Showing posts from April, 2013

67th Tony Awards Nominations

The nominations for the 67th Tony Awards are in! Without any further ado, here is the full list of nominees, first the plays, then the musicals: Best Play The Assembled Parties , Richard Greenberg Lucky Guy , Nora Ephron The Testament of Mary , Colm Toibin Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike , Christopher Durang All of these are spring shows, leaving new plays from the fall, like Grace and Dead Accounts , out of the running. My vote is for the hilarious Vanya... , though I hear good things about Lucky Guy , written by the late Nora Ephron. Best Revival of a Play Golden Boy Orphans The Trip to Bountiful Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Is this even a competition? Virginia Woolf?  was the best show on Broadway this year - play or musical, revival or new. It was an absolutely flawless production. Tony voters, do the right thing, otherwise George and Martha will come after you, and they know how to fight! Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Pl

The Memory Show

It’s hard to say I liked The Memory Show since the material doesn’t exactly lend itself to overzealous praise. But this story of a daughter and her mother, who is in the early stages of early on-set Alzheimer’s, is an accurate depiction of the struggle and what it’s like for a daughter to watch her mother slip away.  The defiant, paranoid demeanor of the Alzheimer’s patient who doesn’t comprehend that she has a problem isn’t often spoken about outside of support groups so I think it’s good that this subject matter is being tackled. Some of what happened on stage hit a little too close to home to leave me feeling comfortable, but it did so in a way that’s reassuring, knowing that something like this is out there and that other people have dealt with this and felt this way, too. This new musical, with book and lyrics by Sara Cooper and music by Zach Redler, begins with the mother (Catherine Cox) at the doctor’s office pondering the strangeness of the doctor’s question, “Who’


Timing is everything. Matilda is timed perfectly - it’s a very tight show. However, my timing with regard to when I saw it is less than perfect. The night before I saw it, I watched act one of the Carousel concert, the one with the New York Philharmonic that was broadcast on PBS and starred Kelli O’Hara, Jessie Mueller, Nathan Gunn, Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild. I watched act two the day after I saw Matilda . And I had already heard audiences and the critics rave about the show before seeing it for myself. So by the time I saw it, the show fell flat.  Inventive director Matthew Warchus ( The Norman Conquests , Ghost ) is a favorite of mine, and he is a master at bringing all different worlds to life. In translating the Roald Dahl book to the stage, Warchus oversees a musical with book by Dennis Kelly and a score by Tim Minchin; precise choreography by Peter Darling; expertly executed cues; and sharp singing, which is particularly impressive since a great many of the cast a

Media Morsels 4.26.13

Michael Shannon Reads a Sorority Girl's Email This is as inspired and hilarious as it sounds: Michael Shannon Reads the Insane Delta Gamma Sorority Letter from Michael Shannon Murder Ballad Cast Recording The original cast recording for Murder Ballad will be released on Tuesday, May 28. The new original musical had a celebrated premiere run at Manhattan Theatre Club's Studio at Stage II and featured Will Swenson , Rebecca Naomi Jones , John Ellison Conlee and Karen Olivo , all of whom appear on the cast recording. The show is returning to the stage this summer at the Union Square Theatre beginning May 7 (and running through July 7), and will feature Hair alumna Caissie Levy in place of Olivo. Tickets for the Union Square engagement are now on sale , and you can pre-order the cast recording through Yellow Sound Label . Visit for more information. Shakespeare in the Park This week we celebrated William Shakespeare's birthd

Kinky Boots

Tell people that you’re going to see a show called Kinky Boots and they’re instantly intrigued. It sounds like a show that might add some flair to a sometimes staid art form. This splashy, flashy musical certainly does add some pizazz to the Great White Way, albeit in a rather traditional way and with varying degrees of success. Kinky Boots , based on the 2005 film, is a good old traditional book musical. Book writer Harvey Fierstein ( Newsies , Safe Men ) knows his way around the book of a musical and does nice work integrating the book with the score, even if the book itself somewhat lazily borrows heavily from the film. (The stage version does incorporate some moments that did not make the final cut of the film but are available in the DVD extras. Their inclusion helps bring closure to the story’s heart.) And like the first book musicals, Kinky Boots uses the show-within-a-show device to make itself more palatable. (More on that later.) In what’s becoming another tradit

Outer Critics Circle Awards

The nominations for the 62nd annual Outer Critics Circle Awards were announced earlier today. (These awards honor excellence in Broadway and off-Broadway, and are presented by writers and commentators who cover New York theatre for out-of-town media outlets.) Pippin leads with 11 nominations, though Kinky Boots is not far behind with nine nods (look for my review of Kinky Boots later this week). Winners will be announced May 13 and honored at a luncheon on May 23. Herein, the full list of nominees. Outstanding New Broadway Play Grace (by Craig Wright) Lucky Guy (by Nora Ephron) The Nance (by Douglas Carter Beane) The Testament of Mary (by Colm Toibin) Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (by Christopher Durang) Outstanding New Broadway Musical Chaplin A Christmas Story Hands on a Hardbody Kinky Boots Matilda Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play Bad Jews (by Joshua Harmon) Cock (by Mike Bartlett) My Name is Asher Lev (by Aaron Posner) Really Really (by