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Posts tagged ‘Best Actor in a Play’

Tony Predictions 2015. “American in Paris”& “Curious Case…”Will Sweep

Elephant ManMirren AudienceTony 2015And the Tony(s) will go to….Most likely,to the most liked “An American in Paris” the tony (pun intended)  re-imagining of the great Gene Kelly/Leslie Caron cinematic starrer of 1951,directed by Vincente Minnelli, it won the Best Picture Oscar & many  others and I think this million-dollar box-office bonanza for Broadway will make Tony voters vote for it. And I think it’s got legs.

It will sweep its’  Best Actor in a Musical and Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Robert Fairchild and Max Von Essen in, too. As well as Best Director of a Musical and Best Choreographer. Christopher Wheeldon has brought ballet to Broadway in a way that I can’t really remember. And Fairchild has a growing well of buzz about him. Doing the seemingly impossible and making you forget Gene Kelly in the same part, if only for a moment. When he won the Drama Desk Award earlier this week, in this same category, he thanked Gene Kelly, which I thought was a nice, classy touch.

The fact that Fairchild is a ballet dancer who has suddenly turned into a Broadway triple threat here, singing and acting, too, well, it’s catnip to the Tony voters. It doesn’t hurt that his beautiful ballerina sister Megan Fairchild is kicking up her talented heels as the leading lady Miss Turnstiles in “On the Town” a few blocks south on Broadway, too.

Broadway stalwarts Michael Cerveris in “Fun Home” and Brian D’Arcy James in “Something Rotten” will likely be seen as having other chances. And who can believe the full-throated, full-throttle D’Arcy James as an Elizabethan LOSER? But I think he’ll lose here. And I think “Something Rotten”( to the core) will be just too low-brow for the middle-brow Tony Voters. And Fairchild is the astonishment of the season.

The Drama Desk gave “Rotten” only one award for Christian Borle in Featured Actor. And he was very good, perhaps the best thing in “Rotten” as a rock-star Shakespeare. But Borle has already won a Tony (for “Peter and the Starcatcher” a few years back), leaving the excellent Frenchie, Max Von Essen, who isn’t French, to build his own Stairway to Paradise in that category.

Best Actress in a Play and Musical are slam-dunks for Dame Helen Mirren for “The Audience” and the very popular Kristen Chenoweth for over-exerting herself to the max in “On the 20th Century.”

Best Play will be British import “Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time” which will sweep all its’ many nominated categories Best Play, Best Direction of a Play. Best Lighting, Best Sound Design, Best Dog…(sorry, I REALLY didn’t like this dogs’ lunch myself. It gave me a headache. But that’s the sign of a true predictor. You can see what’s going to inevitably win and predict what you see, even if it made you feel like taking a Xanax, desperately…)

“Fun Home” may get Best Music and Best Book of a Musical for Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, respectively. “An American in Paris” is re-cycling mucho Gerswhin, so is not nominated in the Best Music category, which maintains that the music be original. And nobody liked Craig Lucas’ book for “American” and everybody likes Lisa Kron’s inventive work for “Fun Home.”

Best Revival of a Play I think will be the lush, opulent, but just right, re-interpretation of “The Elephant Man.” Now wowing the West End in London, it also featured sublime support from Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola as well as a dazzling star turn from Bradley Cooper in the title-role.It seems incredible that recent Julliard grad Alex Sharp is going to beat Superstar Bradley Cooper in the Best Actor in a Play race, but he’s won every other award in sight this season for “Curious Case…” Timing is everything on Broadway, and I think that if the sold-out hit “Elephant Man” was still running HERE, Bradley Cooper would’ve won for his tortured portrayal of John Merrick.

There seems to a groundswell that surrounds certain performers as Tony draws nigh(tomorrow night on CBS) and I feel that with Chenoweth, Sharp,  Fairchild, and Mirren.

I also feel that buzz surrounding Annaleigh Ashford for her dreadfully over-done, bad ballet dancer in “You Can’t Take It With You.” Supporting or as they like to say on Broadway Featured actor categories are always tricky to predict. But Ashford seems to have the momentum, inexplicably. to me, at least.

And Best Revival of a Musical is most likely going to be “The King and I”  at Lincoln Center. Well-done and sturdy, it lacks the two leading performances the over-rated and over-cast Kelli O’Hara and the barely understandable Japanese actor Ken Watanabe, playing the King of Siam. But everybody and everything else in it is quite well done.

This means my faves “On the Town” and “Gigi” will come away empty-handed. And so I think, will “Something Rotten” and “Hand to God.” But “Wolf Hall, Pts. 1 & 2” may land its’ solitary Tony win by gaining Henry VIII’s NathaAn American in Paris 1Wolf Hall 1niel Parker a nice, silver trophy to take back to Blighty, when the six-hour two part marathon of the season finishes its’ limited run the first week of July.

So tune in tomorrow night at 8pm to CBS to see how right or wrong I was.

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Outer Critics Circle Announce Nominees!

Dear readers, dear cineastes the Outer Critics Circle has announced its’ list of nominations, the first of the season, with “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” leading the pack with 11 nominations. I’m shocked, shocked! At Disney’s sub-par(to put it mildly)”Aladdin” getting as many nods as it got. And Audra McDonald’s splendifrous “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grille” is in the Best Actress in a Musical category. Not Best Actress in a Play which she could’ve easily gotten, as there is as much play in “Lady Day” as their is singing.

Both Bryce Pinkham AND Jefferson Mays’ were both nominated for Best Actor in a Musical category, pitting them against each other and against Neil Patrick Harris for “Hedwig” which I’m seeing Friday. Surprisingly now Best Musical nomination for “Bridges of Madison County,” but it got nominated for Best Music.

And “Bullets Over Broadway” did not score in the Best Musical category, nor Best Director of a Musical,but it did get Best Featured Actress for Marrin (Mugsalot)Mazzie, and Best Choreography (Susan Stroman) and Best Costumes (William Ivey Long). The Outer Critics Circle is voted on byy critics whose outlets are outside the metropolitan area. Some call them the Bridge and Tunnel Awards.

64th Annual Awards

Outer Critics Circle Announce

2013-14 Season Nominees

“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder”

Heads the List with 11 Nominations!

Followed by

8 for “Aladdin,” 7 for “Fun Home” & 6 for “Rocky”

The First Broadway/Off-Broadway Award Nominees of the Season!

Outer Critics Circle, the organization of writers and commentators covering New York theater for out-of-town newspapers, national publications and other media beyond Broadway, announced today (April 22, 2014) its nominees for the 2013-14 season in 24 categories. Stage and screen stars Cecily Tyson and Vanessa Williams presided over the (11AM) announcement ceremony at Manhattan’s Friars Club.

Celebrating its 64th season of bestowing awards of excellence in the field of theater, the Outer Critics Circle is an association with members affiliated with more than ninety newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and television stations, and theatre publications in America and abroad. The winners of the following categories will be announced on Monday, May 12th and the annual awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 22nd (4PM) at the legendary Sardi’s Restaurant.

– Nominations follow-

Outer Critics Circle

2013-2014 Award Nominations

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY

Act One

All the Way

Casa Valentina

Outside Mullingar

The Realistic Joneses

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL

After Midnight

Aladdin

Beautiful The Carole King Musical

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

Rocky

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY

Appropriate

Choir Boy

The Explorer’s Club

The Heir Apparent

Stage Kiss

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL

Far From Heaven

Fun Home

Murder For Two

Storyville

What’s It All About? Bacharach Reimagined

OUTSTANDING BOOK OF A MUSICAL

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Aladdin

Beautiful The Carole King Musical

Fun Home

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

Rocky

OUTSTANDING NEW SCORE

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Aladdin

The Bridges of Madison County

Fun Home

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

If / Then

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

The Cripple of Inishmaan

The Glass Menagerie

Machinal

Twelfth Night

The Winslow Boy

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Cabaret

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill

Les Misérables

Violet

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY

Tim Carroll Twelfth Night

Michael Grandage The Cripple of Inishmaan

Lindsay Posner The Winslow Boy

Bill Rauch All the Way

Lyndsey Turner Machinal

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL

Warren Carlyle After Midnight

Laurence Connor & James Powell Les Misérables

Sam Gold Fun Home

Alex Timbers Rocky

Darko Tresnjak A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHER

Warren Carlyle After Midnight

Peggy Hickey A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

Steven Hoggett & Kelly Devine Rocky

Casey Nicholaw Aladdin

Susan Stroman Bullets Over Broadway

OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN

(Play or Musical)

Christopher Barreca Rocky

Beowulf Boritt Act One

Bob Crowley Aladdin

Es Devlin Machinal

Alexander Dodge A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN

(Play or Musical)

Gregg Barnes Aladdin

Linda Cho A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

William Ivey Long Bullets Over Broadway

Jenny Tiramani Twelfth Night

Isabel Toledo After Midnight

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN

(Play or Musical)
Kevin Adams Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Howell Binkley After Midnight

Paule Constable Les Misérables

Natasha Katz Aladdin

Philip S. Rosenberg A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY

Bryan Cranston All the Way

Ian McKellen No Man’s Land

Brían F. O’Byrne Outside Mullingar

Mark Rylance Twelfth Night

Tony Shaloub Act One

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY

Tyne Daly Mothers and Sons

Rebecca Hall Machinal

Jessica Hecht Stage Kiss

Cherry Jones The Glass Menagerie

Estelle Parsons The Velocity of Autumn

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Michael Cerveris Fun Home

Neil Patrick Harris Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Andy Karl Rocky

Jefferson Mays A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

Bryce Pinkham A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Sutton Foster Violet

Audra McDonald Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill

Jessie Mueller Beautiful The Carole King Musical

Kelli O’Hara The Bridges of Madison County

Michelle Williams Cabaret

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY

Paul Chahidi Twelfth Night

Michael Cyril Creighton Stage Kiss

John McMartin All the Way

Alessandro Nivola The Winslow Boy

Brian J. Smith The Glass Menagerie

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY

Barbara Barrie I Remember Mama

Andrea Martin Act One

Sophie Okonedo A Raisin in the Sun

Anika Noni Rose A Raisin in the Sun

Mare Winningham Casa Valentina

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Danny Burstein Cabaret

Nick Cordero Bullets Over Broadway

Joshua Henry Violet

James Monroe Iglehart Aladdin

Jarrod Specter Beautiful The Carole King Musical

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Judy Kuhn Fun Home

Anika Larsen Beautiful The Carole King Musical

Sydney Lucas Fun Home

Marin Mazzie Bullets Over Broadway

Lisa O’Hare A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE

Jim Brochu Character Man

Debra Jo Rupp Becoming Dr. Ruth

Ruben Santiago-Hudson How I Learned What I Learned

Alexandra Silber Arlington

John Douglas Thompson Satchmo at the Waldorf

JOHN GASSNER AWARD

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

Scott Z. Burns The Library

Eric Dufault Year of the Rooster

Madeleine George The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence

Steven Levenson The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin

Lauren Yee The Hatmaker’s Wife

Nominations Talley for 3 or more:

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder 11; Aladdin 8; Fun Home 7; Rocky 6; After Midnight 5; Beautiful 5;

Twelfth Night 5; Act One 4; All the Way 4; Bullets Over Broadway 4; Machinal 4; Cabaret 3; The Glass Menagerie 3; Hedwig and the Angry Inch 3; Les Miserables 3; Stage Kiss 3; Violet 3; The Winslow Boy 3

2013-14 Outer Critics Circle Executive / Nominating Committee

Simon Saltzman (President)

Mario Fratti (Vice-President) Patrick Hoffman (Corresponding Secretary)

Stanley L. Cohen (Treasurer) Glenn Loney (Historian & Member-at-Large)

Rosalind Friedman (Recording Secretary) and

Aubrey Reuben & Harry Haun (Members-at-Large)

“Twelfth Night” on Bway ~ One of the Best I’ve Ever Seen!

How can I begin to describe the joys of the impossibly wonderful “Twelfth Night” now on Broadway? It’s simply one of the best productions I’ve ever seen IN MY LIFE!

The two-time Tony Award winning genius Mark Rylance is probably on his way to another award (or awards) for his astounding performance as Olivia in “Twelfth Night.” Not usually considered a memorable role in Shakespeare’s comedy, which is usually played, as always by a woman, and as a sort of wan, sad, elegant lady,who is mourning the death of her brother. Olivia is usually the straight person in a cast of characters who are off-the-charts loony.

And here the masterstroke is Rylance plays Olivia as the looniest toon of the lot. He seemed to be channeling Margaret Dumont of the Marx Brothers movies. His  love-struck Olivia becomes the absolute center of this production, and the play, too, and it seems absolutely right. AND HILAROUSLY so.

The audience, some of whom were seated on the stage, was absolutely getting EVERY SINGLE Elizabethan joke and laughing so much, it made this marvelous “Twelfth Night” the longest “Twelfth Night” I’ve ever sat through.

With a half-hour pre-show added, wherein you get to see the actors get into their costumes and make-up right on stage and the musicians tune up their authentic, period instruments, this un-cut version was heading to the four-hour mark. But I didn’t mind one bit. I was in theatrical heaven!

One always wishes, if  one is a bardolator, that one could travel back in time to Elizabethan England, and see just what it was that made Shakespeare so great. And the brilliant thing that Rylance and his director of many productions, Tim Carroll have done is that they are so exact in a replication of how this comedy of Shakespeare’s was probably done, you absolutely believe you are in Elizabeth’s England, and that you’re discovering this great play for the first time and finding it  to be one of Shakespeare’s most enjoyable. In the hands of Rylance and co., all of whom are on their Elizabethan A-Game, “Twelfth Night” really ranks among one of Shakespeare’s greatest.

It’s an absolute delight from start to finish. All four hours of it.

And we, the press, were warned off coming to see it last night, because the light-board failed, and so we were not going to see it as it was meant to be performed, I was told, by the worried press agent. I decided to go anyway. And we discovered, when we entered, the stage was flooded with candle-light!

And that just made it magical! We were time-traveling!

There did seem as the play went on to be more and more stage lights focused on it, so perhaps the lighting board was being repaired as the show went on, but they were all white or a very pale blue lights

But of course, Shakespeare’s King’s Players DID perform by candle light.

And the stage at the Belasco was full of candles. There were six or eight chandeliers that were dropping candle wax on the actors, and an upstage set piece with more and more candles on it. sort of in the shape of a Christmas tree. So the stage was ablaze with honey-colored light. Which had a warming, charming, and totally disarming effect, which was just right.

And all the female parts are played, as they were in Shakespeare’s time, by men. Rylance’s Olivia dominating every scene, as we watch the character go from a very demure, lady-like, mournful royal in widow’s weeds atop a small tiara,  to a hyped-up matron who is hiking up her skirts and losing her beads, as she falls head-over-heels in love with the young Cesario, who is really a girl Viola, dressed, in disguise as a page-boy. Rylance,who usually blows everyone off the stage, he is such a strong performer, but here he is matched quite evenly by the great Samuel Barnett as Viola, equally convincing as a man or a woman. Tony Nominee and Drama Desk Winner, Barnett will be familiar to Broadway audiences from “The History Boys” a few years back.

I knew he had greatness in him, and the promise he showed in “History Boys” comes to full fruition as this glorious beautiful Viola/Cesario, who matches Rylance’s antic, love-crazed Lady Olivia, beat for comic beat.

And he’s not blowing the great Stephen Fry off the stage as Malvolio. Oh no! Making his American and Broadway stage debut, Fry a major stage, film and television star in England is simply magnificent as Lady Olivia’s simpering steward.

Fry is a towering figure. He’s a huge man, and he makes Rylance’s Lady Olivia seem dainty by comparison.

Also, the large and bosomy Maria of Paul Chahidi, a maid servant of Olivia’s, who is also daintiness personified, as well as the mischievous mischief-maker, who sets much of the plays comic stratagems in motion. Chahidi and Rylance, who are both wearing floor-length gowns, move with such humorously mincing small steps they seem to be floating across the stage, or on roller skates! Hysterical!

The men, who actually play men in this cross-dressed production are at a kind of comic disadvantage, you’d think, against Rylance’s Olivia, Barnett’s Viola, and Chahidi’s Maria(or Mariah or Mary as she’s variously called), but Rylance has wisely peopled the supporting cast with very strong character actors who are as funny as the “women.”

Colin Hurley is a pint-sized Falstaff as Sir Toby Belch, who has to play all manner of drunkeness throughout, and his extremely tall co-hort Sir Andrew Aguecheek is perfectly matched by Angus Wright. Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and Maria form the toxic trio of tormentors who want to bring down  the supercilious steward Malvolio, leaving a letter supposedly from Lady Olivia that tells him “Some are born great, Some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”

Well, “Twelfth Night” itself is having greatness thrust upon it by this astonishing, laugh-riot of a production. Sub-titled “Or What You Will,” which is the Shakespearen equivalent of saying “Whatever”, or “This play is just a trifle. Don’t pay any attention to it. Don’t take it seriously.” And “Twelfth Night,” or as the bill-boards are spelling it “Twelfe Night,” was a name just tacked on to it at the time, because it was performed for Queen Elizabeth I as part of the twelfth night after Christmas celebrations. As if Shakespeare didn’t know what to call it.

The words “Twelfth Night” are never mentioned throughout the play. But I did catch, I think it was Viola saying “What You Will”.

This historic production is a dream come true, and is thrusting a greatness upon “Twelfth Night” as one of the best comedies ever written. It will now always be referred to by all who attempt to match this magic. It’s an impossiblity.

Tony Nominees ~ The Final Parsing

Dear Cineastes, dear readers, dear theatrelovers of literature, my Tony nominee show aired last week in my NYC cable TV time slot, and this week is another brand-new show containing interviews with Emma Roberts and Paul Giamatti and Tony nominee for Best Actor Bobby Cannavale.

The videos of this show have been up for awhile now on You Tube www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow

But how right were we? And would I change anything now that so many of my critical colleagues have weighed in? And what HAS changed?

Well, for those you of you who don’t want to, or can’t, click on the above link for some reason, here’s the latest.

“The Book of Mormon” “The Book of Mormon” “The Book of Mormon” All three of us pundits on my show DID pick that, too. And it was the only time we all agreed. So that as they say is that. The question remains just how big are its’ coattails? Will it sweep in the Acting categories?

On my show, in the Best Actor in a Musical category, we all agreed that Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad would cancel each other out. But the NY Times’ Patrick Healy, thinks that Josh Gad might have a slight edge. Norbert Leo Butz is what my two TV colleagues said. And I felt it was Tony Shelton for “Priscilla Queen of the Desert.”

EVERYbody on Theatertalk, which shot a Tony show that I couldn’t find(it’s on You Tube under CUNY-TV) because of the pledge week goings-on, all thought Tony Shelton, too.

Norbert Leo Butz won the Drama Desk Award in this category and gave an evidently heart-rending speech. But how much of an overlap is there between the Tony Voters and the Drama Desk? If the show bookers, the tour operators, who supposedly make up  a sizable chunk of the Tony Voters, are looking to award someone who will tour…Tony Shelton is the most likely to do that…

Drag queens with awards? Well, the Tonys have a long history of that. Only last year Douglas Hodge won for his poignant plucky Zaza in the umpteenth revival of “La Cage Aux Folles” They like giving the Tony to an Old Man in a Dress.

But that’s a category that is definitely a toss-up with so many could-win contenders in it.

Two categories that have yielded a clear front runner since we filmed my show at the Bombay Palace restaurant…on a rainy day in May…are Best Actress in a Play, which I agreed at the time with Sherry Eaker, was Frances McDormand. And the other category is Best Actress in a Musical with Sutton Foster! My two compadres, Sherry and Scott Siegel, said Sutton, too. And everyone on Theatertalk did, too.

I said “Patina Miller” in “Sister Act” but since then Sutton seems to be experiencing a groundswell of support, just like “The Book of Mormon” and “Frances McDormand” are. The New York Times didn’t even mention Patina Miller!

The two revival categories~ Play and Musical~ also drew consensus. It’s “Normal Heart” and “Anything Goes” by all. Except me, who said “How To Succeed…”

Oh, Time Out New York agreed with this too. “Mormon”, McDormand and Sutton…

Best Actor in a Play is as up in the air as Best Actor in a Musical. I said Bobby Cannavale for “The Motherfucker with a Hat” but Sherry said “Mark Rylance” for “Jerusalelm” and Scott Siegel said “Al Pacino” for “Merchant of Venice.”

On Theatertalk(you really should try to watch it on YouTube. It’s worth the search.) Surprisingly someone who neither Sherry nor Scott nor I mentioned Joe Mantello from “A Normal Heart” was the consensus winner. With Mark Rylance on the outside. Time Out New York thought Rylance, too….

So THAT category is definitely a toss-up.

And Best Play? Another toss-up. With all four candidates having supporters. Me? I said “Motherfucker with a Hat”. And Scott and Sherry thought “War Horse” as did Time out and a lot of pundits on Theatertalk. “Good People” also just won the New York Critics Circle Award just today after FOUR ROUNDS of voting. And that says something…or does it?

Lots of surprises, toss-ups and blindsides in many, many categories this year, which means it’s been a VERY good year for Broadway.

Watch the Tonys on Sunday night at 8pm on CBS!

TONY Predictions Show now up on You Tube!

At last! And just in time for the Tonys, my Tony nomination prediction show is now up in its entirety on You Tube ~ www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow

And you can see me and my fellow predictors Scott Siegel and Sherry Eaker give our informed, but VERY different takes on who is going to win what in eight of the top categories Best Actress and Actor in a Musical, Best Actress and Actor in a Play, Best Play and Best Musical.

We also slip in Best Revival of a Play and Best Revival of a Musical.

Interestingly, we only agreed twice. On Best Musical and Best Revival of a Play! Otherwise, we agreed to disagree. Once, we each had a different choice ~ in Best Actor in a Play! So I guess you could say that THAT is a category that is up for grabs.

We filmed it at the glamourous Indian restaurant the Bombay Palace. In front of its’ very, very famous and very, very large fish tank. The fish stole the show, but its’ black and yellow eel really was the unexpected star.

I hope you enjoy this spirited, intense conversation about the year’s best theater! I know I did!

As you know, I already revealed ONE of my picks in the previous post. Patina Miller as Best Actress in a Musical for “Sister Act.” Scott and Sherry did NOT agree with me…as you’ll see!

Bobby Cannavale Trimuphs at Drama Desk Awards!

I’m very happy this morning to report that that great underestimated(but not by me) actor Bobby Cannavale won the Drama Desk Award for Best Actor in a Play for “The Motherfucker with a Hat.” It was richly deserved. Congratulations, Bobby!

And now on to the Tonys!

Also winning big was “Book of Mormon” with five wins, but none of them in the acting categories.

And now on to the Tonys!

Are the Drama Desks a bellweather for the Tonys? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

I think this does help Norbert Leo Butz who won for “Catch Me If You Can” as the beleaguered good guy FBI agent Hanratty. Tom Hanks played him in the movie. This was the only award that “Catch Me” got…

Will the Tonys follow suit? Perhaps. But the fabulous Butz already has WON a Tony and recently for “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” Do the Tony voters take that into consideration? I think they do. But this does help him.

Another head-scratcher was the lovely Laura Benanti who won in the VERY competitive Best Featured Actress in a Musical category for the long-closed “Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.”

I saw it and reviewed it, not favorably. It was a mess. But Laura was very, very good as the MOST nervous of all the Nervous women. The Drama Desk notably does not care if a show is closed or not. Laura is nominated for a Tony, too. Along the Patti LuPone from “Nervous.”

The Tonys DON’T usually give one of their most-prized awards(since they are seen on National television) to a show that’s closed. And Laura has also won, and recently, for “Gypsy.”  Tammy Blanchard, who was not nominated for a Drama Desk (for “How to Succeed…”) and Nikki M. James(“Book of Mormon”) was nominated for BOTH are all competing in that red hot category.

The patchy “Anything Goes” got five Drama Desk Awards including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Choreography for director Kathleen Marshall.

More on all hoopla this later. I have to dash to the Waldorf to interview Christopher Plummer for HIS new movie “Beginners” which Focus is going to push hard for to get Plummer another nomination, and maybe his long-over due Oscar. We’ll see what category they put him in. A beautiful performance as a man coming out of the closet at 75, he could win in Supporting. We’ll see…

Daniel Radcliffe Delights Bway! In “How To Succeed…”

Daniel Radcliffe is absolutely a delight and a revelation in the latest revival of Bway vintage musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” He is so successful from his Harry Potter decade of family film franchise stardom that he never has to do anything for the rest of his professional life. Unless he wants to. And he certainly didn’t have to take on the singing and dancing challenge that J. Pierpont Finch represents in “How To…” But he did! And he triumphs!

Surprisingly. When the tiny Radcliffe busts a movie(or rather) move in the “Groundhog” football dance number the teenage girls in the audience (yes! teenage girls in a Bway audience!) started squeeeeealing with delight. That’s just the first act! And by the “Brotherhood of Man” finale number that concludes this rousing revival,the diminutive Radcliffe has utterly proven himself as a bona fide Broadway singing and dancing sensation!

And his “I Believe In You” the famous Men’s Washroom song sung to an invisible mirror — Fawgeddabowit!

 “How To…”, a creaky curio at best, really needs that star power and charisma in the central role that Radcliffe dazzlingly provides, or it really is pretty much a bunch of nothing. And very sexist too boot. Its’ heroine Rosemary’s singing of the delights of “I’ll be happy to keep his dinner warm. Waiting for him to wearily come home from Downtown” as the other girls in the steno pool sing ” Don’t Cinderella! Don’t give up the Prince!” and the glories of the “New Rochelle PTA!”

Feminists in the audience will be cringing. But not so the teenage girls who were SCREAMING their way through one Radcliffe number after the other after the other. They were in Harry Potter cult heaven! I’ve never seen anything like this reaction on Ole Broadway before…It reminded me of what it must have been like when Frank Sinatra sang to the swooning bobby-soxers at the Paramount. Not that I was there, mind you. But I’m just saying…it’s VERY unlike OLDE Broadway to have this much young blood pumping wildy through its’ veins. But why not? It works! In spades!

“How to…” harks back, way back,  to the days when stars were expected to sing seven or eight numbers (at least!) all night long. And dance, too! And Radcliffe does all that to a fare-thee-well.

He has a very nice, serviceable singing voice, too, and an undeniable charm that makes his supposedly Machiavellian rise to the top be be absolutely and utterly believable. His character,  J. Pierpont Finch simply by reading this “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” book rises to the top of the World Wide Wicket Corporation by simply following the book’s simply laid out rules. Unctously read as an off-stage voice by narrator Anderson Cooper. Yes, THAT Anderson Cooper! It seems every body wants in on this successful boy’s new next act. Singing, and dancing and with a perfect American accent, too! I loved it!

This plot strangely mirrors Radcliffe’s charmed life in a marvelous way. The boy is so utterly disarming, as the book says, “without really trying”, he succeeds and succeeds again, as Radcliffe as Harry Potter has done in the decades-long franchise now about to reach its’ cinematic conclusion this summer. It’s been the most financially successful franchise series in cinema history.

 And when the last movie “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Pt.2” is released and Daniel Radcliffe will  still be singing and dancing his way into America’s hearts in this charming revival which will run and run as long as Radcliffe wants it to be in it.

 With, I’m predicting a “Best Actor in a Musical” Tony Award to boot!

Having seen Radcliffe naked and acting his heart out to the tune of a Drama Desk Award Nomination for Best Actor in a Play for “Equus” couple of seasons back, one knew he had the dramatic chops to sustain this startling career transition to serious stage actor and now morphing even further into a singing and dancing Bway phenom.

Justin Bieber, Look Out!

Daniel Radcliffe is now crooning and swooning in a Big Phat Bway Musical Hit!

I’m beginning to think that Radcliffe can do just about anything! Of course, he is fully supported by one great show tune from the pen of the late great Frank Loesser after the other.

This show won the Pulitzer Prize it was considered so timely, so edgy, when it first came out 50 years ago, but without the spiffy stealth updating by director Rob Ashford and an able supporting cast, including TV Vet John(“Night Court”) Larroquette in the Rudy Vallee part of J. B. Biggley, the boss of World Wide Wickets and the beauteous, ample heaving bosoms of the headiest of  Hedy La Rue’s of Tammy Blanchard, one wonders just how pertinent this dated story could possibly be today. In a post-Enron world, a mild satire of corporate shenanigans could go over like the lead balloon it proved to be when Matthew Broderick and Megan Mullaly (pre-“Will and Grace”) essayed it back in the ’90s. He and it were so boring and she was so grating, I walked out at intermission. But he won a Tony anyway.

But the rise and surprise of Daniel Radcliffe made me stay and stand and applaud! Aren’t we lucky to have him on Broadway delightfully re-inventing this war-horse and his own career at the same time! As far as I’m concerned Broadway has a new star! Daniel Radcliffe! Long may he shine!

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