Media Morsels 11.22.13

Sutton Foster Returns to Broadway

There's no official word yet, but Broadwayworld.com reports that two-time Tony Award winner Sutton Foster will return to Broadway this spring in a mounting of the musical Violet. Foster starred in a one-night-only Encores! production of Violet in July. The musical boasts music by Jeanine Tesori and lyrics and book by Brian Crawley. In the Encores! production, Foster (Anything Goes) starred alongside Joshua Henry (American Idiot, The Scottsboro Boys), Keala Settle (Hands on a Hardbody), Christopher Sieber (Shrek) and more. Since there has yet to be an official announcement, the dates of the production and its home is unknown, although Broadway.com reports that the show will play at Roundabout's American Airlines theatre, which has a slot open now that The Real Thing has been moved to fall 2014. I'll keep you posted.

Award Season Coverage

Governors Awards—These honorary awards, which, this year, honored Angelina Jolie, Steve Martin and Angela Lansbury, were presented over the weekend. The Hollywood Reporter has a photo gallery of the arrivals as well as more information about the awards.

The Hollywood Reporter convened two more roundtables:
  • One a discussion amongst cinematographers: Barry Ackroyd (Captain Phillips), Sean Bobbitt (12 Years a Slave), Bruno Delbonnel (Inside Llewyn Davis), Stuart Dryburgh (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) and Phedon Papamichael (Nebraska)

  • Another a (insightful) discussion amongst producers: David Heyman (Gravity), Charles Roven (American Hustle), Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor), Pam Williams (The Butler), Michael De Luca (Captain Phillips) and Dede Gardner (12 Years a Slave)  

Casting Society of America's Artios Awards—Honoring achievements in casting, these awards were handed out this week. Broadway.com has the full list of winners, including Daniel Swee for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Justin Huff for Kinky Boots and Jim Carnahan for If There is I Haven't Found it Yet, in the theatrical categories. The Hollywood Reporter has the full list of winners, including those honored for their work in TV and film, like Mary Vernieu, Lindsay Graham, Diane Heery and Jason Loftus for Silver Linings Playbook; Lora Kennedy for Argo; Felicia Fasano for The Mindy Project; Laray Mayfield for House of Cards; and Linda Lamontagne for Family Guy. (Bonus: Backstage asked and actors (like Aaron Tveit) shared their casting memories.)

Golden Globe AwardsThe Hollywood Reporter takes time to look forward to the five things that will make this year's Globes a "blast," including hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and the fact that Woody Allen is set to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards—SAG Award nominations will be announced on Wednesday, December 11, and we learned this week that actors Sasha Alexander and Clark Gregg (who made guest appearances on Sports Night and The West Wing) will announce the nominations. Deadline has more. And in The Hollywood Reporter, there's a preview of the ensembles that are likely to be nominated for top honors.

Patton Oswalt will host the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Nominations for the awards will be announced on November 26, and the awards will be handed out on March 1, the night before the Oscars. Variety has more.

Oscars—Scott Feinberg takes a look at the Best Picture Oscar race in this feature article from a special issue of The Hollywood Reporter.  He offers simple synopses of the potential contenders and offers his take on the pros and cons of each film and its chance as a nominee and eventual winner. Meanwhile, in the same issue, Feinberg expounds on the "underdogs worthy of Academy attention," and Gregg Kilday explains how to group actors' performances for the sake of comparing them during award season.

In addition to the feature articles, Feinberg also offers his weekly Feinberg Forecast, in which he analyzes the week's happenings and what impact they have on the Oscar race. This week, in addition to updating his nomination predictions, he notes:
  • The release of Labor Day is being slightly delayed, from Christmas Day to December 27, because, Feinberg posits, producers recognize its award prospects are minimal.

  • Several Oscar hopefuls are being feted at various film festivals and galas (and it was announced this week that director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) will be honored at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January), though The Wolf of Wall Street might not be ready to screen by the time the New York Film Critics Circle convenes on December 3 to determine its award nominees.

  • AARP launched its first Movies for Grownups Film Festival, including post-screening discussions with creatives like 12 Years a Slave's Steve McQueen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong'o and Alfre Woodard and August: Osage County's Chris Cooper and Margo Martindale.

  • Feinberg moderated a roundtable discussion among breakthrough performers, like Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) and Kathryn Hahn (Afternoon Delight).

New York City Ballet Update

Four principal dancers are retiring from NYCB: Sebastien Marcovici, Jennifer Ringer, Jonathan Stafford and Janie Taylor. In an email to subscribers and other friends of the Company, NYCB said they "celebrate the careers of these four principal dancers who have touched us with their dynamic performances full of dramatic passion and elegant chivalry." The four dancers will be honored at three special farewell performances. Ringer will be honored Sunday, February 9, 2014, at the 3pm performance; Taylor and Marcovici will be honored Saturday, March 1, at the 8pm performance; and Stafford will be honored Sunday, May 25, at the 3pm performance. Merde to them all on their future endeavors! (And maybe these openings will bring the promotion of the terrific Craig Hall and Georgina Pazcoguin?!?)

Les Miserables Casting News

The cast of the upcoming Broadway revival of Les Miserables is welcoming three new members: Cliff Saunders and Tony nominee Keala Settle (Hands on a Hardbody) will play the scheming Thenardiers and Kyle Scatliffe will play Enjolras (the role played by Aaron Tveit in the recent film). These three join the previously announced headliners Ramin Karimloo, Caissie Levy (Hair, Murder Ballad), Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon) and Will Swenson (Hair, Murder Ballad), who will play Jean Valjean, Fantine, Eponine and Javert, respectively. Les Miserables will run at the Imperial Theatre, with previews beginning March 1, 2014; opening night is set for March 23. Visit Broadway.com for more.

Spider-Man to Close on Broadway, Headed to Vegas

The Broadway production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark will conclude its Broadway run on January 4, 2014. The production will then make its way to Las Vegas. Spider-Man famously was in previews for over six-months, and was daily written about in the gossip columns, as actors were injured or quit, and as Julie Taymor, the show's original director and creative force, was forced out. The musical has a score by U2's Bono and The Edge, and a book by Taymor, Glen Berger and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. (Directing credit now goes to Philip William McKinley.) Broadway.com has more.


Audience Rewards

The good folks at Audience Rewards are running another exciting contest! (As you'll recall, Audience Rewards is Broadway's loyalty program. You can earn points when you purchase tickets to shows through Audience Rewards' website.) They've just opened a contest to win two tickets to see Aladdin when it arrives on Broadway in March 2014. The contest ends Thursday, November 28, so enter now for your chance to win! And for more opportunities to earn points, check out the featured offers section, which has advanced access to tickets for certain shows, like the upcoming Tom Kitt-Brian Yorkey musical, If/Then.


Dig This

  • The Boss is back with the single "High Hopes," which features Tom Morello on guitar. According to Rolling Stone, the single will be released next week.

  • Jimmy Fallon will host and Justin Timberlake will be the musical guest for the December 21 episode of SNL. Before that, John Goodman will host on December 14, and Paul Rudd on December 7. Variety has more.

  • After playing a New Year's Eve concert in Brooklyn, Billy Joel will head to Manhattan on January 27 for a show at Madison Square Garden. Rolling Stone has details.

  • Currently appearing on Broadway in the repertory productions of Waiting for Godot and No Man's Land, Billy Crudup (The Metal Children, Arcadia) spoke to Broadway.com about his favorite roles.

  • The timid production of Romeo and Juliet, starring Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad, will conclude its Broadway run on December 8. Broadway.com has details.

  • The cast of Kinky Boots has been added to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade lineup. Playbill has more.

  • Keep an eye on your local PBS listing in 2014: there will be a documentary about the Kennedy Center's "American Voices" festival, and it will feature stars like Sutton Foster and Ben Folds. Playbill has more.

  • Great Scott! In 2014, Christopher Lloyd will reunite with his Back to the Future co-star, Michael J. Fox, on Fox's NBC show. The Hollywood Reporter has details.

  • Your Friday treat: the latest trailer for the new Muppet movie, Muppets: Most Wanted.

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