Wednesday, June 30, 2010

John Gallagher Jr. Interview published an interview they did with John Gallagher, Jr. that was really cool.  I thought you'd enjoy reading it.

Reworking Broadway Musicals

I had always thought that once a Broadway show had reached its opening night performance, that was it.  The show was frozen.  Sure, some shows have some natural sections of improvisation in them, like the current production of The Addams Family, which allows comedienne Jackie Hoffman to ad-lib many of her lines.  But Variety Magazine has recently come out with a great article about how, sometimes, shows are reworked over the course of its run to keep it fresh.  Here's a link to the article on Variety's website.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jones and Redgrave to Drive Into Broadway Premier

James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave will star in the Broadway premier of Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize winning play, Driving Miss Daisy.  The play debuted off-Broadway in April, 1987 and played 1,195 performances over the next three years.  This production will begin performances on October 7th and open officially on October 25th at the Golden Theatre.  David Esbjornson will direct the production.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Little More Night Music

The recent revival of A Little Night Music, which minted Catherine Zeta-Jones a Tony winner and which had intended to end its limited run on June 20th, will be getting new life.  Two time Tony winner Bernadette Peters will be taking on the role of Desire Armfeldt opposite the inimitable Elaine Stritch as her mother, taking over the role from Angela Lansbury.  The production will return July 13th.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cyndi Lauper to Compose Kinky Boots

It has been announced that two Broadway vets, Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein, will be taming up to write a new Broadway-bound musical adaptation of the British film Kinky Boots.  Feirstein will write the book and Lauper will compose the score.  So far, no casting, dates, or theater have been announced, but Jerry Mitchell has been rumored to be in talks to direct the production.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Final Tally

Well, the night is over and the winners have been announced in all 26 categories.  After a final count, I correctly predicted 17 categories outright, and in an additional 6 categories, the nominee I had predicted as the potential upset ended up with the award, leaving me with only 3 awards that I got totally wrong.  Including second place choices, that's an 88% success rate (65% without the second choices).  Not too bad for my first on-the-record predictions.  Anyhow, after tonight, I'm going to be taking a break from this blog until the next Tony season picks up again in September, updating only when there is major news to report. It has been a great six months with you all and, now that it's all over, I want to hear from YOU.  Write me comments or notes, send me email -- just keep in touch.  Theater is a family and we have to stay together!  Let me know what content you'd like to see next year that wasn't here this year, things you liked that you want to continue, things you think I should ditch ... anything!  Thanks so much for reading!

Best Musical

As predicted, Memphis is taking home the Best Musical Tony for being the most tour-accessible, traditional new musical this year.

Lead Actor in a Musical

In the second most predictable win of the night after Viola Davis, Douglas Hodge just won the Lead Actor in a Musical Tony for La Cage Aux Folles.

Lead Actress in a Musical

Catherine Zeta-Jones has done it!  She just won the Best Actress in a Musical Tony for A Little Night Music.  Not that Catherine didn't deserve it, but I think Sherie Rene Scott would have made a better choice.

Revival of a Musical

Again ... a no brainer.  La Cage Aux Folles takes home the gold.

Best Play

Another easy call.  Red just took home Best Play.  This play was almost manufactured to win, somewhat like Proof was a few years ago.

Play Revival

Another no brainer as Fences takes home the Tony for Best Play Revival.


Well, this was a no brainer.  Bill T. Jones won his second Tony for choreography tonight.

Lead Actor in a Play

This is by far the toughest category of the night.  So many great performances by so many high profile actors that I had a lot of trouble with it.  Denzel Washington stole the award from actors who, I believe, deserved it more than he.  But there will be time for the others.

Lead Actress in a Play

This was an easier one to call than I would have liked.  Though Viola is definitely a great actress and deserved to win, I wish they had given Laura Linney the award.  Congrats, Viola, and better luck next time to Laura.

Featured Actor in a Musical

The dark horse pulled ahead in this one.  Not a complete surprise, but I am disappointed that they didn't give it to Christopher Fitzgerald for his magical performance as Og in Finian's Rainbow.

Featured Actress in a Musical

Well, folks, she did it.  Katie Fineran just beat Angela Lansbury for a Tony.  That's a performance I now have to go see.

Director of a Musical

This one was too obvious for words.  Though I had been holding out hope for Bill T. Jones, this is entirely unsurprising.  Terry Johnson has won for his direction of La Cage Aux Folles.

Director of a Play

Another upset.  Fences is getting absolutely killed.  I was predicting Kenny Leon for this and, while Michael Grandage did great work, Fences was the show to beat.  I did call the upset, though.

Featured Actor in a Play

This is one of the toughest categories to call tonight because of the presence of so many strong performances in the category.  Eddie Redmayne's win appears to have been the right call to make.

Featured Actress in a Play

The first major award of the night.  Scarlett Johansson just won a Tony for her stellar Broadway debut in A View From the Bridge.  Based on this win, it looks as though Jan Maxwell, a double nominee this year, will go home with no gold this year.  This is the first big award the four-time Golden Globe nominee has won and may open doors for her in her film career for her to get more awards recognition for her work.


So far, they have announced the winners of 11 awards.  There have been no major upsets, but some predictable ones have occurred.  So far, I have correctly called six awards and three of my upsets have come true.  Only two wrong so far, but that's not worrying me yet.

Sound Design Awards

Red just got the sound design award for a play.  Though I was guessing Fences would get it, I did call the upset.  As for musicals, the award went to Fela!, which I called.

Set Design Award

Set Design of a Play just went to Red, which is an out of the blue upset.  Not that the set was undeserving, just unexpected.  As for Set Design of a Musical, the award went to American Idiot -- another big surprise. Well ... you can't get them all right.

Lighting Design Awards

Red just won for lights of a play, and American Idiot just won for lights of a musical.  I correctly predicted both of these.  So far so good!

Costume Design Awards

They just announced the costume design awards and two upsets just occured ... and were ones that I predicted!  Fela! and The Royal Family just won the for musical and play.

Creative Arts Tonys

I'm watching the Creative Arts Tonys which are not televised and, so far, I'm 3 for 3.  Memphis just wone for Book, Score, and Orchestrations.  I'm really excited.

Final Tony Predictions

Tonight's the big night and I'm getting ready with popcorn for the Tony Awards ceremony.  The red carpet starts at 6, the Creative Arts Awards are at 7, and the big show is at 8.  In preparation, here are my final predictions for who will take home Tony gold this evening.  I have listed in each category what shows I think will win, a potential dark horse that could pull an upset, and the contender that I think should win the prize.

Best Play: Red

Should Win: Red
Potential Upset: Time Stands Still

Musical: Memphis

Should Win: Fela!
Potential Upset: American Idiot

Play Revival: Fences

Should Win: A View From the Bridge
Potential Upset: The Royal Family

Musical Revival: La Cage Aux Folles

Should Win: Finian's Rainbow
Potential Upset: Ragtime

Actor in a Play: Alfred Molina, Red

Should Win: Christopher Walken, A Behanding in Spokane
Potential Upset: Liev Schreiber, A View From the Bridge

Actress in a Play: Viola Davis, Fences

Should Win: Laura Linney, Time Stands Still
Potential Upset: Jan Maxwell, The Royal Family

Actor in a Musical: Douglas Hodge, La Cage Aux Folles

Should Win: Douglas Hodge, La Cage Aux Folle
Potential Upset: Chad Kimball, Memphis

Actress in a Musical: Montego Glover, Memphis

Should Win: Sherie Rene Scott, Everyday Rapture
Potential Upset: Catherine Zeta-Jones, A Little Night Music

Featured Actor in a Play: Eddie Redmayne, Red

Should Win: Eddie Redmayne, Red
Potential Upset: Jon Michael Hill, Superior Donuts

Featured Actress in a Play: Scarlett Johansson, A View From the Bridge

Should Win: Jessica Hecht, A View From the Bridge
Potential Upset: Jan Maxwell, Lend Me A Tenor

Featured Actor in a Musical: Bobby Steggert, Ragtime

Should Win: Christopher Fitzgerald, Finian's Rainbow
Potential Upset: Levi Kreis, Million Dollar Quartet

Featured Actress in a Musical: Katie Fineran, Promises, Promises

Should Win: Angela Lansbury, A Little Night Music
Potential Upset: Lilias White, Fela!

Book of a Musical: Memphis

Should Win: Everyday Rapture
Potential Upset: Fela!

Score: Memphis

Should Win: Memphis
Potential Upset: Fences

Director of a Play: Kenny Leon, Fences

Should Win: Sheryl Kaller, Next Fall
Potential Upset: Michael Grandage, Red

Director of a Musical: Terry Johnson, La Cage Aux Folles

Should Win: Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Ragtime
Potential Upset: Bill T. Jones, Fela!

Choreography: Bill T. Jones, Fela!

Should Win: Rob Ashford, Promises, Promises 
Potential Upset: Twyla Tharp, Come Fly Away

Orchestrations: Daryl Waters and David Bryan, Memphis

Should Win: Jonathan Tunick, Promises, Promises
Potential Upset: Aaron Johnsonm Fela!

Set Design of a Play: Santo Loquasto, Fences

Should Win: Alexander Dodge, Present Laughter
Potential Upset: Alexander Dodge, Present Laughter

Set Design of a Musical: Derek McLane, Ragtime

Should Win: Derek McLane, Ragtime
Potential Upset: Marina Draghici, Fela!

Costume Design of a Play: Costanza Romero, Fences
Should Win: David Zinn, In the Next Room or the vibrator play
Potential Upset: Catherine Zuber, The Royal Family

Costume Design of a Musical: Matthew Wright, La Cage Aux Folles
Should Win: Paul Tazewell, Memphis
Potential Upset: Marina Draghici, Fela!

Lighting Design of a Play: Neil Austin, Red
Should Win: Neil Austin, Red
Potential Upset: Brian MacDevitt, Fences

Lighting Design of a Musical: Kevin Adams, American Idiot
Should Win: Donald Holder, Ragtime
Potential Upset: Robert Wierzel, Fela!

Sound Design of a Play: ACME Sound Partners, Fences
Should Win: ACME Sound Partners, Fences
Potential Upset: Adam Cork, Red

Sound Design of a Musical: Robert Kaplowitz, Fela!
Should Win: Robert Kaplowitz, Fela!
Potential Upset: Dan Moses Schreier and Gareth Owen, A Little Night Music

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Night of a Thousand Stars

It has been announced that the revival of Evita planned for 2012 will star former Menudo front man Ricky Martin as Che (a take-off of Che Guevara) along with the star of the recent London revival, Elena Roger, as the title character.  This will be the first Broadway revival of the show since it debuted in 1979 with Tony winning star and diva Patti LuPone.  The capitalization for the production is expected to be between $8- and $9-million.

Are the Tony's Gaining Ground?

The Tony Awards have a long tradition of being the biggest award in the legitimate theater, and now they may be getting bigger.  According to a New York Times report, the physical award that winners will receive is getting bigger.  The base of the award will be two inches taller and the award as a whole will be getting two pounds heavier.  The statuette will still have its famous spinning medallion showing the famous comedy/tragedy masks.  Howard Sherman, the executive director of the American Theater Wing, told the times, "We know the physical scale of the Oscars, Emmys and Grammys.  While we're not attempting to keep up with the Jonses, we felt this is a significant award, and it could feel and look a bit more significant."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Kristin Chenoweth to Depart Promises, Promises for Glee

Tony winning soprano and Broadway vet Kristin Chenoweth, currently starring in the revival of Promises, Promises has announced that she will be leaving the show in September to join the TV hit Glee.  While she loves both productions, she thinks Glee is doing great stuff by "making being a nerd cool."  Best of luck!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hair Revival to Be Cut Short

The producers of the current revival of the tribal love rock musical Hair have announced that the production will close on June 27th after 29 previews and 519 regular performances.  The press release announcing the closure of the production stated that the production has been a profit machine for months, having recouped its $5,760,000 four months after its March 31st, 2009, run, though the show's sales have weakened lately.  For example, for the week ending June 6th, the show only played to 46.5% of its potential capacity.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Find Yorself A Man ... Or a Revival

Producer Bob Boyett will be presenting a revival of the musical that made Barbara Streisand a star.  That musical is Funny Girl, in a production to be directed by Bartlett Sher which is coming to Broadway in early 2012 after a six week out-of-town tryout in the fall of 2011.  Speculation has been running rampant about who will be cast in the lead.  Friend to this Blog Lea Michele is one of the names being tapped as an option, but the producers of this revival have not ruled out the option of going with an entire unknown.

The Sun Will Come Out in 2012

Everyone's favorite red headed orphan is coming back to Broadway in 2012 when Annie will be revived on the occasion of the show's 35th anniversary.  The original production, based on the Little Orphan Annie comic strip series, ran for over 3,000 performances between 1977 and 1983, winning 7 Tony Awards.  The book of the show will reworked and modernized for current audiences.  No casting or theater has been announced.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tony Musical Performances Firming Up

The set of musical numbers to be performed at the Tony Awards ceremony this year is taking shape.  As per tradition, the four shows nominated for Best Musical (Memphis, Fela!, Million Dollar Quartet, and American Idiot) will be performing, as will all the Best Musical Revival nominees (A Little Night Music, Ragtime, and La Cage Aux Folles) except for Finian's Rainbow, which opted not to sign up for a slot.  Come Fly Away and Promises, Promises will also be getting performance slots, confirms.  As for the straight plays, since these performances tend to play less well on screen, actors from the nominated plays and play revivals may discuss the plays in which they appear, though the exact nature of this presentation is not yet clear.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Miss Carrie Fisher Already?

If you missed Carrie Fisher's one woman tell all show, Wishful Drinking, at the Roundabout this past winter, you're in luck  HBO announced on Thursday that they would be broadcasting a feature length documentary based on the show.  The documentary, to be directed by Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey, will combine clips from the show "with archival footage and other interviews," according to the New York Times.  No date has been set for the release of the film.

Does Life Imitate Art Or the Other Way Around?

Next to Normal will be getting its next pair of leads in the form of a real life couple.  Three time Tony nominee Marin Mazzie and her husband, Jason Danieley, will be taking over the roles of Diana and Dan Goodman starting on July 19th, according to a production spokes person.  This will mark the first occasion during which the couple will have appeared together in a Broadway musical.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Rue McClanahan, Broadway Vet and Golden Girl, Dead at 76

Rue McClanahan, stage vet and star of the TV shows Mama's Family, Maude, and The Golden Girls, passed away yesterday of a stroke at the age of 76.  Ms. McClanahan was born in Healdton, Oklahoma on February 21, 1934 and majored in German and Theater Arts at the University of Tulsa.  She made her Broadway debut as a standby in 1966 in the play The Best Laid Plans, followed by a full time post in Jimmy Shine opposite Dustin Hoffman.  Her most recent Broadway performances include the revival of The Women and a stint as Madame Morrible in Wicked.  McClanahan's most famous roles were as Vivian Harmon, best friend to Bea Arthur's Maude Findlay in the TV hit Maude and as the sensuous vixen Blanche Devereaux in The Golden Girls, a role which won her a leading actress Emmy in 1987.

Ms. McClanahan's health over the past 15 or so years has been hit or miss.  In 1997, Rue was diagnosed with breast cancer for which she underwent successful treatment.  This past November, Ms. McClanahan underwent triple bypass surgery and, during recovery, suffered a minor stroke.  As of March of this year, Betty White, McClanahan's friend and Golden Girls co-star, reported that Rue was doing well and that her speech was back to normal.  This week, her health took a quick turn for the worst.  According to her publicist, Ms. McClanahan was feeling fine on Monday, felt slightly ill Tuesday morning, and had her fatal stroke on Tuesday night.  After the stroke, she was rushed to New York-Presbyterian Hospital where she died at 1am Wednesday morning.  Ms. McClanahan died with her son and her nephew by her side.  Though there will be no funeral service, in accordance with the wishes of the diceased, there will be memorial services in New York and Los Angeles over the summer.  A Facebook page called "The Official Rue McClanahan Memorial Page" gives all the details about these services and charities to which donations can be made in Rue's memory.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Liza Minelli to Go to Rehab?

It has been sadly reported that Liza Minnelli is in talks to appear of Celebrity Rehab, a reality TV show that follows celebrity substance abusers along their paths to treatment.  While it was not made clear what substance Liza is allegedly abusing, we here at the envelope hope that, if she does have a substance abuse problem, she gets the help she needs ... whether from the reality TV show or elsewhere.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Kelli O'Hara to Return to South Pacific

Kelli O'Hara, the original star of the current revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific currently playing at Lincoln Center Theater's Vivian Beaumont Theatre, will be returning to the show on August 10th to play out the last two weeks of the show's run.  Tony winner Paulo Szot will return August 6th to play out the final weeks of the show with other original cast members Danny Burstein and Loretta Ables Sayre.  The show will be broadcast nationally on August 18th as part of the PBS series Live From Lincoln Center.