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Posts tagged ‘Tony Awards’

“Hughie” First Big Disaster of Bway Season. Not Surprised It’s Closing Early.

Hughie“Hughie” is the first big disaster of the Broadway season, closing early it will have lost its’ entire 3 million dollar investment. One wonders what they spent the money on? The set? Well the set was grand! Set and costume design by Christopher Oram, and kudos to him for one of the best, most evocative renderings of a Time Square hotel in sad, ghostly decline that I have ever seen. Oram is ably abetted in his decaying spookiness, by lighting designer Neil Austin. Can’t remember such a good use of green lighting and green neon to boot.

I wish I could say the same about actor Forest Whitaker’s embarassing, one-note performance. He wandered about the stage, and that was about all he did. Whitaker, Academy Award winner for “The Last King of Scotland,” seemingly has never appeared onstage before. And knowing that, I wondered about the wisdom, and hubris, of attacking what is basically a one-man show, as his Broadway debut.

And the one-act play of Eugene O’Neill’s is as barely there as Whitaker’s vaporous performance. O’Neill is not helping him at all and there’s no drama whatsoever. Flat, flat, flat.Erie Smith(Whittaker) is a small time gambler, down on his luck, and the late former night clerk, Hughie, was his only friend.

And poor Frank Wood, as the NEW night clerk of the decrepit hotel, is trapped there, seeming to fall visibly asleep, as he is stuck listening to Erie Smith’s(Whitaker) ENDLESS monologue of his late friend Hughie, who was the night clerk before Wood’s character got the job. I ended up feeling sorry for night clerks.

But that’s because Wood an esteemed Tony-winning stage actor is very, very good in the little he has to do. And you keep wishing the play was more about HIM. And the characters he’s seen in his life. He admits to being a lifetime night clerk. And the weariness and boredom of his job is palpable. Because he’s had to listen to one loser spilling his guts to him after another, midnight after midnight.

Basically, Erie Smith is a bore. And he bored me and obviously, he’s boring audiences, because they are not coming. And it’s closing early. That doesn’t happen much anymore on Broadway. Investors are so careful, if not parsimonious with what they sink their cash into that shows are previewed and tried out to death. Guess this one wasn’t.

It was barely an hour, but it felt like years. Stick to films, Forest. He’s a great film actor, but onstage, he’s a bore.

National Society of Film Critics Names “Spotlight” Best Film

Spotlight 4The National Society of Film Critics perhaps the most esoteric of the awards-giving critics groups have named “Spotlight” the Best Film of the Year. It also won Best Screenplay. Already way out ahead of every other film this year, “Spotlight” just solidifies its’ lead and is making this year’s Best Picture race seem more like the year “Slumdog Millionaire” trounced everything in its’ path and won every award heading up the ultimate, the Oscars.

Surprisingly, the overlooked Michael P. Jordan won Best Actor for “Creed”.Michael P. Jordon 1

It’s also interesting to note that Geza Rohrig came in second place for “The Son of Saul.” I still think he’s going to get nominated by the Academy for Best Actor. Only Leonardo Di Caprio and Eddie Redmayne are the locks in that category. Anything can happen. Especially with the critical and box-office strength “The Big Short” is showing. Although the National Society didn’t give it anything. Although it came in third for Screenplay behind the winner “Spotlight” and the stop-action animated film by Charlie Kaufman.

Best Actress went to Charlotte Rampling who really needed this boost for “45 Years.”Charlotte Rampling 1 Best Supporting Actress  Kristen Stewart for “The Clouds of Sils Maria.” Second place went to Alicia Vikander for “Ex Machina” solidifying her march to TWO possible nominations as I’ve noted in the previous post.Ex Machina 2 Supporting for “Ex Machina” sexy, manipulative robot Eva and in Lead for “The Danish Girl.” The Awards Coronation of Vikander is well underway.

And Best Supporting Actor is once again Mark Rylance for “The Bridge of Spies” for his comical/sad/shifty Russian spy, who also doubles as a painter. Rylance a four-time Tony Award winner is beginning to be the assumed front-runner for the Steven Spielberg Cold War spy thriller.

Best Director was also surprisingly Todd Haynes for “Carol.” It also won Best Cinematography for the great Ed Lachman beautiful 16 mm. lensing of this Patricia Highsmith lesbian love story.Carol 3

Live Blogging the Tonys! Tommy Tune’s Acceptance Speech! Breaking News!

Tommy Tune

BREAKING:

TOMMY TUNE’S

10th TONY ACCEPTANCE SPEECH

 

DELIVERED LIVE FROM RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL

MOMENTS AGO

AT THE 69th ANNUAL TONY AWARDS

UPON THE ACCEPTANCE OF TUNE’S

2015 LIFETIME ACHEIVEMENT AWARD

 

“Right now I’m thinking of Texas in the 50s. You see, my father’s great dream for me was the same as every Texas father’s dream for their first born son – they wanted us all to leave Texas, go to New York, and dance in the chorus of a Broadway show. And I did it and I loved every single time step. Especially tonight – this is a great honor. My father thanks you, my mother thanks you, my sister Gracey thanks you, my brother Peter also, and I want to thank each and every one of you who through the years have either attended or contributed to my Broadway offerings. They would not have worked without you. We know that Broadway has a universal mystique, and I am proud and humbled to be part of our Broadway universe. It is vast and inclusive and I believe that all of it, ALL OF IT, is simply an expression of love. What I did for love. What we do for love. On with the show.”

In a few minutes, Alan Cumming and Kristen Chenoweth will start co-hosting the Tonys. I don’t know how I feel about them, singly, or together.

 

 

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.

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.

“Heidi Chronicles” Closing Sunday is a Crime!

Heidi 1“The Heidi Chronicles” closing on Broadway on Sunday is a crime! I just saw it for the SECOND time last night, and enjoyed it all over again. I RARELY, as you know, dear readers, RETURN to revisit a show, especially in this high Drama Desk season, but I’m so glad I did.

The cast was very relaxed and giving and warm, warm, warm and funny, too, as the late Pulitzer winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein was in real life.

Insightful, witty, observant, and yes, timely, too, I do feel that Wasserstein’s “Heidi” is not dated at all and is as relevant today as it was then when it opened to great critical acclaim in 1989. It won the Pulitzer and also the Tony.

And I saw the original production, but I liked this one much better. The performances of Elizabeth Moss in the title role and the redoubtable Bryce Pinkham as her gay best friend were both awards-worthy, and thankfully Moss has been nominated for a Tony for Best Actress. Pinkham however was not, although he did get an Outer Critics nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play. The Drama Desk ignored it completely.

I wonder if the shows’ unexpected, premature closing had something to do with the unjust lack of awards consideration “Heidi” has gotten.

Elizabeth Moss was simply magnificent last night, shining like a golden  sun and immensely relatable as the hapless heroine Heidi. Moss’ monologue ending with the famous line “I feel stranded” was a bravura tour-de-force of the highest order.

And Pinkham held his own in a 360 degree turn from his usual villainous musical rogues (“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” and “Ghost”.) as a very warm, relatable doctor. His Dr. Peter Patrone goes from campy to bitchy to saintly in an arc than every gay man was experienced since the ’60s, ending with yes, a penultimate scene dealing with AIDS in the late ’80s. The  hyper-versatile Pinkham captures every nuance, pulse and throb of pain and joy that Peter undergoes.

The house was packed last night. The audience applauded every scene. That’s something that rarely happens with a straight play.

I urge you to try to see “Heidi” before it closes on Sunday. Maybe there will be enough of a demand to see its’ beautiful life extended.

TONY Eligibility Committee Meets for Last Time this season

And now…the esteeemed Tony Awards nominating committee has made its’ final determinations as to categories. Just to be clear, these are simply guidelines to allow the Tony Voters to know who is going to go into which category SHOULD they be lucky enough to be considered for an Award.

I would also like to point out that Dame Hilary Mantel has SUDDENLY popped up as co-author of “Wolf Hall Pts. 1&2” which the Drama Desk who didn’t nominate her at all or “Wolf Hall” for Best Play, or the Outer Critics Circle, which did, did not mention her as co-author here-to-fore, nor is she listed that way in the program.

But what this new categorization does is almost makes it certain that “Wolf Hall” will win Best Play. There’s nothing like a Dame. Ask Dame Helen Mirren who is sure to win Best Actress in a Play for “The Audience” AGAIN playing the current Queen of England.Wolf Hall 2

TONY AWARDS ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE MEETS

FOR THE FOURTH AND FINALTIME DURING THE 2014-2015 SEASON

TO DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY

 

New York, NY (April 24, 2015) – The Tony Awards Administration Committee met today for the final time this season to determine the eligibility of 18 Broadway productions for the 2015 American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards®, presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. The Tony Awards Administration Committee has met a total of four times throughout the 2014-2015 season to decide the eligibility for the 69th Annual Tony Awards.

 

The 18 productions discussed were Fish in the Dark, The Audience, On the Twentieth Century, The Heidi Chronicles, Skylight, Hand to God, Gigi, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two, An American in Paris, It Shoulda Been You, Finding Neverland, The King and I, Fun Home, Living on Love, Doctor Zhivago, Something Rotten!, Airline Highway and The Visit.

                                

The committee made the following determinations:

 

Andy Karl, Mark Linn-Baker and Michael McGrath will be considered eligible in the Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical category for their respective performances in On the Twentieth Century.

 

Jason Biggs and Bryce Pinkham will be considered eligible in the Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Play category for their respective performances in The Heidi Chronicles.

 

Steven Boyer and Geneva Carr will be considered eligible in the Best Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Play categories for their respective performances in Hand to God.

 

Victoria Clark, Dee Hoty and Howard McGillin will be considered eligible in the Best Actor/Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical categories for their respective performances in Gigi.

 

Hilary Mantel and Mike Poulton will be considered co-authors and jointly eligible in the Best Play category for Wolf Hall Parts One & Two.

 

Ben Miles will be considered eligible in the Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Play category for his performance in Wolf Hall Parts One & Two.

 

Paule Constable and David Plater will be considered jointly eligible in the Best Lighting Design of a Play category for Wolf Hall Parts One & Two.

 

Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope will be considered eligible in the Best Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical categories for their respective performances in An American in Paris.

 

Bob Crowley and 59 Productions will be considered jointly eligible in the Best Scenic Design of a Musical category for An American in Paris.

 

Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky and Bill Elliott will be considered jointly eligible in the Best Orchestrations category for An American in Paris.

 

Tyne Daly, Harriet Harris and Sierra Boggess will be considered eligible in the Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical category for their respective performances in It Shoulda Been You.

 

Matthew Morrison and Laura Michelle Kelly will be considered eligible in the Best Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical category for their respective performances in Finding Neverland.

 

Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe will be considered eligible in the Best Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical categories for their respective performances in The King and I.

 

Christopher Gattelli will be considered eligible in the Best Choreography category for The King and I.

 

Judy Kuhn will be considered eligible in the Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical category for her performance in Fun Home.

 

Beth Malone will be considered eligible in the Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical category for her performance in Fun Home.

 

Anna Chlumsky and Jerry O’Connell will be considered eligible in the Best Actor/Actress in a Featured Role in a Play categories for their respective performances in Living on Love.

 

Tam Mutu and Kelli Barrett will be considered eligible in the Best Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical categories for their respective performances in Doctor Zhivago.

 

Michael Scott-Mitchell and Sean Nieuwenhuis will be considered jointly eligible in the Best Scenic Design of a Musical category for Doctor Zhivago.

 

Brian d’Arcy James and John Cariani will be considered eligible in the Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category for their respective performances in Something Rotten!

 

Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker will announce the 2015 Tony Award Nominations LIVE on Tuesday, April 28th from the Paramount Hotel’s Diamond Horseshoe in New York City. The Tony Award Nominations can be viewed LIVE on “CBS This Morning” and in their entirety, atwww.TonyAwards.com.

 

The 2015 Tony Awards will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, on Sunday, June 7th, 2015 (8:00 – 11:00 p.m. ET/PT time delay) on the CBS Television Network, live from the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Tony Awards, which honors theater professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway, has been broadcast on CBS since 1978. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

 

A limited number of tickets to the 2015 Tony Awards will be made available to the general public. Tickets will be available at http://www.TonyAwards.com starting on April 28, 2015.

 

For more information on the Tony Awards, visit TonyAwards.com and Facebook.com/TheTonyAwards and follow @TheTonyAwards on Instagram and Twitter.

 

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