Monday, August 13, 2012

Exciting News and the Future of This Blog

Dear Readers,

    For the past two and a half years and three Tony Awards seasons, I have been covering the Tony Awards on this site and been loving every minute of it.  Over those two and a half years, my readership has steadily increased and become more interactive, with more and more of you leaving me comments, asking questions, and giving me great ideas for future articles.

    It is with that in mind that I wanted to share with you all some wonderful news.  Scott Feinberg, the leading Oscar prognosticator who has nurtured me and my work on this site, has asked me to join his team at  As soon as he asked the question, the answer was a no brainer -- I would join his team.  So, after over 900 posts, 50 comments, over 325 nominees, and over 75 winners, this is my last post for The Envelope.  This is also my last post for a while.  I will start writing again on September 1st.  Please continue to check me out at and I hope you keep reading me after the move!


Sam Negin

Jersey Boys Film to Hold Open Call

As previously reported, the hit musical that has been wowing Broadway audiences for almost seven years will be getting the Hollywood treatment.  The movie, which is tentatively slated to be released in 2014, is to be directed by Jon Favreau, best known for directing the Christmas film Elf and the two Iron Man movies.  The upcoming film will be holding an open casting call to cast its four leading men.  For information on the casting notice, check out: .

The show won the Best Musical Tony in 2006, and tells the story of the meteoric rise to fame of four boys from the great state of New Jersey who, in the early 1960's, became famous as the Four Seasons.  Also included in the story are the various gambling debts they incurred and their discovery of the girl group The Angels.  The show includes the group's hit songs Walk Like A Man, Sherry, December 1963 (Oh What a Night), Working My Way Back to You, and Big Girls Don't Cry.  No casting or other production staff, including the screen writer, have been announced.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Every Day A Little Death

In the past month or so, a number of theater greats have passed on and I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge their losses here.

Tony Martin, the operatic and debonair baritone singer who had an 80-plus year career in film, theater, and the nightclub scene, passed away on June 27th at his home in West Los Angeles at the age of 98.  The cause appears to have been natural causes.  Mr. Martin's biggest claim to fame in theatrical circles is that he was married to dancer Cyd Charisse, who died back in 2008.

Sherman Hemsley, most famous for his role on television's The Jeffersons as the curmudgeonly George Jefferson, and who also starred on Broadway in the musical comedy Purlie, passed away on July 24th. He died at his home of natural causes at the age of 74.

Theatrical costume designer Martin Pakledinaz, who won Tony awards for his designs of Thoroughly Modern Millie and Kiss Me, Kate, died on July 8th of brain cancer at age 58.

Ernest Borgnine, a character actor in both TV and film, died on July 8th at the age of 95.  He died of renal failure at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.  Borgnine is best known for his roles in McHale's Navy, From Here To Eternity, and his Oscar-winning turn in Marty.

Among the more diverse of experience in this set of deaths is Gore Vidal, the playwright, novelist, essayist, and all around witty aphorist, died on July 31st at the age of 86.  He died at home of complications from pneumonia.  Vidal's best known work is the play The Best Man.

Lastly, today came the news of the passing of Marvin Hamlisch, the prolific composer for film, television, and theater who is one of only 12 people to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony -- and only one of two individuals to have won those four awards plus a Pulitzer Prize.  He also won two Golden Globe Awards.  Hamlisch became noted early on when he won three Oscars in one night at the young age of 29 in 1973.  His most famous scores are for the films The Sting and The Way We Were, as well as the Broadway musical A Chorus Line.  He died at 68 "after a brief illness" (according to wikipedia).

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bring It On: The Musical Opens

The stage musical adaptation of the film Bring It On: The Musical opened this past Wednesday evening at the Saint James Theatre and the reviews are in.  Much like the film and its direct-to-video sequels, the musical is mostly fluff, but with a number of quality elements that make the show entertaining nonetheless.  Jeff Whitty's libretto, while as predictable, clunky, and formulaic as can be, provides a number of jokes that the tween set will thoroughly enjoy.  And, though the show itself also takes a while to build up steam, going through all the usual plot twists and turns that are to be expected, Andy Blankenbuehler's swift direction and hi octane choreography (what else would there be in a musical about cheer leading and hip hop dancing?) definitely provide mesmerizing moments that make the show somewhat engaging.  The reviews also singled out a number of individual actors as giving strong performances including Adrienne Warren, Elle McLemore and Taylor Louderman.  The score is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the show, and the most inconsistent.  Credited collaboratively to Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights), and Amanda Green (High Fidelity), the score consists of songs written either individually or in pairs by various combinations of the three songwriters.  Miranda's contributions were cited as being clearly the strongest, but Green's lyrics make her, according to the reviews, the one to watch out for -- definitely a bright future ahead for her.

This production is a 12-week stop on the show's national tour, which began at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre.  The show is too much fluff (and in New York too early in the season) to really be considered for any Tony Awards, except for maybe in the choreography category (Blankenbuehler is a previous winner in this category for In the Heights).  That being said, the argument could be made that the same was said about Newsies, at least in terms of fluff quality, and that show ended up with 8 Tony nominations, including best musical.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Calvin Berger Cast Recording

I just got this press release in and wanted to share it.  If anyone wants to submit a review of the CD once they listen to it, please leave it in a comment here and I will pass on the information to the publisher.



New York, NY (8/2/12) – Ghostlight Records will release the Original Cast Recording of Barry Wyner’s new musical, CALVIN BERGER on Tuesday, September 25, 2012. The full cast featured on the recording, including Noah Weisberg (Legally Blonde, South Pacific), Krystal Joy Brown (Leap of Faith), David Hull (Wicked) and Dana Steingold (Spelling Bee), will reunite at Joe’s Pub the evening before the release – Monday, September 24, 2012 at 7pm – to celebrate the album release with a special concert event.  The original CALVIN BERGER cast will be joined by several additional special Broadway guests, to be announced.

CD pre-orders are now on sale at Watch video from the CALVIN BERGER recording session here:

CALVIN BERGER – winner of the Jerry Bock Award, Richard Rodgers Award, Kleban Prize, and Noel Coward Prize – is a hip, heartfelt, hysterical new musical by Barry Wyner, loosely based on Cyrano De Bergerac. Featuring Orchestrations by 3-time Tony Award-winnerDoug Besterman (Sister Act, How To Succeed, The Producers), CALVIN BERGER has been performed at Barrington Stage and Manhattan Theatre Club, and most recently at George Street Playhouse under the direction of 3-time Tony winner Kathleen Marshall (Nice Work, Anything Goes, The Pajama Game). It is licensed by the legendary Tams-Witmark Music Library and has several songs published by Hal Leonard.

Here’s a sampling of what critics have said about CALVIN BERGER:

"This is a 'High School Musical' with characters who aren’t caricatures, genuine wit, better melodies, as well as much more heart, soul, charm, and – to be frank – ribaldry.” - THE STAR-LEDGER

“Composer-lyricist-book writer Barry Wyner has concocted a cheerful little winner in "Calvin Berger. The show offers tuneful entertainment with an appealing message about self-worth." - VARIETY

"This smart, fun, and funny musical is a delight from start to finish. [It] appeals to playgoers of all ages.” - BROADWAYWORLD.COM

"A musical that you’re going to see someday. It’s going to be done in your town, as well as in the major theatrical capitals of the world.” -THEATREMANIA.COM

"What Wyner is creating here is genuinely exhilarating.”- THE BOSTON GLOBE 

The full track listing for the CALVIN BERGER Cast Recording is as follows:

1. Opening Dream
2. Security Meltdown
3. I Can See Him Now
4. Don’tcha Think?
5. It Just Wasn’t Meant to Happen
6. We’re The Man!
7. Never Know
9. Saturday Alone
10. Act One Finale
11. Second Dream
12. Mr. Potato Head
13. Graduation Day
14. Saturday Alone (Reprise)
15. The Fight
16. How Can I Compete With That?
17. Perfect For You
18. We’re The Man! (Reprise)
19. Calm, Cool, and Collected
20. Finale

For more information on the album visit

Tickets for the September 24th release concert are $20 and available online at (,com_shows/task,view/Itemid,40/prod_no,19020), by phone at 212-967-7555 or at the box office at the Public Theater.The concert will be directed by Travis Greisler, music directed by Aron Accurso and produced by Katie Riegel. Joe’s Pub is located at 425 Lafayette Street, NYC.

Barry Wyner has won the Richard Rodgers Award, Jerry Bock Award, Kleban Prize, and Noel Coward Prize. He wrote book, music, and lyrics to CALVIN BERGER, which had critically acclaimed runs at Gloucester Stage, Barrington Stage, and most recently, George Street Playhouse under the direction of 3-time Tony winner Kathleen Marshall. The show is available for licensing from Tams-Witmark Music Library, and the original cast recording will be released in September on Ghostlight Records. Wyner's songs have been published in Hal Leonard's Teen Pop Broadway Anthology and the BMI Workshop Songbook. One was recorded by Neil Patrick Harris. Wyner recently completed a commissioned children’s musical for George Street Playhouse called Austin The Unstoppable. His work has had professional readings at Manhattan Theatre Club, NAMCO (Barry and Fran Weissler, producers), Musicals Tonight, and Blue Spruce Productions (Scott Delman, producer). Wyner has composed original music for a Terrence McNally world premiere, BBC Radio, Actor's Studio, Wings Theater, AMDA, The Battery’s Down, and many more. He studied music at UNC-Chapel Hill, Queens College, and the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop.

Sh-K-Boom, with its imprint Ghostlight Records, has become the leading independent force in Original Broadway Cast Recordings, having built a library of over 120 records during the last 12 years featuring the most successful Broadway musicals and solo albums by Broadway’s biggest stars. Founded by Kurt Deutsch and wife Sherie Rene Scott, the label was created by and for the Broadway community and has reinvented the musical theatre recording landscape through their high-quality recordings, innovative marketing techniques to reach the next generation of Broadway music fans, as well as the creation of a new type of ‘United Artists’ environment for Broadway producers and artists to participate in the funding and co-ownership of their albums. Ghostlight celebrated a major milestone this past year with their Grammy-winning release of The Book of Mormon, which became the first Broadway cast recording to break into the Billboard Top 10 since the original 1969 release of Hair, taking its place as the biggest-selling digital cast recording of all time. Recent releases on the label include Disney’s Newsies, the Grammy-nominated 2011 revival cast recording of Anything Goes, the new revival recording of Godspell, plus the OCRs of Elf, Catch Me If You Can, Sister Act and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and solo albums from some of Broadway’s biggest stars: Sutton Foster, Kelli O’Hara, Alice Ripley, Christine Ebersole, Melissa Errico and Ben Vereen. Over the years, Ghostlight has preserved the scores of some of Broadway's most well-known musicals, including the Grammy Award-winning In the Heights, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Next to Normal, Hair, Legally Blonde, Everyday Rapture, Passing Strange, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and The Drowsy Chaperone.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tony Winning Composer Richard Adler Dead at 90

The composer Richard Adler, who won Tony awards for composing the music for both Damn Yankees and The Pajama Game died in Southampton, New York yesterday at the age of 90.  No cause of death was listed in the announcement I read, but the article at the link below provides a more complete biography of Mr. Adler.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

New Stars Inhabit the DeWinter Estate

Jill Paice and Ryan Silverman will play I and Maxim DeWinter in the upcoming Broadway production of Rebecca.  The original stars were to be Sierra Boggess and Tam Mutu (who, by the way, happen to be engaged to marry each other in real life).  The musical, based on the Daphne DuMaurier novel of the same name and Alfred Hitchcock's film adaptation of the novel (the only one of Hitchcock's films to win the Best Picture Oscar), was set to open during the 2011-2012 season but was postponed when funding fell through.  Now, the show will begin previews October 30 and open November 18 at the Broadhurst Theatre.

The production team behind the show has some impressive names.  The show will be co-directed by Francesca Zambello, who is well known and respected in the opera world, and Michael Blakemore, the first (and, so far, only) director to win the Best Director of a Musical Tony and the Best Director of a Play Tony in the same year.  The show's costumes will be designed by Jane Greenwood -- a designer who has 18 Tony nominations without a single win over her almost 50 year career on Broadway.  The musical staging will be by Graciella Danielle, the Argentine dancer with a 50 year Broadway career and 10 Tony nominations (but no wins) herself.

Four More Closing Out the Books

Four more Tony-nominated productions have posted their closing notices.

The Tony-nominated Best Musical Sister Act has set its closing date.  The production will close at the Broadway Theatre on August 26th.  At the time of its closing, the show will have played 28 previews and 561 regular performances.

The Tony-nominated revival of Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber's Jesus Christ Superstar has set a closing date of July 1st at the Neill Simon Theatre.  At the time of its closing, the show will have played 24 previews and 116 regular performances.

The play The Lyons, starring Tony nominated Best Actress Linda Lavin, will close at the Cort Theatre on July 1st.  At the time of its closing, the show will have played 21 previews and 80 regular performances.

A third closing on July first will be The Columnist, starring Tony nominated Best Actor John Lithgow.  At the time of its closing, the show will have played 23 previews and 78 regular performances at Manhattan Theatre Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Finding Harvey

Did Marilyn Stasio and Charles Isherwood see the same play, the play that in 1945 won the Pulitzer over Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie?  Neither reviewer praises Harvey as a great work; however, Isherwood likes the production and Stasio, not so much.  Perhaps their differing views are a consequence of differences in their critical interpretation of Elwood's/Parson’s delusions.   Isherwood sees in Elwood's/Parsons’ literal-mindedness "a commentary on the little hypocrisies that lubricate social intercourse but also impede true connection”.  For Isherwood, "the soft-spoken Mr. Parsons makes an ideal Elwood, the drinker and dreamer who passes his days in the company of Harvey/Hope ... Mr. Parsons possesses in abundance the crucial ability to project an ageless innocence without any visible effort."

Stasio is not impressed.  She writes that "the vacancy behind his [Parson’s] bland facial expressions has a chilling effect.  According to Stasio, "in the final scene, … scribe Chase quits being facetious and makes her serious point that 'perfectly normal human beings' are, in fact, nasty people -- and that however eccentric Elwood may seem to the 'normal' people in the world, he's a lot happier than they are."  I had to look up facetious:  To make an attempt at being funny, while being sarcastic at the same time [Urban Dictionary].  Might that explain Elwood's drinking?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Four Closings and An Opening

Three shows will be closing in the next week and a half, with another show holding its opening night tonight.

John Robin Baitz's Other Desert Cities will be closing after this coming Sunday's matinee, June 17th.  At the time of its closing, the play will have performed 25 previews and 261 regular performances.  Moving into the Booth after the closing show will be the 50th anniversary revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert has also posted a closing notice, this time for June 24th -- in order to avoid being open during the traditionally slow July 4th period.  At the time of that closing, the show will have played 23 previews and 526 performances.  Moving into the Palace after the closing will be the 35th anniversary revival of Annie.

Also closing on June 24th will be the first ever Broadway revival of Godspell, a production near and dear to my heart.  At the time of its closing, the show will have played 30 previews and 264 performances.  No word has yet been released as to what show will next be moving into the Circle in the Square.

The last closing notice that has been posted of late is for the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Cole Porter's Anything Goes.  The Tony-winning revival will close on August 5th, at which point the show will have played 32 previews and 553 regular performances at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.  No word yet about that theater's next tenant.

With every closing door (or closing show), another opens.  That comes in the form of the Roundabout's Broadway revival of the Pulitzer Prize winning play Harvey, which opens tonight at Studio 54 and stars two-time Emmy award winner Jim Parsons in the leading role.  This show may get Jim his first Tony nomination (though I doubt he'll win, but I guess we'd have to see who the competition is).  I can't wait to see what the reviews are like tomorrow!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tony Statistics and Recapping

It just occurred to me that I neglected to post a final tally last night.  Here is the tally of how many Tony's each show took home.

Once -- 8
Peter and the Starcatcher -- 5
Newsies -- 2
Nice Work if You Can Get It -- 2
Death of a Salesman -- 2
Porgy & Bess -- 2
Clybourne Park -- 1
Follies -- 1
One Man, Two Guvnors -- 1
Other Desert Cities -- 1
Venus in Fur -- 1

Last night's list included a number of interesting statistics.

Death of a Salesman took home its fourth Tony, having won the Tony for best play in 1949 and for best revival of a play in 1984, 1999, and 2012.

Audra McDonald took home her fifth Tony, making her among the few actresses with that many Tony's for acting -- tying the record held by Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris.  Audra won the Tony for best featured actress in a play for Master Class (1996) and A Raisin in the Sun (2004), and for best featured actress in a musical for Carousel (1994) and Ragtime (1998).  Her win last night was her first leading actress win after two previous nominations in this category -- Marie Christine (2000) and 110 in the Shade (2007).

Last night also brought Mike Nichols his 8th directing Tony.  He won the Tony for best director of a play for Barefoot in the Park (1964), The Odd Couple  (1965), Plaza Suite  (1968), Prisoner of Second Avenue (1972), The Real Thing (1984), Death of a Salesman (2012) and the Tony for best director of a musical for Annie (1977) and Spamalot (2005).  He also won a Tony for Best Play for The Real Thing (1984).

Of the eight acting Tony's given out last night, two awards went to actors receiving their first nomination this year -- Steve Kazee for Once and James Corden for One Man, Two Guvnors.  An additional four actors won their first Tony last night on their second ever nomination.  They are Nina Arianda for Venus in Fur, Judith Light for Other Desert Cities, Christian Borle for Peter and the Starcatcher, and Michael McGrath for Nice Work if You Can Get It.

Also, composer Alan Menken is now one step away from attaining EGOT -- winning a competitive award at the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony ceremonies.  Having won several Grammy Awards and Oscars over the years, he finally won the Tony on his fourth nomination, his first having come in 1994 for Beauty and the Beast.  If he does win an Emmy, he will become only the 12th person to attain EGOT (assuming no one else attains it first).

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tony Winners and Statistics

The Tony winners for 2012 have been announced and the controversies are sure to begin (no award for Jan Maxwell OR Danny Burstein?).  But here, I will just list the winners and my stats on my predictions.  Of the 26 categories, I correctly predicted 20 outright.  In 5 categories, the nominee I had listed as a dark horse (the one most likely to stage an upset over my prediction) ended up taking home the trophy.  There was one category, leading actor in a musical, for which I was totally off the mark.  With that out of the way, and without any further ado, here are the Tony winners for 2012.

Play:  Clybourne Park
Musical:  Once
Score:  Newsies
Book:  Once
Play Revival:  Death of a Salesman
Musical Revival:  Porgy & Bess
Actor in a Play:  James Corden, One Man, Two Guvnors
Actress in a Play:  Nina Arianda, Venus in Fur
Actor in a Musical:  Steve Kazee, Once
Actress in a Musical:  Audra McDonald, Porgy & Bess
Featured Actor in a Play:  Christian Borle, Peter and the Starcatcher
Featured Actress in a Play:  Judith Light, Other Desert Cities
Featured Actor in a Musical:  Michael McGrath, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Featured Actress in a Musical:  Judy Kaye, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Direcor of a Play:  Mike Nichols, Death of a Salesman
Director of a Musical:  John Tiffany, Once
Choreography:  Christopher Gattelli, Newsies
Orchestrations:  Once
Scenic Design of a Play: Peter and the Starcatcher
Scenic Design of a Musical:  Once
Costume Design of a Play: Peter and the Starcatcher
Costume Design of a Musical: Follies
Lighting Design of a Play: Peter and the Starcatcher
Lighting Design of a Musical: Once
Sound Design of a Play: Peter and the Starcatcher
Sound Design of a Musical: Once

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Final Tony Predictions

The time has come for me to post my official Tony predictions for tomorrow's show. I have structured my predictions this year the same way I do every year.  For each category, I have listed who I think WILL win and who SHOULD win.  Sometimes these are the same thing and sometimes they are not.  I have also included for each category a Dark Horse.  This represents the nominated person or show in each category that has the best chance at staging an upset in that category.  In some cases (like Best Actor in a Play this year) there are two strong candidates in that category and, since I can only pick one to win, I used my best judgment as to which one that would be, but I didn't feel right not putting down that the other had a strong chance at the prize.  In other categories, one nominee seems to stand out as the clear winner, but I always like to hedge my bets and name an alternate.

So, without further ado, here are my predictions for the 2012 Tony Award Winners.

Best Play
Will Win: Clybourne Park
Should Win: Other Desert Cities
Dark Horse: Peter and the Starcatcher

Best Musical
Will Win: Once
Should Win: Once
Dark Horse: Newsies

Book of a Musical
Will Win: Newsies
Should Win: Lysistrata Jones
Dark Horse: Once

Will Win: Newsies
Should Win: Bonnie & Clyde
Dark Horse: One Man, Two Guvnors

Revival of a Play
Will Win: Death of a Salesman
Should Win: Death of a Salesman
Dark Horse: The Best Man

Revival of a Musical
Will Win: Porgy & Bess
Should Win: Follies
Dark Horse: Follies

Actor in a Play
Will Win: Philip Seymour Hoffman
Should Win: Philip Seymour Hoffman
Dark Horse: James Corden

Actress in a Play
Will Win: Nina Arianda
Should Win: Nina Arianda
Dark Horse: Tracie Bennett

Actor in a Musical
Will Win: Danny Burstein
Should Win: Danny Burstein
Dark Horse: Norm Lewis

Actress in a Musical
Will Win: Audra McDonald
Should Win: Cristin Milioti
Dark Horse: Kelli O’Hara

Featured Actor in a Play
Will Win: Christian Borle
Should Win: Michael Cumpsty
Dark Horse: Andrew Garfield

Featured Actress in a Play
Will Win: Linda Emond
Should Win: Judith Light
Dark Horse: Judith Light

Featured Actor in a Musical
Will Win: Michael McGrath
Should Win: Phlip Boykin
Dark Horse: David Alan Grier

Featured Actress in a Musical
Will Win: Judy Kaye
Should Win: Jessie Mueller
Dark Horse: Jane Houdyshell

Director of a Play
Will Win: Mike Nichols
Should Win: Roger Rees and Alex Timbers
Dark Horse: Roger Rees and Alex Timbers

Director of a Musical
Will Win: John Tiffany
Should Win: John Tiffany
Dark Horse: Diane Paulus

Will Win: Chris Gattelli
Should Win: Stephen Hoggett
Dark Horse: Kathleen Marshall

Will Win: Once
Should Win: Once
Dark Horse: Newsies

Scenic Design of a Play
Will Win: Peter and the Starcatcher
Should Win: Clybourne Park
Dark Horse: Clybourne Park

Scenic Design of a Musical
Will Win: Newsies
Should Win: Ghost
Dark Horse: Once

Costume Design of a Play
Will Win: Peter and the Starcatcher
Should Win: Don’t Dress for Dinner
Dark Horse: One Man, Two  Guvnors

Costume Design of a Musical
Will Win: Porgy & Bess
Should Win: Porgy & Bess
Dark Horse: Follies

Lighting Design of a Play
Will Win: Peter and the Starcatcher
Should Win: Death of a Salesman
Dark Horse: Death of a Salesman

Lighting Design of a Musical
Will Win: Once
Should Win: Once
Dark Horse: Ghost

Sound Design of a Play
Will Win: Death of a Salesman
Should Win: End of the Rainbow
Dark Horse: Peter and the Starcatcher

Sound Design of a Musical
Will Win: Once
Should Win: Once
Dark Horse: Follies

Friday, June 8, 2012

Rodgers and Hammerstein Row

Before Tony weekend comes into full force tomorrow, I wanted to post something a little fun.  I've been seeing a lot of shows lately and must have passed a certain street sign more times than I am able to count.  This sign is located at the corner of 44th Street and 8th Avenue and is notable for labeling the block of 44th Street between 8th Ave and Broadway as "Rodgers and Hammerstein Row".  I have never really thought about why that monicker is there, but seems to have an answer.  They wrote an article that I found on their website today.  Check it out at the link below!  I will be posting my final predictions tomorrow and will be posting all night long during the Tony's on Sunday.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Broadway's Impact on the NYC Economy

Every year, statistics are measured to indicate the economic impact that Broadway has brought to the City of New York and this year's figures are in.  In 2011, Broadway sold roughly $1,139,000,000 (yes, that is over one BILLION dollars) worth of tickets, with 12.33 million people seeing shows.  According to a report by the Broadway League, which measures such things, the 2010-2011 season (the most recent season for which the data have been analyzed, which were just released this week), there's some even better news.  The New York theater industry has contributed $11.2 Billion to the New York City economy in terms of employment of New York theater professionals, taxes paid, costs to mount productions in NYC, tourist revenues related to coming to Broadway, and other ancillary purchases.  To quote the Executive Summary,

"During the 2010-11 season, Broadway as an industry contributed $11.2 billion to the NYC economy.

This amount was comprised of direct spending by producers to mount and run shows, spending by theatre owners to maintain and renovate venues, and ancillary purchases by “Broadway Tourists” (defined as non-NYC residents who said that Broadway was a very important reason in their coming to New York City).

The money that was directly spent in these areas was then re-spent in multiple subsequent rounds.

The full contribution of Broadway tourists amounted to $9.0 billion, shows contributed $2.2 billion, and theatres contributed $22.3 million for a total of $11.2 billion on NYC’s economy.

This represents a 9% increase from the 2008-2009 season (in constant dollars)."

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tony Simulcast to Come Rain or Shine has announced that the Tony Awards will be simulcast in Times Square this coming Sunday, come rain or shine.  This year's installment of the annual event will be hosted by Rod and Lucy -- two of the puppets from the 2004 Tony winning musical Avenue Q.  The simulcast will take place in Duffy Square with full audio and video.  The screening will include a broadcast of the red carpet event on NY1 and the Creative Arts awards presentation, which are not shown on network TV.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Profile of David Alan Grier has written a profile of one of this year's Best Featured Actor in a Musical Tony nominees, David Alan Grier.  Check it out at the link below.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Drama Dest Award Winners

The 57th annual Drama Desk Awards were held last night and the winners were announced (to be listed below).  These awards recognize the best in Broadway, off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway theater in New York. 

The Drama Desk was founded in 1949 "to explore key issues in the theater and to bring together critics and writers in an organization to support the ongoing development of theater in New York," according to press notes. The organization began presenting its awards in 1955, and it is the only critics organization to honor achievement in the theatre with competition among Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions in the same categories.

And the winners are ...

Outstanding Play
David Henry Hwang, Chinglish
Dan LeFranc, The Big Meal
Members of the Plastic Theatre, Unnatural ActsItamar Moses, Completeness
Lynn Nottage, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
*Nina Raine, Tribes
Nicky Silver, The Lyons

Outstanding Musical
Bonnie & Clyde
Death Takes a Holiday
Leap of Faith
Newsies The Musical
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Queen of the Mist

Outstanding Revival of a Play
A Little Journey
*Death of a Salesman
Edward Albee's The Lady from Dubuque
Gore Vidal's The Best Man
Lost in Yonkers
Richard III

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Jesus Christ Superstar
The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
The Threepenny Opera

Outstanding Actor in a Play
*James Corden, One Man, Two Guvnors
Hugh Dancy, Venus in Fur
Claybourne Elder, One Arm
Santino Fontana, Sons of the Prophet
Joseph Franchini, The Navigator
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Death of a Salesman
Kevin Spacey, Richard III

Outstanding Actress in a Play
*Tracie Bennett, End of the Rainbow
Sanaa Lathan, By the Way, Meet Vera StarkLinda Lavin, The Lyons
Jennifer Lim, Chinglish
Kim Martin-Cotten, A Moon for the Misbegotten
Carey Mulligan, Through a Glass Darkly
Joely Richardson, Side Effects

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
*Danny Burstein, Follies
Kevin Earley, Death Takes a Holiday
Raul Esparza, Leap of Faith
Jeremy Jordan, Newsies The Musical
Norm Lewis, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Ricky Martin, Evita

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Miche Braden, The Devil's Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith
Jan Maxwell, Follies
*Audra McDonald, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Kelli O'Hara, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Bernadette Peters, Follies
Molly Ranson, Carrie

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Bill Camp, Death of a Salesman
Jim Dale, The Road to Mecca
*Tom Edden, One Man, Two Guvnors
Bill Irwin, King Lear
Jefferson Mays, Blood and Gifts
Will Rogers, Unnatural Acts
Morgan Spector, Russian Transport

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Stephanie J. Block, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
Anna Camp, All New People
Kimberly Hebert Gregory, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
Lisa Joyce, The Ugly One
Joaquina Kalukango, Hurt Village
Angela Lansbury, Gore Vidal's The Best Man
*Judith Light, Other Desert Cities

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Phillip Boykin, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Matt Cavenaugh, Death Takes a Holiday
Michael Cerveris, Evita
*Michael McGrath, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Patrick Page, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
Andrew Samonsky, Queen of the Mist

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
*Judy Kaye, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Marin Mazzie, Carrie
Jessie Mueller, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
Elaine Paige, Follies
Sarah Sokolovic, The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World
Melissa van der Schyff, Bonnie & Clyde

Outstanding Director of a Play
Jo Bonney, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
David Cromer, Tribes
Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, These Seven Sicknesses
Sam Mendes, Richard III
*Mike Nichols, Death of a Salesman
Tony Speciale, Unnatural Acts

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Christopher Ashley, Leap of Faith
Jack Cummings III, Queen of the Mist
Doug Hughes, Death Takes a Holiday
Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Eric Schaeffer, Follies
*John Tiffany, Once

Outstanding Choreography
Rob Ashford, Evita
Warren Carlyle, Follies
Breandan de Gallal, Noctu
*Christopher Gattelli, Newsies The Musical
Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Sergio Trujillo, Leap of Faith

Outstanding Music
Glen Hansard and Marketa lrglova, Once
Michael John LaChiusa, Queen of the Mist
Alan Menken, Leap of Faith
*Alan Menken, Newsies The Musical
Frank Wildhorn, Bonnie & Clyde
Maury Yeston, Death Takes a Holiday

Outstanding Lyrics
Don Black, Bonnie & Clyde
Jack Feldman, Newsies The Musical
Joy Gregory and Gunnar Madsen, The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World
*Glen Hansard and Marketa lrglova, Once
Michael John LaChiusa, Queen of the Mist
Maury Yeston, Death Takes a Holiday

Outstanding Book of a Musical
Douglas Carter Beane, Lysistrata Jones
Janus Cercone and Warren Leight, Leap of Faith
*Joe DiPietro, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Joy Gregory, The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World
Michael John LaChiusa, Queen of the Mist
Thomas Meehan and Peter Stone, Death Takes a Holiday

Outstanding Music in a Play
Mark Bennett, An Iliad
Mark Bennett, Richard III
Tom Kitt, All's Well That Ends Well
Gina Leishman, Septimus and Clarissa
*Grant Olding, One Man, Two Guvnors
Suzanne Vega and Duncan Sheik, Carson McCullers Talks About Love

Outstanding Revue
Newsical the Musical: End of the World Edition
*The Best Is Yet to Come: The Music of Cy Coleman

Outstanding Set Design
*Jon Driscoll, Rob Howell and Paul Kieve, Ghost The Musical
David Gallo, The Mountaintop
Roger Hanna, A Little Journey
David Korins, Assistance
David Korins, Chinglish
Derek McLane, Follies

Outstanding Costume Design
*Gregg Barnes, Follies
ESosa, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
William Ivey Long, Lucky Guy
Jessica Pabst, She Kills Monsters
Martin Pakledinaz, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Catherine Zuber, Death Takes a Holiday

Outstanding Lighting Design
Kevin Adams, Carrie
Neil Austin, Evita
David Lander, One Arm
*Brian MacDevitt, Death of a Salesman
Kenneth Posner, Death Takes a Holiday
Paul Pyant, Richard III

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical
*Acme Sound Partners, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Jonathan Deans, Carrie
Clive Goodwin, Once
Kai Harada, Follies
Steve Canyon Kennedy, Jesus Christ Superstar
Jon Weston, Death Takes a Holiday

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
Quentin Chiappetta/mediaNoise, The Navigator
Gregory Clarke, Misterman
Gareth Fry, Richard III
*John Gromada, Gore Vidal's The Best Man
Stowe Nelson, Samuel and Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War
Shane Rettig, She Kills Monsters

Outstanding Solo Performance
Baba Brinkman, The Rap Guide to Evolution
Suli Holum, Chimera
Jeff Key, The Eyes of Babylon
*Cillian Murphy, Misterman
Denis O'Hare, An Iliad
Stephen Spinella, An Iliad

Outstanding Orchestrations:

Bill Elliott, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Larry Hochman, Death Takes a Holiday
*Martin Lowe, Once
John McDaniel, Bonnie & Clyde
Michael Starobin, Queen of the Mist
Danny Troob, Newsies

Unique Theatrical Experience
Give Me Your Hand
*Gob Squad's Kitchen (You've Never Had It So Good)
The Complete & Condensed Stage Directions of Eugene O'Neill, Vol. 1: Early Plays/Lost Plays
The Ryan Case 1873

The following awards were voted by the nominating committee and were also presented by the Drama Desk at its awards ceremony:

Outstanding Ensemble Performance
This year the nominators chose to bestow a special ensemble award for acting to the cast of Sweet and Sad. Jon DeVries, Shuler Hensley, Maryann Plunkett, Laila Robins, Jay O. Sanders, and J. Smith-Cameron are "among New York's best actors, who came together as one unforgettable stage family. Therefore, the individual cast members were not eligible for acting awards in the competitive categories."

Special Awards
Each year, the Drama Desk votes special awards to recognize excellence and significant contributions to the theater. For 2011-12, these awards were:

To Mary Testa: For over three decades, she has dazzled audiences with consistently outstanding work, including her tour-de-force performance in this season's Queen of the Mist.
To Nick Westrate: His versatility in Unnatural Acts, Love's Labor's Lost, and Galileo was a highlight of the season.
To New Victory Theatre: For providing enchanting, sophisticated children's theater that appeals to the child in all of us, and for nurturing a love of theater in young people.
To Stephen Karam, the newly created Sam Norkin Off Broadway Award: The profoundly moving Sons of the Prophet confirmed his status as one of the most promising playwrights of his generation.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Tony Presenters Announced

Every year around this time, buzz surrounding who will hand out that year's Tony Awards begins to bubble up. Some of this year's names have been released and include some of the biggest names in theater. Interestingly, however, some Hollywood names have come up, as well.  On the list for 2012 are: Amanda Seyfried, who stars in the upcoming film adaptation of Les Miserables, Paul Rudd, Cheryl Crow (who is composing the score for the upcoming Broadway adaptation of the film Diner), and Nick Jonas, who recently closed out the Tony-winning Broadway revival of H2$. Other presenters include Tyler Perry, Jessica Chastain (who will star in the upcoming revival of The Heiress), Jim Parsons (star of the current revival of Harvey), five-time Tony-winner Angela Lansbury (currently appearing in Gore Vidal's The Best Man), 2011 featured actress Tony-winner Ellen barkin, Bernadette Peters, Candice Bergen, Christopher Plummer, James Marsden, Mandy Patinkin, and the composers of The Book of Mormon -- Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The awards ceremony will be held at the Beacon Theatre on June 10th and will be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.  Additional presenters will be announced throughout the week.

Friday, June 1, 2012

3rd Tony Predictions

With the Tony Awards a week away, I wanted to update my predictions again.  I have seen more of the shows since my last predictions (I saw Once last night and it's fantastic) and I will post one last set next week right before the awards and will include predictions about who will win, who should win, and a black sheep in each category.  In the mean time, here are my third predictions as to who will go home victorious on June 10th.

Best Play
Clybourne Park

Best Musical

Book of a Musical


Revival of a Play
Death of A Salesman

Revival of a Musical
Porgy & Bess

Actor in a Play
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Death of a Salesman

Actress in a Play
Nina Arianda, Venus in Fur

Actor in a Musical
Steve Kazee, Once

Actress in a Musical
Audra McDonald, Porgy & Bess

Featured Actor in a Play
Christian Borle, Peter and the Starcatcher

Featured Actress in a Play
Linda Emond, Death of a Salesman

Featured Actor in a Musical
Philip Boykin, Porgy & Bess

Featured Actress in a Musical
Judy Kaye, Nice Work if You Can Get It

Director of a Play
Mike Nichols, Death of a Salesman

Director of a Musical
Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, Peter and the Starcatcher

Christopher Gattelli, Newsies


Scenic Design of a Play
Peter and the Starcatcher

Scenic Design of a Musical

Costume Design of a Play
Peter and the Starcatcher

Costume Design of a Musical
Porgy & Bess

Lighting Design of a Play
Peter and the Starcatcher

Lighting Design of a Musical

Sound Design of a Play
End of the Rainbow

Sound Design of a Musical

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Broadway Casting Updates

There are a few casting updates that have come out in the past day or two upon which I wanted to give you all a quick updates.  First of all, Denis O'Hare has been announced as the Baker in Shakespeare in the Park's production of Into the Woods.  O'Hare is a Tony winner for his supporting turn in Take Me Out back in 2003, and has appeared in the TV series True Blood for a number of years.

A Broadway revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, possibly Tennessee Williams' greatest play, is in the works.  Tony winner Scarlett Johansson has already been announced to be in talks for the role of Maggie the Cat, a role made famous by two-time Oscar winner Elizabeth Taylor.  Today, it was announced that film star Chris Pine is in talks to star as Maggie's husband Brick -- the role played by Oscar winner Paul Newman in the film version of the play.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

James Earl Jones: The Leading Legend

The New York Times has written a great profile of James Earl Jones, a Best Actor Tony nominee (for the fourth time in his career) this year for his leading performance in Gore Vidal's The Best Man.  Check out the article at the link below to read it!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Truth and Fiction Behind 'Evita' has posted an article about the truth and fiction in the musical Evita. Michael Luongo, who wrote the artice, looked at three questions: What is the Casa Rosada? Who really was Augustín Magaldi? And what ever happened to Eva's body? I have posted a link to Luongo's article below, but will give you brief answers to the above questions here. The Casa Rosada is Argentina's Presidential Palace, but the Argentine president does not live there.  Augustín Magaldi was a tango singer in Argentina who probably never knew Evita.  And, as for Evita's body? It was moved or raided so many times in a story so fantastic that it deserves to me made into a megamusical. Oh wait.  It was.

Monday, May 28, 2012

How the Tony Awards Don't Mean Squat

As anyone who watches Glee can tell you (or, in the case of his teenage fans, scream at you) actor Telly Leung is a fantastic performer. But what most people don't know about him is that he is a great human being. He recently sent me this article about 8 awesome people who have never won a Tony Award, reminding us about how much politicking there is to who gets nominated and who wins ... and about how little it all means.  One example to whet your appetites?  Barbara Streisand.  Wanna read more? Please check out the link below.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Katie Finneran Joins Cast of 'Annie'

Two time Tony-winner Katie Finneran, who won for her supporting roles in the play Noises Off and the musical Promises, Promises, will be joining the cast of the upcoming Broadway revival of Annie. In the revival, she will be recreating another Tony winning role -- that of the orphanage matron Miss Hannigan -- originally created by Dorothy Loudon in the 1977 original. According to, "The news leaked late in the week, and producers finally went public, reluctantly revealing their ace casting on the Friday before a holiday weekend." Finneran said in a statement, "Miss Hannigan is one of the great musical comedy roles and I cannot wait to play her, in all of her deliciously evil glory. I played Hannigan in my parents' living room when I was eight years old and the chance to play her in this new Broadway production is a dream come true."

Friday, May 25, 2012

'Prince of Broadway' Revamped From Soup to Nuts

In yet another development in the life of the upcoming Broadway-bound musical Prince of Broadway, a retrospective of the life of producer and director Harold Prince, the show has both a new set of producers and a new set of dates. After losing its original producers recently, a new crop of producers has taken the reigns, including Steven Baruch, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, and Thomas Viertel. Also, though the show was originally announced for a fall 2012 opening, the show is now expected to receive a fall 2013 Broadway berth. The show will be directed by 21-time Tony-winner Harold Prince, co-directed by five-time Tony-winner Susan Stroman, and will feature a book by Tony-nominee David Thompson.

"We are honored, thrilled and excited to be producing Prince of Broadway," said Steven Baruch on behalf of the producing team. "Hal Prince has the most important legacy in the American theatre and he continues to create great work for the stage. Hal and his creative team have completed an extraordinary new musical, which we want to give the best possible Broadway production."

Baruch added, "After reviewing everything ranging from the schedules of the creative team, theatre availability, advance group sales needs, among many other elements, we have determined that the optimum time for the show to open on Broadway would be the Fall of 2013."

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tony Performances Announced

The performances that will appear on this year's Tony telecast have officially been announced by  Notable among these performances is the appearance of Godspell on the list. Traditionally, only the shows nominated for best musical and best revival of a musical are permitted performances on the telecast. Since Godspell did not make the cut, having been entirely shut out (receiving zero nominations), it is quite unusual for it to have been granted a spot on the show.

In addition to selections from the Tony-nominated new musicals, including the uplifting Disney musical Newsies, the critically hailed screen-to-stage adaptation of Once and the new Gershwin musical comedy Nice Work If You Can Get It, the 66th Annual Tony Awards will feature performances from a host of this season's musical revivals. has learned that two-time Tony winner Bernadette Peters, the recipient of the 2012 Isabelle Stevenson Award who created the role of Sally in the Kennedy Center and subsequent Broadway production of Follies, will introduce the segment spotlighting that Tony-nominated Stephen Sondheim-James Goldman musical.Danny Burstein, a Tony nominee for his performance as Buddy Plummer, will perform Sondheim's "The God-Why-Don't-You-Love-Me Blues."

A medley of songs from the Tony-nominated revival of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, featuring 2012 Tony nominees Audra McDonald andNorm Lewis, will be performed. Four-time Tony winner McDonald will kick off the sequence with the classic Gershwin ballad "Summertime," followed by Lewis' rendition of "I Got Plenty of Nothing," the Kittiwah dance sequence, Tony nominee David Alan Grier's "It Ain't Necessarily So" and the McDonald-Lewis duet "I Loves You Porgy."

The Tony-nominated revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Evitawill offer the rousing Act Two number "And The Money Kept Rolling In," which features Grammy winner Ricky Martin and the musical's ensemble as well as leading lady Elena Roger.
Audiences can also expect performances from Tony nominee Josh Young and the cast of the Tony-nominated revival of Jesus Christ Superstar as well as the acclaimed revival of the Stephen Schwartz musical Godspell.
The Tony Awards, celebrating excellence in Broadway theatre in the 2011-12 season, will be broadcast in a live three-hour ceremony from the Beacon Theatre on the CBS television network June 10.