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Posts tagged ‘Best Actress in a Play’

“Natasha, Pierre” Wins Most Drama Desks – 4! Laura Linney AND Cynthia Nixon Both Win!Bette Midler & Andy Karl score, too!

Drama Desk Awards 2917The 62nd Drama Desk Awards are now in the history books, and are they perhaps predicting the Tony winners?

Natasha, Pierre 20Natasha, Pierre Broadway Set“Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812” won all four awards, the most it was eligible for, the most it could win. Since it opened several years ago at the Ars Nova theater Off Off Broadway, it’s not nominated for the ten awards it’s up for ON Broadway. But the Acting Categories it IS predicting, I think are Best Actress and Featured Actress in a Play both of which went to Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon for “Little Foxes.”  Laura gave a beautiful speech. If TONY winners saw it…She was a very popular win.lITTLE FOXES 14Laura Linney OCC 1

I guess the headline was that Bette Midler didn’t show to accept HER award for “Hello, Dolly!”Hello Dolly 11But Gavin Creel did. He claimed to be “unfunny” and that director Jerry Zaks made him “funny.”Michael Urie Tux

Certainly funny AND charming was host Michael Urie who really aced this tricky show. He even jumped up high to give towering presenter the legendary Tommy Tune a kiss! Tune shockingly quipped “the last person to kiss me at one of these things was Leonard Bernstein.”…Pause for huge laugh…”He gave me tongue,” Pause for another huge laugh. “And I LIKED IT!” Applause.

It was one of the slickest evenings in the Drama Desks chequered and long and distinguished history. It was certainly a very high point. And I am proud beyond words to be part of this organization. It enables me to see all these wonderful shows and to write about them and to bring them to you on my blog and my TV show. I’ve been a member for over twenty years, or more. But who’s counting? It’s work I love to do.

True story. I voted for most of tonight’s winners. Showing you one’s vote DOES count. I prefigured nearly every award in the design categories, and Andy Karl winning for Best Actor for “Groundhog Day.” He quipped “This is the biggest pity award I’ve ever gotten.” Referring to the fact, and he referenced it by tripping on his way up to the stage, but then making like it was a joke and he was fine. But seriously, he did tear his ACL right before the show opened and to this day, he wears a massive knee brace, which as he is in his underwear almost constantly, (11 times, but who’s counting?) in the course of the show. Andy Karl on mike

It IS “Groundhog Day” after all.

“Hello, Dolly!” in addition to winning for Midler and Creel also won Best Revival of a Musical and the Canadian musical “Come From Away,” as I predicted it might, won three awards including Best Musical. And also Best Supporting Actress for Jenn Collela.

Danny DeVito won for Best Featured Actor in a Play for “The Price.”

Here’s the list of shows by number of winners who reached more than two.

Wins by Production:

 

Superb! Superb! Superb!Laura Linney & Cynthia Nixon On Bway in “Little Foxes”

When theater is this good, it’s a joy! And something as good as the current revival of “Little Foxes” on Bway at MTC with two of our absolute best actresses, Cynthia Nixon and Laura Linney alternating  roles is an evening to be treasured. And treasured again because you can see it a second time with the parts of the villainous Regina and the flibbertigibbet Birdie played by these two towering woman of the American Theater reversed. The critics were given a choice of who to see in which role first and I chose Nixon as Regina and Linney as Birdie. And I’ve never been happier! I can’t wait to see it again with the roles reversed! It’s a win-win situation. And to my knowledge this is an historic first. Actors have switched roles before, but not actresses.

And how smart of Artistic Director Lynn Meadow to allow this to happen on Bway! This is something we never see! Men have been switching up historically, since as long as I can remember. “Becket” is one example. “Othello” is another.  But women? Never! All the more cause for rejoicing. And with one of America’s great stage directors Daniel Sullivan doing the work of HIS career, too! Why I just want to tear my program up and throw it into the air like confetti! Except I won’t because it’s too precious to me as a memory of a theatrical experience that was just about perfect!Of course, I saw Bette Davis do Regina in the movie, and she was pure evil. And she got ANOTHER Oscar nomination. I saw Elizabeth Taylor, of all people, doing the last revival of “Little Foxes” to be on Bway back, when I was in high school. So I felt I knew what I was going to see when I went in to the Samuel J. Friedman Theater on W.47th. But this “Little Foxes” was a total revelation. Never before have I see Regina played as more than a two-dimensional witch of a woman. Nixon added intelligence. I’d almost say compassion to Regina’s bitchy mix.

She seemed torn, for a second, just a tiny second, as her ailing husband (a very good Richard Thomas) climbed to his death on their staircase, like perhaps she considered going to help him. But of course, she does not. She resolutely stared into the audience as he chillingly dies, crying out for her help. Shivers. It gives me shivers just to write about this.

And never also has the character of Aunt Birdie been played as anything except pathetic and bonkers. When I saw Felicia Montealegre play it opposite Elizabeth Taylor, she was totally mad, and sad. And I thought “What hell it must’ve been for her to be married to Leonard Bernstein,” which in real life,   she was.

Laura Linney has none of that. Birdie is her Hamlet. She’s feigning madness to shield herself from the blows that life and her husband (a frightening oaf, Darren Goldstein) is dealing her. When the hulking Goldstein hits her across the face, you could hear the audience gasp as well as scream. Otherwise, the production was so taut and tense, you could hear a pin drop. This superb “Little Foxes” has preserved playwright Hellman’s original three-act structure, which is kind of refreshing.  Act One and Act Two ending with curtain lines that punch you right in the gut. It’s a well-made play. Remember them?

And it’s an astonishment to see that in Laura Linney’s hands, playwright Lillian Hellman has written not one but TWO famous scenes. Of course, there is the staircase scene where Regina lets her husband die. But there’s also a staggering scene at the beginning of Act Three, where Birdie fiercely charges to her niece Alexandra (Francesca Carpanini)”Don’t be like me!” because she has never had “a happy day, a whole happy day” in her life. Birdie is a symbol of the aristocratic south that is truly gone with the wind. And Regina is its’ frightening, mercenary 20th century future.

And both actresses play these juicy roles with such smartness that we are unavoidably reminded its the repressive, male dominance of their patriarchal society that have driven them to madness(though perhaps feigned here) and murder, for real.

Cynthia Nixon, Laura Linney, director Dan Sullivan are all here to remind us that there is greatness in living theater and that “Little Foxes” is a tremendously underestimated American play. Lillian Hellman would be turning cartwheels were she still with us. Brava, Divas!

I would also lastly like to note that come the Tonys (the nominations are to be announced shortly), Ms. Linney will be considered in the Leading Actress in a Play category for her Regina and Ms. Nixon in Supporting for her Birdie, because that’s how they appeared on Opening Night.

#Little Foxes, #Laura Linney, #Cynthia Nixon, #Lillian Hellman, #Broadway (more…)

Will Drama Desk Winners Repeat at the TONYs?

Jessica & Cynthia 1Will Drama Desk Winners repeat their triumphs at the TONYS? Probably. This year, especially. I think so. Above are pictured the two Best Actress winners. Jessica Lange for “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” and British newcomer Cynthia Erivo who is starring in “The Color People.” Lange won for Best Actress in a play and Erivo won for Best Actress in a Musical. I think these two ladies are Won and Done. At the Tonys.

Also poised to repeat at the TONYs are their two male counterparts in Drama Desk triumph Danny Burstein in “Fiddler on the Roof” and Frank Langella in the French play about an Alzheimer’s victim “The Father.”

I think all four of these powerhouse thespians can rest assured the Tony Voters will like them, really like them,too. The Tony Voters  do look increasingly to the Drama Desk winners to narrow their playing field, as it were.

This year, though, the theatrical phenom “Hamilton” is nominated for more TONYs than any other production in Broadway history. But in these four leading categories I don’t think it will register as it is likely to do in others. “Hamilton” won nearly every award in the book LAST year when it was eligible for the Drama Desks(and also the Outer Critics Circle and the Obies) because it played Off Broadway first at its’ historic run at the Public that launched it to Broadway.

And although two of its’ leading men author/actor Lin Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odon are both nominated for Best Actor in a Musical, I think they will cancel each other out, leaving the way for the popular veteran Danny Burstein to triumph for his joyous Tevye in “Fiddler.”

In other news, I think juggernaut “Hamilton” may find itself stopped at the TONYS. Although it was nominated for a historic 16 awards, I think it’s going to register much, much less than that.

The only acting award I think is a surefire win for “Hamilton” is the charming young African-American actress Renee Elise Goldsberry, who won the Drama Desk last year for Best Featured(or Supporting) Actress in a Musical.Renee Rlise Goldsberry 1

And on the Drama side, the powerful performance of veteran Jayne Howdeyshell from the Best Play Drama Desk winner “The Humans” could score in Supporting, which is where the TONYS put her and co-star Reed Birney, although they are both leads. “The Humans” also won for Best Ensemble at the Drama Desks, a special category that the DDs always give, but the TONYs do not.Jayne Houdyshell Humans 1

“Hamilton” will win Best Musical for sure. But the TONY voters are notorious for spreading the wealth around, and I think they will do that this year, too, in spite of “Hamilton” perceived dominance.

#Drama Desk Awards, # Hamilton, # Tonys, #Jessica Lange, #Cynthia Arivo, #A Long Day’s Journey Into Night, #Color Purple, #Best Actress in a Leading Role, #Danny Burstein, #Frank Langella, #Fiddler on the Roof, #The Father, #Lyn-Manuel Miranda, #Renee Elise Goldsberry,#Jayne HowdyShell #The Humans

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)

Cicely Tyson First Standing Ovation of the TONY night!

Jake Gyllenhaal gives Cicely Tyson the Tony for Best Actress in a Play for “A Trip to Bountiful” . A well-deserved award for a beautiful, moving performance. And the only standing ovation of the evening ensued. And she gave an appropriately beautiful and moving speech. “The thumbprint of all who have touched me…”

And then Jake the Great gave Best Actress in a Musical to Patina Miller for “Pippin” who unfortunately I didn’t see because she was out that night.

She SHOULD have won it for “Sister Act” two years ago, as I told her at the Drama Desk Nominee Cocktail Party which you can see at http://www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow

I saw “Pippin” and enjoyed it immensely, especially Andrea Martin and the circus elements.
But Patina’s understudy, Stephanie Pope, was just AWFUL, so that part of the musical was M.I.A. Ben Vereen won a Tony and built a career on doing THAT part?!?

I wish I had seen Patina, whom I like personally immensely.

I admire Tracey Letts’ performance in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” but I didn’t expect him to be awarded for a role in a play that closed. “Virginia Woolf” won THREE big awards tonight. Best Director of a Play, Best Revival of a Play and now Best Actor.

This is probably a harbinger of more awards to come Oscartime when “August: Osage County” comes around starring Meryl Steep & Julia Roberts and produced by Harvey Weinstein.

Less than happy about Billy Porter of “KB” winning over Bertie Carvel for “Matilda.” I didn’t like his performance. Period.

And I’m REALLLLY upset about “Matilda” not winning Best Musical.That sort of ruined my night.

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