Category Archives: Tony Awards

‘Comet’ and Bette lead 2017 Tony Award noms

Screen Shot of 2017 Tony nominationsLet’s hope that revealing the 2017 Tony Awards  nominations at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center encourage theater lovers to spend as many hours as I did excavating the Theater on Film and Tape Archive.

The Tony Award nominations include, “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812” came out on top with 12 nominations, including Best Musical, Best Original Score for Dave Malloy, and Best Direction of a Musical for Rachel Chavkin, as well as nods for its two leads: Josh Groban and Denée Benton (both in their Broadway debuts).

Next, the woman whose LPs (look it up) I spent hours listening to in college: the great Bette Midler’s “Hello, Dolly!” earned 10 nominations, including Best Revival of a Musical and all four performance categories: Midler for Lead Actress, David Hyde Pierce for Lead Actor, Kate Baldwin for Featured Actress, and Gavin Creel for Featured Actor. I mean, was there any doubt!?

Continue reading ‘Comet’ and Bette lead 2017 Tony Award noms

Advertisements

Can’t stop watching 2013 Tony Awards opening

No doubt, at least in my mind, that this is the best Tony Award show opening number ever.  Even Broadway pros are looking around with their mouths hanging open in astonishment (look for Debra Messing’s swiveling head).  It’s not just the look, it’s the clever lyrics and jokes that bring the spectacle to a higher level.

But what else would you expect from the guys who wrote the specialty song “Bigger” — Tony Award winners Tom Kitt and the pre-“Hamilton” genius Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Continue reading Can’t stop watching 2013 Tony Awards opening

12 shows announce closing dates post-Tonys

Looking west on 45th Street, the heart of the theater district in Manhattan.
Looking west on 45th Street, the heart of the theater district in Manhattan.

Just goes to show you. Winning a Tony Award doesn’t mean it will save your show. But that’s Broadway … You can make killing (“Hamilton”), but you can’t make a living (most everything else).

Broadway veterans guess that 20 percent to 25 percent of shows eventually recoup, according to Bloomberg News, but that means 80 to 75 percent lose money. Not such great odds so it’s no surprise that theater lovers make up the vast majority if investors.

Continue reading 12 shows announce closing dates post-Tonys

2016 Tony Award winners; ‘Hamilton” takes 11

Lin-Manuel Miranda and the company of "Hamilton." (Photo: Joan Marcus)
Lin-Manuel Miranda and the company of “Hamilton.” (Photo: Joan Marcus)

In case you fell asleep last night, here are the winners of the 70th annual Tony Awards. And, no, “Hamilton” the most nominated show ever for Tonys did not break the record after all. “Hamilton” won 11 Tonys — one less  than a record 12 won by “The Producers” in 2001.

But, we must note, that all  four awards for performances in musicals went to black actors. Match that, Hollywood!

Musical: “Hamilton”

Play: “The Humans”

Musical Revival: “The Color Purple”

Play Revival: “A View From the Bridge”

Actor, play: Frank Langella, “The Father”

Actress, play: Jessica Lange, “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

Actor, musical: Leslie Odom Jr., “Hamilton”

Actress, musical: Cynthia Erivo, “The Color Purple”

Book, musical: “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda

Original Score: “Hamilton,” music and lyrics, Lin-Manuel Miranda

Featured actor, play: Reed Birney, “The Humans”

Featured actress, play: Jayne Houdyshell, “The Humans”

Featured actor, musical: Daveed Diggs, “Hamilton”

Featured actress, musical: Renée Elise Goldsberry, “Hamilton”

Scenic design, play: David Zinn, “The Humans”

Scenic design, musical: David Rockwell, “She Loves Me”

Costume design, play: Clint Ramos, “Eclipsed”

Costume design, musical: Paul Tazewell, “Hamilton”

Lighting design, play: Natasha Katz, “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

Lighting design, musical: Howell Binkley, “Hamilton”

Direction, play: Ivo van Hove, “A View From the Bridge”

Direction, musical: Thomas Kail, “Hamilton”

Choreography: Andy Blankenbuehler, “Hamilton”

Orchestrations: Alex Lacamoire, “Hamilton”

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater: Sheldon Harnick and Marshall W. Mason

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award: Brian Stokes Mitchell

Regional Theater Tony Award: Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, N.J.

Special Tony Award: National Endowment for the Arts and Miles Wilkin

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theater: Seth Gelblum

Joan Lader

Sally Ann Parsons

‘Hamilton’ leads Tony Award nods with a record 16 nominations

The coveted Tony Award.
The coveted Tony Award.

The biggest “duh” of the day: “Hamilton” has been nominated for 16 Tony Awards, the most in Broadway history. Like, is anybody really surprised by that?!

Good for them. Good for the show’s creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who already has won has won the Pulitzer Prize for drama and a MacArthur Foundation genius grant. There is no doubt he will be adding a few more Tonys to that collection.

Continue reading ‘Hamilton’ leads Tony Award nods with a record 16 nominations

Paper Mill Playhouse wins the 2016 Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre

Image of the marquee for "Honeymoon in Vegas" played the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ, before moving to Broadway.
“Honeymoon in Vegas” was one of the musicals it recently sent to Broadway.

Paper Mill Playhouse, which in the past few years has sent several shows to Broadway including “A Bronx Tale” and “The Bandstand”planned for next season, has won the 2016 Best Regional Theatre Tony Award , it was announced today.

The award will be presented at the 2016 Tony Awards on Sunday, June 12th. They are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

Continue reading Paper Mill Playhouse wins the 2016 Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre

‘Shuffle Along’ looses bid; competes against ‘Hamilton’ if nominated

Poster of "Shuffle Along."
Poster of “Shuffle Along.”

The Oscars never had to deal with  this one. If a “black” film gets nominated for Best Picture, it’s an event. With the Tony Awards administration committee’s decision that “Shuffle Along” is a new musical (not a revival) it now competes with the hit “Hamilton” resulting in two “black” shows battling for best new musical of the season.

That’s my prediction, anyway: Hamilton,” which features an all-black cast save one character (a white King George III — the oppressive monarch) will be seeking votes again the all-black “Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed,” which is its complete title.

Continue reading ‘Shuffle Along’ looses bid; competes against ‘Hamilton’ if nominated

HBO launches Audra McDonald in ‘Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill’

Audra McDonald who, as Nathan Lane has said wins a Tony Award every time she leaves her apartment — debuts 9 tonight (EST) on HBO recreating her — of course — Tony Award-winning Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for “Lady Day at the Emerson’s Bar and Grill.”

It’s not the best of plays with music. Set in a small Philadelphia jazz club at the end of Billie Holiday’s career (nicknamed “Lady Day” by her friend and music partner Lester Young),  and four months before her death, she rambles about her ups and downs — mostly downs. But this is essentially a tour de force  performance by one of Broadway’s greatest performers and for those who couldn’t get to Broadway to see it, HBO has preserved it by reuniting McDonald and her Lady Day Broadway director Lonny Price for the event.

The Broadway performance earned McDonald her sixth Tony Award, more performance wins than any other actor. She is the only person to win all four acting categories.

The program will repeat and is on demand. For more details, click here.

‘Something Rotten’ embraces losing Best Musical Tony Award

Although "Something Rotten"had 10 Tony Award nominations, the only one it took home was for Christian Borle for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical. (PHOTO: Joan Marcus)
Although “Something Rotten” earned 10 Tony Award nominations, the only one it took home was for Christian Borle for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical. (PHOTO: Joan Marcus)

Usually a Broadway show that wins only one Tony Award, or just got nominated for one Tony, emphasizes the positive. Not “Something Rotten.” It ran a full-page ad in the NYTimes proclaiming  itself a “Loser,” after taking home only 1 of the 10 awards for which it was nominated.

An excellent article recently published in the NYTimes explores the producers chutzpah. Reporter Michael Paulson writes, ” ‘The “Rotten!’ ad was devised the day after the Tony Awards, when the show’s dejected marketing team gathered at the offices of its advertising agency, SpotCo, to figure out what to do next.”

After all, the irony of the whole thing is “Something Rotten” is about two struggling playwrights who are desperate to best their chief rival — Will Shakespeare — and the only Tony the show got was for Christian Borle, who plays Shakespeare.

So the producers of the show that was nominated for “Best Musical” decided to point out what great company they were in including other “losers” that didn’t take home the Best Musical award, such as “West Side Story,” “Grease,” “Mama Mia!” and “Wicked.”

Image of the full page NYTimes ad for "Something Rotten."“You’re always hoping that you’re going to win, but if you don’t, you have to think about how to position your show,”  Kevin McCollum, the lead producer of “Rotten!”  told the NY Times. “Very few shows have the confidence to go with the headline ‘Loser!,’ but it illustrates that we’re confident enough to acknowledge our loss and celebrate those that came before us.”

To read the complete story, click here.

To order tickets, click here.

2015 Tony Winners

In case you didn’t make it until 11 p.m. last night, here are the Tony Award winners for the past Broadway season. Too bad that in some categories there could only be one winner.

The coveted Tony Award.
It all comes down to this.

Want  to know how the Tony voting works, click here.

Are the Tony Awards (like the presidential race) rigged? Learn more  here.

The NYTimes profiled three diverse Tony votes and how they approach their responsibility. Get to know them, here.

Click here for the Tony Awards photo gallery.

BEST MUSICAL
An American in Paris
Fun Home
Something Rotten!
The Visit Continue reading 2015 Tony Winners