Media Morsels 4.26.13

Michael Shannon Reads a Sorority Girl's Email

This is as inspired and hilarious as it sounds:



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 murderballad.com for more information.

Shakespeare in the Park

This week we celebrated William Shakespeare's birthday and the Public Theater began a weekly release of songs from the new musical adaptation of Love's Labour's Lost, which will premiere during this summer's Shakespeare in the Park season. (The other show is The Comedy of Errors, starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Hamish Linklater. That runs May 28-June 30; all performances begin at 8:30.) The new musical comes courtesy of Team Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Michael Friedman (songs) and Alex Timbers (book, direction). This week's song, "Are You a Man," features Colin Donnell (Anything Goes), Bryce Pinkham (Bloody..., Ghost), James Barry and Justin Levine (Bloody...). Check back next week for another song! Love's Labour's Lost will play the Delacorte Theatre July 23-August 18; all performances begin at 8:30.

And in other Shakespeare in the Park news: Full casting for both productions has been announced! Joining Ferguson and Linklater in The Comedy of Errors is De'Adre Aziza (Women on the Verge...), Becky Ann Baker (Good People), Robert Creighton (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) and others. And for Love's Labour's Lost, Donnell, Pinkham and Levine will be joined by, among others, Daniel Breaker (The Performers, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark), Kevin Del Aguila (Peter and the Starcatcher), Bloody Bloody alumni Jeff Hiller and Lucas Near-Verbrugghe and the amazing Rebecca Naomi Jones (American Idiot, Murder Ballad). Visit Broadway.com for full production credits, and stay tuned to ShakespeareinthePark.org for calendar and ticketing information.

Theatre Award Season

The Tony Award nominations will be announced next week (though this week the Tony Honors recipients were announced), so the Administration Committee met for the fourth and final time this week to determine eligibility. The committee discussed 18 productions; all eligibility statuses are consistent with opening night credits (that is, actors billed above the title are eligible in the Lead Actor categories, others in the Featured Actor categories), except as noted below:
  • Kristine Nielsen is eligible in the Lead Actress category for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
  • Emilia Clarke and Cory Michael Smith are eligible in the Lead Actress/Actor category for Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • Stark Sands and Billy Porter are eligible in the Lead Actor category for Kinky Boots
  • Bertie Carvel is eligible in the Lead Actor category for Matilda, though the four young girls who play Matilda are not eligible in the Lead Actress category; instead, they will receive Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
  • Valisia LeKae and Brandon Victor Dixon are eligible in the Lead Actress/Actor category for Motown
  • Nathan Lane is eligible in the Lead Actor category for The Nance
  • Bobby Cannavale is eligible in the Lead Actor category for The Big Knife
  • Jessica Hecht is eligible in the Lead Actress category for The Assembled Parties
  • Vanessa Williams and Cuba Gooding, Jr., are eligible in the Featured Actress/Actor category for The Trip to Bountiful
  • Patina Miller and Matthew James Thomas are eligible in the Lead Actress/Actor category for Pippin
  • Orphans is eligible in the Best Revival of a Play category
Check back here on Tuesday, April 30, for the full list of Tony nominees.

Though the Tonys are the "big game," there are other awards in the season. This week we learned the nominees of both the Outer Critics Circle Awards and the Drama League Awards. I posted earlier in the week about the OCC Awards, and herein are the nominees for the Drama League Awards:

Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play
Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical
Outstanding Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play
Outstanding Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical
Distinguished Performance Award nominees include: (all nominations are for individuals, even though pairs might be listed)
(Visit dramaleague.org for the full list of nominees and credits for the nominated productions.)

Bruce Springsteen and Robert De Niro Named Academy Members

The two are among the 198 new members elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. They are joined by, among others, actress Sally Field and musicians Pete Seeger and Herbie Hancock. Rolling Stone has details, and you can also view the full list of the 2013 class (including author Jeffrey Eugenides and playwright Athol Fugard) on the academy's website.

The Glass Menagerie Coming to Broadway

After an acclaimed run at Boston's A.R.T., a revival of Tennessee Williams's classic play about the Wingfield family, The Glass Menagerie, will return to Broadway this fall. The full A.R.T. company will return for the Broadway iteration, including stars Cherry Jones, Celia Keenan-Bolger (Peter and the Starcatcher) and Zachary Quinto, who'll be making his Broadway debut. The limited, 17-week run will begin previews on September 5 in advance of a September 26 opening. The production does not have a home yet, but it will play at a Shubert theatre, and is directed by John Tiffany (Once) with movement by Steven Hoggett (American Idiot, Once). Visit Broadway.com for more details. 

New York City Ballet Screen Test: Janie Taylor

In the final installment of City Ballet's new video series, which gives us a peek into the Company members' personalities, we get to know principal dancer Janie Taylor. (Plus, check out the interview principal dancer Sara Mearns gave to Time Out New York.)



Aaron Tveit on Graceland

Can't wait until June 6 to watch the pilot episode of Graceland, the new USA Network show starring Aaron Tveit? Check you cable provider's video on demand service 4.29-5.12 for a special treat! But you don't even have to wait until the 29th for some Graceland goodies: head over to the Huffington Post for an exclusive promotional video.

Dig This

  • This: Buzz Feed's list of the 26 reasons that scientifically prove Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl is the coolest dude in music. Amen.

  • Steven Van Zandt, of E Street Band fame, has partnered with his Rock and Roll Foundation and the Grammy Museum to develop a rock and roll history curriculum, which will help music lovers understand the origins of the music style. Rolling Stone has details.

  • The super talented Lindsay Mendez (Godspell, Dogfight) will become the girl in green this summer. Mendez takes over the role of Elphaba in Wicked beginning May 28. Broadway.com has details.

  • The NBC show Parenthood has been renewed for fourth season. The show received a full season, 22-episode order.

  • Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig and Ben Affleck will host the final three episodes of SNL's season. Galifianakis hosts on May 4, Wiig on May 11 and Affleck on May 18. This will mark Affleck's fifth turn as host of the late-night sketch comedy program. Visit Vulture for details.

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