a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Beautiful’

Bomb Scare Tonight at Town Hall After Bway’s Rising Stars

Town HallOk, so I’ve wondered what it would be like to be caught in a bomb scare. And now I know. At the tail end of the always fascinating evening of this year’s Annual Broadway’s Rising Stars concert, which was celebrating it’s tenth anniversary tonight, host/creator Scott Siegel told the entire audience that they could not leave the building that there was ” a suspicious package outside the theater” and that “everyone should sit back down and stay in their seats.”

It was frightening. It was unbelievable that in this most amiable of settings that this catastrophe should happen to all these show-tune-loving theater goers.

I just shut down completely. I couldn’t react. There were friends of mine in the audicnce, most notably Pepe Nufrio, who was in the cast of last year’s Rising Stars as well as in my new play “A Hyacinth Coat…” where he sang the living daylights out of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

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Also there was his co-star on my show and in last year’s “Rising Stars” Ally Kupferberg, and in the show were previous guests Rising Stars of prior years, Jon Hacker, who is now in “Jersey Boys” and Chris Hlinka who has just returned from a National Tour of “Mama Mia.” Plus all of this year’s talented Rising Stars.

This couldn’t be happening to all these truly gifted young people. Scott Siegel ever the showman decided to “entertain you while you wait.” He assured us the NYPD Bomb Squad was almost immediately there, checking that “suspicious package” out, and Scott sang a song in Yiddish! I didn’t know he could sing!

And then had director Scott Coulter come out for what was surely his finest hour and sing a song that held the audience’s attention and the title of which has flown right out of my mind. But it was a show tune.

He then included Jon Hacker in a Four Seasons number “You’re Just Too Good to Be True.” And a former Carol King from “Beautiful” sang one of that shows trademark numbers and did a very good job of it, too. Which number again I’m too flummoxed by this whole thing to remember.

But suffice it to say that after about twenty minutes to half-an-hour, Scott told us he had “the All Clear” sign and we could go. Phew! Of course, we could go. This was unreal. It couldn’t be happening. But there was no panic visible. Scott handled this really, really well.

And thank god it was such a delightful evening with a plethora of young singing talent belting their hearts out that in a way you never wanted it to end. And this time it nearly didn’t.

#Bomb Scare # Town Hall # Broadway’s Rising Stars # Pepe Nufrio

 

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TONY Awards Predictions! Part One

TONY Awards Predictions! Part One

Dear readers, dear cineastes, dear lovers of theatre, it’s FINALLY that time of year again! The Tony Awards are upon us! Tomorrow night at 8pm on CBS! Can’t hardly wait!

And who’s going to win? Well, in a very competitive year, some awards have turned into slam dunks already on the awards circuit, and some, a few, well, maybe only one, are up in the air.

The undecided winner is going to be a real nail-biter, because it’s also the last award of the night. A very LONNNNG night for the nervous nominees.

And that of course would be Best Musical. The one Tony award that really carries real box-office clout. And that is a down to a photo finish between “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” which has the leading number of nominations with 10.

And it’s main and very threatening competitor is “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.”

If we were to go, like we Oscarologists always do, by the precursor awards, IOW, the other relevant awards that occur BEFORE the Tonys themselves, I would have to say it going to be “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”. It won the Outer Critics Circle Award and also the prestigious Drama Desk Award. And it lead the Drama Desks with seven wins just this past Sunday.

So it’s all over in the category. Isn’t it? Well, no.

The OCC and the DD as they are abbreviated are voted on solely by press and critics. And a few years back, the Tonys dumped nearly all their critical, review-writing journalistic members. And now their membership of nearly 800, consists mainly of Broadway producers. And their mind-set is very, very different from that of the critics, who they rightly or wrongly consider their adversaries.

And pundits keep mentioning that frightening one hundred or so stat that represents the road producers. They are the members who are scattered across the country and whose houses host Broadway shows that are touring the country.

The received wisdom is that they might favor a show that would be easier to tour. Hence the rise of “Beautiful:The Carole King Musical” in pundit consideration. It is a great show. And you are ALREADY humming the music BEFORE you go in, because they are all the great songs that one of America’s greatest song-writers, Carole King wtote.

We grew up on these songs. Well, I did anyway, and I love them all. It’s perhaps the greatest juke-box musical ever written. Or it’s right up their with “Jersey Boys,” the most successful juke-box musical of all time that is soon to be a Clint Eastwood directed film, opening in two weeks.

So, will familiarity trump orginality? “A Gentleman’s Guide…” is a totally original work, although iit is based, somewhat, on the great Alec Guiness movie “Kind Hearts and Coronets.” I love that movie. And I love “A Gentleman’s Guide…” I voted for it. And think the Tony voters are going to honor it, too.

It may even sweep. I think, like at the Drama Desk Awards, it will win Best Director of a Musical, the wildly inventive Darko Tresnjak, who also incidentally won the Drama Desk Award.

I had the honor of interviewing Mr. Tresnjak, and also his collaborators in ” Love and Murder” Steven Lutvak, who won Best Lyrics at the Drama Desk. Along with his co-lyricist Robert L. Freedman. In Parts Two and Three of my Tony predictions on this blog, I’m going to post the interviews I just did with all three at the various Drama Desk festivities. Stay tuned!

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Drama Desk Award Predictions

Drama Desk Award Predicitons

Yes, the Drama Desk Awards are coming up fast! They are handed out on June 1 next Sunday at Town Hall.

And here are my intrepid predictions! I think critic’s fave “A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Valor” (pictured above ^) Will sweep and get the Best Musical Award and all the others in that musical category. Best Music, Best Lyrics, Best Book, Best Orchestrations(the great Jonathan Tunick, natch.)

And in the hardest fought battle Best Actor in a Musical, I think the Drama Desk-ers being all critics are going to also choose actor’s actor Jefferson Mays for his eight(or nine) roles in “A Gentlemen’s Guide…” over the much more famous Neil Patrick Harris in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” Though when the Tonys come up the following week, we could see this reversed.

“Hedwig” will get Best Revival of a Musical. And I think “All the Way” though I LOATHED it myself will get Best Play. THREE HOURS OF HAM! I mean, I like ham. But THREE HOURS!?!?

However, I think the Drama Desk-ers will vote for it. Though something less known might surprise here. It could be anything, if it’s not the obvious Tony front-runner.

Best Actor in a Play will PROBABLY be Bryan Cranston in “All the Way” as LBJ. Another Tony front-runner. Chris O’Dowd in “Of Mice and Men” could be the surprise upset here. And this would REALLY be a surprise.

Best Actress in a Play may very well go to Tyne Daly for “Mothers and Sons”. Though with Audra McDonald in this category, too, it could be Audra. Though the Drama Desk-ers, being all critics through and through. and sticklers for detail, may balk at the Five-Time Tony Winner being put in this category though she sings an endless amount of memorable period songs. Audra won the Outer Critics Circle but she was in Best Actress in A Musical there, not Best Actress in a Play.

Best Actress in a Musical will also be Tony front-runner Jessie Mueller for “Beautiful:The Carole King Musical” where she’s amazingly effective as the ugly ducking who becomes a swan/superstar.

Best Revival of a Play will be “Twelfth Night.” It’s no longer running, but that won’t bother the Drama Desk-ers, who don’t take that into consideration, the way the Tony voters do.

Best Revue will be “After Midnight.”

The Drama Desk Awards are the only awards in all of theater, let it be said, that honor Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway equally, on an even playing field.

And the prestige of these awards has increased since the press are no long allowed to vote for the Tony Awards!

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French Film Star Marie Gillain! At the Montreal World Film Festival!

The beautiful French film star Marie Gillain and her debut director Francois-Xavier Vives talk about their new film “Landes” at the Montreal World Film Festival, 2012.
A lovely summer memory! Ah the French!

Camera ~ Federicio Roas Fuentes
Editing ~ Kevin Teller

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