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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!

“Iron Lady” unleashes a tsunami of Bulk Bile from critics!

Now, I can say it. Now that’s it’s officially “opened” and the BAD reviews are piling up, “Iron Lady” is one of the worst films of the year. And certainly the worst film Meryl Streep has ever been in.

SHE’S great in it, however. But as Stephanie Zacharek at www.movieline.com puts it in her very insightful, angry review, “To what end?”

Great technique, but the movie SUCKS!

Directed by the same director Phyllida Lloyd who directed “Mama Mia” (which, BTW, I LOVED!) It’s like “Mama Mia” without the music.

Stu Vanairsdale’s Oscar Index, which is also at www.movieline.com (I keep writing about him and it! I can’t help it! It’s essential Oscarology!) I predict Stu will change his chart VERY much under the weight of this sea of BILE that “The Iron Lady” has just unleashed. His current Index, which comes out about 8pm on Wed. nights EST, does not figure in this tsumani of rage-filled reviews, which are coming out right about NOW.

“The Iron Lady” totally white-washes Margaret Thatcher, whose ruled I lived under whilst I was in England struggling to be an actor/playwright. Nobody I knew liked her. NO.BODY. How she ever got elected to three straight terms as Prime Minister there was totally beyond me then, and now.

“Billy Elliot,” which is still running on Broadway, depicted the reality of Thatcher’s impact on the country and its’ devastating Miner’s Strike, which, of course, Thatcher opposed causing countless hardships with her union-busting stance. She seemed to be at war with the poor. She called them “the enemy within.” But that’s not in the movie.

And the Falklands “War”!?! Don’t get me started! But Stephenie Z. at www.movieline.com lays it out in much more historically accurate perspective than I can tonight.

And she’s not the only one! St. Anne Thompson over at www.indiewire.com goes even further lining, up the pans as they pile up, one on top of the other on top of the other. INCLUDING A.O.Scott in the NYTimes!.

She, too, sounds as riled up as Stephenie! And they’re both women! Reviewing what is supposedly a feminist movie. But of course, it’s not. It’s trying to be, but the actuality of Thatcher’s extreme right-wing, arch-conservative politics keep tripping up Streep’s believability as a figure of reverence and  turning it in to a joke. An unfunny joke, which is causing anger and resentment. Especially among Academy members. Oh, yes. I’m hearing how angry they are about this, too. AMPAS is historically left-leaning. And that’s not a secret.

They’re mad as hell, and they aren’t going to take it anymore! And I would not be surprised if Meryl was out and Rooney Mara was in. Things are suddenly heating up in the Best Actress race!

STOP.STREEP.NOW! I can see all the headlines beginning to scream.

And oh, I guess, yes, I am screaming them, too.

But if you don’t believe me just READ those reviews!?! I’ve never seen anything like this! In any Oscar seeking movie.

“Extremely Loud…” was extremely bad. But “The Iron Lady” is WORSE. A third Oscar for THIS?!? That would be like giving Sarah Palin an Oscar this year. Or the Republican Nomination. AINT.GONNA.HAPPEN. Like Palin, Streep should recuse herself now.

Half of the film show Streep as the aged-dementia-ridden Alzheimer’s patient that she is today. Streep plays this sublimely. But as the film goes on, and on, on. We see far too much of her doddering and drooling. Director Lloyd alternates this with scenes of Thatcher in her Prime Minister prime. Switching back and forth between her imaginary conversations with her dead husband Dennis(Jim Broadbent and he’s great! He won an Oscar for playing an Alzheimer’s care-giver in “Iris.” Here, he’s not giving care. He’s an out-and-out ghost! Boo!) and Thatcher giving yet ANOTHER rousing speech to parliament. So either she’s cuckoo or she’s giving speeches. It’s a template for boredom, if nothing else.

But this critical shellacking is OK with Harvey W., this film’s ubiquitous producer, since this moves the brilliant, lovable Marilyn Monroe, of Michelle Williams right into FRONT RUNNER for Best Actress. And oh yes, “My Weekend with Marilyn” is one of Mr. Weinstein’s Oscar movies, too. It’s a win-win situation for him. Oh, and he’s got “The Artist”, too!

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