Media Morsels 6.7.13

Tony Prep

The 2013 Tony Awards will be presented this Sunday night! Here are some tidbits to help you prepare:
Tune into CBS at 8pm EDT for the big show, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris!

The Newsroom: Season Two

The first full trailer for the second season of The Newsroom, premiering July 14, was released. It's very moody but gives you a good sense of what's going to happen on season two. Plus, it introduces the show's new slogan, "Together they stand alone." Check out the trailer and then tune into HBO on July 14 for the season premiere.

Mark Rylance Brings Shakespeare Back to Broadway

The two-time Tony-winning actor Mark Rylance (Boeing, Boeing, La Bete, Jerusalem) is bringing his acclaimed West End, all-male productions of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and Richard III to Broadway this fall. The productions will play in rep at the Belasco Theatre for a limited engagement; previews begin October 15 in advance of a November 10 opening. As the announcement on notes, the production will include "seven musicians [playing] traditional Elizabethan instruments in a gallery above the stage... Audiences will also witness the pre-show ritual of actors dressing and applying their makeup on stage." When Rylance is on a stage, you go watch him!

First Date First Look

The new original musical First Date begins previews next month but at a recent charity event, star Krysta Rodriguez (The Addams Family, Smash) previewed a song from the show. Watch below (or maybe just listen - the camera work is a little shaky!). And remember that Rodriguez can be heard on the Joe Iconis Rock and Roll Jamboree album. (Learn more about the show from stars Rodriguez and Zachary Levi over on Plus, additional casting has been announced and includes Hair alumnus Bryce Ryness. The announcement in Playbill also notes that Levi will take a leave of absence early in previews, July 16-21, to attend to a standing commitment.)

The Bridges of Madison County Coming to Broadway

That's right, the Robert James Waller novel is being given a musical makeover, courtesy of another three-named talent, Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years). The Tony Award-winning composer's score will complement Marsha Norman's book and be directed by Barlett Sher (Golden Boy). The musical will premiere at the Williamstown Theatre Festival this summer before arriving at the Schoenfeld Theatre on Broadway. Previews begin January 13, 2014, in advance of a late February opening. Though no casting for the Broadway run has been announced, Steven Pasquale (Far From Heaven, iHo...) is set to star in the Williamstown production. Playbill has details.

The Best Written TV Series

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced its picks for the 101 Best Written TV Series of all time. The Sopranos tops the list, followed by Seinfeld. Rounding out the top ten are The Twilight Zone, All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mad Men, Cheers, The Wire and, of course, The West Wing. Other favorite TV shows, like The Muppet Show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Your Show of Shows and Arrested Development, also made the list. Visit the WGA website for the full list, and then come back and tell me what you think of the list. Any glaring omissions?

Drama Series Showrunners

Speaking of great TV shows, in anticipation of the Emmy Awards, The Hollywood Reporter held a roundtable in which they invited showrunners for drama series to come and talk about the creative process. Included in the roundtable were Aaron Sorkin (The Newsroom), Beau Willimon (House of Cards), Alex Gansa (Homeland), D.B. Weiss (Game of Thrones), Kevin Williamson (The Following) and Matthew Weiner (Mad Men). The men, all veteran showrunners except Willimon, talked about a range of topics, from what it's like to be replaced as a showrunner to which current show they'd like to work on. View the full, uncensored roundtable on The Hollywood Reporter, and while you're there, check out behind-the-scenes photos from the photo shoot and the accompanying abridged transcript

TV Tidbits

A little more TV news this week, in addition to the above mentioned goings on. Let's jump right in:
  • Dan Harmon has confirmed that he will return for the fifth season of the hilarious TV show he created, Community. Rolling Stone has details. Late in the week, Harmon spoke to E! Online about his return.

  • Michael Zegen (who was so good in Bad Jews this past fall, and who has appeared on Boardwalk Empire) has joined the cast of Girls for its upcoming third season. Rolling Stone has details, scarce as they are. 

  • Justin Theroux (Mulholland Drive, The Broken Hearts Club) will lead the cast of the HBO series The Leftovers, an adaptation of Tom Perrotta's eponymous novel. Deadline has details.

  • Boardwalk Empire will return for its fourth season on September 8 at 9pm. The Wrap has more.

  • The Showtime series Nurse Jackie has been renewed for a sixth season. The current season, its fifth, will conclude on June 16.

First Listen: Love's Labour's Lost

Remember a few weeks ago when I said the Public Theater released the final demo from the upcoming Shakespeare in the Park production of Love's Labour's Lost? Turns out it was only the penultimate demo. This week they released the actual final demo, "Young Men," which features Colin Donnell, Bryce Pinkham, James Barry and Justin Levine. The musical adaptation of Shakespeare's comedy comes from team Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Michael Friedman (score) and Alex Timbers (book and direction). It plays in Central Park's Delacorte theatre this summer, July 23-August 18. Listen here!

John Gallagher, Jr.: Mover and Shaker

Check out the trailer for Short Term 12, an independent film starring John Gallagher, Jr. (American Idiot, The Newsroom) and Brie Larson (The United States of Tara). It was the toast of SXSW and other film festivals. The film hits theaters August 23. In other JGJ news, Gallagher has written a play, Slainte, and it will receive a reading this month at the Vassar Powerhouse Theater. ("Slainte" is, colloquially, the equivalent of "l'chaim," used mostly in Ireland and Scotland; it's pronounced slahn-cha. Literally translated, it means "health.") Playbill has details.

Dig This

  • The beautiful Brazilian baritone Paulo Szot, who won a Tony for his performance in the recent revival of South Pacific, will play the cabaret venue 54 Below August 5-11. has details.

  • The film adaptation of Venus in Fur, the scintillating play that netted Nina Arianda a Tony Award last year, will be distributed in the US by Sundance Selects. No released date has been set. Playbill has details.

  • And now, the trailer for Woody Allen's latest, Blue Jasmine, starring Cate Blanchett, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Stuhlbarg, Louis C.K., Alec Baldwin, Sally Hawkins and more.