Sunday, February 20, 2011
Something's Coming Something Good, If I Can Wait
Steven McElroy recently interviewed a number of last year's Tony Award winners and nominees for the New York Times about what shows or performances they are most looking forward to in the upcoming months on Broadway. I have copied their answers below.
SEAN HAYES, nominee, leading actor in a musical, “Promises, Promises”: “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.” Not only because I just finished working with Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Beth Williams and Rob Ashford but I’m anxious to see my friend Daniel Radcliffe in his Broadway musical debut. I know he’ll be nothing short of spectacular. And I hope that he can finally make a name for himself in this business.
JAN MAXWELL, nominee, leading actress in a play, “The Royal Family,” and nominee, featured actress in a play, “Lend Me a Tenor”: Because I am in love with David Greenspan, I am very much looking forward to seeing his play "Go Back To Where You Are" at Playwrights Horizons. David and I met during "The Royal Family" last year and he gave me a few of his plays to read. I loved them. His work is quirky, modern, ancient, heartfelt and irreverent. He also happens to be one of the most magnificent human beings I have ever met.
STEPHEN KUNKEN, nominee, featured actor in a play, “Enron”: For sheer theatricality, it’ll be hard to beat the magnificent horses at the center of "War Horse." The advertisements alone are astonishing. And Mark Rylance goes to battle with his own performance in "La Bête" in what I have been told by all my cross-pond compatriots is not only the performance of the season, but of a great actor’s career: I’ll definitely be interested in seeing his colossal "Jerusalem."
BOBBY STEGGERT, nominee, best performance by a featured actor in a musical, “Ragtime”: I am genuinely excited to see "The Book of Mormon" — an original musical with an original score, based on an original idea, performed by actors cast for their talent and not name recognition. What a concept!”
CHAD KIMBALL, nominee, leading actor in a musical, “Memphis”: I’m very much intrigued by a new piece at Classic Stage Company called "Unnatural Acts," conceived and directed by Tony Speciale. It’s a play that explores the drama surrounding Harvard’s secret courts of the 1920’s. The secret courts are something I’ve heard about but have always been interested to know more.
JOE DIPIETRO, winner, best book of a musical, “Memphis.” I first came across "That Championship Season" on a library shelf in the mid-70s, and I’ve been obsessed with the play ever since. I was an awkward teenager who was immediately mesmerized by Jason Miller’s exploration of modern-day masculinity, and although I’ve reread the play several times, I’ve never had the opportunity to see it.
CHRISTINE JONES, winner, best scenic design of a musical, “American Idiot”:“Beautiful Burnout” [at St. Ann’s Warehouse], directed and choreographed by Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett. Hoggett did the choreography for "American Idiot" as well as "Black Watch." His work is fierce and from the heart, raw and tender. I’m a huge fan.
KATE BALDWIN, nominee, leading actress in a musical, “Finian’s Rainbow”: The new musical “A Minister’s Wife” which will play the Mitzi Newhouse this spring. It is based on one of my favorite plays, stars one of my favorite actresses and comes from one of my favorite cities. "Candida," Kate Fry and Chicago all wrapped up in beautiful music. Fantastic.
LEVI KREIS, winner, featured actor in a musical, “Million Dollar Quartet”: "The Book of Mormon" because it is from the writers of "South Park" and word on the street is that it is supposed to be hilarious and very smart at the same time. Any time religion is approached with a sense of humor, I’m already hooked.
GEOFFREY NAUFFTS, nominee, best play, “Next Fall”: MCC’s upcoming production of Sharr White’s "The Other Place." Sharr’s one of my all-time favorite writers, he’s been kicking around for years, and it’s time New Yorkers get to see his brilliance.
MARIAN SELDES, special Tony award for lifetime achievement in the theater: Born Yesterday’ because it was written by Garson Kanin. (Ms. Seldes was married to Kanin from 1990 until he died in 1999.)
GREGORY MOSHER, best direction of a play, “A View From the Bridge”: Like every theater lover in New York, I can hardly wait for the Public’s presentation of Tony Kushner’s "The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures." Kushner’s play is going to be a feast of ideas, and I’m planning to go at least a few times.
ROB ASHFORD, nominee, best choreography, “Promises, Promises.” "Anything Goes." The Lincoln Center production starring Patti LuPone was my first Broadway job as a dancer after moving to New York. With Sutton Foster as Reno and Kathleen Marshall at the helm I know it will be amazing!
DONALD MARGULIES, nominee, best play, “Time Stands Still”: New plays by three playwrights at different stages of their careers are high on my list: Amy Herzog, who is just taking off, has "4000 Miles" at LCT3; Rajiv Joseph, who is on his way, has "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" on Broadway; and Tony Kushner, who is in his prime, delivers, in May, "The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide...” as part of his exhilarating Signature season.
JESSICA HECHT, nominee, featured actress in a play, “A View From the Bridge.” I really want to endorse "By the Way, Meet Vera Stark" because I think Jo Bonney is such a tremendous director and has done in my mind remarkably insightful contemporary productions, especially by female writers, that are just incomparable. And "Ruined" just changed my life.
SHERIE RENE SCOTT, nominee, best book of a musical and leading actress in a musical, “Everyday Rapture.” As a proud three-time Tony-losing actress/writer, it’s hard for me not to play favorites. If I say "House of Blue Leaves," cynics will think it’s just because I’m pals with its brilliant author, John Guare. Not true. Others may accuse me of buttering up the singular, sexy, and oh-so-funny genius that is John Guare because I’m hoping he’ll hire me again. Not true...ish. It’s because "House of Blue Leaves" is a modern-day masterpiece. And because Mr. Guare has the softest hands of any playwright I know, and I think that’s worth something.