Advertisements

“Broadway 2017” on Jeopardy: Test Your Knowledge

Jeopardy boardJeopardy had the following answers in a “Broadway 2017” category during the Double Jeopardy Round of the Tournament of Champions earlier this week. Guess the questions:

$400 – COME FROM AWAY tells how Gander, Newfoundland hosted 7,000 airline passengers stranded due to this tragic event.

$800 – CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY features Christian Borle singing the following [“The Candyman”] as this character.

$1200 – Revived in 2017 and set during the final days of the Vietnam War, MISS SAIGON was inspired by this Puccini Opera.

$1600 – Ben Platt won the 2017 Tony for his performance as a high school senior coping with a classmate’s death in this musical.

$2000 – WAR PAINT stars Christine Ebersole as Elizabeth Arden and this legendary performer as Helena Rubinstein.

Questions: Read more of this post

Advertisements

J.K. Rowling on Harry Potter Play on Broadway

After seven books and eight movies, J.K. Rowling thought she was done with Harry Potter. “I genuinely, I didn’t want Harry to go onstage,” Rowling said in the video below. “I felt that I was done.”

Nevertheless Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is set to open at Broadway’s Lyric Theater on April 22, 2018.
Watch CBS Sunday Morning segment
Read more of this post

2017 Emmy Winners (NY Theater Vets Highlighted)

Below is the list of Emmy winners, with Broadway veterans in red. (Off-Broadway vets in green.)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – John Lithgow, The Crown
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie – Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series – Donald Glover, Atlanta
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series – Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series – Bruce Miller, The Handmaid’s Tale
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series or Movie – Jean-Marc Vallée, Big Little Lies
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie – Alexander Skarsgård, Big Little Lies
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series – Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series – Aziz Ansari & Lena Waithe, Master of None
Outstanding Reality Competition Program – The Voice
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series – Reed Morano, The Handmaid’s Tale
Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series or Movie – Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series – Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Variety Talk Series – Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series – Donald Glover, Atlanta
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Outstanding Comedy Series – Veep
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie – Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie – Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Outstanding TV Movie – “San Junipero,” Black Mirror
Outstanding Limited Series – Big Little Lies
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series – Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series – Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
Outstanding Drama Series – The Handmaid’s Tale

Complete list from the Academy

John Lithgow, the first winner of the night, is about to star in his 24th show on Broadway, “John Lithgow Stories of the Heart.”  He’s been nominated for the Tony Award six times, and won twice.

Laura Dern performed in “The Palace of Amateurs” at the Minetta Lane Theater in 1988.

Alec Baldwin has performed on Broadway five times, most recently in Orphans in 2013, and Off-Broadway four times, and was nominated for a Tony Award for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1992.

Ann Dowd is a veteran of three Broadway plays, and three Off-Broadway, most recently Night Is a Room in 2015.

Nicole Kidman starred in “The Blue Room” on Broadway in 1998-1999.

Sterling K. Brown has performed in five plays Off-Broadway, most recently Suzan-Lori Parks’ “Father Comes Home from the Wars” at the Public Theater in 2014.

Elisabeth Moss is a veteran of both Off-Broadway and Broadway most recently nominated for a Tony for The Heidi Chronicles in 2015.

 

(Jackie Hoffman is a veteran of five Broadway and four Off-Broadway shows; she’s currently in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.)

Watch Christopher Jackson sing Stevie Wonder’s “As” for the In Memoriam segment

Broadway’s Best on PBS This Fall

“She Loves Me,” “Falsettos,” “Noël Coward’s Present Laughter” “Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn” and “Indecent” will all be broadcast on Friday nights this Fall on PBS, with the full episodes of each show streaming for free for two weeks after the broadcasts.

Here’s the schedule, with links to my original reviews:

 

10/20 She Loves Me

10/27 Falsettos

11/3 Present Laughter

11/10 In The Heights documentary “Chasing Broadway Dreams”

11/17 Indecent

11/24 Holiday Inn

Will on TNT: Shakespeare in A Punk TV Series

“Who will want a play by William Shakespeare?” his wife Ann asks him, unkindly, in their home in the hick town of Stratford-Upon-Avon, as he is about to depart for London in 1589 to become a playwright. It’s a crafty first line in “Will,” a TV series that launches tonight on the TNT cable network: The show is clearly banking on the hope that, since almost everybody four centuries later wants a play by William Shakespeare, there will be an audience for a speculative TV series about his early career in London.
“I can’t spend the rest of my life making gloves,” Will tells Ann.
“We have three children,” she says in rebuttal.
But it’s no use. Off goes the 25-year-old William Shakespeare (portrayed by the 24-year-old Laurie Davidson) in the first of ten episodes in the series — a series that features, among other attributes, a cast of soap opera-level hunks and beauties in some extremely graphic scenes of torture, slightly more demure humping, and the first rap battle in iambic pentameter.

“Will” was conceived by Craig Pearce, an Australian screenwriter and actor who is a frequent collaborator with Baz Luhrman – on Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge, the 2013 film of The Great Gatsby, and even Romeo + Juliet. That film’s 1970s punk treatment of Shakespeare’s tale of doomed lovers offers a hint at the tone taken with Will, which uses a punk score. On his departure to make his career, we hear The Clash’s “London Calling.”

But the actors wear Elizabethan costumes, both the exteriors and the interiors are persuasively detailed re-creations of the period, and there are some clever almost-Shakespearean lines that one could take as the early stirrings of the future full-fledged poet genius.  Since so little is known about the young Shakespeare, one can more or less accept the scenes in the first episode of “Will” that lead to his first London production. We see Will seeking out the home of James Burbage (Colm Meaney) with a play in hand for Burbage’s theater company. But his son Richard Burbage (Mattias Inwood), when discovering this rustic at the threshold, laughs in his face, and shuts the door in his face. Will is saved by Burbage’s daughter Alice (Olivia DeJonge), who takes a liking to him – and maybe more than a liking? — and escorts him to her father’s theater, where James is right at that moment desperate for a play.

“I have a play,” Will shouts out. It’s about a heroic English king, Edward III (Shakespeare did in fact write Edward III, and some scholars speculate that it was produced as early as 1589, though most think not.) “There’s love, war, death and betrayal,” Will says.
“Does it have any comedy?”
“The Scottish characters are quite funny.”

The reason why Burbage was stuck for a play is that the hugely popular Christopher Marlowe won’t do any more plays for him; Marlowe is being paid more by a Burbage rival not to write..
There is something seductively evil about Marlowe – helped along by his portrayal by hot punkish Jamie Campbell Bower

But Marlowe figures in a plot that drives much of the non-Shakespearean aspects of “Will.” Will is a Catholic who has been asked to bring a letter to his cousin, the Jesuit Robert Southwell (Max Bennett), who is in hiding from the authorities, in particular the queen’s chief inquisitor, Richard Topcliffe (Ewen Bremner.) It is illegal to be Catholic in England in 1589 (hence the scenes of torture), and Will’s letter falls into Topcliffe’s hands, thus setting up what will obviously provide some tension for the series. Will Will be unmasked as a Catholic; will Topcliffe capture and torture him? And what of Alice?

Since history doesn’t reveal for sure that Shakespeare was ever Catholic, much less involved in the Catholic resistance — among much else presented in “Will” —  theater lovers who are enticed into the journey through this cable TVland biography should be prepared to leave the Bard behind.

“Will” is on TNT Mondays at 9 p.m. ET

Best Moments on 2017 Tonys, Seen and Unseen

Many moments in the three hours of the 71st annual Tony Awards (complete list of winners) were worth experiencing just once, if that — Bette Midler NOT singing, yet rambling endlessly during her acceptance speech,  telling the orchestra  trying to nudge her off to “Shut that crap off.”

True, this was followed by Kevin Spacey, appearing as President Frank Underwood from “House of Cards,” as he handed the best musical envelope to presenter Lin-Manuel Miranda, saying: “I want to get the hell out of here before Bette Midler thanks anyone else.”

But there were some moments worth savoring.

Performances

Waving through a Window from Dear Evan Hansen

Welcome to the Rock from Come From Away

“Dust and Ashes” and “The Abduction” from Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812

Opening number

 

Politics

There was surprisingly little politics for an awards ceremony being held during the Trump presidency, but there were  a few such moments:

Cynthia Nixon,  while accepting the award as best featured actress for “Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes.”  quoted a famous line from the play  ‘There are people who eat the earth and eat all the people on it, other people who just stand around and watch them do it,” She then added: “My love, my gratitude and my undying respect go out to all the people in 2017 who are refusing to just stand and watch them do it.”

At the end of his acceptance speech, Kevin Kline gave a shout-out to two federal arts agencies that President Trump wants to eliminate: “I’d like to thank a couple of organizations without which maybe half the people in this room would not be here: that would be the National Endowment for the Arts] and the National Endowment for the Humanities.”

In her acceptance speech  for her (well-deserved) Tony for best direction of a play, for Indecent, Rebecca Taichman said: “This is about making art when one is in great danger.”

Stephen Colbert as a presenter  injected the most bluntly political remarks.

“It is my honor to be here presenting the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical. And it’s been a great year for revivals in general, especially that one they revived down in Washington D.C. It started off-Broadway in the ‘80s, way off-Broadway, over on 5th Avenue. Huge production values. A couple of problems. The main character is totally unbelievable, and the hair and makeup, yeesh.

“This D.C. production is supposed to have a four-year run, but the reviews have not been kind. Could close early, we don’t know, best of luck to everyone involved.”

He then called “Miss Saigon,” one of the nominated revivals,  “the only pageant whose locker room our president hasn’t walked in on.” and  greeted the groans with “Lot of Trump fans here tonight, evidently,”

Dramatists Rule

The four playwrights who were nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play — all Americans — were given time on stage of the 71st annual Tony Awards to describe their plays — J.T. Rogers on Oslo (which won); Lucas Hnath on A Doll’s House, Part 2, Paula Vogel on Indecent; Lynn Nottage on Sweat,

“We are in a golden age of American playwriting,” Lincoln Center Theater producer Andre Bishop said as he accepted the “Oslo” award with Rogers. When will the Tony Award broadcast fully realize this?

 

Heartfelt Thanks to Their Parents

Ben Platt, best lead actor in a musical, Dear Evan Hansen:

“I want to thank my parents, who are my heroes, Julie Platt and Marc Platt, the greatest people I’ve ever met. Everybody always says that about their parents, but it’s true, I will fight you. They are the best people in the world. Dad, you’re my hero, you taught me that you have to be a decent human being to be a decent artist, and I love you for it. And finally to all young people watching at home, don’t waste any time trying to be like anybody but yourself because the things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful. Thank you.”

Michael Aronov, best  featured actor in a play, Oslo

“My aunt and uncle and their two kids in New Jersey opened their hearts and home to me about 20 years ago when I first moved to New York to try to be an actor. They took me in and treated me like I was their son. I would have about five sets of keys in my bag at all times because when I missed the bus from doing shows in the city I had friends, rare and remarkable ones, that kept their doors open to me at any hour of the night. I finally was able to save up a couple of dollars and move into the city, a tiny, tiny studio apartment where if you walked in too fast you’d fly out the window. My mom and dad didn’t know that I was living off of pasta and cheese and rice pudding to be a frugal actor, because it would break their hearts and they’d try to turn the world upside down to help me be O.K. Because when I hurt they hurt more. and when I smile and soar they’re able to breathe. Thanks to Bart and J.T., this is the biggest honor of my life — but mainly because my mom and dad are here with me tonight. Solomon and Anna Aronov, you’ve always had my back more than anybody else in the world and you love me and Greg more than you love yourselves. My victories mean nothing to me unless I’m sharing them with you. Thank you.”

Awards and Acceptance Speeches Not Broadcast

Best Book of a Musical

 

Best Choreography

James Earl Jones speech accepting his Special Tony for Lifetime Achievement

In Memorium

2017 Tony Awards Cheat Sheet

The 71st annual Tony Awards, honoring the shows that opened in the 2016-2017 season in the 41 Broadway theaters of New York, will be presented starting at 8 p.m. tonight, June 11, 2017 at New York’s 6,000-seat Radio City Music Hall.

How To Watch

Most Americans who watch will do so on CBS as a television broadcast that is scheduled to last three hours.

A total of 8.7 million viewers tuned into last year’s Tony Awards broadcast, which was the highest number in 15 years, pumped up by excitement over Hamilton. There is no similar juggernaut this year.

(There are ways as well to watch the Tonys online.)

Info for international viewers and intense fans (who don’t think the three-hour broadcast is enough.)

Host Kevin Spacey

The host will be Kevin Spacey, the Oscar-winning movie actor, currently the star of House of Cards on Netflix portraying a devious homicidal president of the United States (expect at least one Trump joke based on that.)  Spacey is also an eight-time Broadway veteran who won the Tony for best featured actor in 1991 for Lost in Yonkers and was nominated for best actor in 1999 for The Iceman Cometh. Few realize he is also a song-and-dance man, glimpses of which are available in his portrayal of Bobby Darin in the 2004 film Beyond The Sea.

Scheduled Performances

Musical numbers from nominated shows “Bandstand,” ″Come From Away,” ″Dear Evan Hansen,” ″Falsettos,” ″Groundhog Day The Musical,” ″Miss Saigon,” “Natasha,Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812” with Josh Groban,″Hello, Dolly!” without Bette Midler,“War Paint”

plus Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom Jr. (last year’s Tony winners for The Color Purple and Hamilton, respectively.)

and the Radio City Rockettes

Scheduled Presenters

Lea Salonga and Lin-Manuel Miranda

Orlando Bloom, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Josh Gad, Taraji P. Henson, Scarlett Johansson, Anna Kendrick, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Wilde, Scott Bakula, Sara Bareilles, Rachel Bloom, Glenn Close, Brian d’Arcy James, Sally Field, Sutton Foster, Whoopi Goldberg, Jonathan Groff, Mark Hamill, Allison Janney, Nick Kroll, John Legend, John Lithgow, Patina Miller, John Mulaney, David Oyelowo, Chazz Palminteri, Sarah Paulson, Lea Salonga, Tom Sturridge and Tommy Tune.

There will also be an appearance by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

What To Watch For

Both Best Musical and Best Play categories are competitive this year. Look to see how many of its 12 nominations Great Comet nails as the evening progresses, and Dear Evan Hansen’s nine, and Come From Away’s seven.

Also, see what the Tonys do to celebrate an unusually strong season of straight (non-musical) plays. Normally, they’re given short shrift.

Tony Nominations

Below is the list of Tony nominations organized by category. (And below that is a list of the number of nominations each show received.)

(For a rundown on which I feel SHOULD win, plus links to my reviews, click here)

Best Play
A Doll’s House, Part 2
Indecent
Oslo
Sweat


Best Musical

Come From Away
Dear Evan Hansen
Groundhog Day The Musical
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812


Best Book of a Musical

Come From Away
Irene Sankoff and David Hein

Dear Evan Hansen
Steven Levenson

Groundhog Day The Musical
Danny Rubin

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Dave Malloy


Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

Come From Away
Music & Lyrics: Irene Sankoff and David Hein

Dear Evan Hansen
Music & Lyrics: Benj Pasek & Justin Paul

Groundhog Day The Musical
Music & Lyrics: Tim Minchin

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Music & Lyrics: Dave Malloy


Best Revival of a Play

August Wilson’s Jitney
John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation
Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes
Present Laughter


Best Revival of a Musical

Falsettos
Hello, Dolly!
Miss Saigon


Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Denis Arndt, Heisenberg
Chris Cooper, A Doll’s House, Part 2
Corey Hawkins, John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation
Kevin Kline, Present Laughter
Jefferson Mays, Oslo


Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Cate Blanchett, The Present
Jennifer Ehle, Oslo
Sally Field, The Glass Menagerie
Laura Linney, Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes
Laurie Metcalf, A Doll’s House, Part 2


Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Christian Borle, Falsettos
Josh Groban, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Andy Karl, Groundhog Day The Musical
David Hyde Pierce, Hello, Dolly!
Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen


Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Denée Benton, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Christine Ebersole, War Paint
Patti LuPone, War Paint
Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly!
Eva Noblezada, Miss Saigon


Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Michael Aronov, Oslo
Danny DeVito, Arthur Miller’s The Price
Nathan Lane, The Front Page
Richard Thomas, Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes
John Douglas Thompson, August Wilson’s Jitney


Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Johanna Day, Sweat
Jayne Houdyshell, A Doll’s House, Part 2
Cynthia Nixon, Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes
Condola Rashad, A Doll’s House, Part 2
Michelle Wilson, Sweat


Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Gavin Creel, Hello, Dolly!
Mike Faist, Dear Evan Hansen
Andrew Rannells, Falsettos
Lucas Steele, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Brandon Uranowitz, Falsettos


Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Kate Baldwin, Hello, Dolly!
Stephanie J. Block, Falsettos
Jenn Colella, Come From Away
Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen
Mary Beth Peil, Anastasia


Best Scenic Design of a Play

David Gallo, August Wilson’s Jitney
Nigel Hook, The Play That Goes Wrong
Douglas W. Schmidt, The Front Page
Michael Yeargan, Oslo


Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Rob Howell, Groundhog Day The Musical
David Korins, War Paint
Mimi Lien, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Santo Loquasto, Hello, Dolly!


Best Costume Design of a Play

Jane Greenwood, Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes
Susan Hilferty, Present Laughter
Toni-Leslie James, August Wilson’s Jitney
David Zinn, A Doll’s House, Part 2


Best Costume Design of a Musical

Linda Cho, Anastasia
Santo Loquasto, Hello, Dolly!
Paloma Young, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Catherine Zuber, War Paint


Best Lighting Design of a Play

Christopher Akerlind, Indecent
Jane Cox, August Wilson’s Jitney
Donald Holder, Oslo
Jennifer Tipton, A Doll’s House, Part 2


Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Howell Binkley, Come From Away
Natasha Katz, Hello, Dolly!
Bradley King, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Japhy Weideman, Dear Evan Hansen


Best Direction of a Play

Sam Gold, A Doll’s House, Part 2
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, August Wilson’s Jitney
Bartlett Sher, Oslo
Daniel Sullivan, Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes
Rebecca Taichman, Indecent


Best Direction of a Musical

Christopher Ashley, Come From Away
Rachel Chavkin, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Michael Greif, Dear Evan Hansen
Matthew Warchus, Groundhog Day The Musical
Jerry Zaks, Hello, Dolly!


Best Choreography

Andy Blankenbuehler, Bandstand
Peter Darling and Ellen Kane, Groundhog Day The Musical
Kelly Devine, Come From Away
Denis Jones, Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical
Sam Pinkleton, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812


Best Orchestrations

Bill Elliott and Greg Anthony Rassen, Bandstand
Larry Hochman, Hello, Dolly!
Alex Lacamoire, Dear Evan Hansen
Dave Malloy, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

 

* * *

 

Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-competitive Categories

 

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre

James Earl Jones

Special Tony Award

Gareth Fry & Pete Malkin, Sound Designers for The Encounter

Regional Theatre Tony Award

Dallas Theater Center

Dallas, TX

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

Baayork Lee

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre

Nina Lannan

Alan Wasser

 

Tony Nominations by Production

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 – 1

Hello, Dolly! – 10

Dear Evan Hansen – 9

A Doll’s House, Part 2 – 8

Come From Away – 7

Groundhog Day The Musical – 7

Oslo – 7

August Wilson’s Jitney – 6

Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes – 6

Falsettos – 5

War Paint – 4

Indecent – 3

Present Laughter – 3

Sweat – 3

Anastasia – 2

Bandstand – 2

The Front Page – 2

John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation – 2

Miss Saigon – 2

Arthur Miller’s The Price – 1

The Glass Menagerie – 1

Heisenberg – 1

Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical – 1

The Play That Goes Wrong – 1

The Present – 1