Media Morsels 5.28.10

  • Award Season Update
    • Tony Award Show Promises a Good Host
      It was announced early this week that Tony nominee Sean Hayes will host the Tony Awards, set to take place on Sunday, June 13. This isn’t the first instance of a nominee hosting the ceremony, as Hugh Jackman hosted the year he won for The Boy From Oz. My best guess, though, is that Hayes will not pull a Jackman and win the year he hosts: Among the nominees, I’m pulling for either Sahr Ngaujah (Fela!) or Chad Kimball (Memphis).

    • In other Tony news, the first slate of presenters was announced this week. On hand to present Tony awards on June 13 will be, among others, Cate Blanchett, Michael Douglas, Lea Michele, Helen Mirren, Matthew Morrison, Chris Noth and Denzel Washington. (In case you’re wondering how some of these folks are connected to theatre: Cate Blanchett starred in a critically acclaimed mini-tour A Streetcar Named Desire; Chris Noth is no stranger to the stage: I saw him in Farragut North (opposite one John Gallagher, Jr.,) at the Atlantic in 2008; and Mrs. Michael Douglas (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is currently making her Broadway debut (and nabbed a Tony nom for it) in A Little Night Music.)

    • I’ve mentioned in previous Tony-themed posts that I would like to see an ensemble award added to the fray. Playbill.com recently ran an article exploring just that, offering pros and cons from industry folk.

    • Late this week, word was leaked that the opening number for the Tony broadcast would be a medley of pop songs currently in Broadway shows. This would include songs from American Idiot (Green Day,) Million Dollar Quartet (Elvis, Johnny Cast, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis) and Come Fly Away (Sinatra.) I don’t think this will be in lieu of full on and solo performances from each of the nominated musicals, but it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser and, at least, will get some viewers to tune in.

    • Drama Desk Awards
      The Drama Desk, which is comprised of theatre writers, handed out their awards this past weekend, honoring excellence in theatre, both Broadway and off. Highlighted winners include Michael Mayer, Outstanding Director of a Musical, American Idiot; Alex Timbers, Outstanding Book of a Musical, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson; Viola Davis, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play, Fences; Christopher Fitzgerald, Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical, Finian’s Rainbow; and a tie between Montego Glover, Memphis, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, A Little Night Music, Outstanding Actress in a Musical. Visit Playbill.com for a full list of winners. And check out Broadwayworld.com’s photo coverage of the arrivals, parts one and two.

    • Broadway.com Audience Awards
      Broadway.com voters, I’m disappointed in you. Yes, you voted for Johnny Gallagher as Favorite Leading Actor in a Musical and the Idiots as your Favorite Ensemble, but The Addams Family as your Favorite new musical? Fickle folks, you are. You’re slightly forgiven for your foolhardy votes by virtue of Johnny and American Idiot’s wins, along with voting for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson as Favorite New off-Broadway Musical; Brian d’Arcy James as Favorite Featured Actor in a Play; and Kyle Dean Massey as Favorite Replacement, but still – four awards each for The Addams Family and Promises, Promises? I hope you’ll redeem yourselves in Broadwayworld.com’s awards (for which voting is still open!)

    • Mark Twain Prize for American Humor
      Tina Fey will receive this prestigious award in November. The ceremony will be taped, and broadcast on a date still to be announced, though my guess, based on airings in years past, is it’ll air in late December. Like Twain, Fey is a whip-smart satirist, shining a light on the funny little truths about our society. Last year’s award was posthumously presented to the late, great George Carlin. In response to the announcement, Fey quipped, “I am truly thrilled to receive this honor. I assume Betty White was disqualified for steroid use.”

  • American Idiot in the Media
    Whatsername – that is, Rebecca Naomi Jones – recently invited Broadway.com into her dressing room to share some of the touches that make the St James her home. Take a peek at her mementos, including notes from director Michael Mayer and a bag full of sartorial options for any occasion! In addition, check out the June issue of Vogue for photos of the casts of American Idiot and Fela!, Benjamin Walker in full-on Bloody Bloody gear and Matthew Morrison out at sea.

  • Matthew Warchus-Directed Revival Gets a Home
    Last week I mentioned that the upcoming revival of La Bete, which is to be helmed by the brilliant Matthew Warchus and will star the equally gifted Mark Rylance (Tony winners both) set an opening date. This week, their home was revealed: La Bete will play at the Music Box Theatre, which will be available following Lend Me a Tenor’s August 15 closing. (Fun side note: The Music Box is where Aaron Sorkin’s plays, A Few Good Men and The Farnsworth Invention, both played. While I never saw A Few Good Men on stage, I did see The Farnsworth Invention on its first Saturday night preview. Also in the audience with me? Bono.)

  • Glee Scoop
    • Good news, fellow Gleeks: Glee has been renewed for a third season – before the first season even finishes airing! No details on the details yet – which is fine, really – we’re still watching the first season, but I’ll be sure to bring you any and all dish as it’s served up.

    • Also, Glee dreamboat Matthew Morrison recently stopped by the Subway Series to sing the National Anthem for Saturday night’s Yankees-Mets game. I love a guy who loves baseball, I just wish Morrison were wearing pinstripes instead of blue and orange. (Viewers with sensitive stomachs, be warned: This amateur video is very shaky (and doesn’t include a close up of Matthew) so it’s best to close your eyes and listen to the smooth stylings of Matthew Morrison.)

    • While browsing the iTunes stores this week, I noticed that yet another Glee soundtrack is coming out. This one looks like it’ll be the “regionals” songs and will be released on June 8, to coincide with the season finale. In addition, the complete first season – i.e., The Road to Sectionals and The Road to Regionals – will be released on DVD this September. Gleeks who bought the “The Road to Sectionals” DVD set can send away for a $10 rebate after purchasing the full season. Details to follow.

  • Stage Actors’ Day Job
    Currently, if you look at a stage actor’s bio, chances are there will be a credit for one, two or all of the Law & Order series. I once read an anomaly of a bio that specifically and proudly stated, “Never appeared on Law & Order.” With the recent cancellation of Law & Order, is there a New York-based show to fill the void? Absolutely. The New York Times recently noted that the new go-to TV show for theatre actors is fast becoming the excellent The Good Wife (which, incidentally, is set in Chicago,) as well as 30 Rock. I would add that other shows filmed in New York that employ stage actors include Bored to Death, Royal Pains and White Collar. I love watching these shows and spotting all the theatre folks popping up in each episode. It’s a fun little theatre-themed version of Where’s Waldo!

  • Sex and the City 2 Premiere
    Sex and the City 2 opens this week and the New York premiere was held on Monday night. Braodwayworld.com has full photo coverage of the red carpet (which was actually blue,) including photos of a glowing Sarah Jessica Parker (literally – she was wearing neon green,) Newark mayor Cory Booker (naturally…) and Liza with a Z.

  • Hair: People Who Care About Social Injustice
    The cast and creative team of the revival of Hair is no stranger to taking up a cause. (In October, the producers canceled a performance so that the cast, crew and other creatives could participate in the Marriage Equality Rally in DC.) Now, they’re selling some green merch: Instead of dumping the vinyl used for their Times Square billboard, they’ve repurposed the material into 260 tote bags that are now on sale at the Al Hirschfeld theatre. Visit Playbill.com for more details and a photo of the tote bags.

    In other Hair-cut news, the London production of Hair will close on September 4, when the OBC’s contracts are up. The production was originally booking through January 2011, but sales have (according to rumors) been sluggish. Hair continues to play here in NY at the Al Hirschfeld, but maybe not for long: Looking at the weekly Broadway grosses, Hair is dead last in capacity. Generally, the two biggest indicators of a show’s health are its gross and the percent of seats it fills. Hair is last in the latter category. It’s not quite last in gross, but the show is only selling about 55% of its seats each week. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a closing notice after the summer.

  • Bringing Normal to a Theatre Near You
    Alice Ripley and Brian d’Arcy James will play their final performance of Next to Normal on Broadway on Sunday, July 18. Ripley will head the touring company, which kicks off in LA on November 23. As previously mentioned here, d’Arcy James will rejoin his Times Stands Still clan in the fall. Replacements for Ripley and d’Arcy James, who play the parents, Diana and Dan Goodman in this Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning show, have not yet been announced. I may or may not go to see their final performance, but I definitely plan to see it at least once before they leave, since I want to see d’Arcy James back in the role he created off-Broadway at Second Stage. Visit nexttonormal.com for details about the tour.

  • Musicals on TV
    In other Next to Normal news, the current cast was on Good Morning America on Thursday. On air, Alice Ripley, Brian d’Arcy James and Kyle Dean Massey performed an abridged version of the excellent “You Don’t Know” and “I am the One.” The talented actors also taped a bonus performance of “I’ve Been” for exclusive online viewing, which Broadway.com has on their site. The cast of Memphis was also up early on Thursday, performing on the Today show. Broadwayworld.com has that clip.

  • Damn Yankees Preview with Jake Gyllenhaal?
    As I’ve previously mentioned in Media Morsels, a new movie adaptation of Damn Yankees is somewhere on the horizon and the versatile (and ridiculously handsome) Jake Gyllenhaal is rumored to have snagged the role of young Joe. On Wednesday night’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Jake and Jimmy treated audiences to an original song, giving us a preview(ish) of what we might expect from young Jake as young Joe. Check it out on nbc.com.

  • Welcome to New York, Super Bowl XLVIII!
    I figure that the impending arrival of Lombardi on Broadway gives me clearance to talk about football. So, start spreading the news: Super Bowl XLVIII (that’s 48, and it’ll happen in 2014) is coming to New York! Well, technically it’s coming to New Jersey, the Meadowlands to be exact, where two of New York’s NFL teams, the Giants(!) and the Jets play. Of course, if either team makes it to the Super Bowl that year, the game will be played at an alternate site so that neither team can boast home-felid advantage. New York, are you ready for some football?

  • Creepy, Kooky Nails
    Bebe Neuwirth has teamed up with Essie Cosmetics to develop a limited edition line of Morticia-inspired nail polish, which is being sold as a benefit for the Actor’s Fund. Ms. Neuwirth had a hand in creating the colors and named them Midnight Tango (a deep blue – not unlike the color currently on my finger nails,) Bone Chilling White and Blood Curdling Red. You can pre-order your polish now at theaddamsfamilymusical.com or stop by the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, starting on July 19, to pick up “Morticia’s Nails.”

  • A Little [More] Night Music?
    While it was previously announced (and reported here) that the current revival of A Little Night Music would close on June 20, when stars Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury’s contracts run out, rumors surfaced this week that it may, in fact, continue with two Broadway legends: Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch. In reporting on the rumor, Playbill.com mused that “their pairing should ignite the box office,” but I disagree. Peters and Stritch aren’t Catherine Zeta-Jones famous, and her presence has been what was driving sales. To wit: The weeks that CZJ was on planned (and publicized) vacation, sales slumped considerably. It’s possible that Peters and Stritch may be enough of a draw to sustain the musical through the summer tourist season, but I doubt they can carry the show through the lean fall months and into the holiday season. I’ll keep you posted!

  • 2010-2011 City Ballet Season Announced
    While the New York City Ballet 2010 Spring Season is still in full swing, subscription renewals were sent out this week, thereby announcing the next season. The company is changing their seasons so that there are now three seasons each year: A fall, September/October season; a winter, January/February season; and a spring/summer, May/June season. (Until now, there were only two seasons: winter and spring, leaving a five month hiatus between the end of the spring season and The Nutcracker, which unofficially kicks on the winter season.) This upcoming season is full of great, classic pieces – like The Four Seasons, my favorite ballet – as well as several world premiere ballets – including one of Benjamin Millepied – and lots of pieces from new and emerging choreographers – like Christopher Wheeldon. There’s so much I want to see; I’ve mapped it all out on a huge, floor-spanning calendar, and can look forward to ballets in all four months of the newly extended season. Single tickets are not available yet, but if you’re a subscriber you can renew now!

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