Week in Review 4.25.14

Justin Peck Talks Ballet 422

While Ballet 422 is screening at the Tribeca Film Festival (I saw it on Wednesday), the documentary's subject, rising choreographer and NYCB soloist Justin Peck, spoke to the New York Post about choreographing and dancing, and what it was like to watch himself work. (The documentary follows Peck as he creates Paz de La Jolla, which premiered at City Ballet in January 2013, and was the 422nd ballet created for the Company, hence the title.)

Time 100 Most Influential People

Time magazine has released its annual list of the most influential people, and it's a pretty decent list! You can visit Time.com for the full list; herein, some notable honorees:
Tony Eligibility Rulings

Now that the Tony deadline has passed, the Tony Awards Administration Committee met for the final time this season, ruling on the eligibility of productions and performers in 18 shows. Unless listed below, all decisions are consistent with opening night credits; that is, if an actor is billed above the title, s/he's eligible in the Lead Actor category, if below the title, s/he's eligible in the Featured Actor category. Tony nominations will be announced on Tuesday!
  • Andy Karl (Rocky) is eligible in the Lead Actor category
  • Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed (Aladdin) are eligible in the Lead Actor/Actress categories
  • Ramin Karimloo and Will Swenson (Les Miserables) are eligible in the Lead Actor category
  • Tyne Daly and Frederick Weller (Mothers and Sons) are eligible in the Lead Actress/Actor categories
  • LaTanya Richardson Jackson (A Raisin in the Sun) is eligible in the Lead Actress category
  • Zach Braff (Bullets Over Broadway) is eligible in the Lead Actor category
  • Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill and The Cripple of Inishmaan are eligible in the Play Revival category
  • Santino Fontana and Tony Shalhoub (Act One) are eligible in the Lead Actor category
  • Violet and Hedwig and the Angry Inch are eligible in the Musical Revival category
  • Colin Donnell, Alexander Gemignani and Joshua Henry (Violet) are eligible in the Featured Actor category
  • Cabaret is eligible in the Musical Revival category, however the creative team and Alan Cumming are ineligible; the rest of the cast are eligible in their respective categories
Tony Pop Up Shop

For the first time ever, there will be a Tony pop up shop in Times Square! The shop is located in the Paramount Hotel (on 46th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue), and is open every day from 11am to 8pm, now through June 8 (Tony Day). In the pop up shop, Broadway fans will have the chance to browse through and shop for Tony-related merchandise, as well as baubles from this season's shows. "Memorabilia celebrating the last 68 years of the Awards will also be on display," states the press release. So the next time you're in the theatre district, take a trip over to 46th Street and get your Tony Award gear!

Shakespeare in the Park Casting

Additional casting has been announced for the first of this summer's two Shakespeare in the Park productions, Much Ado About Nothing. Joining the previously announced Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe (who've appeared together in SITP before, as well as in Seminar) are Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell (Ragtime, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), Steel Burkhardt (Hair), John Glover (Death of a Salesman), Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones, Graceland), John Pankow (Mad About You) and others. (Broadway.com has the full cast list.) Much Ado About Nothing begins performances at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park on June 3, with opening night set for June 16. Directed by Jack O'Brien (Catch Me if You Can), the limited engagement is scheduled to conclude on July 6. To learn more about Shakespeare in the Park, including how to obtain tickets, visit shakespeareinthepark.org or the Public's website.

Holler If Ya Hear Me Renovates Theatre

To create a more intimate feeling in the spacious Palace Theatre, with its tiered levels and opulent decor, the creative team, including director Kenny Leon and scenic designer Edward Pierce, are orchestrating a $200,000 renovation. Changes include extending the stage over the orchestra pit and replacing the typical Broadway seats in the orchestra with stadium- or movie theater-style seats. (The latter move reduces the theatre's capacity from 1,740 to 1,120.) As Broadway.com reports, Pierce says, "everybody in those first few rows can basically high-five the actors. They're that close." Featuring the music of Tupac Shakur, Holler (which is not biographical) begins previews on  June 2 (this is a change) in advance of a June 19 opening.

Public Theater Announces Season

The venerable off-Broadway institution has announced its full 2014-2015 season, and it looks like it will be a good one. In addition to the previously announced premiere of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton, the Public season will include six world premieres and one New York premiere. Included in the season is Rock Bottom, a new musical (to be presented at Joe's Pub) co-written by Beastie Boys' Ad Rock! Plus, we'll get to see The Fortress of Solitude, a new musical by Itamar Moses (Completeness, Nobody Loves You), Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and Daniel Aukin (Bad Jews). Visit publictheater.org to learn about the full season and to become a Public member, which gives you advance access to tickets for all shows.

Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations

The OCC nominations were announced, with A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder leading the pack with 11 nominations. (The OCC covers New York theatre for out-of-town media outlets.) A notable omission is that of If/Then and its leading lady, Idina Menzel, from the Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Actress categories, but the original musical wasn't completely shut out. Also of interest, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, in which Audra McDonald channels Billie Holiday, is nominated in the musical category, even though some argue it's a play with music (see Tony rulings above). Herein, some other notable nominees: (visit Broadway.com for the full list of nominees)

  • BeautifulOutstanding New Broadway Musical, Outstanding Book of a Musical, Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Jessie Mueller), Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Jarrod Spector), Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Anika Larsen)

  • Casa Valentina—Outstanding New Broadway Play, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play (Mare Winningham)

  • The Explorer's Club and Choir Boy—Outstanding New Off-Broadway Plays

  • The Bridges of Madison County—Outstanding New Score, Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Kelli O'Hara) [how Steven Pasquale did not receive a nomination is beyond me]

  • If/Then—Outstanding New Score

  • The Cripple of Inishmaan—Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Director of a Play (Michael Grandage)

  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Les Miserables—Outstanding Revival of a Musical

  • Ian McKellen, No Man's Land—Outstanding Actor in a Play

  • Twelfth Night—Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Actor in a Play (Mark Rylance), Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (Paul Chahidi), Outstanding Director of a Play (Tim Carroll), Outstanding Costume Deign (Jenny Tiamani)

  • Cabaret—Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Michelle Williams), Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Danny Burstein)

  • Stage Kiss—Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play, Outstanding Actress in a Play (Jessica Hecht), Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (Michael Cyril Creighton)

  • Rocky—Outstanding Director of a Musical (Alex Timbers), Outstanding Set Deign (Christopher Barreca)

  • Joshua Henry, Violet—Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical

  • Alexandra Silber, Arlington—Outstanding Solo Performance

  • The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence—John Gassner Award
Drama League Awards

Just a day after the OCC Award nominations were announced, the Drama League Award nominations were announced. These awards honor excellence in Broadway and off-Broadway; productions are nominated, and a slew of actors are nominated for a Distinguished Performance Award, and only one performer will be selected as the winner. An actor can win this honor only once in his/her career. (Also note that Cabaret was ineligible in the production categories, having won in 1998; performers in this iteration were eligible.) Herein, nominated productions and some of the Distinguished Performance nominees: (visit Playbill for the full list of nominees)
  • Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play (playwrights and directors are noted parenthetically): All that Falls (Samuel Beckett, Trevor Nunn); All the Way (Robert Schenkkan, Bill Rauch); Casa Valentina (Harvey Fierstein, Joe Mantello); Domesticated (Bruce Norris, Anna D. Shapiro); Mothers and Sons (Terrence McNally, Sheryl Kaller); Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play (Anne Washburn, Steve Cosson); The Open House (Will Eno, Oliver Butler); The Realistic Joneses (Will Eno, Sam Gold)

  • Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical (writers and directors are noted parenthetically): After Midnight (JackViertel, Warren Carlyle); Aladdin (Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, Time Rice + Chad Beguelin, Casey Nicholaw); Beautiful (Douglas McGrath, Barry Mann, Carole King, Cynthia Weil + Gerry Goffin, Marc Bruni); The Bridges of Madison County (Marsha Norman + Jason Robert Brown, Barlett Sher); Bullets Over Broadway (Woody Allen + Glen Kelly, Susan Stroman); Fun Home (Jeanine Tesori + Lisa Kron, Sam Gold); A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (Robert L. Freedman + Steven Lutvak, Darko Tresnjak); Murder for Two (Joe Kinosian + Kellan Blair, Scott Schwartz); Rocky (Thomas Meehan, Sylvester Stallone, Stephen Flaherty + Lynn Ahrens, Alex Timbers)

  • Outstanding Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play (playwrights and directors are noted parenthetically): The Cripple of Inishmaan (Martin McDonagh, Michael Grandage); The Glass Menagerie (Tennessee Williams, John Tiffany); Good Person of Szechwan (Bertolt Brecht (translated by John Willett), Lear deBessonet); The Mutilated (Tennessee Williams, Cosmin Chivu); Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck, Anna D. Shapiro); A Raisin in the Sun (Lorraine Hansberry, Kenny Leon); Twelfth Night (William Shakespeare, Tim Carroll); Waiting for Godot (Samuel Beckett, Sean Mathias)

  • Outstanding Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical (writers and directors are noted parenthetically): Hedwig and the Angry Inch (John Cameron Mitchell + Stephen Trask, Michael Mayer); Lady Day... (Lanie Robertson, Lonny Price); Les Miserables (Claude-Michel Schonberg, Herbert Kretzmer, Alain Boubilil + Jean-Marc Natel, Laurence Conor + James Powell); Violet (Jeanine Tesori + Brian Crawley, Leigh Silverman)

  • Distinguished Performance Award: Reed Birney (Casa Valentina); Alan Cumming (Cabaret); Gabriel Ebert (Casa Valentina); Sutton Foster (Violet); Neil Patrick Harris (Hedwig); Joshua Henry (Violet); Zachary Levi (First Date); Idina Menzel (If/Then); Jessie Mueller (Beautiful); Kelli O'Hara (Bridges); Steven Pasquale (Bridges); Jeremy Pope (Choir Boy); Patrick Stewart (Waiting for Godot); Michelle Williams (Cabaret)

  • Past Distinguished Performance Award winners recognized for their work this season: Norbert Leo Butz (Big Fish); Cherry Jones (The Glass Menagerie); Audra McDonald (Lady Day); Ian McKellen (Waiting for Godot/No Man's Land); Mark Rylance (Twelfth Night/Richard III)
Drama Desk Nominations

Theatre award season is definitely in full swing. The Drama Desk Awards honor Broadway, off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway, and will be presented on June 1. Laura Benanti will host the ceremony. Herein, some of the nominees (visit Broadway.com for the full list):
  • The Explorers Club—Outstanding Play

  • Beautiful—Outstanding Musical; Outstanding Actress (Jessie Mueller); Outstanding Featured Actress (Anika Larsen)


  • The Bridges of Madison County—Outstanding Musical; Outstanding Actor (Steven Pasquale); Outstanding Actress (Kelli O'Hara); Outstanding Director (Barlett Sher); Outstanding Music + Outstanding Lyrics + Outstanding Orchestrations (Jason Robert Brown); Outstanding Book of a Musical (Marsha Norman)

  • Rocky—Outstanding Musical; Outstanding Director (Alex Timbers); Outstanding Set Design (Christopher Barreca)

  • The Cripple of Inishmaan—Outstanding Revival of a Play; Outstanding Actor (Daniel Radcliffe)

  • Twelfth Night—Outstanding Revival of a Play; Outstanding Director (Tim Carroll); Outstanding Costume Design (Jenny Tiramani)

  • No Man's Land—Outstanding Revival of a Play; Outstanding Actor (Ian McKellen

  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch—Outstanding Revival of a Musical or Revue; Outstanding Actor (Neil Patrick Harris); Outstanding Director (Michael Mayer)

  • Violet—Outstanding Revival of a Musical or Revue; Outstanding Actress (Sutton Foster); Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Joshua Henry)

  • Idina Menzel—Outstanding Actress in a Musical (If/Then)

  • Reed Birney—Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (Casa Valentina)

  • Rory O'Malley—Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Nobody Loves You)
Recent Openings

The Tony eligibility deadline was yesterday, April 24, and that means that a slew of shows opened this month in the hopes of garnering some Tony love. Herein, in case you missed them, reviews of some of the recently-opened shows: (note that other shows opened, but I haven't seen them)
Check back on Tuesday, April 29, for the full list of Tony nominees! (The Tony Awards will be held on Sunday, June 8. Hugh Jackman is our host.)

Dig This

  • Veep has been renewed for a fourth season and the new Mike Judge comedy Silicon Valley has been renewed for a second. Rolling Stone has more about both renewals.

  • Here you are: the fifth and sixth installments of "Fresh Prince—Backstage at Pippin" with Kyle Dean Massey!

  • After a successful turn as Adelaide in the Carnegie Hall concert of Guys and Dolls, stage and screen veteran Megan Mullally tells Playbill that an extended run of the show might be on the horizon.

  • The second season of Graceland, which stars Aaron Tveit, will premiere on USA Network on Wednesday, June 11 at 10pm.

  • Both the Atlantic Theater Company and MCC have announced their 2014-2015 seasons. The Atlantic's includes a new musical from [title of show] and Now. Here. This. scribe Hunter Bell, while MCC continues its relationship with playwright Neil LaBute. 

  • God is coming to Broadway, by way of David Javerbaum's comedic biography, The Last Testament: A Memoir by God. Broadway.com has more, though no specifics have been announced.

  • SNL announced the hosts and musical guests for the final three episodes of the season: May 3—Andrew Garfield and Coldplay; May 10—Charlize Theron and The Black Keys; May 17—Andy Samberg and St. Vincent

  • James Earl Jones (The Best Man) will return to Broadway in a revival of You Can't Take It With You, set to begin previews on September 28. Playbill has more, though no other details have been announced.

  • Hooray! The OBCR for The Bridges of Madison County debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Cast Album chart, and broke into the overall Billboard Top 200! Download it from you favorite digital retails now, or pre-order the CD from Sh-k-boom

  • Seth Meyers will host the 2014 Emmy Awards! Variety has more. 

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