Summer has unofficially begun. By its end, nine of the 27 shows currently on Broadway will have closed, several of them next month. But summer also means a city full of theater festivals (See May 25 below for a list of 20 of them.)
Meanwhile, the Outer Critics Circle held their annual awards ceremony twice this past week – once at Sardi’s, which is where it is always held, and then again in a fictitious restaurant called Table 46 on the series finale of “Smash.” The two-hour episode of the NBC TV show — which aired on the 100th anniversary of Actors Equity Association — was all about awards season, climaxing at the Tonys, and allowing for one final snark-fest among TV-watching theater people, a weekly ritual that I for one shall miss.
With less than two weeks until the actual 2013 Tonys, I include a debate below over whether they should finally include Off-Broadway shows — and offer my Tony picks for all 26 categories this year.
May 20, 2013
His first date on Broadway: Zachary Levi of Chuck makes his debut opposite Krysta Rodriguez in First Date. Opens Aug 8 at Longacre
Melissa Errico: Happiest (sunny!) ‘Liza Doolittle Day!
Why is May 20th ‘Liza Doolittle Day? In the song “Just You Wait” in “My Fair Lady,” when she’s mad at Henry Higgins, Eliza Doolittle sings:
One day I’ll be famous, I’ll be proper and prim
Go to St. James so often I will call it St. Jim
One evening the king will say, “Oh, Liza, old thing
I want all of England your praises to sing”
Next week on the twentieth of May
I proclaim Liza Doolittle day
All the people will celebrate the glory of you
And whatever you wish and want I gladly will do
“Oh thanks a lot” king says I, in a manner well bred
But all I want is ‘enry ‘iggins ‘ead
Melissa Errico: Eliza herself envisions all of England celebrating her glory- a relevant message/symbol 4 today…#alanjaylerner genius
education, upward mobility, not being oppressed, self realization, knowing when you’ve not been treated kindly and saying NO.
“The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves but how she is treated.” Eliza Day 2013
OBA (Off Broadway Alliance Award) winners: Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812; Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike (when it was Off-Broadway); Closer Than Ever; The Piano Lesson; Buyer & Cellar’ Bunnicula
The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s next Next Wave Festival: Anna Nicole Smith opera; Fiona Shaw poem; Rube Goldberg inventions animated
2014 Encores! schedule:
Little Me with Christian Borle, February
Most Happy Fella with Shuler Hensley, April
Irma La Douce, May
Here Lies Love has been extended yet again, until July 28th, but then that’s it, they say.
Robert Falls201 @RobertFalls201 MY favorite new musical in a VERY long time …
The Tonys have been broadcast on CBS for 35 years, and, thanks to new agreement, for at least another five years, through 2018.
Clint Eastwood will direct the movie adaptation of the Jersey Boys musical, filming to begin this summer.
Outer Critics Circle Award winners pick up their prizes at Sardi’s
(Who’s that licking Harvey Fierstein’s ear?)
The producers of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” were rapped for breaking Tony rules, sending voters brochure with EXCERPTS of reviews instead of the whole reviews.
Requiring full review, not just excerpts, is a great rule. Maybe the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs should require the same for a show’s ads/billboards etc.
– who and what SHOULD win (not who and what will) in all 26 categories
2. Should The Tonys include Off-Broadway?
Jonathan Mandell (@NewYorkTheater): The Tonys are the only theater awards I know of that are open ONLY to Broadway, excluding the rest of New York theater. Why?
Jonathan Mandell: You’re saying Off-Broadway shows themselves don’t want it? Then why do they participate in Drama Desk, Outer Critics etc?
Adam Feldman Because the Drama Desks are actually just SIX people in a room. Et cetera. Logistics.
Jonathan Mandell: I’m talking about the Drama Desk Awards, Adam. There are hundreds of voters.
Adam Feldman: There are six people on the nominating committee. Most voters can’t see the shows, hence the Broadway winners every year.
David Gordon: Because the Tonys were created to exclusively honor Broadway, were they not?
Jonathan Mandell: When the Tonys were created, there was no Off-Broadway, and certainly no Off-Off Broadway. Times change
Adam Feldman And that’s why now we have many, many other awards to take care of that. The Tonys are for Broadway.
Jonathan Mandell: None of the others are televised.
Diep Tran (@diepthought:) As if the Tony telecast wasn’t long enough. If we include Off and Off-Off, it would never end
Jonathan Mandell: The Drama Desk and Outer Critics have Broadway AND Off-Broadway, and they are shorter ceremonies than the Tonys.
You point out practical reasons for ignoring Off-Bway — as there were for ignoring regional theater. But the Tonys found a way to acknowledge regional theater, which is NOT Broadway at all. adjusted to new times by creating a regional award overseen by the American Theater Critics Association. Why not similarly include Off-Bway?
Why every year do the New York Times critics always pick Off-Broadway shows as “should have been nominated” for the Tonys?
Adam Feldman: They shouldn’t. It’s stupid of them, every year. And confusing.
Jonathan Mandell: It points to an unacknowledged but surely solvable problem.Why shouldn’t good Off-Broadway shows get the TV exposure too?
Tyler Bennett @BurlingameT The TV piece is a huge one, CBS could do wonders for Off Broadway.
“It’s rotten that,after 67 years,the Tonys still exclude off-Broadway, yet claim to celebrate the best of American theater~”Jeremy Gerard
A list of all the lighting personnel (11) and pieces of equipment (953!) employed for Pippin
Yes, summer is beginning, so here are: 20 Summer Theater Festivals in New York City 2013
Let’s hear a shout-out to Actors Equity — 100 years old today! Brothers and sisters of the stage, united in the struggle
Let’s celebrate the stage managers, who are also members of the union.Without fanfare or applause, they hold the show together
Are we allowed to make snarky remarks during the Smash finale or would that be in bad taste now?
Jesse Oxfeld @joxfeld: Mocking it is not a choice; it’s who we are.
Dan Mason @djdan1033 Snark and Smash go together like Kander & Ebb.
Jonathan Mandell: Wouldn’t it be great if Dev, Ellis, Leo, Rebecca and Frank return for the #Smash finale, like the end of Places in the Heart?
Or better yet, wouldn’t it be terrific if the whole #Smash cast murders Karen Cartwright, like Murder On The Orient Express?
Amelia Beamish @ameliabeamish That would be a perfect ending.
Beth Alfabeto @dawiz88 Second that!
Hey Netflix, any plans to make a third season of #Smash in seven years?
Give em the big finish
And they’ll forget what came before
Give em the big finish
But always keep one eye on the door
Smash composer Marc Shaiman argues briefly what went wrong and gives the context and thinking behind 41 of his and Scott Wittman’s songs for the show: Goodbye, Norma Jean
Season 2 show runner Joshua Safran talks to Entertainment Weekly about Smash past, and what the future would have been: “The plan for season 3 in my mind was a Hollywood movie musical.”