Week in Review 4.24.15

James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson Return to Broadway

The veteran actors will star in a revival of D.L. Coburn's The Gin Game. As Playbill notes, this is the first time Tony winners James (The Best Man, You Can't Take It With You) and Tyson (The Trip to Bountiful) will be on Broadway together since 1966, when they played in A Hand is on the Gate. Previews will begin September 21, with opening night set for October 13. Directed by Leonard Foglia, The Gin Game is slated for the intimate Golden Theatre.

Tony Awards Update

The Tony Awards Administration Committee met for a final time to determine eligibility of the season's last several shows. Unless ruled otherwise, actors/actresses whose names appear above the title are considered eligible for Lead Actor/Actress awards; performers whose names appear below the title are considered eligible in the Featured Actor/Actress categories. Tony Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, April 28 (visit tonyawards.com to watch the livestream), and, if you scroll down, you'll see that theatre award season is in full swing. (For more Tony season fun, join me and Broadway.com on Culturalist, and share who you are rooting for come Tony nomination morning.) Herein, eligibility determinations:
  • Andy Karl, Mark Linn-Baker and Michael McGrath will be eligible in the Featured Actor category for their respective performances in On the Twentieth Century
  • Jason Biggs and Bryce Pinkham will be eligible in the Featured Actor category for their respective performances in The Heidi Chronicles
  • Steven Boyer and Geneva Carr will be eligible in the Lead Actor/Actress categories for their respective performances in Hand to God
  • Victoria Clark, Dee Hoty and Howard McGillin will be eligible in the Featured Actress/Actor categories for their respective performances in Gigi
  • Wolf Hall: Hilary Mantel and Mike Poulton will be considered co-authors and, therefore, jointly eligible for Best Play; Ben Miles will be eligible in the Lead Actor category; Paule Constable and David Plater will be jointly eligible in the Lighting Design category
  • An American in Paris: Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope will be eligible in the Lead Actor/Actress categories; Bob Crowley and 59 Productions will be considered jointly eligible in the Scenic Design category (Crowley is credited with scenic design, 59 Productions with projections); Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky and Bill Elliott will be considered jointly eligible for Best Orchestrations
  • Tyne Daly, Harriet Harris and Sierra Boggess will be eligible in the Featured Actress category for their respective performances in It Shoulda Been You
  • Matthew Morrison and Laura Michelle Kelly will be eligible in the Lead Actor/Actress categories for their respective performances in Finding Neverland
  • The King and I: Kelli O'Hara and Ken Watanabe will be eligible in the Lead Actress/Actor categories; Christopher Gattelli will be eligible for Best Choreography
  • Fun Home: Judy Kuhn will be eligible in the Featured Actress category; Beth Malone will be eligible in the Lead Actress category
  • Anna Chlumsky and Jerry O'Connell will be eligible in the Featured Actress/Actor categories for their respective performances in Living on Love
  • Doctor Zhivago: Tam Mutu and Kelli Barrett will be eligible in the Lead Actor/Actress categories; Michael Scott-Mitchell and Sean Nieuwenhuis will be considered jointly eligible in the Scenic Design category
  • Brian d'Arcy James and John Cariani will be eligible in the Lead Actor category for their respective performances in Something Rotten
Drama League Awards

The Drama League Award nominations were announced this week. (Drama League members include a wide swath of theatergoers; for the price of membership, you can become a voting member.) Awards are only handed out in a handful of categories, but because the League is made up of so many lay theatergoers, if you will (i.e., not just producers and critics and other in-the-biz folks), these awards often skew toward the popular. You'll be glad to see Bootycandy is included in the slate of nominees, as is An American in Paris and Hamilton. (Noticeably absent: The Last Ship.) Scroll to the bottom of this post for the full list of nominees.

Jeremy Shamos and More Set for Bruce Norris's The Qualms

Casting has been announced for Pulitzer Prize winner Bruce Norris's The Qualms, set to run at Playwrights Horizons. For this production, Norris re-teams with his Clybourne Park director, Tony winner Pam MacKinnon (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), and star, Tony nominee Jeremy Shamos (Dinner with Friends). Shamos will be joined by Kate Arrington (Grace), Donna Lynne Champlin (See Rock City...), Noah Emmerich, Sarah Goldberg, Julian Leong, Andy Lucien, Chinasa Ogbuagu and John Procaccino. Previews begin May 22, with opening night set for June 14. The play is scheduled for a limited engagement (as are all Playwrights Horizons shows) through July 12, though with this pedigree, don't be surprised if it extends. Theater Mania has more about the cast.

Vineyard Season Announced

The off-Broadway Vineyard Theatre Company announced its 2015-2016 season, which will include the new musical, Kid Victory, written by John Kander and his recent collaborator, Greg Pierce. (The duo previously worked together on The Landing.) Also on tap is Indecent, a new play (with music) by Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel (How I Learned to Drive), to be directed by Rebecca Taichman (Stage Kiss). The season continues with Dot, written by Colman Domingo and directed by Susan Stroman. (The two previously collaborated on The Scottsboro Boys.) Visit Broadway.com for more about these shows, and head to vineyardtheatre.org subscribe.

Outer Critics Circle Awards

The OCC Award nominees were announced this week. An American in Paris garnered eight nominations, including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Robbie Fairchild) and Outstanding Choreography (Christopher Wheeldon). The terrific Alex Sharp was nominated for his performance in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (the show received other nominations, as well), and, somewhat surprisingly but not unjustifiably, The Last Ship earned three nods, Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Book and Outstanding Score. (Some shows noticeably absent: Constellations, Bootycandy and Placebo) Winners will be announced on May 11 and honored on May 21. The OCC Awards honor excellence in both Broadway and off-Broadway, and the OCC is made up of critics who cover the New York theatre scene for out of town outlets. Scroll to the bottom of this post (past the Drama League Award nominees) for the full list of nominees.

Tony Winners Set for Rachmaninov Play, Preludes

Tony winner Gabriel Ebert (Matilda, Casa Valentina), Tony winner Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon, Les Miserables), Eisa Davis (The Call) and Chris Sarandon (The Princess Bride) will star in the world premiere of Preludes at Lincoln Center. Written and directed by Rachel Chavkin, the play is inspired by Sergei Rachmaninov's music. Previews begin May 23, with opening night scheduled for June 15; the limited engagement will conclude July 19. Broadway.com has more.

Drama Desk Awards

Nominees for the Drama Desk Awards, honoring excellence in Broadway, off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway in the 2014-2015 season, were announced. As was the trend this week, Hamilton led the pack, though An American in Paris was close behind (12 nods to Hamilton's 13). You might be pleased to note that Fly by Night was recognized with several nominations. Drama Desk Awards are bestowed by critics, which makes the inclusion of some of the nominees rather curious. (See: some critically reviled shows racked up multiple nominations.) Also of note: Drama Desk Awards for the score are separated into two categories, one for music and one for lyrics, leaving some writers or teams nominated for one and not the other (as in the case of The Last Ship). Scroll down (past the Drama League and OCC nomination lists) for the (almost) full list of nominees.

Dig This

  • Not at all diggable but newsworthy nonetheless: Jon Stewart's final episode of The Daily Show will be August 6. Get your tissues ready.

  • Stephen Adly Guirgis's play, Between Riverside and Crazy, won this year's Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Broadway.com has more about the honor.

  • Ewan McGregor (The Real Thing) is in final negotiations to join the cast of the live-action Beauty and the Beast; he'll play the enchanted candelabra, Lumiere. The Hollywood Reporter has more. Stanley Tucci has also joined up; he'll play a newly created character. Playbill has the story.

  • Despite middling reviews, Finding Neverland will launch a national tour in fall 2016. Broadway.com has more.

  • Want to hear and see something wonderful? Watch this video of Steven Pasquale (The Bridges of Madison County) and Laura Osnes (Cinderella) singing "If I Loved You." The pair are starring in a Chicago production of Carousel.

  • Ghostlight Records will record the Something Rotten cast album. The OBCR will be released digitally June 2. Physical copies will be available beginning July 17. Visit sh-k-boom.com/somethingrotten to pre-order. 

  • Believe it or not, demand for Hamilton on Broadway tickets is so strong, producers have already released a new block of tickets. Previews begin July 13, and tickets are now on sale through March 27, 2016.

  • Not so diggable: The Heidi Chronicles will conclude its Broadway run earlier than planned. Rather than playing through August, the run will conclude on May 3. Broadway.com has more.


Drama League Awards—Full List of Nominees

Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play
Outstanding Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play
Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical
Outstanding Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical
Distinguished Performance Award (This is not a complete list of those in contention for this honor; for a complete list, visit dramaleague.org. Also, note that a performer cannot win this award more than once, which makes it all the more surprising to see perennially excellent performers like Kristin Chenoweth on the slate. On the Drama League site, you'll find a list of performers who did excellent work this year but are ineligible for this honor since they have previously received the award.)
  • Christian Borle
  • Steven Boyer
  • Kristin Chenoweth
  • Leanne Cope
  • Daveed Diggs
  • Robert Fairchild
  • Jake Gyllenhaal
  • Brian d'Arcy James
  • Rebecca Naomi Jones
  • Ruthie Ann Miles
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Tam Mutu
  • Kelli O'Hara
  • Bryce Pinkham
  • Chita Rivera
  • Alex Sharp
  • Ruth Wilson


Outer Critics Circle Award—Full List of Nominees

All categories are for Broadway and off-Broadway unless otherwise noted.

Outstanding New Broadway Play
Outstanding New Broadway Musical
Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play
Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical
Outstanding Book of a Musical       
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
  • Brian Hargrove, It Shoulda Been You
  • Brian Yorkey and John Logan, The Last Ship
  • Karey Kirkpatrick and John O'Farrell, Something Rotten
  • Terrence McNally, The Visit 
Outstanding New Score
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
  • Brian Hargrove (lyrics) and Barbara Anselmi (score), It Shoulda Been You
  • Sting, The Last Ship
  • Karey Kirkpatrick and Wayne Kirkpatrick, Something Rotten
  • John Kander and Fred Ebb, The Visit   
Outstanding Revival of a Play
Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Outstanding Actor in a Play
Outstanding Actress in a Play
  • Greta Gerwig, The Village Bike
  • Jan Maxwell, The City of Conversation
  • Helen Mirren, The Audience
  • Elisabeth Moss, The Heidi Chronicles
  • Tonya Pinkins, Rasheeda Speaking
Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
  • Paul Jesson, Wolf Hall
  • Richard McCabe, The Audience
  • Alessandro Nivola, The Elephant Man
  • Nathaniel Parker, Wolf Hall
  • Bryce Pinkham, The Heidi Chronicles       
 Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Outstanding Director of a Play
Outstanding Director of a Musical
Outstanding Choreographer
Outstanding Set Design (Play or Musical)
Outstanding Costume Design (Play or Musical)
Outstanding Lighting Design (Play or Musical)
Outstanding Solo Performance
  • Joe Assadourian, The Bullpen
  • Jim Dale, Just Jim Dale
  • Tom Dugan, Wiesenthal
  • Cush Jumbo, Josephine and I
  • Benjamin Scheuer, The Lion
John Gassner Award
(Presented for and American play, preferably by a new playwright)  
For more information, including stats about this year's nominees, visit Broadway.com


Drama Desk Awards—Full List of Nominees

All categories are for Broadway, off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway, unless otherwise noted. (This is a mostly full list of nominees; a few categories were left out. Visit broadwayworld.com for the full full list, including special awards.)

Outstanding Play
Outstanding Musical
Outstanding Revival of a Play
  • The Elephant Man
  • Fashions for Men
  • Ghosts
  • The Iceman Cometh
  • Tamburlaine the Great
  • The Wayside Motor Inn
Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Outstanding Actor in a Play
Outstanding Actress in a Play
  • Brook Bloom, You Got Older
  • Kathleen Chalfant, A Walk in the Woods
  • Kristin Griffith, The Fatal Weakness
  • Jan Maxwell, The City of Conversation
  • Helen Mirren, The Audience
  • Carey Mulligan, Skylight
  • Tonya Pinkins, Rasheeda Speaking   
Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
  • F. Murray Abraham, It's Only a Play
  • Reed Birney, You Got Older
  • K. Todd Freeman, Airline Highway
  • Jason Butler Harner, The Village Bike
  • Jonathan Hogan, Pocatello
  • Jose Joaquin Perez, My Manana Comes
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Outstanding Director of a Play
Outstanding Director of a Musical
Outstanding Choreography
Outstanding Music
Outstanding Lyrics
Outstanding Book of a Musical
Outstanding Orchestrations
Outstanding Set Design [Play or Musical]
  • Bob Crowley, An American in Paris
  • Christine Jones, Let the Right One In
  • David Korins, Hamilton
  • Mimi Lien, An Octoroon
  • Scott Pask, The Visit
  • Daniel Zimmerman, Fashions for Men
Outstanding Costume Design [Play or Musical]
  • Bob Crowley, An American in Paris
  • Bob Crowley, The Audience
  • Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall
  • Paul Tazewell, Hamilton
  • Andrea Varga, The Fatal Weakness
  • Catherine Zuber, Gigi  
Outstanding Lighting Design [Play or Musical]
Outstanding Projection Design [Play or Musical]
Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical 
Outstanding Sound Design in a Play

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