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Posts tagged ‘Helen Mirren’

Newcomer Andrew Burnap’s Astonishing Debut in “Troilus & Cressida”

Troilus and Cressida 1Andrew Burnap 1“Troilus and Cressida” is considered one of  Shakespeare’s Problem Plays. It’s hardly ever done. It’s wildly uneven, and it’s always nigh to impossible to tell the Greeks from the Trojans. It’s clear that there’s a war on, but who’s who and which is which is always mightily confusing.

Director Dan Sullivan has perhaps rectified all that with his testosterone fueled-production in Central Park this summer. He’s cast one of the strongest male casts I’ve ever seen containing some of the best young Shakespearean actors around today. Main among them is newcomer Andrew Burnap in the usually forgettable title role. But Burnap burns up the stage as he holds his own against as formidable a male cast as I’ve ever seen in Shakespeare in the Park, New York’s annual, pastoral summer ritual. Founded by the late Joe Papp to be free to all New Yorkers, the Park never disappoints, though most times the productions certainly do. But not this time.Shakespeara in the Park 1

I’m happy to say that “Troilus and Cressida” is one of the best Shakespeare’s I’ve ever seen in the Park.

But back to Andrew Burnap. A recent graduate of the Yale School of Drama, he’s stepped right out of school and right into stardom, following in the footsteps of former Yale-ees Meryl Streep and Lupita Nyong’o who just soared immediately upon graduation. His beautiful, brave, heart-broken, angry, and eventually murderous Troilus is everything a dream role for a young actor should be. And blond, blue-eyed, dashing Burnap is living the dream. In a part, I’ve never really even noticed before, he makes it seem a greater role than it’s ever been.

Troilus and Cressida are sort of Romeo and Juliet gone wrong.  The Trojan War  breaks them apart early and nearly kills them.

I saw Helen Mirren as a young girl, maybe even a teenager, make her debut at the Royal Shakespeare Company back in the ’60s as Cressida.Helen Mirren Young Her debut, her first scene, she got rolled out of a Persian carpet completely nude. And thus began her great career. She was utterly heart-breaking in the scene where she emerges ravaged from the rival army’s camp where she has been raped repeatedly. She was shattered, bruised, barely able to speak, unforgettable. The actress here, Ismenia Mendes, just can’t cut it. You barely can tell she’s been gang-raped, and you don’t care much either.

But you do care about Andrew Burnap/Troilus’s reaction to his love being so defiled. He goes madly to war against his enemies, main among them the superb young Shakespearean actor Zach Appelman, as Diomedes, another part no one ever remembers. Appelman, you may remember, was the diamond brilliant Hamlet in Hartford, just this past winter for Darko Tresnjak.

Troilus and Cressida 3In the first act, Diomedes has very little to do, except to flex his muscles and show his six-pack lifting barbells and strutting shirtless (as do many others of this studly, sweating, stunning cast) in the 100 degree heat New York is now experiencing. But in Act 2, he gets to come into his own, as he battles Burnap. Appelman is a Yale graduate, too, btw.  As pictured above and below, you can see how intense their final confrontation is.Troilus and Cressida 4

I also must mention the tremendously strong ensemble feel that this T & C production had and I wasn’t surprised when I checked my program later that there were 10 (!) count’em TEN graduates of the equally superb NYU Grad Acting program! Which boasts its’ own  terrific, classically trained actors, main among them Corey Stoll. Stoll was so memorable as Ernest Heminngway in Woody Allen’s ” Midnight in Paris.” Here the completely bald Stoll is oiliness personified as the only man in a suit in this play, the slippery, Ulysseus, whom Stoll plays as   a corrupt ad exec, who arranges Cressida’s gang rape and many other nefarious things.Corey Stoll 1

I also had the privilege of seeing Understudy Keilyn Durrell Jones go on as the muscle-bound Achilles. He was just so loopily love-struck by his male amour Patroclus (Tom Pecinka), he licks his face like a huge puppy dog.Keilyn The Millionaire Jones

Yes, this is also the gay-est play Shakespeare ever wrote and director Sullivan does not hesitate to show the mighty Achilles, gathering his beloved up in his hugely muscled arms and whisking the giggling Patroclus off to their love-tent.

A male cast this awesome, and striking, who speak the Bard’s lines as magnificently as they make love AND war, makes one re-consider “Troilus and Cressida” as a much better play than it ever seemed before.

#Troilus and Cressida # Shakespeare # Trojan War #Andrew Burnap #Zach Appelman #Shakespeare in the Park #Corey Stoll #Achilles #Helen Mirren # Royal Shakespeare Company #Helen Mirren nude #Ulysses #Dan Sullivan # Problem Play # Central Park #Hamlet # Hartford Stage Company # Darko Tresnjak # Keilyn The Billionaire Jones#Achilles

 

Oscar/SAG upset! Watch out for “Trumbo” and Bryan Cranston!

Trumbo 3I’m expecting a bombshell at the SAG awards. I think “Trumbo” is poised to upset many Oscar apple-carts. It’s got everything. A true Hollywood scandal with a real life hero Dalton Trumbo, and a magnificent career-best performance by the beloved-by-his-fellow-actors Bryan Cranston.

It’s a story that’s never been told. And there are many still alive today, like Kirk Douglas, who is depicted in the film, who were effected by the terrible Blacklist of a group of writers, who became known as the Hollywood Ten. Why? Because the admitted to being members of the Communist Party back in the days, the ’50s, when McCarthy witch-hunts were ruling the land.

And it has its own Cruella De Ville villainess that you can feel free to hiss, and boo, Dame Helen Mirren as the red-baiting, but powerful Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. Mirren seems to slither through this movie like a silken snake. It’s a role that has garnered Mirren already a SAG nomination as well as a Golden Globe.Trumbo 1

And  Bryan Cranston is  just sensational! He gets to pull our heart-strings as one of the most courageous Hollywood screenwriters has ever seen,who kept on writing for the movies, even after the US govt. forbade him to. He was bankrupted. He was even sent to jail!

And then when he came out of jail, he was reduced to writing schlock screenplays for the schlockmeiester-to-end-all-schlockmeisters, played by John Goodman, who adds a JOLT to any film he’s in. He essayed a similar role in “The Artist” and THAT small, unexpected film won the Oscar, lest we forget, and after “Birdman”s win last year, it shows us that Hollywood will never get over its’ love affair with itself. “Trumbo” may find itself nominated for many things, besides Cranston and Mirren. It could  get nominated for Best Picture,too! Wouldn’t THAT be a surprise!”Spotlight” LOOK OUT!

“Trumbo”s got a star-studded cast who really deliver and who all have been nominated for Best Ensemble for the SAG award. To the great surprise of everyone in the blogosphere and out of it. They didn’t expect that, and they also didn’t expect Cranston and Mirren to land both Globe&SAG nods. It might even win Best Ensemble which is SAG’s equivalent of best picture. This award may be where “Trumbo” triumphs, too, and not the presumed front-runner “Spotlight.”

It’s a Hollywood story through and through with a genuine hero, who suffered and nearly died, at Hwood’s bad hands. I know of one man who killed himself due to this, and this tragic story has never fully been told, until now. But it’s an inspiring film too, because Trumbo triumphs in the end when “Spartacus” has his name on the title credits “Screenplay by Dalton Trumbo.” It’s a golden moment that’s a very satisfying climax to the appauling story of prejudice and discrimination that has gone before.

You love Cranston in this, as you loved him in “Breaking Bad” as the iconic Walter White. And we have to remember that AFTRA the TV actors union has now merged with SAG, making it no crime at all to succeed on the small screen as well as the big one..

Cranston is one of the great actors we have today and he totally aces the role of  the grumpy, mustachioed, eccentric-but-principled Dalton Trumbo. He is immensely respected as an actors’ actor and he gives one of the best performances of the year. And he’s in his 40’s when he starts and then he ages! Something that always catnip to the Academy. AND he gets strip searched nude in prison, and has to endure a shocking anal cavity search. But he never gives up or gives in.

And he has one hilarious scene with an Oscar on a table before him, an Oscar which he won writing “Roman Holiday” under one of his enforced aliases, and he keeps saying “I don’t want it” to the writer sitting across from him, played by Alan Tudkyk.

I think that Cranston had better clear a place on his already over-crowded mantle-piece. He won so many Emmys for “Breaking Bad” and a Tony, too, for his LBJ in “All the Way” on Broadway last year.

People just keep throwing awards at him, and awards magnet that he is, he’s going to get the SAG and then the Oscar, too.

Leo for doing stunt work in the odious, repellant “The Revenant” doesn’t stand a chance against America’s answer to Daniel Day-Lewis, Bryan Cranston.

“Something Rotten” starts the show. Followed by Helen Mirren!

They’re starting off the show BIG. With the “There’s Nothing Like A Musical” number from “Something Rotten” which played better on a TV screen than it seemed to onstage. It suddenly looks smarter.

And VERY smart of this Tony Awards iteration was starting off with Best Actress in a Play and of course, Dame Helen Mirren won and gave a lovely and elegant speech, where she over-used those words, just as I’m doing here. In a beautiful white, glittery gown, she IS the Queen of Broadway. At least now.At least tonight. Bradley Cooper presented the award.

Alan Cumming in purple shorts and Kristen Chenoweth in the top half of a tux weren’t as embarassing as I expected. But the ick factor is in effect, for sure.

Then Richard McCabe, a BIG surprise, won Best Featured Actor in a Play, for “The Audience” in which he plays “a British Prime Minister no one has ever heard of here.”Mirren Audience

Drama Desk Awards!Alex Sharp Continues to Win Best Actor in a Play!

Alex Sharp 1Young, just graduated (from Julliard), Alex Sharp thanked his SCHOOL! A first, I think at any major awards ceremony tonight, when he continues his probable march to the Tony, too, at the Drama Desk Awards. He won for playing the leading character, who is “on the spectrum” as Sharp put it, or autistic to the rest of you and me for “A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time” The challenging British play won big with six awards, winning everything it was nominated for  at the Drama Desks. 24-year-old Sharp also won Best Actor in a Play from the Outer Critics’ Circle.

Considered the most prestigious of the theater awards handed out right about now, the Drama Desk Awards are voted on solely by press. It’s 125 members consider Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway equally in all categories.

Held at Town Hall, the ceremony seemed a little bit glossier than usual, though the winners took forever to get to the stage it seemed.

Both Best Actress in a Play Winner Helen Mirren(for “The Audience”) and Best Actress in a Musical Kristen Chenoweth(for “On the 20th Century” complained of the length of the ceremony, though. Dame Helen said “I’m so hungry I want to eat this!” indicating her well-deserved award and Chenoweth said “I’ve got to pee!”

“American in Paris” won four awards including Best Actor in a Musical for Robert Fairchild, who thanked “Gene Kelly, without whom none of this would be possible.” But “Hamilton” the Off Broadway sold-out sensation won seven Drama Desk Awards, making it the big winner of the night. Lin-Manuel Miranda the author/creator/star won three awards himself personally.

“Hamilton” is an Off-Broadway show, heaving to Broadway, next month. So it won’t figure in the upcoming Tony Awards which only consider theater work done on Broadway. But expect the four major acting winners, who are all in Broadway shows currently running to repeat their triumphs Sunday night at the Tonys. That would be Mirren, Chenoweth, Sharp and Fairchild.

Best Revival of a Play went to “The Elephant Man” whose entire cast is currently in Ldndon, repeating its’ success in the West End. It’s top-lined by three-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson and Allesandro Nivola.

Best Revival went to Lincoln Center’s “The King and I.” My personal fave “Gigi” won Best Costumes for the great Catherine Zuber.

“Something Rotten” only won one award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical Christian Borle.

Outer Critics Circle Announce Awards! 24 yr. old Alex Sharp beats Bradley Cooper!

Alex Sharp 1The Outer Critics Circle whose members comprise Theater critics whose reviews reach readers outside the boundaries of NYC announced their winners this morning. And surprise of surprises, the 24 year-old recent Julliard graduate Alex Sharp of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time” beat out Hollywood Superstar Bradley Cooper for “The Elephant Man”!

I would’ve thought that the super-famous Cooper would’ve easily taken Best Actor in a Play, but no. The lacerating, dangerous portrayal of an autistic child (Sharp) in “Curious Incident” won the day! It helps Sharp’s “Curious Incident” that is it a hit and still running and Cooper’s “Elephant Man”, though it boasted rave reviews and a sold-out run is now closed. It successfully completed its’ limited run, but Voters’ attention spans are notoriously short, as Harvey Weinstein has always said.

Weinstein himself came a cropper at the Outer Critic’s Circle as it did with the Tony Nomination with a win of a goose egg for “Finding Neverland.”.

Helen Mirren, of course, won Best Actress in a Play for her superb return to the role of Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan’s “The Audience.”  And she’ll win the Drama Desk and Tony, too, I’m betting. No one can touch her.

The superlative “An American in Paris” won four awards including Best Musical. Its’ lead Robert Fairchild won Best Actor in a Musical for making us all forget Gene Kelly in the role, if only for a moment.

“A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” won the most Outer Critics Circle Awards with five including Sharp for Best Actor, Best Play and Best Lighting, Set and Sound Design and Best Direction of a Play.

“The King and I” won Best Revival of a Musical, and Ruthie Ann Miles won Best Featured Actress in a Musical.

Kristin Chenowith’s over-the-top exertions in the exhausting “On the Twentieth Century” (which seemed at least 100 years long) won Best Actress in a Musical over Bway legend Chita Rivera which is very sad indeed. Rivera is 82 and this towering performance in Kander and Ebb’s last musical “The Visit” is a milestone for her and for the American Musical Theater. It’s just dispiriting that she was passed over for great stirring performance.

The Outer Critics Circle is the last major awards to be announced before the Drama Desks are given out the last day of May. There is an overlap in the memberships of these two groups, and they may be pointing the way, belle-weathers, if you will to the Tonys in June.

Interestingly “Something Rotten” came away empty-handed.

Broadway’s Michael Cerveris, Nick Cordero, Raúl Esparza, Katie Finneran,  Montego Glover, William Ivey Long and Jefferson Mays will serve as gala award presenters at the upcoming 65th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards ceremony on May 21st (4PM) at the legendary Sardis Restaurant. In addition to being acclaimed stage performers, the stars are also former recipients of the esteemed Outer Critics Circle Award.

Celebrating its 65th 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.

The complete list is as follows ~

(Winners names are in bold preceded by an asterisk. *)

 

Outer Critics Circle

2014-2015 Award Nominations

 

 

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY

The Audience

*The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Wolf Hall

 

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL

*An American in Paris

It Shoulda Been You

The Last Ship

Something Rotten!

The Visit

 

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY

*Between Riverside and Crazy

The City of Conversation

The Nether

Rasheeda Speaking

The Village Bike

 

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL

A Christmas Memory

Disenchanted

The Fortress of Solitude

*Hamilton

Lonesome Traveler

 

OUTSTANDING BOOK OF A MUSICAL

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

*Hamilton

It Shoulda Been You

The Last Ship

Something Rotten!

The Visit

 

OUTSTANDING NEW SCORE

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

*Hamilton

It Shoulda Been You

The Last Ship

Something Rotten!

The Visit

 

 

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

The Elephant Man

Fashions for Men

The Heidi Chronicles

Skylight

*You Can’t Take It With You

 

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Into the Woods

*The King and I

On the Town

On the Twentieth Century

Side Show

 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY

Stephen Daldry    The Audience

*Marianne Elliott    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Scott Ellis   The Elephant Man

Scott Ellis    You Can’t Take It With You

Jeremy Herrin    Wolf Hall

 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL

Scott Ellis    On the Twentieth Century

Thomas Kail    Hamilton

Casey Nicholaw    Something Rotten!

David Hyde Pierce    It Shoulda Been You

*Christopher Wheeldon    An American in Paris

 

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHER

Joshua Bergasse   On the Town

Andy Blankenbuehler    Hamilton

Warren Carlyle    On the Twentieth Century

Casey Nicholaw    Something Rotten!

*Christopher Wheeldon    An American in Paris

 

OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN

(Play or Musical)

*Bunny Christie    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Bob Crowley    An American in Paris

Scott Pask    Something Rotten!

David Rockwell    On the Twentieth Century

Michael Yeargan    The King and I

 

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN

(Play or Musical)

Gregg Barnes    Something Rotten!

Bob Crowley    The Audience

William Ivey Long    On the Twentieth Century

Christopher Oram    Wolf Hall

*Catherine Zuber    The King and I

 

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN

(Play or Musical)
*Paule Constable    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Jeff Croiter     Something Rotten!

Rick Fisher     The Audience

Natasha Katz     An American in Paris

Japhy Weideman    The Visit

 

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY

Reed Birney    I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard

Bradley Cooper    The Elephant Man

Stephen McKinley Henderson    Between Riverside and Crazy

Ben Miles    Wolf Hall

*Alex Sharp    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

 

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY

Greta Gerwig     The Village Bike

Jan Maxwell    The City of Conversation

*Helen Mirren    The Audience

Elisabeth Moss    The Heidi Chronicles

Tonya Pinkins    Rasheeda Speaking

 

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Christian Borle    Something Rotten!

Brian d’Arcy James    Something Rotten!

*Robert Fairchild    An American in Paris

Peter Gallagher    On the Twentieth Century

Tony Yazbeck    On the Town

 

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

*Kristin Chenoweth    On the Twentieth Century

Leanne Cope    An American in Paris

Tyne Daly    It Shoulda Been You

Kelli O’Hara    The King and I

Chita Rivera    The Visit

 

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY

Paul Jesson     Wolf Hall

*Richard McCabe   The Audience

Alessandro Nivola   The Elephant Man

Nathaniel Parker    Wolf Hall

Bryce Pinkham     The Heidi Chronicles

 

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY

*Annaleigh Ashford   You Can’t Take It With You

Patricia Clarkson   The Elephant Man

Francesca Faridany   The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Julie Halston   You Can’t Take It With You

Lydia Leonard   Wolf Hall

 

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

John Cariani   Something Rotten!

Josh Grisetti   It Shoulda Been You

*Andy Karl   On the Twentieth Century

Paul Alexander Nolan   Doctor Zhivago

Max von Essen   An American in Paris

 

 

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Heidi Blickenstaff   Something Rotten!

Victoria Clark   Gigi

Megan Fairchild   On the Town

*Ruthie Ann Miles    The King and I  

Mary Louise Wilson   On the Twentieth Century

 

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE

Joe Assadourian     The Bullpen

*Jim Dale    Just Jim Dale

Tom Dugan    Wiesenthal

Cush Jumbo    Josephine and I

Benjamin Scheuer    The Lion

 

JOHN GASSNER AWARD

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

*Ayad Akhtar     The Invisible Hand

Halley Feiffer     I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard

Elizabeth Irwin     My Mañana Comes

Markus Potter     Stalking the Bogeyman

Benjamin Scheuer     The Lion

 

Winners Talley for 3 or more:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – 5; An American in Paris – 4; Hamilton – 3; The King and I – 3

 ***Please note: Disgraced, Fun Home and Hand to God received nominations and/or awards from Outer Critics Circle in previous seasons and therefore were not considered for this year.

 

 

 

 

TONY Award Nominations FINALLY Announced!

TONY 2015 1The TONY Award nominations FINALLY were announced this morning, and this year particularly, it seems like we were waiting for them forever! And of course, the classy jazzy ballet musical “An American in Paris” got the most nominations, tied with “Fun Home.” Next came “Something Rotten” with ten.

Most egregious snubs were “Heidi Chronicles” again being left out except for “Mad Men”s Elizabeth Moss who gets to compete against Dame Helen Mirren for Best Actress in a Play. The Dame takes this one, hands down. Carrie Mulligan also scored a nomination for “Skylight.”

“Finding Neverland” produced by Harvey Weinstein got a big goose egg this morning and so did “Dr. Zhivago.” “Dr. Zzzzz…” as its’ being called was as deadly as, well, a big bomb, which is what it is…

Also left out of the Supporting or Featured Actor in a Play was the stellar Bryce Pinkham from the doomed “Heidi Chronicles.” But included were Julie White for Best Featured Actress in a Play for “Airline Highway” and T. Scott Freedman also for “Airline Highway” and Victoria Clark for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Mamita in “Gigi.” Patricia Clarkson, whom I flat out adore, got nominated for Best Featured Actress in a Play for “Elephant Man” and Alessandro Nivola got nominated for Best Featured Actor in a Play also for “Elephant Man”.

Bradley Cooper, the biggest star in contention, also got nominated for “Elephant Man..” The well-reviewed, sold-out hit show is now closed. It was a limited run. Does that leave the door open for Ben Miles, the new hot Brit star who is onstage for SIX hours as Thomas Cromwell in “Wolf Hall, Pts. 1 & 2”? Miles’ co-stars Lydia Leonard as Anne Boleyn and Nathaniel Parker as King Henry VIII also got nominated in the Supportiiig categories.

Here’s the complete list below ~Courtesy of Theatermania.com

Best Play
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Disgraced
Hand to God
Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two

Best Musical
An American in Paris
Fun Home
Something Rotten!
The Visit

Best Revival of a Play
The Elephant Man
Skylight
This Is Our Youth
You Can’t Take It with You

Best Revival of a Musical
The King and I
On the Town
On the Twentieth Century

Best Book of a Musical
An American in Paris, Craig Lucas
Fun Home, Lisa Kron
Something Rotten!, Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell
The Visit, Terrence McNally

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Fun Home, Music: Jeanine Tesori, Lyrics: Lisa Kron
The Last Ship, Music & Lyrics: Sting
Something Rotten!, Music & Lyrics: Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick
The Visit Music: John Kander, Lyrics: Fred Ebb

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Steven Boyer, Hand to God
Bradley Cooper, The Elephant Man
Ben Miles, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two
Bill Nighy, Skylight
Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Geneva Carr, Hand to God
Helen Mirren, The Audience
Elisabeth Moss, The Heidi Chronicles
Carey Mulligan, Skylight
Ruth Wilson, Constellations

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Michael Cerveris, Fun Home
Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris
Brian d’Arcy James, Something Rotten!
Ken Watanabe, The King and I
Tony Yazbeck, On the Town

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century
Leanne Cope, An American in Paris
Beth Malone, Fun Home
Kelli O’Hara, The King and I
Chita Rivera, The Visit

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Matthew Beard, Skylight
K. Todd Freeman, Airline Highway
Richard McCabe, The Audience
Alessandro Nivola, The Elephant Man
Nathaniel Parker, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two
Micah Stock, It’s Only a Play

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It with You
Patricia Clarkson, The Elephant Man
Lydia Leonard, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two
Sarah Stiles, Hand to God
Julie White, Airline Highway

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Christian Borle, Something Rotten!
Andy Karl, On the Twentieth Century
Brad Oscar, Something Rotten!
Brandon Uranowitz, An American in Paris
Max von Essen, An American in Paris

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Victoria Clark, Gigi
Judy Kuhn, Fun Home
Sydney Lucas, Fun Home
Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I
Emily Skeggs, Fun Home

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Bunny Christie and Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Bob Crowley, Skylight
Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two
David Rockwell, You Can’t Take It with You

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Bob Crowley and 59 Productions, An American in Paris
David Rockwell, On the Twentieth Century
Michael Yeargan, The King and I
David Zinn, Fun Home

Best Costume Design of a Play
Bob Crowley, The Audience
Jane Greenwood, You Can’t Take It with You
Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two
David Zinn, Airline Highway

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes, Something Rotten!
Bob Crowley, An American in Paris
William Ivey Long, On the Twentieth Century
Catherine Zuber, The King and I

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Paule Constable, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Paule Constable and David Plater, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two
Natasha Katz, Skylight
Japhy Weideman, Airline Highway

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Donald Holder, The King and I
Natasha Katz, An American in Paris
Ben Stanton, Fun Home
Japhy Weideman, The Visit

Best Direction of a Play
Stephen Daldry, Skylight
Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Scott Ellis, You Can’t Take It with You
Jeremy Herrin, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two
Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Hand to God

Best Direction of a Musical
Sam Gold, Fun Home
Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!
John Rando, On the Town
Bartlett Sher, The King and I
Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

Best Choreography
Joshua Bergasse, On the Town
Christopher Gattelli, The King and I
Scott Graham & Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!
Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

Best Orchestrations
Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky, Bill Elliott, An American in Paris
John Clancy, Fun Home
Larry Hochman, Something Rotten!
Rob Mathes, The Last Ship


Recipients of Awards and Honors in Noncompetitive Categories

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Tommy Tune

Special Tony Award
John Cameron Mitchell

Regional Theatre Tony Award
Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, Ohio

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award
Stephen Schwartz

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
Arnold Abramson
Adrian Bryan-Brown
Gene O’Donovan


Tony Nominations by Production

An American in Paris – 12
Fun Home – 12
Something Rotten! – 10
The King and I – 9
Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two – 8
Skylight – 7
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – 6
Hand to God – 5
On the Twentieth Century – 5
The Visit – 5
You Can’t Take It with You – 5
Airline Highway – 4
The Elephant Man – 4
On the Town – 4
The Audience – 3
The Last Ship – 2
Constellations – 1
Disgraced – 1
Gigi – 1
The Heidi Chronicles – 1
It’s Only a Play – 1
This Is Our Youth – 1

 

Down to the Wire! Best Actress Predictions!

Tomorrow morning it will all be over, but the shouting. Yes,dear readers, dear cineastes, tomorrow at the crack of dawn in L.A. and at 8:30pm EST, the Oscar Nominations for 2012 will be announced and all will be revealed and Phase One, as it’s known of the Oscar Campaign will be over.

This has been my busiest Oscar season ever with helping Ann Dowd’s campaign as much as I have been able. Culminating last night in her win for Best Supporting Actress at the National Board of Review Awards ceremony. More, I’m sure, on that later.

But now on to what has become the thorniest category ever this year ~ Best Actress.

To echo all and sundry, there are two locks ~ Vanity Fair cover girl Jennifer Lawrence for the manic-depressive comedy “Silver Linings Playbook” and Jessica Chastain for the taut,controversial Osama Bin Laden hunt-thriller “Zero Dark Thirty.”

In the past two days, the lovely Jessica has received her first, major, best actress award from the New York Critics Circle on Monday night, then last night she got her National Board of Review Award.

Both those awards are announced beforehand and handed out at the aforementioned ceremonies. No nominees at either. Just winners. Plane and simple.

Now, the OTHER three slots for Best Actress are really fraught with possible suprises and booby traps. (Pun) Like for instance, WILL they REALLY nominate a six-year- old? I don’t think so.

So Qu’venshane Wallis is not showing up here, as charming and disarming as she is in person and on-screen in “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”

As I’ve been saying all along, as much as I love French culture and everything French, I don’t think the Academy is going to nominate TWO French actresses for Acting in their own language!

That would be Marion Cotillard in “Rust and Bone,” and 86-year-old Emmanuelle Riva in “Amour.” I think, to be brutally honest, that the young, cute one, Marion, gets in. And Emmanuelle Riva, who faces death in the most devastating screen portrayal, perhaps ever, will not.

I’m hearing that Academy types just aren’t watching “Amour”, and don’t like it when they see it. It’s a critics darling to be sure, but since the Academy is all about the same age as the two characters depicted in this film, I don’t think they are going to watch OR nominate it. They’ll leave it to the Foreign Language Committee to determine whether this Austrian/French co-production is in, or more likely out. No matter how much critical accolades it has won. One has to keep repeating the mantra ~”There are NO CRITICS in the Academy!” And it’s true. Nary a one.

So now we have three beauties, Jennifer, Jessica and Marion. So who are the other two? I’m thinking Helen Mirren, who got a SAG nod as well as just landing a BAFTA nomination,too this morning for her rousing, bracing portrayal of a real life Hollywood icon Lady Alma Hitchcock, Sir Alfred’s uber-talented wife, in “Hitchcock”, is going to get in. And of course, she’s a former winner, too, for Best Actress, for “The Queen.” But then so is Marion! For “La Vie En Rose.”

And the last place is a toss-up I feel between two talented ladies in films that might not have been seen much yet. Naomi Watts, in the tsunami horror film “The Impossible” and Rachel Weisz for the British drama “The Deep Blue Sea.”

I’m going to plunk for Rachel, since although she really already has an Oscar,like both Helen Mirren AND Maid Marion, they like her, they really like her.And the Oscars are nothing if not repetivive and clannish in their thinking and awarding. Or re-rewarding.

But Rachel IS extraordinary in “Deep Blue Sea.”

And Naomi, poor thing,is an Australia, and is someone who gets overlooked over and over, time and time again. And the same thing may happen this year.

And some of the snobby Actor’s Branch may feel that her portrait of a mother lost and injured by the tsunami that hit the beaches of Southeast Asia a few years back, is more screaming and stunt work, than a performance.

Whereas Rachel, who BEGINS “Deep Blue Sea”in classic Oscar fashion,by trying to kill herself via a gas heater, right after WWII, is more typically, the Academy’s cup of British Tea. And also, though Naomi got overlooked by the BAFTAs today.
So did Rachel, so it’s a toss up. But I’m picking Rachel, thinking that the BAFTA membership now is circling about 300 members of the Academy, too.

Also, Rachel, like fellow Nominee Jennifer Lawrence who raked in over $600 million dollars for “The Hunger Games” this year, Rachel showed her action heroine chops for real in the hit “The Bourne Legacy.” Anne Hathaway scored this double whammy too, this year with the blockbuster “The Dark Knight Rises,” as well as cornering what looks like a sure win for Best Supp. Actress with “Les Miserables.” The Academy seems to be going for gals who can act, but also kick butt.And rake in millions at the Box-Office.

And in conclusion, It could also shock of shocks be the forgotten Keira Knightley in devisive masterpiece “Anna Karenina.”

So dear readers, dear cineastes, I see ~

Jennifer Lawrence
Jessica Chastain
Marion Cotillard
Helen Mirren
Rachel Weisz

We’ll know VERY soon, won’t we? And it will all look very, very different, won’t it?
Phase Two is NOT the same thing as Phase one.

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