a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Bright Star 1Carmen Cusack2Four Stars!+++ This year’s Outer Critics Circle winner of Best Musical “Bright Star” now has its’ Original Cast CD available and it’s a beauty!Dreamy, hypnotic, superlative, this gem of a recording captures everything that is great and swoon-worthy about this stupendous, original show. Music and lyrics by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, who are now my favorite Bway duo. And their great leading lady, Carmen Cusack’s magnificent voice wails, swoops and soars into Bway history.

Country and Western, too, since “Bright Star” is first and last a bluegrass musical. I have to admit to not being a fan of this well-worn genre, but now I am! That’s how transportative the music of “Bright Star” is! And if you’re already a country and western afficionado, well, “Bright Star” will be right up your Nashville alley!

The story of a young woman in the earlier part of the last century living in the rural South and trying to find herself, and love, in a society that can only be called repressive, I am so glad to report that “Bright Star”s trills and thrills have all been carefully and lovingly recorded for posterity, and you’ll be able to listen to its’ musical joys over and over again. As I’m doing right now.

It’s the soundtrack of a life and starts with the killer “If You Knew My Story” which introduces the full throated Ms. Cusack right at the top of the show, wailing in her husky, mesmeric contralto and leaning against the porch post of her A-frame shack that’s about to spin her and us into Musical Comedy history.Bright Star 3

The level of achievement of all involved is so high, it’s breath-taking. I cried my way through the first act the last time I saw it, and I can’t help listening to Carmen Cusack’s  rueful, country wail without thinking of the tragedy that awaits her stalwart, brave character.

And did I mention that Steve Martin and Edie Brickell Bright Star 2wrote this wonderful, catchy, plaintive music that never veres far from the banjo Martin is so proud of playing at the drop of a hat. “Bright Star” justifies this mystifying transition of his. From stand up comic to great Bway composer. I want to go out and buy all their CDs  now. I’m a fan. And “Bright Star” Original Cast will make you a fan, too.

“Way Back in the Day”, “Bright Star”, “The Sun Is Gonna Shine Again”, “I Am Blinded” and “At Last” all soar and are so darn catchy, you’ll be humming all of them in your head til the cows come home. And this is from a critic who was born and raised in the Bronx!

# Bright Star CD

Tuck Everlasting 2Much to my great surprise, in that its’ closing was not hyped per usual, “Tuck Everlasting” closed today. Hard on the heels of the announcement of “American Psycho”s going down the Bway drain. I imagine that both shows closing so precipitously lost all their investments which would add up to millions, though I don’t have the figures in front of me.

“Tuck” was so bad I didn’t even review it. I have a limit to which I can spend two hours plus of my valuable time, trying to describe just what is bad about a bad show. “Tuck” was one of those shows. I’m trying to record all my responses to the bad ones, and there were plenty this season, on Twitter. I can manage two sentences, but two hours is just too much. Especially when there are so many shows that are exemplary and worth the time and the hype. My twitter handle btw is @haveafabulous. That’s the tag line I’ve been using as my sign-off for the past 28 years on my TV show. Which, if you’ve never seen it, is a web-series now on Youtube at www. youtube.com/StephenHoltShow.

I did think I tweeted “Tuck-Will it even last til the Tonys?” And no, it didn’t.

Here’s a link to a fuller recounting, but notice, like for “American Psycho” no figures are included.

http://www.playbill.com/article/broadway-musical-tuck-everlasting-closes-today

Bright Star 1Seeing “Bright Star” for the second time this past Saturday  was just astounding! I was shocked that I found myself crying through the appropriate sections of the hyper-emotional first act! I was totally wiped out, and was shocked that I responded that intensely. But WHAT an experience!

Seeing a show for the second time, especially one that you liked as much as I did “Bright Star”, is always a slightly scary proposition. Will it hold up? Will you still like it as much as you did the first time? Well, I liked “Bright Star” MORE. I didn’t think it was possible, but I did. And I can’t WAIT until the Original Cast Soundtrack comes out this week! Can’t WAIT!

Carmen Cusack in the title role just continued to astound and astonish. From the first notes of her opening number “If You Knew My Story”, I was just swept away. And never came back til the intermission! The story of a young, bright girl in the rural South of the 1920s, who has the heart as big as all the world is tragic and frightening as it unfolds, as “Bright Star”s emotional roller-coaster continues to flatten you, lift you up,lurch you this way and that, and ends with the powerful image of a suitcase/satchel being thrown off the train and into the night. You’ve GOT to see it!

And “The Humans!” I was so lucky as a Voting Member of the Drama Desk to get to see it also for a second time yesterday and it, too, seems to have grown. That’s the beauty of live theater. It’s alive! And can grow and change and flower in the most astonishing ways..

“The Humans” with its’ visually dead, almost sinister, mundane duplex set of the heroine’s apartment in Chinatown, seemed darker, more foreboding, which only adds to its’ impact.

The resplendent Jayne Howdyshell and the terrific Reed Birney as the mother and father of the attendant Irish Catholic clan continue on their march into Awards Season history, and I can’t wait to see the results. “The Humans” has also grown into a kind of phenomenon, as it, too, has taken the lead in the “Best Play of the Year” sweepstakes. I thought it was a battle between “The Humans” and “Eclipsed” but now I think it’s “The Humans” to lose.

When theater pieces are as good as “Bright Star” and “The Humans” you really CAN’T see them enough! I can’t wait to encounter both of them, again!

Bright Star 1This morning, I’m happy to say, my fave of faves “Bright Star” won Best Musical and Best Music for its’ composers, and Broadway first times, too. Steve Martin and Edie Bricknell.

And Here’s the rest of them! Hot off the presses!

66th Annual Awards

Outer Critics Circle

Announce

2015-16 Award Winners!

“She Loves Me” Tops list with 4 Awards

Followed by

“Long Day’s Journey into Night” with 3 Awards! 

——————————————————————————————————–

New York, NY  (May 9, 2016) Outer Critics Circle, the organization of writers and commentators for media covering New York theatre announced today its award winners for the 2015-16 season in 25 categories.

 

Celebrating its 66th season of bestowing awards of excellence in the field of theatre, the Outer Critics Circle, is an association with members affiliated with more than ninety newspapers, magazines, web sites, radio and television stations, and theatre publications in America and abroad.

 

 

Outer Critics Circle

2015-2016 Award Winners

 

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY

The Humans

 

 

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL

 Bright Star

 

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY

 The Christians

 

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL

 Dear Evan Hansen

 

OUTSTANDING BOOK OF A MUSICAL

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

 Dear Evan Hansen

OutstANDING NEW SCORE

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

 Bright Star

 

 

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Long Day’s Journey Into Night

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

She Loves Me

 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY

 

* Ivo van Hove     A View From the Bridge

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL

* Michael Arden     Spring Awakening

 

 

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHER

Sergio Trujillo     On Your Feet!

 

OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN

(Play or Musical)

 David Rockwell     She Loves Me

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN

(Play or Musical)

 

Jeff Mahshie     She Loves Me

 

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN

(Play or Musical)
Justin Townsend     American Psycho the Musical

 

OUTSTANDING PROJECTION DESIGN

(Play or Musical)

 Finn Ross     American Psycho the Musical

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY

* Frank Langella     The Father

 

 

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY

 

* Jessica Lange     Long Day’s Journey

 

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Alex Brightman     School of Rock the Musical

* Danny Burstein     Fiddler on the Roof

Robert Creighton     Cagney

Ben Platt     Dear Evan Hansen

Benjamin Walker     American Psycho the Musical

 

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

 Cynthia Erivo     The Color Purple the Musical

 

 

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY

 

* Michael Shannon     Long Day’s Journey Into Night

 

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY (TIE VOTE!)

* Pascal  Armand Eclipsed &Judith Light     Thérèse Raquin

 

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

 

* Christopher Fitzgerald     Waitress

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

 

* Jane Krakowski     She Loves Me  

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE

 

 

* James Lecesne     The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey

 

JOHN GASSNER AWARD

(Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)

 

* Marco Ramirez     The Royale

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

James Houghton     Signature Theatre Company

 

Winners Talley for 3 or more:

She Loves Me – 4; Long Day’s Journey Into Night – 3;

 

***Please note: The musical “Hamilton” was nominated for and won in several award categories for its Off-Broadway production last season.  The previous Off-Broadway productions of “Disaster” and “Blackbird” were considered for nominations by the Outer Critics Circle and therefore were not reconsidered for this year.  Only new cast members’ performances in these productions were taken into account for recognition in the 2015-16 season.  Due to OCC’s nomination deadline, the producers of the new Broadway musical “Shuffle Along,” asked to be considered with next season’s entries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nominations for the 2016 American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards®
Presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing

 


Best Play

Eclipsed

Author: Danai Gurira

The Father

Author: Florian Zeller

The Humans

Author: Stephen Karam

King Charles III

Author: Mike Bartlett

Best Musical

Bright Star

 

Hamilton

 

School of Rock—The Musical

 

Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

 

Waitress

Best Revival of a Play

Arthur Miller’s The Crucible

 

Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

 

Blackbird

 

Long Day’s Journey Into Night

NOISES OFF

 


Best Revival of a Musical

The Color Purple

Fiddler on the Roof

She Loves Me

Spring Awakening


Best Book of a Musical

Bright Star

Steve Martin

Hamilton

Lin-Manuel Miranda

School of Rock—The Musical

Julian Fellowes

Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

George C. Wolfe

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

Bright Star

Music: Steve Martin and Edie Brickell
Lyrics: Edie Brickell

Hamilton

Music & Lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda

School of Rock—The Musical

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics: Glenn Slater

Waitress

Music & Lyrics: Sara Bareilles


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

Gabriel Byrne, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Jeff Daniels, Blackbird
Frank Langella, The Father
Tim Pigott-Smith, King Charles III
Mark Strong, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge


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

Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Laurie Metcalf, Misery
Lupita Nyong’o, Eclipsed
Sophie Okonedo, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Michelle Williams, Blackbird


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

Alex Brightman, School of Rock—The Musical
Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof
Zachary Levi, She Loves Me
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton


Bright Star 3Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in aBright Star 1

 

 

Musical

Laura Benanti, She Loves Me
Carmen Cusack, Bright Star
Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple
Jessie Mueller, Waitress
Phillipa Soo, Hamilton


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

Reed Birney, The Humans
Bill Camp, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
David Furr, Noises Off
Richard Goulding, King Charles III
Michael Shannon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night


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

Pascale Armand, Eclipsed
Megan Hilty, Noises Off
Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans
Andrea Martin, Noises Off
Saycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed


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

Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
Brandon Victor Dixon, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress
Jonathan Groff, Hamilton
Christopher Jackson, Hamilton


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

Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton
Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me
Jennifer Simard, Disaster!
Adrienne Warren, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed


Best Scenic Design of a Play

Beowulf Boritt, Thérèse Raquin
Christopher Oram, Hughie
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
David Zinn, The Humans

 

 

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Es Devlin & Finn Ross, American Psycho
David Korins, Hamilton
Santo Loquasto, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
David Rockwell, She Loves Me


Best Costume Design of a Play

Jane Greenwood, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Michael Krass, Noises Off
Clint Ramos, Eclipsed
Tom Scutt, King Charles III


Best Costume Design of a Musical

Gregg Barnes, Tuck Everlasting
Jeff Mahshie, She Loves Me
Ann Roth, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Paul Tazewell, Hamilton


Best Lighting Design of a Play

Natasha Katz, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Justin Townsend, The Humans
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible

Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge


Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Howell Binkley, Hamilton
Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Ben Stanton, Spring Awakening
Justin Townsend, American Psycho

 

Best Direction of a Play

Rupert Goold, King Charles III
Jonathan Kent, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Joe Mantello, The Humans
Liesl Tommy, Eclipsed
Ivo Van Hove, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

Best Direction of a Musical

Michael Arden, Spring Awakening
John Doyle, The Color Purple
Scott Ellis, She Loves Me
Thomas Kail, Hamilton
George C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

 

Best Choreography

Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton
Savion Glover, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Hofesh Shechter, Fiddler on the Roof
Randy Skinner, Dames at Sea
Sergio Trujillo, On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan


Best Orchestrations

August Eriksmoen, Bright Star
Larry Hochman, She Loves Me
Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton
Daryl Waters, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

 

* * *

 

Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-competitive Categories

 

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre

Sheldon Harnick

Marshall W. Mason

 

Special Tony Award

National Endowment for the Arts

Miles Wilkin

 

Regional Theatre Tony Award

Paper Mill Playhouse

Millburn, NJ

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

Brian Stokes Mitchell

 

 

 

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre

Seth Gelblum

Joan Lader

Sally Ann Parsons

 

* * *

 

Tony Nominations by Production

Hamilton – 16

Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed – 10

She Loves Me – 8

Long Day’s Journey Into Night – 7

Eclipsed – 6

The Humans – 6

Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge – 5

Bright Star – 5

King Charles III – 5

Noises Off – 5

Arthur Miller’s The Crucible – 4

The Color Purple – 4

School of RockThe Musical – 4

Waitress – 4

Blackbird – 3

Fiddler on the Roof – 3

Spring Awakening – 3

American Psycho – 2

The Father – 2

Dames at Sea – 1

Disaster! – 1

Hughie – 1

Misery – 1

On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan – 1

Thérèse Raquin – 1

Tuck Everlasting – 1

 
#TonyAwards
www.TonyAwards.com

 

Bright Star 5

You can read them below, but I must say there are a lot of surprises. No Oscar WinnerThe Humans 1 Lupita Nyong’o, for “Eclipsed” for instance, is the real shocker. No Jeff Daniels(again) for “Blackbird” nor Michelle Williams either. I thought all these people were shoo-ins. Also no “Eclipsed” for Best Play. In fact, no nominations for “Blackbird” anywhere.Eclipsed 3

I guess they were just avoiding stars this year. Only Saycon Sengbloh(pictured above far right) was nominated for Outstanding Featured actress in a play for her mother earth role in”Eclipsed.” But none of her other co-stars. Although Danai Gurira got a special  non-competitive award all her own of her. Which I guess in is an honor in an off itself.

“The Humans” scored in every category imaginable, including Best Play and Best Director and also a best ensemble award outright. I think this means that “The Humans” will sweep the board outright at the Tonys, which are coming up next.

That piece of over-praised piffle,I’m sorry to say, “She Loves Me” got more nominations than anything else this year.

And “Bright Star” got nominated for Carmen Cusack for Outstanding Actress in a MusicalCarmen Cusack 1 as did her two featured leading men, A.J. Shively and   Paul Alexander Nolan also scored. As did Steve Martin’s and Edie Brickell’s rockin’ bluegrass music and the very original orchestrations, but it was NOT nominated for Outstanding New Musical.

The Drama Desks, and also Outer Critics Circle, are particularly important this year, as last year they both gave all their major awards to mega-phenomenon “Hamilton” because it was eligible for Off Broadway then due to its’ run at the Public Theater downtown.”Hamilton” will undoubtedly sweep the Tony Awards, which are just for Broadway alone. Whereas the Drama Desks are noted for treating Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway equally. Which is what makes them so interesting and unique.

So whatever award the Outstanding Musicals reap this year, they will be noted in their ads and everywhere. Which is a good thing for “Shuffle Along”, “School of Rock” and “Waitress” not to mention the superlative “First Daughter’s Suite” which was at the Public.Waitress 1

Strangely, my fave so far “Bright Star” was not nominated for Best New Musical though it did land seven nominations toto. And “Shuffle Along” who chose not to be eligible for the Tony this year, because, persumably, of the crush of good new musicals, DID get nominated by the Drama Desk for Best New Musical. Go figure.

“American Psycho” did very well, but again, no best musical nod. Although Benjamin Walker’s cut-and-ripped psycho did land Best Actor in a Musical, but the was the only actor so noted. AMerican Psycho 2

Here they are folks. Read ’em and weep.

2016 Drama Desk Award Nominations
 
Outstanding Play
The Christians, Playwrights Horizons
The Humans, Roundabout Theatre Company
John, Signature Theatre
King Charles III
The Royale, Lincoln Center Theater
 
Outstanding Musical
First Daughter Suite, Public Theater
Daddy Long Legs
School of Rock
Shuffle Along
Waitress
Outstanding Revival of a Play
Cloud Nine, Atlantic Theater Company
Death of a Salesman, New Yiddish Rep
Henry IV, Donmar Warehouse at St. Ann’s Warehouse
Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Roundabout Theatre Company
A View from the Bridge
Women Without Men, Mint Theater Company
Outstanding Revival of a Musical
The Color Purple
The Golden Bride, National Yiddish Theatre Folkesbiene
Fiddler on the Roof
She Loves Me, Roundabout Theatre Company
Spring Awakening
Outstanding Actor in a Play
Andrew Garman, The Christians, Playwrights Horizons
Avi Hoffman, Death of a Salesman
Frank Langella, The Father, Manhattan Theatre Club
Tim Pigott-Smith, King Charles III
Mark Strong, A View from the Bridge
 
Outstanding Actress in a Play
Georgia Engel, John, Signature Theatre
Mamie Gummer, Ugly Lies the Bone, Roundabout Undeground
Marin Ireland, Ironbound, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater/Women’s Project Theater
Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Nicola Walker, A View from the Bridge

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof
Robert Creighton, Cagney, York Theatre Company
Michael C. Hall, Lazarus, New York Theatre Workshop
Zachary Levi, She Loves Me
Benjamin Walker, American Psycho
 
Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Laura Benanti, She Loves Me
Carmen Cusack, Bright Star
Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple
Jessie Mueller, Waitress
Annette O’Toole, Southern Comfort, Public Theater
 
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Bill Camp, The Crucible
David Furr, Noises Off, Roundabout Theatre Company
Matt McGrath, The Legend of Georgia McBride, MCC Theater
Richard Thomas, Incident at Vichy, Signature Theatre
Michael Shannon, Long’s Day Journey Into Night
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Brooke Bloom, Cloud Nine
Megan Hilty, Noises Off
Kellie Overbey, Women Without Men
Saycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed, Public Theater
Jeanine Serralles, Gloria, Vineyard Theatre
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Nicholas Barasch, She Loves Me
Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress
Baylee Littrell, Disaster!
Paul Alexander Nolan, Bright Star
A.J. Shively, Bright Star
 
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
Alison Fraser, First Daughter Suite
Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen, Second Stage
Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me
Mary Testa, First Daughter Suite
Outstanding Director of a Play
Rachel Chavkin, The Royale
Sam Gold, John
Rupert Goold, King Charles III
Joe Mantello, The Humans
Jenn Thompson, Women Without Men
Ivo van Hove, A View from the Bridge
Outstanding Director of a Musical
Michael Arden, Spring Awakening
John Doyle, The Color Purple
Rupert Goold, American Psycho
Bartlett Sher, Fiddler on the Roof
Bryna Wasserman, Motl Didner, The Golden Bride
Outstanding Choreography
Joshua Bergasse, Cagney
Spencer Liff, Spring Awakening
Lynne Page, American Psycho
Randy Skinner, Dames at Sea
Savion Glover, Shuffle Along
 
Outstanding Music
Sara Bareilles, Waitress
Michael John LaChiusa, First Daughter Suite,
Andrew Lloyd Webber, School of Rock
The Lobbyists, SeaWife, Naked Angels
Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Bright Star
 
Outstanding Lyrics
Sara Bareilles, Waitress
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Dear Evan Hansen
Glenn Slater, School of Rock
Michael John LaChiusa, First Daughter Suite
 
Outstanding Orchestrations
August Eriksmoen, Bright Star
Larry Hochman, She Loves Me, Roundabout Theatre Company
Joseph Joubert/Catherine Jayes, The Color Purple
Andrew Lloyd Webber, School of Rock
Michael Starobin/Bruce Coughlin, First Daughter Suite
 
Outstanding Music in a Play
Billie Joe Armstrong, These Paper Bullets!, Atlantic Theatre Company
Estelle Bajou, Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, One Year Lease Theater Company
Shaun Davey, Pericles, Theatre for a New Audience
Philip Glass, The Crucible
Tom Kitt, Cymbeline, New York Shakespeare Festival
 
Outstanding Set Design for a Play
Riccardo Hernandez, Red Speedo, New York Theatre Workshop
Mimi Lien, John
G. W. Mercier, Head of Passes, Public Theater
Christopher Oram, Hughie
Derek McLane, Fully Committed
 
Outstanding Set Design for a Musical
Es Devlin, American Psycho
Emily Orling, Matt Saunders, Eric Farber, Futurity, Soho Rep/Ars Nova
David Rockwell, She Loves Me
Outstanding Costume Design for a Play
Jessica Ford, These Paper Bullets!
Martha Hally, Women Without Men
Constance Hoffman, Pericles
William Ivey Long, Shows for Days, Lincoln Center Theater
Anita Yavich, The Legend of Georgia McBride
Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical
Jane Greenwood, Bright Star
Katrina Lindsay, American Psycho
Jeff Mahshie, She Loves Me
Alejo Vietti, Allegiance
Ann Roth, Shuffle Along
 
Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play
Neil Austin, Hughie
Mark Barton, John
Bradley King, Empanada Loca, Labyrinth Theater Company
Tyler Micoleau, Antlia Pneumatica, Playwrights Horizons
Justin Townsend, The Humans
 
Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical
Jane Cox, The Color Purple
Jake DeGroot, SeaWife,
Ben Stanton, Spring Awakening
Justin Townsend, American Psycho
Jules Fisher/Peggy Eisenhauer, Shuffle Along
Outstanding Projection Design
Nicholas Hussong, These Paper Bullets!
Darrel Maloney, Tappin’ Thru Life
Peter Nigrini, Dear Evan Hansen
Finn Ross, American Psycho
Tal Yarden, Lazarus
 
Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
Fitz Patton, An Act of God
Fitz Patton, The Humans
Miles Polaski, Fulfillment, The Flea Theatre
Bray Poor, John
Ryan Rumery, Empanada Loca
 
Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical
Mick Potter, School of Rock
Brian Ronan, Lazarus
Nevin Steinberg, Bright Star
Dan Moses Schreier, American Psycho
Scott Lehrer, Shuffle Along
 
Outstanding Wig and Hair
David Brian Brown, She Loves Me
Jason Hayes, The Legend of Georgia McBride
Robert-Charles Vallance, Women Without Men
Charles G. LaPointe, The School for Scandal, Red Bull Theater
Mia M. Neal, Shuffle Along
 
Outstanding Solo Performance
Simon Callow, Tuesdays at Tesco’s, 59E59
Kathleen Chalfant, Rose, Nora’s Playhouse
James Lecesne, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey
Daphne Rubin-Vega, Empanada Loca
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Fully Committed
Unique Theatrical Experience
ADA/AVA, Manual Cinema/3LD/The Tank/
Antigona – Soledad Barrio/Noche Flamenca
That Physics Show
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show
YOUARENOWHERE – 3LD/The Tank
Special Awards
 
The Humans – Special Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble
Cassie Beck, Reed Birney, Jayne Houdyshell, Lauren Klein, Arian Moayed, and Sarah Steele spend a very special Thanksgiving Day together in Stephen Karam’s play, reminding us that home is indeed where The Humans are.
The Royale – Special Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble
The heavyweight cast of McKinley Belcher III, Khris Davis, Montego Glover, John Lavelle, and Clarke Peters gels as a unit in bringing Marco Ramirez’s story, inspired by Jack Johnson, to unforgettable life, offering a trenchant statement on racism in America.
Sheldon Harnick – Special Drama Desk Award
New productions of Fiddler on the RoofRothschild and Sons, and She Loves Me this season remind us that this veteran lyricist’s takes on faith, family and community are as resonant as ever.
Camp Broadway – Special Drama Desk Award
For more than 20 years, this indispensable organization has introduced young people to the magic of theater. Camp Broadway plays a crucial role in creating tomorrow’s audiences.
Danai Gurira – Sam Norkin Award
Whether writing about women in wartime Liberia in Eclipsed or about an affluent immigrant family from Zimbabwe struggling with assimilation in Familiar, Danai Gurira demonstrates great insight, range, and depth, bringing a fresh new voice to American theater.
64 shows with nominations
33 shows with multiple nominations
31 shows with single nominations
Shows with multiple nominations
She Loves Me – 9
American Psycho – 8
Bright Star – 7
The Color Purple, First Daughter Suite, John, Shuffle Along – 6
School of Rock, Waitress, Women Without Men – 5
The Humans, Spring Awakening, A View from the Bridge – 4
Dear Evan Hansen, Empanada Loca, Fiddler on the Roof, King Charles III, Lazarus, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, These Paper Bullets! – 3
Cagney, The Christians, Cloud Nine, The Crucible, Death of a Salesman, Fully Committed, The Golden Bride, Hughie, Noises Off, Pericles, The Royale, SeaWife – 2

American Pyscho 1I never really understood the ’80’s. The 1980s. They didn’t have the defined Gestalt of the ’60s(hippies), the ’70s(punk rock). Nor have any of the decades since then seem particularly definable to me. Just one big blur. Or is just life as we know it….continues…And “American Pyscho” tries its’ best to define the undefinable ’80s. And goes ahead to prove that New York City hasn’t changed that much. So it’s relatable.

It’s trying to be the ultimate New York ’80s Wall Street musical. And at that it does succeed. And it’s combining genres like mad.Which is very avant-garde of it, which I liked. It’s complex.

The rather unbelievable idea of trying to transform Brett Easton Ellis’ novel “American Psycho” into a musical comedy is indeed, er, dicey. And it veers widely in tone. Is it comic? Well, it’s funny, at times. It rhymes “ironic” with “Manolo Blahnik” and “mahi-mahi” with Issac Mizrahi. So it’s TRYING. And it tries too much. But what can you do with intractable, basically non-musical comedy material? Well, you put the comedy and the fantasy and the sex,(see above picture) front and center.

And it does this by having its’ incredibly comely leading man Benjamin Walker enter in his tighty-whiteys (see below)And pretty much keeps him there, unclothed, for most of the rest of the musical. And that’s a good thing.AMerican Psycho 2

It’s a great thing, really, because Mr. Walker, is an incredibly adept actor/singer/comic, who dances up a storm in Act Two particularly. And yes, again in his white underwear, that is now drenched with blood. In his incredibly long, monologish sequence in Act Two, he stays drenched in blood and singing, too, it is really a tour-de-force and to his credit, he’s never self-conscious, but always sexy. And yes, compelling. He acts OVER his underpants.

“American Psycho:The Musical” owes a lot to the late lesbian novelist Patricia Highsmith’s “Talented Mr. Ripley” and all her novels, including the Alfred Hitchcock-adaptation of her”Strangers on a Train.” Highsmith’s great achievement was always putting you INSIDE the murderer’s head, be it Tom Ripley or Bruno Anthony or any of them, and making you side with the psycho, which is exactly what “American Psycho” succeeds at, too.

“American Psycho” wants to put us all, as Patricia Highsmith did, inside the mind of serial killers.

But you see, Patrick Bateman is a Don Draper-look-alike, who is really a nerd. Nothing he ever says or does satisfies him. And New York and Wall Street particularly drive him crazy, and so he acts out, bloodily. Or does he?

Where “American Psycho:The Musical” also succeeds is abstracting all the violence. The French had a whole school of theatre called “Grand Guignol” and this is a perfect example of that. Blood was always everywhere as it is at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, where audiences are loving it! Es Devlin’s chiarascuro set aided by Finn Ross’ stunning scenic video projections are constantly turning the black and white Wall Street world of Patrick Bateman into a sea of red.

The first act was way too long by half, but by the time they got to “Mistletoe Alert” their Christmas number the show began to jell into the bloody aspic it becomes successfully in Act Two.

The fact that Patrick escapes to the Hamptons (see below) which he hates. (He also hates Christmas, btw.) And has to run back to New York, New York, where he feels “Safe,”made me begin to like this guy.American Psycho 3A seemingly impossible feat given the premise.

And oh yes, the chorus especially the men, are as buff as buff can be and as frequently shirtless as Benjamin Walker is. They form a very decorative set themselves.

Main among them I really liked Drew Moerlein’s Paul Owen, the perfectly slimy Wall Street a-hole, who is just BEGGING to be slaughtered by our serial-killer savior Bateman. (You see, he gets you on his murderous side, so you’re glad when he lowers quite a spectacularly bloody boom on the haplessly drunk and high Owen.)

Red-headed Jordan Dean also scores  as the closeted Wall Street-er who constantly is trying to seduce Bateman, in VERY physical ways.  His hands were all over Benjamin Walker’s superb physique rather constantly. I could relate.

Helene Yorke has the only stand-out female role as Bateman’s society-and-label-crazed fiance. And she keeps calling him “PA-TRUCK.” And Tony Winner Alice Ripley is totally wasted and unrecognizable as Pa-truck’s mother.

No. This is a show where the guyz, as you can see above, have it.

Benjamin Walker’s bravado turn just earned him an Outer Critics Circle nomination this past week. And so did Helene Yorke’s droller-than-droll deb.

The Drama Desk, btw, of which I am a voting member, announces their nominations on Thursday AM.  The Outer Critics gave “American Psycho:The Musical” the lions share of their nominations. Will the Drama Desk follow suit?

We’ll shall see. All I can say in conclusion is “AP:TM” is a bloody good time.

#American Psycho # Benjamin Walker # Outer Critics Circle # Patricia Highsmith # Talented Mr. Ripley # Alfred Hitchcock

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