Constable, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Jane Cox, Machinal
Natasha Katz, The Glass Menagerie
Japhy Weideman, Of Mice and Men

 

Margo Seibert and Andy Karl in "Rocky." Photo by Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.

Margo Seibert and Andy Karl in “Rocky.” Photo by Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Kevin Adams, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Christopher Akerlind, Rocky
Howell Binkley, After Midnight
Donald Holder, The Bridges of Madison County


Best Sound Design of a Play

Alex Baranowski, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Steve Canyon Kennedy, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
Dan Moses Schreier, Act One
Matt Tierney, Machinal


Best Sound Design of a Musical

Peter Hylenski, After Midnight
Tim O’Heir, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Mick Potter, Les Misérables
Brian Ronan, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical

Best Direction of a Play

Tim Carroll, Twelfth Night
Michael Grandage, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Kenny Leon, A Raisin in the Sun
John Tiffany, The Glass Menagerie


Best Direction of a Musical

Warren Carlyle, After Midnight
Michael Mayer, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Leigh Silverman, Violet
Darko Tresnjak, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder


Best Choreography

Warren Carlyle, After Midnight
Steven Hoggett & Kelly Devine, Rocky
Casey Nicholaw, Aladdin
Susan Stroman, Bullets Over Broadway

Best Orchestrations

Doug Besterman, Bullets Over Broadway
Jason Robert Brown, The Bridges of Madison County
Steve Sidwell, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical
Jonathan Tunick, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

There’s more! Take the leap!

Read more…

Tony Awards Recap: Let’s Get Kinky!

June 10th, 2013 Comments off

"Kinky Boots" live at the Tony Awards. (photo: tonyawards.com)

High heels and high theatrics seemed to be a theme for this year’s Tony Awards, which bestowed six awards on Kinky Boots and four for the revival of Pippin and the same number for Matilda The Musical. Neil Patrick Harris brought down the house with an electric opening number (featuring Mike Tyson) and “rapped” it up in a perfect bow for a finale that featured Audra McDonald.

Equally as entertaining was the mid-show riff featuring celebrated theater actors whose TV shows were recently cancelled. The all-star casualty list included Megan Hilty, Andrew Rannells and Laura Benanti. What fell awkwardly flat were the introductions and award presentations by actors in costume — and character — from currently running shows. It was especially painful to watch those standing around who didn’t have any lines to deliver.

Cyndi Lauper performing live at the Tony Awards. (photo: tonyawards.com)

The award speeches ran the gamut from Cyndi Lauper’s heartfelt ode to a lifetime appreciation of Broadway to Cecily Tyson’s… deliberate… final… ode… to… a… life… in… the… theater. And then there was Tom Hanks’ speech — oh, wait. He didn’t win.

Here’s the official winner’s list. But as so many of those making speeches indicated, it’s all about celebrating the community and artistry of live theater.

Best Musical – Kinky Boots

Best Revival of a Musical – Pippin

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical – Patina Miller, Pippin

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play – Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play – Tracy Letts, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical – Billy Porter, Kinky Boots

Best Lighting Design of a Play – Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer, Lucky Guy

Best Revival of a Play – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Best Lighting Design of a Musical – Hugh Vanstone, Matilda The Musical

Best Play – Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical – Andrea Martin, Pippin

Best Scenic Design of a Musical – Rob Howell, Matilda The Musical

 Best Scenic Design of a Play – John Lee Beatty, The Nance

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre – Music & Lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots

Best Choreography – Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots

Best Direction of a Play – Pam MacKinnon, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Best Direction of a Musical – Diane Paulus, Pippin

Best Book of a Musical – Dennis Kelly, Matilda The Musical

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical – Gabriel Ebert, Matilda The Musical

Best Sound Design of a Play – Leon Rothenberg, The Nance

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play – Judith Light, The Assembled Parties

Best Sound Design of a Musical – John Shivers, Kinky Boots

Best Orchestrations – Stephen Oremus, Kinky Boots

Best Costume Design of a Musical – William Ivey Long, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Best Costume Design of a Play – Anne Roth, The Nance

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play – Courtney B. Vance, Lucky Guy

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre:
Bernard Gersten
Paul Libin
Ming Cho Lee

Regional Theatre Award:
Huntington Theatre Company, Boston, MA

Isabelle Stevenson Award:
Larry Kramer

Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre:
Career Transition For Dancers
William Craver
Peter Lawrence
The Lost Colony

The four actresses who created the title role of Matilda The Musical on Broadway – Sophia Gennusa, Oona Laurence, Bailey Ryon and Milly Shapiro

The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and The American Theater Wing.

We asked the Broadway Blog’s Facebook fans which acceptance speech was most inspiring – congratulations, Patina Miller! (We want to know – who is going to write you a Tina Turner musical? Look at those arms!)

When You Wish Upon a Star: Tony Award Picks

June 9th, 2013 Comments off

2013 Tony Awards-nominees pose for a picture atop the Empire State Building. (photo: www.tonyawards.com)

The stars of Broadway are dusting off their patent leather shoes (do they really reflect up?) and breaking out the costume jewelry for the most celebrated night of the year: The Tony Awards. While we’re not going to give you a rundown of every category and projected winner, we do have a few favorites that we’re rooting for and a recap of some zingers from past reviews of our favorite performances.

From contributor Scott Redman:

The cast of "Pippin," directed by Diane Paulus. (photo: Joan Marcus)

Diane Paulus without a doubt is the most deserving of the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical. Paulus should win on her ability to put Pippin into a modern context that is relevant and theatrical. She has bonded a cast and creative team into a unified vision.

Using the circus as a setting isn’t just a clever excuse to have acrobats doing tricks, its supports the theme and characters in the show. The show feels fresh and is invigorating to watch: stellar cast, beautiful design and finally a show that sounds clear and vibrant.

Pippin also signifies the importance of a well done revival – a remount of an existing show that tells us something new about the material or sheds light on new ideas. Paulus has found her “corner of the sky” and I can’t wait to see what she does next. Good Luck Diane!

Lindsay B. Davis’s recap on two of the nominees for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play:
Holland Taylor [in ANN] almost dances across the stage as she entertains and tells jokes, some dirty, which she learned from her warm-hearted dad (Did you hear the one about the Terrier and Great Dane?). She speaks with the delight and skill of a seasoned cabaret artist or vaudevillian comedian. One can’t help but wonder if the real governor Richards was this entertaining but it doesn’t really matter. You’re too busy laughing to care.

I don’t know the last time you watched a radically entertaining, 70-year-old woman perform on stage, uninterrupted, for close to two hours. It commands respect and wins your love. So too, does this production.

Flexing her masterful storytelling muscles and using her real ones (there is a good deal of physical work involved to establish and advance the story), Fiona Shaw in The Testament of Mary delivers a performance that is so visceral, skillful and raw that the 85 minutes performed without an intermission sprint by in a flash. It is a journey marked by incidents in the life of her son, some based on actual Biblical stories — such as when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, healed the sick or turned water into wine, plus the crucifixion itself — and others completely imagined by the author. All manage to illuminate the mother not the messiah. She speaks not to advance the narrative of Christianity but to deeply reveal herself and come to terms with traumatic experience. As an audience it is impossible not to feel her deep torment and fight for survival.

Take the leap for thoughts from The Broadway Blog’s editor Matthew Wexler, including choreography from Matilda The Musical and our pick for “should have been nominated!”
Read more…

Inside the Casting of Broadway’s “Pippin”

June 6th, 2013 Comments off

Duncan Stewart (l) and Benton Whitley (r).

A handful of very fortunate (and talented) theater artisans are going to walk away with Tony Awards on Sunday night. But one category that does not receive nominations is that of Casting Director. With a keen eye for talent and social skills on par with a highly trained psychologist (have you ever been around theater people?), casting directors are responsible for helping to create the artistic vision for a show.

From A-list celebrities to chorus kids plucked right out of school, casting directors are a critical — and often overlooked — part of the creative process. The Broadway Blog sat down for an exclusive interview with Benton Whitley, Casting Director (CSA) and Partner at Duncan Stewart and Company. Known for their connections with high profile agents and managers, Duncan Stewart and Benton Whitley have been responsible for putting numerous stars, celebrities and international pop stars into theatrical productions including: Mary-Louise Parker, Kelsey Grammer, Christie Brinkley, Sofia Vergara, Harvey Fierstein and Liev Schreiber to name a few.

Their latest project is Pippin, the most nominated show of the year, including 10 Tony Award nominations, 11 Outer Critics nominations, 3 Drama League Nominations and 6 Drama Desk Nominations. We asked Whitley to share the company’s thoughts about casting its three nominated actors and here’s what he had to say:

The Broadway Blog:

Patina Miller as The Leading Player. (photo: Joan Marcus)

Patina Miller
Nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical.
Patina Miller as the Leading Player is, hands down, spectacular. Was it your concept from the beginning to cast a female or were you looking at all different types? She also has a captivating way of engaging the audience – almost as if they are another character in the show. Was this something you were specifically looking for?

Duncan Stewart and Company:
It was a huge priority in the casting of the role that the actor could break through that fourth wall and engage with the audience. Director Diane Paulus said, “I’m looking for an actor to ingratiate with the audience.”

Somehow this ringleader has the ability to reel you in, from a five-year-old to an 80-year-old man — and not be scared! We saw many actors that had a dominating presence, but didn’t have the heart. It was pivotal in our search.

[Diane] was open to the idea of a female. It was written for a male, the keys, the script, everything was geared toward a man. In auditions we saw men and women, ranging in age from 20- to 60-years-old. It’s our understanding that they’re not sold that Leading Players in the future needs to be an African American female.

By casting Patina, the role has become a showcase for her skill set. She had the edge over people. She’s sexy. She’s young. She’s gorgeous. And (which most people didn’t know) she’s a phenomenal dancer. If she had said no, the dancing would have been a lot more minimal. When it’s time to recast, it’s the bar that we’ll be try reach for, but we believe directors should not try to have actors fit into cookie cutter molds of the originating actors.

The Broadway Blog:

Andrea Martin at Berthe and Matthew James Thomas as Pippin. (photo: Joan Marcus)

Andrea Martin, nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical.

Andrea Martin as Berthe — come on! She received a standing ovation in the middle of the show the night that I saw it. Without giving too much away to readers who haven’t see it yet, how did you know that she would be able to ‘rise to the occasion’?

Duncan Stewart and Company:
It’s the beauty of creating an original cast and the time in the rehearsal room. Andrea was hired “offer only,” which means she didn’t have to audition. We knew that she was the right type and fit for the role and this production. She did have one stipulation. She said, “I’m only going to do this if you’re not going to make me the old granny that sits on the stool where everybody dances around me. I want to be shot out of a cannon.” Well, we got pretty damn close.

Now it’s a huge challenge for us moving forward. She’s contracted for a year but we’re already thinking about who could do what she does. There are few women in that age bracket who can do that, but the number has been shaped and we’ll do our best to maintain it.

The Broadway Blog:

Terrence Mann as Charles and Charlotte d'Amboise as Fastrada. (photo: Joan Marcus)

Terrence Mann, nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical.
As King Charles, Terrence brings both gravitas and humor (along with his real-life wife, Charlotte d’Amboise, who recently one an Astaire Award for her performance) to the production. How did that all come about?

Duncan Stewart and Company:
He tackles it like Shakespeare. Terry is a classically trained actor and it shows onstage. He also understands the comedy of the show. So many guys came in and played it like a puppet, but he also instilled a sense of realness. When we were pulling the lists together the lightbulb came on. Charlotte was on the list for Fastrada (King Charles’ wife) and we thought the two of them together onstage would be a great combination. They have different representation and were clear that they were both interested in the project independent of one another.

Diane said — and we agree — that Pippin is the definition of musical theater: glorious music, glorious acting and glorious dancing.