How To Get Discount Tickets to Broadway’s Newest Shows

There are 14 shows opening on Broadway in April, 2017, which are available for as little as $30, even though full price can be 500 percent more than. How?  Below, listed alphabetically, are the shows that are opening and the official ways to get cheap tickets — among them digital lottery, general rush (meaning showing up when the box office opens on the day of the performance), student rush (showing up and being a student), and standing room.

I link the titles to my reviews for shows that have already opened as of this writing.

For descriptions of all of these shows and those opening Off-Broadway this month, check out my guide to April, 2017 New York Theater Openings

Amélie


Opened: April 3
Digital Lottery
$45, credit card only.

Enter at ameliebroadway.com/lottery beginning one week prior until
11am the day before the performance.
Winners are notified by 12pm the day before the performance. Tickets
must be purchased by 11:59pm the day before the performance.

2 tickets per person.

General Rush,
$39.50,
cash or credit card accepted.
Available when the box office opens, subject to availability.
2 tickets per person.

http://www.ameliebroadway.com/

Anastasia

Opening: April 24

Digital Lottery
$42, cash or credit card accepted.
Enter at anastasiabroadwaylottery.com on the day of the
performance, up to 9 AM for matinees and 2 PM for evenings.
2 tickets per person.

http://www.anastasiabroadway.com/

Bandstand

Opening: April 26

General Rush,
$35, cash or credit card accepted.
Available when the box office opens, subject to availability.
2 tickets per person.

http://www.bandstandbroadway.com/

 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Opening: April 23

No General Rush or Lottery ticket policies announced as of yet.

 

 

A Doll’s House, Part 2

Opening: April 27

General Rush
$30,
cash or credit card.
Available when the box office opens, subject to availability.
2 tickets per person.
Seats are located in the front row.

http://www.dollshousepart2.com/

Groundhog Day

Opening: April 17

Digital Lottery
$39.50, credit card only.
Enter at beginning one week prior until
11am the day before the performance.
Winners are notified by 12pm the day before the performance. Tickets
must be purchased by 11:59pm the day before the performance.

2 tickets per person.

General Rush,
$39.50,
cash or credit card accepted.
Available when the box office opens, subject to availability.
2 tickets per person.

http://www.groundhogdaymusical.com/

Hello, Dolly!

Opening:April 20

Standing Room
$47, cash or credit card accepted.
Available when the show is sold out.
2 tickets per person.


http://www.hellodollyonbroadway.com/

Indecent

Opening: April 18

General Rush
$30, cash or credit card.
Available when the box office opens, subject to availability.
2 tickets per person.


http://www.indecentbroadway.com/

The Little Foxes

Opening: April 19

Student Rush
$30, cash or credit card.
Open only to current students.
Available when the box office opens, subject to availability.
2 tickets per ID.

Mobile Rush
$30, credit card only.
Available via TodayTix mobile app from 10 AM until sold out.
2 tickets per person.


30 Under 30
$30
, cash or credit card.
Open to anyone under 30 years old.
Tickets can be purchased in advance.
Sign up for free at http://www.mtc-nyc.org/30under30/index.htm.

http://www.manhattantheatreclub.com/

 

Oslo

Opened: April 13

Digital Lottery
$39, credit card only.

Enter at oslobroadwaylottery.com beginning one week prior until
11am the day before the performance.
Winners are notified by 12pm the day before the performance. Tickets
must be purchased by 11:59pm the day before the performance.

2 tickets per person.


Student Rush
$32, cash or credit card.
Open only to current college/university students.
Available when the box office opens
, subject to availability.
1 ticket per ID.

Linctix
$32, cash or credit card.
Open to anyone between the ages of 21 and 35.
Tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the box office.
Sign up for free at linctix.org.
1 ticket per person per show.
Seats are located in the rear mezzanine.


http://www.oslobroadway.com

The Play That Goes Wrong

Opened: April 2

General Rush,
$30, cash or credit card accepted.
Available when the box office opens, subject to availability.
2 tickets per person.

Balcony tickets are $30 for all performances.

http://www.broadwaygoeswrong.com/

Present Laughter

Opened: April 5

Digital Lottery
$42, cash or credit card accepted.
Enter at laughteronbroadway.com/lottery beginning one week prior until
11am the day before the performance.
Winners are notified by 12pm the day before the performance. Tickets
must be purchased by 11:59pm the day before the performance.

2 tickets per person.

http://www.laughteronbroadway.com/

 

Six Degrees of Separation

Opening: April 25

Digital Lottery
$32, 
credit card only.
Enter at sixdegreesbroadway.com/lottery from 10 AM
until 3 PM on the day of the performance.

Requires registration through social media.
Winners will have 60 minutes to pay for their tickets online.
2 tickets per person.

General Rush
$32,
cash or credit card accepted.
Available when the box office opens, subject to availability.
2 tickets per person.

http://www.sixdegreesbroadway.com

War Paint

Opened: April 6

Digital Lottery
$40, 
credit card only.
Enter at lottery.broadwaydirect.com/show/war-paint/ from 10 AM
until 3 PM on the day of the performance.
Winners will have 60 minutes to pay for their tickets online.
2 tickets per person.

General Rush
$40,
cash or credit card accepted.
Available when the box office opens, subject to availability.
2 tickets per person.

Standing Room
$55, cash or credit card accepted.
Available
when the show is sold out.
2 tickets per person.


http://www.warpaintmusical.com/

 

For discount policies at all Broadway shows, a terrific resource is Broadway for Broke People

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Oslo on Broadway: The Surprising Story Behind Middle East Peace

Last year, “Oslo,” a fascinating if talky play about the surprising story behind the first peace accord between the Israelis and Palestinians, ran for a couple of months Off-Broadway. It is opening tonight on Broadway.  But since Lincoln Center produces the play, all that means is that it’s moving from the Mitzi Newhouse in the street level of Lincoln Center theater one flight up to the larger Vivian Beaumont on the plaza level, with cast and creative team intact, only minor changes to the script; the same three-hour running time but the elimination of one of its two intermissions…and a top ticket price 50 percent higher.

The biggest news about the show was announced earlier today: “Oslo” will be turned into a film, also directed by Bartlett Sher, and produced by La La Land’s Marc Platt (Ben‘s Pop.)

Below are a video and the photographs from the Broadway production and my review of “Oslo,” slightly altered, when it opened at the Mitzi Newhouse.

 

.According to “Oslo,” a little-known Norwegian couple instigated and pushed along the secret negotiations between the two warring sides that led to the famous moment when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat shook hands at the White House in 1993.

The versatile Jefferson Mays (“I Am My Own Wife,” “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder”) portrays sociologist Terje Rod-Larsen; Jennifer Ehl (“The Coast of Utopia”) is his wife Mona Juul, an official in the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, who serves as narrator. As Mona explains, the couple was working in the Middle East when they came upon a confrontation between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian protesters in a back alley in Gaza:

“Two boys facing each other, one in uniform, one in jeans, weapons in hand, hate flowing between them. But their faces—and we both see this—their faces are exactly the same. The same fear. The same desperate desire to be anywhere but here. To not be doing this, to this other boy. And there, in that moment, for us, it began.”

They used their connections and their convictions to forge a secret “back channel,” at the same time that official negotiations in Washington D.C. were going on with no progress. The Norwegian couple relied on their tenacity and Rod-Larsen’s model for negotiating between implacable enemies, which called for focusing on one issue at a time, rather than all issues at once, with the aim of building up personal bonds of trust. Within nine months, the back channel became the official channel, and the two sides signed the Oslo Accords.

“Oslo” is written by J.T. Rogers and directed by Bartlett Sher (better known for helming luscious revivals of “South Pacific” and “The King and I.”) They are the same team that put together “Blood and Gifts,” about America’s covert involvement in the Soviet Union’s war with Afghanistan. Like that 2011 drama, “Oslo” has a long running time full of a large cast portraying multiple characters engaged in lots of…talking. Unlike “Blood and Gifts,” the three-hour running time of “Oslo” went by relatively swiftly for me. The creative team invests the principal characters with personalities; we see them get passionate, yell, apologize, share stories about their families, even tell jokes and mock their superiors…slowly, in other words, build those personal bonds, turning from nervous and outraged in each other’s company, to standoffish, to something approaching friendship. It helps that the adversaries are played so credibly – especially by stand-out Anthony Azizi as Ahmed Qurie, the finance minister for the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and Daniel Oreskes both as a schlemiel of a professor of economics and as stately foreign minister Shimon Peres.

In a program note, the playwright points out that, although “the events in the play all happened,” the words the characters say “are mine,” and the chronology and other details have been altered. This makes one wonder whether the play could have done without some of those details.

The issue of Lincoln Center magazine about the play offers a debate as to the significance of the long-ago negotiations, and whether they should be admired as a model or regretted as a mistake – something that the end of the play toys with as well. Still, “Oslo” gives us not only a lucid refresher course on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and provides us entertainment that is both surprisingly funny and suspenseful. It also leaves us with the hope that maybe even the world’s most unsettling situations can someday be settled.

 

Oslo

Written by J.T. Rogers; Directed by Bartlett Sher
Sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Donald Holder, sound by Peter John Still, Projections by 59 Productions
Cast: Michael Aronov, Anthony Azizi, Adam Dannheisser, Jennifer Ehle, Daniel Jenkins, Dariush Kashani, Jeb Kreager, Jefferson Mays, Christopher McHale, Daniel Oreskes, Henny Russell, Joseph Siravo, Angela Pierce, and T. Ryder Smith
Running time: three hours, including one  intermission.
Tickets: $87-$147. (Digital lottery: $39)

War Paint Review: Patti LuPone vs Christine Ebersole, Face to Face

In “War Paint,” Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole are sharing a Broadway stage for the first time in their careers, portraying rival cosmetic industry pioneers Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden. If I might have preferred they be given a rivalry as grand as the talents of these extraordinary performers – say, Queen Elizabeth and Mary, Queen of Scots, whom she beheaded – they do much to help make this new musical both entertaining and fabulous. No, they can’t make it a great musical. But LuPone and Ebersole, each with two Tony Awards apiece (LuPone: Evita, Gypsy; Ebersole, 42nd Street, Grey Gardens) , give star turns of equal weight, Most impressively, though they are portraying life-long rivals, these are bravura performances that don’t clash; they blend.

They and the rest of the 15-member cast are costumed by Catherine Zuber, likely to snag her ninth Tony Award for designs that are to die for, especially her literally over-the-top hats, offered like a tour of twentieth century fashion.

Songwriters Scott Frankel and Michael Korie, book writer Doug Wright and director Michael Greif – the team that put together the much-admired musical Grey Gardens, based on the true story of Jacqueline Kennedy’s aunt and cousin – here explore another pair of real-life magnetic women.

War Paint 6 Patti LuPoneElizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein were exact contemporaries – both born in the 1870s (the one Florence Nightingale Graham in Canada; the other Chaja Rubinstein in Krakow), both died in the 1960s – immigrant outsiders who changed the face of America’s women, becoming rich and famous in the process, but never as powerful or accepted as they would have been had they been men.

War Paint Ebersole

There are some lovely, funny little scenes, such as one in which Helena tries her new secret formula face cream on her assistant. As she vigorously slaps her face with it:

HELENA: Sit down, darling. There are no ugly women; only lazy ones. Every day you must apply. Always with the up motion. To rub this cream into the skin is to swim in the Fountain of Youth!
Voilà! How you feel now, Magda?
MAGDA: Like rich woman with expensive cream.
HELENA: And when women feel rich, I become rich. Dziekuja, Magda. [Thank you in Polish]

Yet, for all its appeal, “War Paint” does not surmount some logistical problems that are likely to make some of the scenes heavy-going to all but ardent students of the beauty industry that the two women helped create.

The musical, inspired by a book of the same name and a subsequent documentary, The Powder and the Glory, must grapple with the fact that the two women apparently never met. Most of the songs they sing are solos; their duets are not with one another, but side by side. We hear them disparage one another, but not face-to-face.

They also apparently sacrificed most of their personal life to build their respective empires. There is a subplot involving the husband of Arden and the gay business manager of Rubinstein, each of whom feels taken for granted, which leads to a  remarkable development; they both switch sides. But this is the only personal  “War Paint” becomes something of a history of the beauty industry.

Some of the tidbits are fascinating. When I began my business, the only women wearing lipstick were on the stage or in the gutter,” Elizabeth lectures her new assistant. “I needed brave young women to broaden the trend. So what did I do?”

“Free samples to the Suffragettes,” her assistant responds.

“And now I cater to the very highest echelons of New York Society.”

 

We see the two women trying to one-up each other in beauty products in the 1930’s; their rivalry results in a Senate hearing that concludes with their being forced to reveal the ingredients of their products, a revelation that they fear will cause their customers to flee. During World War II, they both cleverly innovate products that will appeal to women newly enlisted in the armed forces and the workforce, and that work around the material shortages. In the 1950’s,they both ignore the competition from those who indulge in the growing trends that they abhor – teenagers, television!

War Paint 7 Patti LuPone

Their rise is far less interesting in this musical than their fall. The last half hour of “War Paint” is as good as it gets on Broadway, with two women knocking us with back-to-back powerhouse solos that are both touching and tuneful – Ebersole sings “Pink,” her signature color that now haunts her; LuPone sings “Forever Beautiful” about the portraits of herself she commissioned over the years. Then there is a final scene in which they meet at last – with hilarious digs, and affecting reconciliation – followed by a rousing finale. If only that had actually happened.

The curtain at War Paint

War Paint
Nederlander Theater
Book by Doug Wright; Music by Scott Frankel; Lyrics by Michael Korie; Choreography by Christopher Gattelli; Directed by Michael Greif
Cast: Patti LuPone as Helena Rubinstein. Christine Ebersole as Elizabeth Arden. John Dossett
as Tommy Lewis.Douglas Sills as Harry Fleming. Mary Ernster as Society Doyenne, Mrs. Trowbridge-Phelps & others; David Girolmo as Senator Royal Copeland, William S. Paley, Mr. Levin & others. Joanna Glushak as Countess, Magda & others. Chris Hoch as Mr. Simms, Hal March, Mr. Baruch & others. Mary Claire King as Miss Beam, Tulip, Arden Girl & others. Steffanie Leigh as Dorian Leigh, Arden Girl & others. Erik Liberman as Charles Revson, Sailor & others. Barbara Marineau as Grand Dame, Beauty Technician & others; Stephanie Jae Park as Arden Girl, Beauty Technician & others; Angel Reda
as Heiress, Miss Smythe, Arden Girl & others. Jennifer Rias as Miss Teale, Arden Girl & others.
Running time: Two and a half hours, including a 15-minute intermission
Tickets: $69-$196
“War Paint” is scheduled to run through September 3rd, 2017

Sweat wins Pulitzer Prize in Drama 2017; Hilton Als Wins Criticism Pulitzer

Lynn Nottage has won her second Pulitzer Prize in Drama for the play Sweat.

 

Hilton Als, the theater critic for the New Yorker, has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism

The citation for Nottage’s Sweat reads:

“For a nuanced yet powerful drama that reminds audiences of the stacked deck still facing workers searching for the American dream.”

My review of Sweat:

Like Grapes of Wrath, Lynn Nottage’s Sweat offers a devastating look at social and economic breakdown, told not with rants or statistics, but through a riveting tale about good people in a bad situation.  The characters in Sweat live in Reading, Pennsylvania, which 2010 U.S. Census data identified as the poorest city in America.

Nottage was a previous winner, in 2009, for her play “Ruined.”

The finalists for the Drama Pulitzer were

A 24-Decade History of Popular Music

The citation for Hilton Als reads:
“For bold and original reviews that strove to put stage dramas within a real-world cultural context, particularly the shifting landscape of gender, sexuality and race.”
Walter Kerr was the last theater critic before Hilton Als to win the Pulitzer Prize for criticism, in 1978, and indeed only the second theater critic since the category of criticism was created in 1973. (In that time, six TV critics won.)
“For the drama prize, a jury, usually composed of three critics, one academic and one playwright, attends plays both in New York and the regional theaters. The award in drama goes to a playwright but production of the play as well as script are taken into account.”

This year the jury for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama was:

Elysa Gardner (Chair)

(former) Entertainment Critic, USA Today

Annie Baker* (a Pulitzer winning playwright herself)

Playwright, New York, NY

Jesse Green

Theater Critic and Contributing Editor, New York (soon to be the co-chief theater critic at the New York Times)

Jonathan Kalb

Professor of Theatre, Hunter College, CUNY

Wendy Rosenfield

Theater Critic, Philadelphia Inquirer (now editor of Broad Street Review)

pulitzer500

Below is the complete list of prior Pulitzer Drama winners, with links to their citations (Since 1983, the Pulitzers have made public the finalists, which has become its own form of accolade.)

2016

Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda

“A landmark American musical about the gifted and self-destructive founding father whose story becomes both contemporary and irresistible”
2015

Between Riverside and Crazy, by Stephen Adly Guirgis

A nuanced, beautifully written play about a retired police officer faced with eviction that uses dark comedy to confront questions of life and death.

Finalists:

2014

The Flick, by Annie Baker

A thoughtful drama with well-crafted characters that focuses on three employees of a Massachusetts art-house movie theater, rendering lives rarely seen on the stage.

Finalists:

2013

Disgraced, by Ayad Akhtar

A moving play that depicts a successful corporate lawyer painfully forced to consider why he has for so long camouflaged his Pakistani Muslim heritage.

2012

Water by the Spoonful, by Quiara Alegría Hudes

An imaginative play about the search for meaning by a returning Iraq war veteran working in a sandwich shop in his hometown of Philadelphia.

2011

Clybourne Park, by Bruce Norris

For “Clybourne Park,” a powerful work whose memorable characters speak in witty and perceptive ways to America’s sometimes toxic struggle with race and class consciousness.

2010

Next to Normal, by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey

A powerful rock musical that grapples with mental illness in a suburban family and expands the scope of subject matter for musicals.

2009

Ruined, by Lynn Nottage

A searing drama set in chaotic Congo that compels audiences to face the horror of wartime rape and brutality while still finding affirmation of life and hope amid hopelessness.

Theater Award Season Begins. The Week in NY Theater

Lynn Nottage and Paula Vogel, both making their Broadway playwriting debuts this season, with “Sweat” and “Indecent” respectively, are both former winners of the Pulitzer Prize in Drama (“Ruined”  in 2009 and “How I Learned to Drive” in 1998.) Nottage won again.

The Pulitzer Prize announcement moves us even further into a theater awards season that began last week with the announcement of nominations for Lucille Lortel Awards for Off-Broadway. Those awards will be presented May 7.

Other New York theater awards coming soon:
Outer Critics Circle – Nominations announced April 25; awards ceremony May 25
Drama Desk – Nominations announced April 27; awards June 4
Obie Awards  – May 22
Tony Awards – Nominations announced May 2; awards June 11

(Here’s my guide to the major New York theater awards from 2016. Expect the 2017 guide soon.)

Meanwhile, this past week, there were the UK’s Olivier Awards (list of winners)

American winners of 2017 Olivier Awards: Andy Karl (best actor in a musical for Groundhog Day) and Amber Riley (best actress in a musical for Dreamgirls.) Groundhog Day, which won best musical, is opening on Broadway April 17.

 

Scene from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theater in London.

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” won nine Olivier Awards, breaking the records set by Matilda and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, both of which then went on to Tony-winning runs on Broadway – where Harry Potter is expected to land in the Spring of 2018.

And ATCA, the American Theatre Critics Association, announced two awards for plays produced anywhere in the U.S. except NYC, which this year meant mostly Chicago. Michael Cristofer’s “Man in the Ring,” which premiered at the Court Theatre in Chicag,o won the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award and $25,000. Tracy Letts’ “Mary Page Marlowe” and David Rabe’s “Visiting Edna,” both of which premiered at Steppenwolf in Chicago, were awarded $7,500 and given citations. (Michael Cristofer and Tracy Letts are previous winners of the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, incidentally, Cristofer for The Shadow Box in 1977, Letts for August: Osage County in 2008.)

Nate Eppler’s “The Ice Treatment” won the 2017 M. Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award for an emerging playwright. “The Ice Treatment” premiered in Nashville.

The Week in New York Theater Reviews

Cobie Smulders and Kevin Kline

Present Laughter

After a decade’s absence from Broadway, Kevin Kline returns as the aging matinee idol in Present Laughter. Kline, the swashbuckler of Pirates of Penzance and the hunk of On The Twentieth Century, would be welcome back in almost any theatrical vehicle. Yet this sixth Broadway production of Noel Coward’s 1939 comedy doesn’t add up to any special kind of thrill ride

Amelie

Judging from the last few minutes of “Amélie,” when the two adorable eccentrics Amélie and Nino finally kiss, the new musical feels like a charming and almost traditional romantic comedy, especially since the leads are portrayed by two of Broadway’s most appealing and talented young stars, both of whom have names that it takes practice to spell correctly — Phillipa Soo and Adam Chanler-Berat.

But the first 90 minutes or so of “Amélie,” an adaptation of the 2001 French movie by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, are a full-out exercise in whimsy…. The musicalized vignettes are often presented like children’s theater run amok.

War Paint roundup

Come From Away – second look

I consider my own and other reactions to this hit “9/11 musical,”  which have as much to do with what’s happening in the world as on stage.

The Week in New York Theater News

Ayad Akhtar

American Academy of Arts and Letters announced literature awards to 19 writers, including  playwrights Lynn Nottage, Ayad Akhtar (both of whom have previously won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama), and Dominique Morisseau. Nottage’s Award of Merit Medal comes with a cash prize of $25,000. The others get $10,000 apiece.

 

James Monroe Iglehart begin performances as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in “Hamilton” on April 14, the same day Brian d’Arcy James begins as King George.

Check out some of the other new cast members in Hamilton

Then She Fell: Rachel I. Berman (as Alice)

Third Rail Projects, the company heralded for its immersive theater Then She Fell (pictured above) and The Grand Paradise, will present Ghost Light, at The Claire Tow Theater at Lincoln Center, opening June 19. Ghost Light will be “a performance about performance that invites audiences to follow performers into the unseen corners of the Claire Tow Theater and through a series of real and dreamlike landscapes beyond the footlights, the glitter and the greasepaint.”

“Significant Other” is now closing April 23, after just 79 performances.

 

 

“Building the Wall,” fiery anti-Trump play by Robert Schenkkan  (All The Way,Hacksaw Ridge,), performs at New World Stages May 12-July 19. Schenkkan, who won the Pulitzer Prize for “The Kentucky Cycle” in 1992, told the Times about his new play:

“I wrote this in a white-hot fury. We no longer live in a world that is business as usual
— Trump has made that very clear —and if theater is going to remain relevant,
we must become faster to respond. We cannot hope to be useful if we can’t respond until 18 months after the fact. It is not a crazy or extreme fantasy. It’s very solidly grounded in current American law, and Trump’s rhetoric, and his most recent executive orders.”

Cooling down – how actors unwind  after intense performances

 

RIP Gary Austin, 75, founder of the influential The Groundlings improv group

“My aim is to be totally present in the moment, and when I’m totally present in the moment I can do no wrong,”

RIP Tim Pigott-Smith, 70, who made a splash on Broadway as the title character in King Charles III

Cooling down: How Actors Unwind After Intense Performances

“Every night, I had to kill myself,” said Daniel Durant, who made his Broadway debut in the recent revival of Spring Awakening portraying Moritz, a character who commits suicide. “I had to go through those emotions every night. Most of my day was spent getting into the character.” And, after the performance, most of his night was spent trying to reverse the process. “I played video games to get out of it – my favorite was Call of Duty, a high-energy game that I’m addicted to.”

His castmate Austin P. McKenzie, who portrayed Melchior, had a more old-fashioned method. “The professional answer would be to do a warm down and that kind of stuff, but what I really like to do is have a drink, that’s what I like to do. Maybe a cigarette.”

The two actors, picking up their Theatre World Awards at Circle in the Square Theatre last year for impressive New York stage debuts, were among several current and past winners in attendance to whom I posed a straightforward question: How do you wind down after a performance, and after a role?

Phillip Boykin’s fierce portrayal of the menacing Crown in the Broadway production of “Porgy and Bess” earned him a 2012 Tony Award nomination, but building up to such an intense role presented challenges for climbing down from it. “A vodka with cranberry always helps,” Boykin offered cheerfully. “Even with that I wind up laying on the bed or sitting on the couch watching television and feel the energy subside, and I’m able to rest.”

And at the end of the run?

“You should ask my wife about this,” Boykin replied. “She will remind me quickly that I’m not that character anymore. It’s hard to let go. Eventually it wears off; I would say it takes anywhere from three weeks to a month”

Cynthia Erivo: “I just take a moment to sit, and stop. Sometimes it takes a while.”

Emily Skeggs: “Lots of jokes. I like to joke with friends, usually backstage.”

Bobby Steggert: “I wind down by going to a quiet place. New York City can be quite overwhelming so I make sure to get out of here once in a while.”

Like most trained actors, Ben Whishaw, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, was taught how to prepare for his roles in meticulous detail, helping him portray some intense characters, from Hamlet to a teenage Holocaust survivor to John Proctor in The Crucible. But he received no instructions on how to shed the intensity. “Sadly, they don’t teach you such things at drama school; I wish they did. It’s one of those things I’m still learning. I haven’t quite mastered it yet. I find that the shower I take after the show, is a moment when I let the whole thing go as the water rushes off my body.”

These answers don’t surprise Erin Mee, but few of them make her happy.

Mee is a theatre director, the co-artistic director of an avant-garde theatre company called This Is Not A Theatre Company and a professor at NYU’s Tisch School of The Arts. She has launched something of a campaign to convince actors, acting teachers, artistic directors, and entire theatres to see cooling down as an integral part of the artistic process. Her campaign is starting small: In the Spring, she will teach a workshop at Tisch on cooling down.

“It is something that is mostly ignored in actor training in the United States,” Mee says. “And I think that’s a problem for actors. It affects their health. It may also affect their acting; if you are afraid you may never be able to get out of character or let go of the character, you may resist getting fully into character. I think we do our actors a disservice if we don’t train them to cool down as much as we train them to warm up.”

Actually, those who study the psychology of acting are less than definitive about how or even whether the work required to give a good performance affects an actor’s well-being.

“There’s been very little scientific research about acting in the United States because none of the players that control funding (the NIH and major foundations) care enough about the well-being of actors to investigate it,” says Bruce McConachie, emeritus professor of theatre arts at the University of Pittsburgh, and the author of several books investigating the intersection of theatre and cognitive science, most recently “Evolution, Cognition, and Performance” in 2015.

“Germany, on the other hand, which has a stronger tradition of public support for the arts, has poured some government funding into this kind of research,” McConachie says. It is just at its beginning stages, however. “The Germans are looking at what actors and dancers actually do, cognitively and physically, to transform themselves when they perform on stage.  The next step will be to do some longitudinal studies – stage acting, dancing, and singing over time – to discover how this work alters the brains of performers,” McConachie says. “There’s no doubt that actors’ brains differ in important ways from the brains of accountants, cab drivers, and neurosurgeons, but exactly how and why, no one knows yet.  Is this a good thing or psychologically harmful?  I suppose it depends on your point of view.  I think we can say that most actors do not become serial killers” (notwithstanding “the occasional John Wilkes Booth.”) At the same time, McConachie says, “it’s not hard to imagine that some characters could draw some actors into situations, thoughts, and emotions that could be temporarily dangerous and even harmful to them over the long term.”

Dutch psychologist Elly Konijn argues that the emotions of good actors on stage are not the same as the emotions of their characters, but that her studies indicate their emotions are heightened because of the stress of performing live before an audience, a stress comparable to that experienced by drivers involved in a minor car crash.

“Theories that acting can be harmful go back to the Romans and Cicero,” says Thalia Goldstein, a former professional actress and dancer who now studies the psychology of acting as a professor of psychology at Pace University, and writes a blog for Psychology Today called The Mind on Stage. “I think it’s implicit in a lot of discussion around the psychology of acting that you have to figure out a way to separate.”

Certainly, actors talk about the need to escape the stress of an intense performance. In a discussion moderated by the Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg among last year’s Tony-nominated actresses, Lupita Nyong’o described her difficulty in portraying a nameless Liberian teenager who is turned into a war-time sex slave in Eclipsed, a play by Danai Gurira. “When we were at The Public, this play was very, very, very taxing on my soul, and I couldn’t face people afterwards. It took time to build the stamina, and just the stamina for my heart. And so after the show, I would head home and just keep to myself. And, upon moving to Broadway, I had that run as like a test drive, and now I’m able to come off of it sooner. But it’s the same thing — I’ll go through these rituals, and then God help all my friends and the people in my life, because I don’t know when it’s going to come out, what’s going to trigger (it).”

Lucas Steele put it succinctly in a recent Tweet: “I do my best to leave #Anatole onstage @GreatCometBway. He really takes it out of me.”

The sense that acting is an emotionally risky craft is arguably exacerbated by the modern Western approach to it. As Goldstein has pointed out, it was only in the 20th century that professional acting stopped being highly stylized, and actors worked at giving realistic performances. While well-respected performers like Laurence Olivier have insisted that one can achieve such realism without becoming emotionally involved, most American stage performers seem convinced of the need to master Method acting, first developed by Konstantin Stanislavsky, which emphasizes the importance of feeling real emotions.

“In Stanislavsky’s writing, there’s a great deal of attention to becoming the character; that’s the title of one of his books,” Erin Mee says. “But there’s no attention to becoming yourself again.”

Mee first began to believe there is another way in 1991 during her first trip to Kerala in the South of India, where she observed the Theyyattam, a Hindu dance-like possession ritual that lasts all night, and has two climactic moments. There is the moment, hours into the ceremony, when the shaman becomes possessed by the deity, and then there is the moment when the shaman visibly comes back to being him or herself. This equivalent of warmup and cooldown is performed in front of the spectators, Mee says, and both are given equal weight.

Over the years, she has developed exercises, many derived from yoga, to give actors and student-actors she directs “a way of re-becoming themselves that does not depend on alcohol and cigarettes.”

The exercises have names like the Sun Salutation, the Silent Disco (“free dancing to music of the actor’s choice”) and laughter yoga – a forced laugh in pairs that becomes a real one. They are based on the assumption that your physical posture and movement don’t just reflect your emotional state; they affect your emotional state. Actors slouch when they are portraying a character who is depressed; if they sit up straight, it helps them get out of the character’s mood…and out of the character.

Pete Simpson sees cooldowns as especially necessary after physically rigorous performances, such as the ones he’s been giving for two decades as a member of the Blue Man Group, which bought fitness equipment to encourage companies to warm up and cool down.   “I understand how it gets de-emphasized, particularly when it comes to the endorphins of performing; you sort of don’t want to come down from a show high to engage the drudgery of physical maintenance.  You just want to, well, go out for a drink and sleep.” Simpson is also a member of the avant-garde theater company, Elevator Repair Service. Although both companies were incubated in the Downtown experimental scene, and their productions may seem emotionally detached, Simpson says they actually require performances of intense and complex emotion, and require cooling down as well. But in his experience they are seldom post-show group activities. “My personal emotional cool downs are really private.  There are times when whatever release a cool down is supposed to facilitate doesn’t even really happen until some banal moment in the middle of the following day.  Emotional processing chooses its own timeline.

After a performance by the SITI company, “we cool down by stretching, by deep breathing, although it’s not mandatory,” says Ellen Lauren, SITI’s co-artistic director. “As we get older certainly you have to attempt to keep your skill set up, like a dancer would. “ However, she asks, “what are you cooling down from? Are you hepped up because your body is sweaty and exhausted, or because you are in an emotional state? The traditional idea that actors need to get into and out of character is just not something that concerns us as a company; that’s not how we work.” So the collective ritual after a SITI performance, Lauren says, is a mix between a celebration and a postmortem. “We share a bottle of Jameson in little Dixie cups, and talk about what happened during the performance, and tell jokes, and pull each other’s chains; there’s an underlying tensile strength to a company that’s been around as long as we have.” Lauren cites a tenet of Noh theater: jo ha kyu. “It means a beginning, a middle and then acceleration. We don’t cool down; we accelerate.”

Richard Schechner, professor of performance studies at Tisch, editor of TDR, and the founder of the avant-garde company The Performance Group, may have coined the phrase “cooldowns,” and in any case began using them 50 years ago. “I use cooldowns just as I use warmups,” he says. “It’s more difficult, however, because after performing, performers are eager to meet friends; there is always a rush to get out of the theatre — by everyone; people want to close up shop.” Although he knows of no research into its importance, “a cooldown makes sense — to move from an intense process in an orderly way — just as it makes sense to move into an intense process in an orderly way. That is, if warmups make sense, then cooldowns do too.”

This article appeared slightly altered in the March, 2017 edition of American Theatre Magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

Amélie Review: Phillipa Soo to the rescue

Adam Chanler-Berat and Phillipa Soo in Amélie

Judging from the last few minutes of “Amélie,” when the two adorable eccentrics Amélie and Nino finally kiss, the new musical feels like a charming and almost traditional romantic comedy, especially since the leads are portrayed by two of Broadway’s most appealing and talented young stars, both of whom have names that it takes practice to spell correctly — Phillipa Soo and Adam Chanler-Berat.

But the first 90 minutes or so of “Amélie,” an adaptation of the 2001 French movie by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, are a full-out exercise in whimsy. Indeed, before “Amélie” even begins, the curtain comes alive with the random flittering of little birds, bunnies and butterflies. The animation is subtle and endearing, but I suppose I could have taken it as a warning. The last time I remember seeing such a wonderfully animated Broadway curtain was at the 2011 musical Wonderland, an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland that failed to win over critics or the public, and closed after a month.

“Amélie” features a fine cast; clever, playful design; and a pleasing if unmemorable pop score. It also features Fluffy the singing goldfish, a plaster Garden Gnome come to life, (a character impersonating) Elton John singing to Amelie as if she were Princess Diana, a café full of lovelorn eccentrics, and Soo/Amelie disguising herself at times as a nun and as Zorro. Much of this was in the movie as well, but there the colorful characters and fanciful subplots all felt part of the enchanting if ironic swirl on screen (underscored  by composer Yann Tiersen bouncy French soundtrack full of accordion and mandolin.)  The stage at the Walter Kerr, by contrast, feels crowded with details, distractions and digressions that are sometimes hard to follow, even though the characters take turns narrating; saying things like “Her true destiny confirmed,Amélie decides to celebrate her new life by daydreaming alone in her apartment.” (It very much helps to have seen the movie.) The musicalized vignettes are often presented like children’s theater run amok. “Amélie” the musical has a shorter running time than “Amélie” the movie, but it feels longer.

Click on any photograph by Joan Marcus to see it enlarged.

Like the movie, the musical begins with Amélie as a child (here portrayed winningly by Savvy Crawford), being raised by a cold-fish physician father who only touches her when he gives her an annual physical, and a neurotic mother who insists on homeschooling her daughter, which means she is kept isolated from children her own age. On an educational trip to the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Amelie’s mother is killed when a Belgian tourist commits suicide by jumping off the cathedral and landing on top of her.

The adult Amelie moves to Paris and, five years later, is working as a waitress in Montmartre.

The upbringing we just witnessed seems to have turned her into a loner, who is unable to form intimate relationships, and who lives largely in her imagination. After the death of Princess Di, she imagines herself as the Princess (hence the fantasy with Elton John), and sees herself assuming Diana’s legacy by performing kindnesses for strangers. This is where all the side stories kick in. A blind beggar objects when Amelie drops a coin in his cup because “It’s after 5; I’m not working,” but she eventually wins him over by her vivid descriptions of the street life. Lucien loves his figs, seeing the vegetables as almost human, so Amelie sets one of the figs up with a date. (Get it?) Above all, she serves as a secret matchmaker for the denizens of the café.

Amélie first encounters Nino in a train station on her way to one of her rescue missions. Nino is kneeling in front of a photobooth collecting the discarded photographs on the ground, and she trips over him. He’s an artist, you see, although he works as a clerk in a porn shop to make a living (which is one of the things that probably makes “Amelie” inappropriate for children.)

Thus begins, more or less, their romance — long-developing, much-interrupted, in which Amélie spends much of her time running away from him. My favorite song of the two dozen in the show, “A Better Haircut,” – tuneful, clever and energetic – occurs when Nino, through a series of odd events, winds up on Nino’s instruction at her café, where her workers and customers confront him about his intentions. The ensemble sings:

You might be a lover for the ages
but can you prove that you
are not highly contagious

Finally, he responds that there are no guarantees, and

I understand she may not even feel the same
[but]
I love her and I don’t know her name

This is near the end of the musical and Nino and Amélie have not really even had a conversation with one another.

So perhaps their love affair is unrealistic, but certainly more realistic than the talking goldfish, and also fully in keeping with romantic comedy convention. Besides, many a theatergoer has already fallen in love with Phillipa Soo. Straight out of Juilliard, she was cast at age 22 as Natasha in “Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812”, to great acclaim, but left that show before it transferred to Broadway in order to originate the role of Eliza in “Hamilton.” It might be difficult to find anybody who would say that her performance in the role she originates in “Amelie” is as wondrous as the ones she originated in “The Great Comet” or “Hamilton,” but it puts her on stage where she belongs, and where I suspect she will be from now on – front and center.

Amélie

Walter Kerr Theater

Book by Craig Lucas; Music by Daniel Messé; Lyrics by Nathan Tysen and Daniel Messé; Musical staging and choreography by Sam Pinkleton

Directed by Pam MacKinnon

Scenic Design by David Zinn; Costume Design by David Zinn; Lighting Design by Jane Cox and Mark Barton; Sound Design by Kai Harada; Projection Design by Peter Nigrini; Puppet Design by Amanda Villalobos; Hair and Wig Design by Charles G. LaPointe;

Cast: Phillipa Soo as Amélie, Adam Chanler-Berat as Nino,David Andino as Blind Beggar, Garden Gnome, Anchorperson; Randy Blair as Hipolito, Belgian Tourist; Heath Calvert as Lucin; Adrien Wells as Mysterious Man; Alison Cimmet as Amandine,Philomene; Savvy Crawford as Young Amélie; Manoel Felciano as Raphael,Bretodeau; Harriett D. Foy as Suzanne; Alyse Alan Louis as Georgette, Sylvie , Collignon’s Mother; Maria-Christina Oliveras as Gina;Tony Sheldon as Collignon, Dufayel; Paul Whitty as Joseph, Fluffy, Collignon’s Father. Swings: Emily Afton, Trey Ellett, Destinee Rea and Jacob Keith Watson. Understudies: Emily Afton (Amélie), Audrey Bennett (Young Amélie), Alyse Alan Louis (Amélie), Jacob Keith Watson (Nino) and Paul Whitty (Collignon, Dufayel)

Running time: 110 minutes, no intermission.

Tickets: $79.50 to $199.50

War Paint Reviews: Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole in An American Feud

Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole

“War Paint” depicts the feud that changed the face of America’s women. The cosmetics industry was born from the rivalry between two immigrants turned entrepreneurs:
Elizabeth Arden,  a Canadian born Florence Nightingale Graham, portrayed by Christine Ebersole and Helena Rubinstein, a Jew from Poland born Chaja Rubinstein  played by
Patti LuPone
What do the critics think now that it has opened on Broadway’s Nederlander Theater? Details below:

click on any photograph by Joan Marcus to see it enlarged.

Jonathan Mandell, New York Theater:  Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole are sharing a Broadway stage for the first time in their careers… If I might have preferred they be given a rivalry as grand as the talents of these extraordinary performers – say, Queen Elizabeth and Mary, Queen of Scots, whom she beheaded – they do much to help make this new musical both entertaining and fabulous…For all its appeal, “War Paint” does not surmount some logistical problems that are likely to make some of the scenes heavy-going to all but ardent students of the beauty industry that the two women helped create.

Adam Feldman, Time Out NY: “There are two excellent reasons to see War Paint, and their names are above the title…the musical doesn’t make a persuasive case that its stories must be told.”

Ben Brantley, New York Times: “The two stars “are not coasting on the market value of their star appeal. They’re strategically deploying the knowledge and craft of a combined eight decades in musicals to make us believe that the show in which they appear is moving forward, instead of running in place in high heels….[T]hough my eyes occasionally glazed seeing “War Paint” for the second time, I wouldn’t have missed it, if only to hear its leading ladies’ climactic ballads.”

Charles Isherwood, Broadway News: “…Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole [give] performances of such resplendent force, wit and vivacity that the evening gleams like a freshly applied coat of nail polish catching the light…All the gloss cannot mask a monotony that sets in when we realize that the story unfolding will never acquire the emotional depth that can turn an enjoyable musical into a memorable, even transporting one.”:

Jesse Green, New York Magazine: Beguiling but frustrating…For all the intelligence, sophistication, and sheer talent involved — LuPone and Ebersole are in top form — ‘War Paint’ keeps falling between an older model of storytelling and a new one, never fully climbing its way out of the gap

Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News: “They’re so good, you wish the show were better. As is, it’s polished to a high shine but bland and scarcely skin deep.”

Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal: “The stars are starry, the sets are glossy, and the book is full of snappy one-liners. In the end, though, “War Paint” fails to keep its costly promise… The plot of the show fails to pass the who-cares test.”

Linda Winer, Newsday : “War Paint” may not be one of the great musicals, but it is an enormously satisfying one. Yes, it is a showcase for established artists hungry for new material. But the show, sleekly and compassionately directed by Michael Greif and created by the team that made the haunting “Grey Gardens,” looks at American women from 1934 to 1964 through a new lens — from the lives of two business titans who took lipstick from harlots to high society.”

Marilyn Stasio, Variety: “War Paint” is a musical about Catherine Zuber’s fabulous costumes and magnificent hats, as modeled by the great Patti LuPone as Helena Rubenstein and her Highness, Christine Ebersole as Elizabeth Arden. And if those hallowed names mean nothing to you, this is not your show….it really is hard to concentrate on the plot when Ebersole is swanning around in a gorgeous rose-petal-pink silk suit…Luckily, there’s not much plot”

David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter: “…despite its relatively low-key dramatic engine, this is a smart, sophisticated exploration of two uncompromising personalities.”

Robert Hofler, The Wrap: “These ladies who wear hats but do much more than lunch are knockouts. How rare it is to see two great female performances in one season, much less one musical…”

Jeremy Gerard, Deadline: “…the musical’s DOA, a high-stakes game of table-tennis…manages to be a huge bore.”

Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune: “..the show ultimately demurs when it comes to holding the great titans of makeup, and the men who surrounded them, to moral account. And that is what might just have made “War Paint” a truly great musical, instead of a highly entertaining and provocative one.”

Robert Kahn, NBC: “…The score, by “Grey Gardens” team Scott Frankel and Michael Korie — Wright and Ebersole were also both part of that memorable 2006 musical — is tuneful and catchy, winding up to a pair of bittersweet releases for the stars, just before the finale: “Pink,” sung by Ebersole, and “Forever Beautiful,” from LuPone. Good God, the women’s voices are in astounding condition.

Matt Windman, AM New York “The musical is built around an unwieldy and repetitive Ping-Pong structure of shifting back and forth between the two characters…However, “War Paint” still has a lot going for it, including self-empowered protagonists, high-powered performances, well-crafted period-style songs, the classy aura of old-school New York and the smooth direction of Michael Greif.”

Christopher Kelly, NJ.com“…earnest and relatively subdued…Anyone heading into “War Paint” looking for “Valley of the Dolls”-style hair-pulling — or even “Dynasty”-style name calling — will likely be disappointed; in fact, until the very last scene, LuPone and Ebersole’s characters don’t even directly speak to one another.”

 

Present Laughter with Kevin Kline: Review and pics

After a decade’s absence from Broadway, Kevin Kline returns as the aging matinee idol in Present Laughter. Kline, the swashbuckler of Pirates of Penzance and the hunk of On The Twentieth Century, would be welcome back in almost any theatrical vehicle. Yet this sixth Broadway production of Noel Coward’s 1939 comedy doesn’t add up to any special kind of thrill ride

Full review on DC Theatre Scene 

Click on any photograph by Joan Marcus to see it enlarged.

Lucille Lortel Nominations 2017 Off-Broadway: Hadestown, Sweeney Todd Lead

Hadestown and Sweeney Todd each led the Lucille Lortel Award nominations this year, with seven apiece, including Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Revival respectively.  Sweet Charity received six; Ride The Cyclone, five. Three of the Off-Broadway shows,  honored  coincidentally with four nominations apiece — Dear Evan Hansen, Indecent and Oslo — have since transferred to Broadway, as has Sweat. The 32nd Annual Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway will be presented on Sunday, May 7, 201y at NYU Skirball Center

Outstanding Play

Indecent
Produced by Vineyard Theatre in association with La Jolla Playhouse and Yale Repertory Theatre
Written by Paula Vogel, Created by Paula Vogel & Rebecca Taichman

Oslo
Produced by Lincoln Center Theater
Written by J.T. Rogers

Underground Railroad Game
Produced by Ars Nova
Written by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard

Vietgone
Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club in association with South Coast Repertory
Written by Qui Nguyen

The Wolves
Produced by The Playwrights Realm in association with New York Stage and Film and Vassar’s Powerhouse Theatre Season
Written by Sarah DeLappe

Outstanding Musical

The Band’s Visit
Produced by Atlantic Theater Company
Music and Lyrics by David Yazbek, Book by Itamar Moses, Based on the screenplay by Eran Kolirin

Dear Evan Hansen
Produced by Second Stage Theatre in association with Stacey Mindich Productions
Book by Steven Levenson, Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Hadestown
Produced by New York Theatre Workshop
Written by Anaïs Mitchell

Ride the Cyclone
Produced by MCC Theater
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Brooke Maxwell and Jacob Richmond

The Total Bent
Produced by The Public Theater
Text by Stew, Music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald

Outstanding Revival

The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World AKA the Negro Book of the Dead
Produced by Signature Theatre
Written by Suzan-Lori Parks

Othello
Produced by New York Theatre Workshop
Written by William Shakespeare

Signature Plays: Edward Albee’s The Sandbox, María Irene Fornés’ Drowning, and Adrienne Kennedy’s Funnyhouse of a Negro
Produced by Signature Theatre
Written by Edward Albee, María Irene Fornés, and Adrienne Kennedy

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Produced by Rachel Edwards, Jenny Gersten, Seaview Productions, Nate Koch, Fiona Rudin, Barrow Street Theatre, Jean Doumanian, Rebecca Gold, and Tooting Arts Club
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by Hugh Wheeler, Adaptation by Christopher Bond

Sweet Charity
Produced by The New Group in association with Kevin McCollum
Book by Neil Simon, Music by Cy Coleman, Lyrics by Dorothy Fields

Outstanding Solo Show

Chris Gethard: Career Suicide
Produced by Judd Apatow, Mike Berkowitz, Brian Stern, Mike Lavoie, and Carlee Briglia
Written and Performed by Chris Gethard

Latin History for Morons
Produced by The Public Theater in a co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Written and Performed by John Leguizamo

Notes From The Field
Produced by Second Stage Theatre and American Repertory Theater
Created, Written, and Performed by Anna Deavere Smith

The Outer Space
Produced by The Public Theater
Book and Lyrics by Ethan Lipton, Music by Ethan Lipton, Vito Dieterle, Eben Levy, and Ian M. Riggs
Performed by Ethan Lipton

Sell/Buy/Date
Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club
Written and Performed by Sarah Jones

Outstanding Director

Will Davis, Men On Boats
Anne Kauffman, A Life
Lila Neugebauer, The Wolves
Bartlett Sher, Oslo
Rebecca Taichman, Indecent

Outstanding Choreographer

Joshua Bergasse, Sweet Charity
David Dorfman, Indecent
Georgina Lamb, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
David Neumann, Hadestown
David Neumann, The Total Bent

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play

Reed Birney, Man From Nebraska
Michael Emerson, Wakey, Wakey
Lucas Hedges, YEN
Joe Morton, Turn Me Loose
David Hyde Pierce, A Life

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play

Johanna Day, Sweat
Jennifer Ehle, Oslo
Jennifer Kidwell, Underground Railroad Game
Kecia Lewis, Marie and Rosetta
Maryann Plunkett, Women of a Certain Age

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play

Michael Aronov, Oslo
Charlie Cox, Incognito
Matthew Maher, Othello
Justice Smith, YEN
Paco Tolson, Vietgone

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play

Jocelyn Bioh, Everybody
Hannah Cabell, The Moors
Randy Graff, The Babylon Line
Ari Graynor, YEN
Nana Mensah, Man From Nebraska

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical

Ato Blankson-Wood, The Total Bent
Shuler Hensley, Sweet Charity
Patrick Page, Hadestown
Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen
Jeremy Secomb, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical

Sutton Foster, Sweet Charity
Amber Gray, Hadestown
Jo Lampert, Joan of Arc: Into the Fire
Katrina Lenk, The Band’s Visit
Siobhan McCarthy, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical

Nathan Lee Graham, The View UpStairs
Gus Halper, Ride the Cyclone
Joel Perez, Sweet Charity
Ari’el Stachel, The Band’s Visit
Chris Sullivan, Hadestown

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical

Asmeret Ghebremichael, Sweet Charity
Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen
Betsy Morgan, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Emily Rohm, Ride the Cyclone
Karen Ziemba, Kid Victory

Outstanding Scenic Design

Scott Davis, Ride the Cyclone
Rachel Hauck, Hadestown
Laura Jellinek, A Life
Mimi Lien, Signature Plays: Edward Albee’s The Sandbox, María Irene Fornés’ Drowning, and Adrienne Kennedy’s Funnyhouse of a Negro
Jason Sherwood, The View UpStairs

Outstanding Costume Design

Montana Blanco, The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World AKA the Negro Book of the Dead
Tilly Grimes, Underground Railroad Game
Susan Hilferty, Love, Love, Love
Sarah Laux, The Band’s Visit
Emily Rebholz, Indecent

Outstanding Lighting Design

Mark Barton, Signature Plays: Edward Albee’s The Sandbox, María Irene Fornés’ Drowning, and Adrienne Kennedy’s Funnyhouse of a Negro
Jane Cox, Othello
Greg Hofmann, Ride the Cyclone
Amy Mae, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Ben Stanton, YEN

Outstanding Sound Design

Mikhail Fiksel, A Life
Robert Kaplowitz, Hadestown
Stowe Nelson, Small Mouth Sounds
Nevin Steinberg, Wakey, Wakey
Matt Stine, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Outstanding Projection Design

Elaine McCarthy, Notes From The Field
Duncan McLean, Privacy
Jared Mezzochi, Vietgone
Peter Nigrini, Dear Evan Hansen
Peter Nigrini, Wakey, Wakey

HONORARY AWARDS
Lifetime Achievement Award
William Ivey Long

Playwrights’ Sidewalk Inductee
Lynn Nottage

Edith Oliver Service to Off-Broadway Award
Harold Wolpert

NOMINATIONS BY SHOW TITLE

Hadestown 7
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 7
Sweet Charity 6
Ride the Cyclone 5
The Band’s Visit 4
Dear Evan Hansen 4
Indecent 4
A Life 4
Oslo 4
YEN 4
Othello 3
Signature Plays: Edward Albee’s The Sandbox, María Irene
Fornés’ Drowning, and Adrienne Kennedy’s Funnyhouse of
a Negro 3
The Total Bent 3
Underground Railroad Game 3
Vietgone 3
Wakey, Wakey 3
The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World
AKA the Negro Book of the Dead 2
Man From Nebraska 2
Notes From The Field 2
The View UpStairs 2
The Wolves 2

The Babylon Line 1
Chris Gethard: Career Suicide 1
Everybody 1
Incognito 1
Joan of Arc: Into the Fire 1
Kid Victory 1
Latin History for Morons 1
Love, Love, Love 1
Marie and Rosetta 1
Men On Boats 1
The Moors 1
The Outer Space 1
Privacy 1
Sell/Buy/Date 1
Small Mouth Sounds 1
Sweat 1
Turn Me Loose 1
Women of a Certain Age 1

Members of the general public are welcome to view the 7:00 PM ceremony. Public tickets are $75.00 and currently on sale via phone at 212.998.4941, online at http://www.nyuskirball.org and in person at the Skirball Center’s Shagan Box Office (556 LaGuardia)