Week in Review 5.9.14
NYCB (finally) announced its 2014-2015 season, and there's plenty to look forward to. Favorites like NY Export: Opus Jazz and Interplay are in the mix, as are some new classics, like A Place for Us. It's a Balanchine-heavy season, although audiences can also look forward to several new works, including two (TWO!) world premiere Justin Peck ballets. (Peck's In Creases will also be part of the season, as will his latest, breath-taking work, Everywhere We Go.) The season will also bring us the bittersweet occasion of Wendy Whelan's farewell performance (on October 18th), the program for which is still to be announced. To learn more and to subscribe, visit nycballet.com.
The Bridges of Madison County Sets Closing Date
I'm incredibly sad to report that late last week, The Bridges of Madison County posted its closing notice. While the romantic musical with the best score in years (thanks, Jason Robert Brown) did receive a few Tony nominations, including one for Best Score and one for Best Lead Actress (Kelli O'Hara), it did not receive a nod for Best Musical (that category is f*cked up this year), and thus the musical, which had been struggling at the box office, is shuttering. It's sad that an intimate, adult musical that has an original (and soaring) score can't sustain a run, while schlock like Mamma Mia and tired musicals that have long-since passed their prime, like Phantom, continue to thrive. I'm glad that the tuner, starring O'Hara and Steven Pasquale, and directed by Bartlett Sher, ran as long as it did, and that there is an OBCR to preserve the best score Broadway's heard in years. When Bridges closes on May 18, it will have played 137 performances. Fall into Bridges while you can (Liza with a Z did), and order your copy of the album. Broadway.com has more. Need more incentive? Watch Brown break down his score, and then let Steven Pasquale make you weak as he sings "It All Fades Away":
Theatre Award Season Updates
Lucille Lortel Awards—Honoring excellence in off-Broadway productions, the Lortel winners were announced on Sunday. Fun Home took home the Outstanding Musical honor (among others), while Alex Timbers (who was egregiously snubbed for a Tony nomination for Rocky) won the Outstanding Director award for Here Lies Love, which is now playing a return engagement at the Public. Other notable winners: Tracee Chimo, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play, Bad Jews; Ruthie Ann Miles, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical, Here Lies Love; and Jeremy Shamos, Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play, Dinner with Friends. Visit Broadway.com for the full list of winners and for photos from the red carpet.
New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards—Top honors were awarded to Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron's Fun Home, Best Musical; Robert Schenkkan's All the Way, Best American Play; and Conor McPherson's The Night Alive, Best Play. Special citations were also awarded to Twelfth Night and Richard III, as well as Richard Nelson's The Apple Family Plays. Winners will be feted on May 16. Playbill has more.
Tony Awards—At last week's "meet the nominees" reception, Broadway.com had 45 Tony nominees fill out its Tony questionnaire to find out all sorts of fun tidbits and hidden talents of this year's nominees. Read, in their own handwriting, what the nominees, like Idina Menzel, Audra McDonald, Reed Birney, Jason Robert Brown, Jessie Mueller, Tom Kitt and Joshua Henry, had to say about how they found out about their nomination, what they plan on wearing, which is their favorite "Tony" and more! (Bonus: The New York Times chatted with all five Best Lead Actress in a Musical nominees!)
In other Tony Award news, New York Times theatre critics Ben Brantley and Charles Isherwood released their Tony picks, indicating who will win, who should win, and who should have been nominated. (They don't seems to agree on much, except that Hedwig and Neil Patrick Harris will and should be winners.)
Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards—Last week, audiences got to choose the nominees and this week it's our turn to choose the winners! Between now and May 18th, you can head to Broadway.com to vote for your favorites!
Astaire Awards—Nominees for the 2014 Astaire Awards, honoring excellence in dance and choreography, were announced this week. Nominees include: Neil Patrick Harris (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin) and Andy Karl (Rocky), Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show; Krystal Joy Brown (Big Fish) and Gayle Rankin (Cabaret), Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show; Casey Nicholaw (Aladdin), Susan Stroman (Big Fish, Bullets Over Broadway), Steven Hoggett and Kelly Devine (Rocky), Josh Prince (Beautiful) and Rob Marshall (Cabaret), Outstanding Choreographer for a Broadway Show. Broadway.com has the full list of nominees.
Theatre World Awards—Honorees for the 70th annual Theatre World Awards, honoring performers' Broadway or off-Broadway debuts, have been announced. Among those being honored are Paul Chahidi (Twelfth Night); Bryan Cranston (All the Way); Sarah Greene (The Cripple of Inishmaan); Ramin Karimloo (Les Miserables); and Zachary Levi (First Date). Broadway and off-Broadway veteran Celia Keenan-Bolger is being honored with the Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theatre, in recognition of her performance in The Glass Menagerie, and Christopher Plummer is set to receive the John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. Honorees will be celebrated at a June 2nd ceremony. Broadway.com has the full list of winners.
Equity Awards—Actors Equity Association announced the recipients of its Clarence Derwent Awards, which honor "promising female and male performers," and its Richard Seff Awards, which honor "veteran male and female character" actors. The Clarence Derwent Awards were presented to Steven Boyer (Hand to God) and Whitney Bashor (The Bridges of Madison County). The Richard Seff Awards were presented to Peter Maloney (Outside Mullingar) and Mare Winningham (Casa Valentina).
- The next season of PBS's Live from Lincoln Center will include a broadcast of the Sweeney Todd concert that saw Emma Thompson and Byrn Terfel performing Stephen Sondheim's musical with the New York Philharmonic. Hosted by Audra McDonald, Sweeney Todd will air on Friday, September 26. Broadway.com has more.
- Angela Lansbury (A Little Night Music) and James Earl Jones (The Best Man) are appearing in an Australian production of Driving Miss Daisy, and from June 4 through June 10, North American audiences will be able to go to the movie theater to catch the show. Broadway.com has details.
- Though an air date is not set, PBS has announced that The Nance will be broadcast this fall as part of the Live from Lincoln Center season. Nathan Lane (Guys and Dolls) starred in the Douglas Carter Beane play that ran last spring and summer. Playbill has more.
Tony Award winner and this year's Tonys host Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables) will return to Broadway this fall in the Broadway premiere of Jez Butterworth's The River. Butterworth will reunite with his Jerusalem director Ian Rickson for the production, which previously played the Royal Court Theatre. Jackman will be joined on stage by West End stars Laura Donnelly and Cush Jumbo (which sounds more like a weed strain than a person's name...). The River will take up residence at the Circle in the Square Theatre. The limited engagement will begin previews on October 31; opening night is scheduled for November 16, and the run will conclude on January 25, 2015. Theater Mania has more.
- Last week, three-time Tony nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger (The Glass Menagerie) joined Paul Wontorek for Broadway.com's Show People, and this week, two-time Tony nominee Jessie Mueller (Beautiful) sat down with him. Tune in!
- Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick will reunite on stage in Terrence McNally's It's Only a Play. Directed by Jack O'Brien, the play is set to open in September (exact dates and a theatre have yet to be announced). Playbill has more.
- Broadway Idiot, the documentary that follows Billie Joe Armstrong from Berkeley to Broadway, is now airing on Showtime. (It was one of my favorite things last year, so I highly recommend it!)
- Anthony Rapp speaks eloquently about the state of Broadway shows, and why he's so proud to be part of If/Then.
- Dates have been announced for the On the Town revival: previews begin September 20, with opening night set for October 16. Broadway.com has more.
- Here they are, episode 7 and episode 8 (the final episode!) of "Fresh Prince," Kyle Dean Massey's backstage vlog at his latest gig, Pippin!
- Emma Stone (The Amazing Spider-Man) is set to reteam with Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine) for the writer/director's latest (untitled) project. Stone, who will soon be seen in Allen's Magic in the Moonlight, will star opposite Joaquin Phoenix (Her). Variety has more.
- Alex Timbers (Here Lies Love, Rocky) is teaming up with the Oscar-winning songwriting duo of Bobby Lopez (The Book of Mormon) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez for the new musical, Up Here, which is set to premiere at La Jolla in 2015. Broadway.com has details.