Media Morsels 6.8.12

Tony Time!

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. The Tony Awards will be presented this Sunday night! Let us commence with the preparations:

Barack on Broadway

It's not just me and Neil Patrick Harris who like Broadway. POTUS does, too. President Barack Obama appeared at a fundraiser in his honor held this week at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre. He was introduced by President Bill Clinton, and several notable theatre veterans, including Patti LuPone and Audra McDonald, performed for the our Commander in Chief. Read his and President Clinton's full remarks on Playbill.

Django Unchained

Okay, you know the first trailer for a new Leonardo DiCaprio film, from the wonderfully wacky and creative mind of Quentin Tarantino, could only be bumped by the Tonys and the president. There's more theatre (and TV and movies and music) happenings below, but here, enjoy the first trailer for Django Unchained:

Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom

While this Sunday night we'll all be watching the Tony Awards, surely two Sundays later, on June 24th, we'll all be watching the series premiere of The Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin's new show, which will air on HBO. The Newsroom takes us behind-the-scenes at a fictional cable news station, with smart, articulate, competent and passionate people making a go of it every day. Sorkin recently talked with The New York Times about the series and his other projects: full article from the weekend Arts and Leisure section; part one of an interview; part two of an interview. Stay tuned as we ramp up to the premiere of what I'm already predicting will be my favorite show!

Drama Desk Awards

While we have to wait a couple more days to find out who takes home Tony gold, this past Sunday the Drama Desk Award winners were announced. Winners were chosen from amongst Broadway, off- and off-off-Broadway productions. Once, Death of a Salesman, The Best Man and many more were honored. has the full list of winners and lots of photos: red carpet arrivals part one; red carpet arrivals part two; and winners.

In other award news, the winners of the Awards were announced this week. Fans voted for Starcatcher in several categories, including Best Play, Best Featured Actor (Christian Borle), Best Featured Actress (Celia Keenan-Bolger) and Best Director (Roger Rees and Alex Timbers). Good choices, fellow fans!

ITBA Awards

The Independent Theater Bloggers Association (ITBA), of which I'm a proud member, announced its winners of the 2011-2012 Patrick Lee Theater Blogger Awards. My fellow ITBA members and I showered love upon Peter and the Starcatcher, awarding it Outstanding Ensemble Performance, Outstanding New Broadway Play and a Citation for Excellence by an Individual Performer for Christian Borle. We also chose Death of a Salesman as Outstanding Broadway Play Revival and Now. Here. This. as Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical. Visit my Tumblr for the full list of winners.

(Unrelated to the ITBA awards, the Starcather folks want to thank you for coming to the show (and scroll down for more starstuff):)

2012-2013 Season

We learned this week of two new shows that will tread the boards in this next theatre season.
  • The charming Paul Rudd (How Do You Know) and the intense Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire, Take Shelter) will bow on Broadway in the new Craig Wright play Grace. They'll be joined by the legendary Ed Asner and directed by Dexter Bullard. Details are scarce, but the New York Times reports that the limited engagement will begin on September 14, and reports that opening night will be October 4.

  • Just five years after the last revival (starring Kevin Kline), Cyrano de Bergerac will be back on Broadway as part of Roundabout Theatre Company's season. Douglas Hodge (La Cage aux Folles) will tackle the titular role. The limited run production begins previews on September 14, opening night is October 11 and the play will continue through November 25. Playbill has details.
Downton Abbey Season Three Scoop

New York magazine's Vulture column has some news from the set of Downton Abbey, currently in production for its third season. New cast member Shirley MacLaine, who'll play Lady Cora's mother, Martha Levinson, reveals she'll be in two episodes, her character hails from Long Island and she got to spend some quality time with Mr. Carson. Plus, Levinson just might get along swimmingly with the always-ready-with-a-zinger Dowager Countess, play by the indomitable Dame Maggie Smith.

Critics' Choice Award Nominations

Speaking of Downton Abbey, the terrific PBS drama received multiple Critics' Choice Award nominations, and the funniest show on TV, Community, led the pack with six nominations!!! Community is nominated for Best Comedy Series, Actor in a Comedy Series (Joel McHale), Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Danny Pudi and Jim Rash) and Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs). Visit Entertainment Weekly online for the full list of nominees.

Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins is Iggy Pop

The Foo's drummer, Taylor Hawkins, will appear in the upcoming CBGB, a "biopic" about the famed rock club, as legendary punk rocker Iggy Pop. As Rolling Stone reports, this might not be a heavily featured role. Alan Rickman (Seminar) will star as CBGB owner, Hilly Kristal.

Emma Stone: Trailblazer

At the MTV Movie Awards, the lovely and talented Emma Stone (Crazy Stupid Love) was honored with the first ever Trailblazer award. In her thoughtful acceptance speech, she spoke of originality and being yourself. Amen, girlfriend!

Merrily We Roll Along

The acclaimed Encores! production of Merrily We Roll Along received a cast recording, which is now available for pre-order through PS Classics. Featuring Colin Donnell (Anything Goes), Celia Keenan-Bolger (Peter and the Starcatcher) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights), the cast recording is set for release on July 10, but you can preview snippets of some tracks online. There's another production of Merrily with Broadway aspirations (it recently had an out-of-town tryout in Ohio), but this Encores! production was so well-received (to wit: the cast recording) that I wouldn't be surprised to see these old friends on Broadway in the near future. I'll keep you posted!

Ghost: Behind the Scenes

Richard Fleeshman takes us (below) on a playful jaunt backstage at the Matthew Warchus-directed new musical, Ghost, and over on, Tony nominee Da'Vine Joy Randolph shows off her backstage must-haves:

Christian Borle Answers Your Questions

Tony nominated for his hilarious turn as Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher, Christian Borle sat down on's couch to answer your questions:

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