Media Morsels 5.7.10

  • Award Show Season Update
    The big news of the week was the announcement of the Tony nominations. (Check out my reactions here and read the NY Times’ analysis, as well.) Playbill.com, Broadway.com and Broadwayworld.com all caught up with many of the nominees to gauge their reactions. Best Director of a Musical nominee Christopher Ashley (Memphis) summed it up best when he said, “These musicals take so long to get to opening night. You go on these multiyear journeys, so actually having a group of people say, ‘We think you did a good job,’ is just tremendously meaningful.”

    As with the film award show season, the Tonys aren’t the only gig in town.
    • On Monday, the Drama Desk Awards were announced. (The Drama Desk is made up of theatre critics, et al and the awards honor excellence in all theatre: Broadway, off, off-off and not for profit.) The pre-maturely shuttered revival of Ragtime and the smash off-Broadway Kander and Ebb musical The Scottsboro Boys led the pack with nine nominations each. Here are some highlighted nominees. (Visit Playbill.com for the full list of nominees.)
      • Outstanding Ensemble: Circle Mirror Transformation (this is a non-competitive category but it also means that individual performers cannot be nominated in the competitive categories)
      • Outstanding Play: Circle Mirror Transformation; Next Fall; Clybourne Park
      • Outstanding Musical: American Idiot; Everyday Rapture; Memphis
      • Outstanding Musical Revival: Finian’s Rainbow; Ragtime
      • Outstanding Actress in a Play: Anne Hathaway, Twelfth Night (this was the Shakespeare in the Park production); Laura Linney, Time Stands Still (which is coming back to Broadway – see below!)
      • Outstanding Actor in a Musical: Cheyenne Jackson, Finian’s Rainbow (Big omissions: John Gallagher, Jr., American Idiot and Ben Walker, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson were both left out to make room for Nathan Lane who plays Nathan Lane in The Addams Family. Unacceptable. Sahr Ngaujah was also left out, as was most of Fela! because it was considered last year in its off-Broadway run.)
      • Outstanding Actress in a Musical: Kate Baldwin, Finian’s Rainbow; Montego Glover, Memphis; Sherie Rene Scott, Everyday Rapture
      • Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical: Christopher Fitzgerald, Finian’s Rainbow; Jeremy Morse, Bloodsong of Love
      • Outstanding Direction of a Play: Sam Gold, Circle Mirror Transformation
      • Outstanding Direction of a Musical: Warren Carlyle, Finian’s Rainbow; Michael Mayer, American Idiot
      • Outstanding Choreography: Sergio Trujillo, Memphis (Big omission: Steven Hoggett for American Idiot)
      • Outstanding Music: David Bryan, Memphis; Michael Friedman, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson; Joe Iconis, Bloodsong of Love
      • Outstanding Book of a Musical: Joe DiPietro, Memphis; Joe Iconis, Bloodsong of Love; Dick Scanlan + Sherie Rene Scott, Everyday Rapture; Alex Timbers, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
      • Outstanding Orchestrations: Tom Kitt, American Idiot; Tom Kitt, Everyday Rapture (the dude gets around!)
      • Outstanding Music in a Play: Philip Glass, The Bacchae; Hem, Twelfth Night (both were Shakespeare in the Park productions)
      • Outstanding Solo Performance: Anna Deavere Smith, Let Me Down Easy

    • The Lucille Lortel Awards were handed out on Sunday night. Visit Playbill.com for the full list of winners. None of my favorites were winners; however, I didn’t see many of the nominees so it’s unfair for me to judge the worthiness of the winners.

    • Though the Tony committee egregiously left them out, both Steven Hoggett (American Idiot) and Sergio Trujillo (Memphis) were nominated for Astaire Awards for Best Choreographers, along with Bill T. Jones (Fela!), Twyla Tharp (Come Fly Away) and Marcia Milgrom Dodge (Ragtime.) Congratulations to all.

    • You can get in on choosing the winners, too. Both Broadway.com and Broadwayworld.com are now accepting fan votes for their annual awards.

    • Last week I mentioned that Ricky Gervais booked the gig as host of the 2011 Golden Globes. EW reported this week that funnyman Jimmy Fallon will host this year’s Emmys, which will be a little earlier than normal, August 29. (They’re usually in September, after Labor Day.)

  • How We Gonna [Cast] Rent?
    Additional casting for the three-night stand of Rent at LA’s Hollywood Bowl was announced. Joining Vanessa Hudgens (as Mimi) will be the phenomenally talented Aaron Tveit, as Roger. Spring Awakening alum Skylar Astin will star as Mark and Rent the movie alum Tracy Thoms will reprise her movie role of Joanne. Neil Patrick Harris will be directing this bunch, which is still missing its Maureen. Stay tuned for updates.

  • Help a Show Find a Home
    Now, at the end of yet another Broadway season, there are hardly any theatres available to shows trying to find a home in the 2010-2011 season. (This could change quickly, of course, after the Tonys. Often times, shows whose ticket sales are only so-so will hold out for the Tony awards, hoping to win something and get a boost at the box office. If the show doesn’t win a Tony, pink slips start being handed out. See the next item for a trendsetter.) This is good because it means that the shows currently on the boards are doing well enough to sustain a run; it’s bad because it means great off-Broadway shows, like Circle Mirror Transformation, and other new shows can’t be seen on the Great White Way. The NY Times recently delved into the Broadway real estate market to find out what’s involved in finding the right home for a show.

  • Award Season Casualties
    Usually, shows wait until after they lose the Tony awards to post their closing notice. Enron producers didn’t feel like waiting. After dismal box office receipts, mixed reviews and no Tony nomination for Best New Play (although it did nab four nominations – just not the biggie) the new play will shutter this Sunday, May 9. When this production closes, it will have played 22 previews and 16 regular performances. Folks with tickets should go to the point of purchase for a refund, as I did. (I guess the upside to this is that now Norbert Leo Butz is available to do Catch Me if You Can when it, according to previous reports, comes to Broadway next spring.)

  • Glee Scoop
    We’re three weeks in to the second half of the first season and they’ve just announced the track listing for “Glee: The Music Volume 3.” The album, to be released on May 18, will feature, among other tunes, “Give Up the Funk,” “Physical” (the Olivia Newton John classic,) “One” (as in U2’s “One,” not the finale from A Chorus Line) and Beck’s “Loser.” Read all the details of the release on Playbill.com.

  • To 3D or not to 3D?
    Venerable film critic Roger Ebert recently wrote in Newsweek about why he hates 3D movies. He makes a compelling argument and he’s someone who knows his Casablanca from his Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Until November, my experience with 3D was pretty much limited to that Michael Jackson thing at Epcot. You know, the “experience” in which the owl popped out at you. Anyone? Well, apparently that kind of 3D is pretty much old news. In November, I saw U2 in 3D IMAX at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The third dimension really did add something to the experience. Every thing in the film had dimension – I felt like I could reach out and wrap my arm around Bono. But, like Ebert, I feel that not everything on film needs the 3D treatment. It worked for the rock concert that was U2 in 3D, but I can’t imagine it adding anything – indubitably it would take something away – to, say a movie about rock, like Almost Famous, or even this year’s Best Picture winner, The Hurt Locker. Read Ebert’s article for a more complete and articulate argument against the unwarranted prevalence of 3D.

  • Closing Off SCOTUS
    Starting this past Tuesday, visitors to the Supreme Court of the United States are no longer able to enter through the front door. Instead, visitors will enter through ground-level side doors. This was done, the Court said, to allow for better security. Many people, including current Justices, bemoaned this new practice, noting that folks will no longer climb those giant marble steps and walk under the inscription “Equal justice under the law” as they enter the building. Read more about this in the NY Times.

  • More Time
    The acclaimed Broadway production of Time Stands Still, the new Donald Margulies play that starred Laura Linney and Brian d’Arcy James, will come back to Broadway this fall. Linney, d’Arcy James and Eric Bogosian will reprise their roles; original cast member Alicia Silverstone will not rejoin the production, due to previous commitments. I’m excited about this because I thought this was a great play with expert performances from all. I’ll look forward to seeing who is cast in Silverstone’s role; she did a very good job of turning what could have been a shallow and stereotypical character into a full, round human being. (This also means that d’Arcy James won’t be Normal for very long. Two weeks ago I mentioned that he would rejoin the Goodman family, as he takes over the role of Dan Goodman in Next to Normal. Looks like he’ll be there for the summer, about May through September, and then head back to Time. I hope to catch him in Next to Normal over the summer – I’ll let you know if I do!)

  • Matt Taibbi Does it Again
    The brilliant Matt Taibbi has a new piece in the current issue of Rolling Stone. (It’s a great issue, by the way: The Taibbi piece, an article about American Idiot on Broadway, including a great photo of Billie Joe, Mike and Tre literally on the marquee and a profile of cover boy Robert Downey, Jr., which includes some sexy photos of the always terrific actor.) In "The Feds vs. Goldman," Taibbi talks about the recent SEC charges against Goldman Sachs and offers, for those readers, like me, who still can’t comprehend what a collateralized default loan swap thingamajig is, a Cliff’s Notes version of the financial scandal. I urge you to read it. And you can stay up to date on Taibbi’s honest journalism by following him on his blog, trueslant.com/matttaibbi.

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