Around The Town

Drama League Nominations

THE DRAMA LEAGUE announced The 2014 AWARD NOMINEES for the 80th ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY Which is  set for  FRIDAY, MAY 16th

The Drama League (Executive Director, Gabriel Shanks) has announced the 2014 Drama League Awards Nominees for Distinguished Play, Distinguished Revival of a Play, Distinguished Musical, Distinguished Revival of a Musical, and Distinguished Performance Award. The nominations were announced at a ceremony hosted by Judith Light and Christopher Sieber at Sardi's Restaurant.

Gordin's View

Meryl Streep Honored

             Eugene O'Neill Theater Centers Honors Meryl Streep
Meryl StreepMeryl Streep
The Monte Cristo Award's dinner honored Meryl Streep at the Edison Ballroom, 240 West 47th Street, on Monday. A star studded array of guests from film, television and theater came out to honor the Grand Dame of Film. The 2012 honoree Michael Douglas and his beautiful wife Catherine Zeta Jones, reunited after their trial separation were on hand for the dinner. Others sighted on the red carpet included Judith Light, John Patrick Shanley, Alice Ripley, Jamie deRoy, Billy Magnussen, Richard Bey, Carmen de Lavallade and Scott Schwartz.


Of Mice and Men ****

                          By: David Sheward
Chris O’Dowd, James FrancoChris O’Dowd, James FrancoOkay, we all know that James Franco can do just about anything well-star and direct movies, write novels, act on a soap opera, study Romantic literature in grad school, host the Oscars (well, maybe not that last one so well). Franco can now add Broadway debut to this eclectic list of accomplishments, and he wisely chose not to make it in a flashy star vehicle like, say, Hamlet. Instead, he's a part of a nearly seamless ensemble in a sterling production of Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck's American classic of loneliness during the Great Depression.


Lady Day ****

                 Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill            
                          By David Sheward

Audra McDonaldAudra McDonaldWhen attending a press preview of this production, I didn't know that Audra McDonald would be attempting a re-creation of Billie Holiday's distinctively scratchy and emotive voice. I had assumed she would be doing an interpretation, channeling her own smooth soprano into a jazz configuration. So when McDonald stepped onto set designer James Noone's re-creation of a small nightclub stage in 1959 South Philadelphia and opened her mouth, I was shocked. The sounds that came out were not an approximation.


The Most Deserving ***

By: Lauren Yarger
What's It All About?
The Arts Council of a small Kansas town considers candidates for the largest grant award it ever has received -- $20,000. But who is the most deserving? Is it the sonJennifer Lin, Edie Kelch, and Veanne CoxJennifer Lin, Edie Kelch, and Veanne Cox of a local politician who can make or break the council's existence with his power over its budget? Is it council member Dwayne Dean (Adam LeFevre) whose series of vice-presidential portraits fails to stir passion even when he claims minority status as part homosexual to be eligible for the grant (he needs the money after being laid off from his auto sales job)?

Around The Town

Outer Critics Circle Nominations

 The Outer Critics Circle announced  their 64 annual nominees for  the 2013-14 season. "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder"
heads the list with 11 Nominations! Followed by 8 for "Aladdin," 7 for "Fun Home" and  6 for "Rocky"

The Award Nominations are the  first of the Season!


Bullets Over Broadway **

By: David Sheward
It seemed like such a terrific idea: a musical version of Woody Allen's hilarious 1994 Jazz Age film comedy Bullets Over Broadway, directed and choreographed by the ever-imaginative Susan Stroman, with flavorful songs from the period for the score. But there have been a couple of slips between conception and execution.

Around The Town

BC/EFA Easter Bonnet

Easter Bonnet Competition April 21 and 22 Ends BC/EFA Fundraising Season with Color and Pizzazz
                                         By: Ellis Nassour
A roster of theater's most fashionable stars performing in novel original skits will highlight Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' very haute couture 28th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition fundraiser at the Minskoff Theatre, home to the long-running musical hit Dis
ney's The Lion King, on April 21 at 4:30 P.M. and April 22 at 2 P.M.


Live Out Loud's 2014 Gala

Tony Winner Billy Porter to Host Live Out Loud's 13th Annual Young Trailblazers Gala April 28: Terrence McNally and Ariel Foxman to be Honored
Billy Porter: Photo: Barry GordinBilly Porter: Photo: Barry Gordin Dazzling Lola, who knows a thing or two about entertaining, will host Live Out Loud's 13th Annual Young Trailblazers Gala, in the personage of acclaimed Tony, Drama Desk, and Grammy winner Billy Porter, who puts the kink in Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Firestein's megahit Kinky Boots. The event, which will honor Pulitizer Prize, four-time Tony and three-time Drama Desk winner Terrence McNally and Ariel Foxman, editor at InStyle magazine, takes place at the Times Center/New York Times building, 242 West 41st Street [between Broadway and Eighth Avenue] from 6-9:30 P.M.

Around The Town

Broadway Season Update

 By: David Sheward
Broadway Season Winds Down; New One Takes Shape
As the 2013-14 Broadway season winds down, 2014-15 begins to take shape. Definite pr
Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin in This Is Our YouthMichael Cera and Kieran Culkin in This Is Our Youthoductions include Holler If Ya Hear Me, the Tupac Shakur musical; the revival of This Is Our Youth with Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin, (pictured in an Australian production of the play) and fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson, all making their Broadway debuts along with playwright Kenneth Lonergan; Sting's The Last Ship; and Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Cynthia Nixon in The Real Thing. Shows which have announced but don't have a definite date yet include Bradley Cooper in The Elephant Man, and the revival of On the Town which is definitely going into the Lyric (formerly the Foxwoods) knocking out the previously-announced King Kong.


The Realistic Joneses **

                                  By: David Sheward
"Words don't do it for me anymore," says John, one of four characters with the same last name in Will Eno's absurdToni Collette, Michael C. HallToni Collette, Michael C. Hallist comedy-drama The Realistic Joneses. Unfortunately, he could be describing this audience member as well as himself. Eno has a unique way with dialogue. Non-sequiturs pop out, interspersed with oddball observations and hilarious quips. But here, as with his earlier works such as Middletown and Oh, the Humanity, the people speaking them aren't especially compelling and the action doesn't add up to much.


Theatrical Entertainment

Amazing Array of Enticing Theatrical Entertainment Awaits Easter Weekend Audiences
               By: Ellis Nassour

What better Easter treat than a Broadway or Off Broadway show. New plays and musicals have been and are still opening by the dozens in the race to qualify for end-of-the-season nominations for the Tonys, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and Lortel Awards.

Looking forward, the Tonys are June 8 at Radio City hosted by Hugh Jackman, with nominations announced on April 29 by Lucy Liu and Jonathan Groff; the Drama Desk Awards are June 1, with the nominations announced on April 25. Off Broadway's prestigious Obie Awards will be handed out on May 19.


A Raisin In the Sun *****

By: David Sheward
When it was first announced that Denzel Washington would be headlining a revival of A Raisin in the Sun, I was skeptical. The classic 1959 Lorraine Hansberry drama of a Chicago family fighting poverty and racism had been revived not too long ago with rap musician-actor Sean Combs in the lead under the same director, Kenny Leon. In addition, Washington, at 59, was 20 years older than the role of Walter Lee Younger as written, and the glamorous Diahann Carroll was set to play Lena, Walter's no-nonsense mother. It appeared the producers were more interested in star casting than in finding the most appropriate actors for the leads. Then Carroll dropped out to be replaced by the lesser-known but more down-to-earth LaTanya Richardson Jackson.
David Cromer, Bryce Clyde Jenkins, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Anika Noni Rose, Denzel Washington, Sophie OkonedoDavid Cromer, Bryce Clyde Jenkins, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Anika Noni Rose, Denzel Washington, Sophie Okonedo


Fishing for Wives ***1/2

                     Fishing for Wives on Theatre Row
Pan Asian Repertory Theatre is presenting the New York premiere of Fishing for Wives, a romantic comedy by Edward Sakamoto set in a magical 1913 Hawaii. The playwright paints a vintage story about Nishi a fisherman in Hawaii, who sends off a photo of his handsome friend in hopes of luring a beautiful Japanese woman into marriage. The tale is based on his director Ron Nakahara's true heritage as the grandson of two "picture brides," Japanese women who came to Hawaii to marry men they only knew from a picture.
Viet Vo, Kiyo Takami, Bobby FoleyViet Vo, Kiyo Takami, Bobby Foley


Her Only Broadway Musical

Veteran Actor George S. Irving, Sheldon Harnick Remember Bette Davis in Her Only Broadway Musical
         By: Ellis Nassour

Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning actor George S. Irving, 91, star of numerous TV series and TV guest-starring roles and who's starred in over 32 Broadway and Off Broadway shows since his debut in the original Oklahoma!, has "a still very vivid" memory of working along side Bette Davis on Broadway in Two's Company (1952).

The revue had sketches directed by Jules Dassin and musical staging by Jerome Robbins; music and lyrics by Vernon Duke/Ogden Nash, Sammy Cahn, and among numerous others, Horton Foote and Sheldon Harnick.