The Broadway 2018-2019 season has ended, and the New York theater award season is in high gear. The Tony nominations will be announced tomorrow.
Here are the shows that opened on Broadway this season, organized chronologically by opening date. What will be selected, what shut out?
Boys in the Band, Straight White Men, Head Over Heels, Gettin the Band Back Together, Pretty Woman The Musical, Bernhardt/Hamlet, The Nap, The Lifespan of a Fact, The Ferryman, The Waverly Gallery, Torch Song, American Son, King Kong, Mike Birbiglia’s The New One, The Prom, The Cher Show, Network, To Kill A Mockingbird, Choir Boy, True West, Be More Chill, Kiss Me Kate, Ain’t Too Proud, What The Constitution Means To Me, King Lear, Oklahoma, Burn This, Hadestown, Hillary and Clinton, Gary, All My Sons, Tootsie,Ink, Beetlejuice
The Week in New York Theater Awards
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley will be the recipient of the 2019 Regional Theatre Tony Award. The honor is accompanied by a grant of $25,00
Orchestrator Harold Wheeler, actress Rosemary Harris and playwright Terrence McNally will receive Lifetime Achievement at 2019 Tony Award
Judith Light will receive this year’s Isabelle Stevenson Award for her advocacy to end HIV/AIDS and support for LGBTQ and human rights
Three special Tony Awards: puppet creators Sonny Tilders/Creature Technology Co.; Choir Boy vocal arranger Jason Michael Webb; the late Marin Mazzie for her advocacy and leadership as a brave, dedicated voice for women’s health
he 2019 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre to four outstanding contributors to the Broadway industry: Broadway Inspirational Voices founded by Michael McElroy; Peter Entin, retired Vice President of Theatre Operations for the Shubert Organization; Joseph Blakely Forbes, Founder and President, Scenic Art Studios, Inc. and FDNY Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9.
The Tony Award nominations will be announced tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. You can watch it live on the Tony Awards Facebook page.
The Week in New York Theater Reviews
In Tootsie the movie, Michael Dorsey, an actor desperate to be cast in anything, auditions disguised as a woman he names Dorothy Michaels, and lands a role as a female hospital administrator on a soap opera, with ever increasing comic complications. In the musical, the silly soap opera becomes….a bad musical….The collective Broadway savvy of cast and creative team…produces entertainment full of what most people expect from a romantic musical comedy on Broadway – wonderful comic performances, beautiful singing, lively dancing, some heartfelt moments, some razzmatazz.
Yet, in attempting to update a story that was very much of its time, Tootsie the musical winds up with a show that is more awkward than it surely wants to be, and that says less than it apparently wants to say.
Nobody applauds when Annette Bening first appears on stage in All My Sons, the third Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s 1947 tragedy, the playwright’s first hit play. This is because of director Jack O’Brien’s staging, a deliberate choice to have her character Kate Keller start speaking while she is still partially hidden inside the Keller’s old-fashioned suburban house. The house itself is largely just a three-dimensional backdrop; the action takes place in the Keller’s backyard.
Bening is also so plainly dressed and free of any obvious makeup that it took time to recognize her.
Kate’s low-key entrance feels like a strategy for the play as a whole. It drives home how much the Keller family – father Joe (Tracy Letts), mother Kate (Bening) and son Chris (Benjamin Walker) — are just plain American folk, like their friends and neighbors. Yet, it also suggests how much they have hidden…from the audience, from each other, from themselves. When by the end all is revealed, the play explodes into three powerhouse performances.
“Ink” recounts how Rupert Murdoch, newly arrived in London from Australia in 1969, bought the Sun, “a stuck-up broadsheet that…never once made a profit,” and in a year’s time made it a wildly popular populist tabloid, having turned “ugly into an art form,” as a character says in James Graham’s play. The character, Larry Lamb (portrayed by Jonny Lee Miller), the editor Murdoch hired, is talking about the ugly look of the paper, but the description fits the contents as well.
“You might think it’s all harmless — celebrities and bonking,” the head of the rival Mirror says to Lamb in the play. “Don’t you know how Rome fell?”
If you remember the movie (and I didn’t; I watched it again this week on Amazon), Beetlejuice doesn’t appear until about the half-way mark, and his high octane obnoxiousness and show biz wisecracking are delivered in memorable but limited doses. The musical’s Beetlejuice, hyper and foul-mouthed, takes center stage nearly from the get-go, and without letup. Most to the point, the demon sets the turbo-charged pace and loud tone for the entire proceedings. I’d say this was a fatal mistake, but in a musical comedy about death and the netherworld, that might sound like a good thing.
Still, if you can tolerate the bombardment, and don’t mind sappy scenes mixed in with the comically macabre plot, Beetlejuice the musical does have its pleasures – principally a few standout performances and especially the vivid visuals.
The Week in New York Theater News
Noah Galvin (The Real O’Neals, Dear Evan Hansen) steps into the role of Ogie in Waitress beginning tonight.
The FIRST ever Moliere in the Park in Prospect Park: The Misanthrope, with Samira Wiley, music by Stew. May 18-20, last 2 performances FREE.
Rock of Ages returns to NYC, for 10th anniversary production, at New World Stages, June 19-Sept 29 Casting announced soon
Broadway Bounty Hunter musical by Joe Iconis starring Annie Golden as Annie, a down-on-her-luck actress who is asked to become a bounty hunter and capture a South American drug lord. July 9- Sept 15, Greenwich House Theater.
Rest in Peace
Mark Medoff, 79, Tony-winning playwright of Children of a Lesser God, screenwriter, director and a long-time arts educator. “I can’t teach students to write, to direct, to act, but I can create an atmosphere in which they can teach themselves.”