2018-19 Tony and Drama Desk Predictions

Eva Noblezada, André De Shields and Reeve Carney in “Hadestown.” Photo: Matthew Murphy

By: David Sheward

June 1, 2019: Once again the Tonys (presented June 9) and Drama Desk Awards (given June 2) will have significantly different results. In previous seasons, the two accolade-dispensing organizations would honor almost the same recipients and the DDs were seen as a theatrical equivalent to the Golden Globes with the Tonys playing Oscars. The essential difference between the two prizes is the Tonys, given out by the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League, are only for Broadway shows while the Drama Desk, composed of New York-based theater critics, journalists and editors, includes on, Off- and Off-Off-Broadway productions in their celebration of the best of Gotham stages. Because of this discrepancy, if a show moves from Off-Broadway to Broadway in separate seasons, it would be up for a Tony but ineligible for a DD award since it was in contention previously.

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Face the Music: Ben Solowey

Face the Music: Exhibit of Rarely-Seen Broadway Musicals Paintings of Artist Ben Solowey

By: Ellis Nassour

June 1, 2019: Theaterlovers will want to make tracks to Bedminister, PA, in Bucks County, for an exciting showcase of the charcoal portraits of theater and film luminaries by the celebrated artist Ben Solowey. The free exhibit, Face the Music: Ben Solowey’s Portraits of Broadway Musicals runs Saturdays and Sundays through June 16, from 1 to 5 P.M. at Solowey’s studio, 3551 Olde Bedminister Road. It will feature portraits by Solowey (1900 – 1978) not exhibited in 80 years.

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Paulanne Simmons Unscripted

Discerning Diversity

May 12, 2019: As theater attempts to become more and more inclusive, audiences have become used to seeing women in traditionally male roles, African-Americans in traditionally white roles and people with various disabilities in roles that give no indication the character has any such condition.

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Off Broadway Shines

By: Iris Wiener

April 29, 2019: The Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Award nominations have been announced, and as with any nominations list, plenty of deserving productions and performers have been left off. Here is our short list of those that didn’t make the cut (but should have):

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Meet The Tony Award Nominees

Jeff-Daniels Best Leading Actor in a Play “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Press Junket for the 2019 Tony Award Nominees

By: Patrick Christiano

May 5, 2019:  On Wednesday morning May 1, the day after The American Theatre Wing announced their 2019 Tony Nominations in 24 categories, the nominees attended a press junket at the Sofitel New York Hotel on West 45th Street. National and local members of the press attended a “meet and greet,” which is a chance for the press to chat with the season’s most celebrated stars and producers. The fun-filled morning is also an opportunity for the nominees to catch up with each other and celebrate their nominations.

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Tootsie

Five Reasons Why Tootsie is Terrifically “Unstoppable”

By: Iris Wiener

April 28, 2019: It’s as sparkly as Tootsie’s iconic red dress and even funnier than Dustin Hoffman in that red dress; Broadway’s Tootsie is the rare film-to-theatre adaptation that improves upon what was already a revered original piece. The magnificently huge laughs that transpire at every performance of this musical are unlike any others; deep and guttural, they transcend those in other comedies. Replacing the film’s soap opera setting with that of a Broadway musical, the show feels accessible and timely, making it above and beyond crowd-pleasing. 

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What the Constitution Means to Me

Five Reasons Why What the Constitution Means to Me is an Experience Worth Having

By: Iris Wiener

 April 8, 2019: Heidi Schreck opens her sensational play in an American Legion hall in her hometown of Wanatchee, Washington, where her 15 year-old self is competing in the regional semifinals of a Legion oratory contest. She announces that the topic of her speeches will be none other than “What the Constitution Means to Me,” as told through the lens of her teen persona in 1989 (the author and star is 45).

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ACA Galleries

Mikaela Sardo Lamarche , Jane Bernard

Bruce High Quality Foundation: The End of Western Art, March 29 through May 24, 2019

March 30, 2019: An exhibition by Bruce High Quality foundation opened at ACA Galleries, 520 West 29th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.  The exhibition features works by the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, Pablo Picasso, Giorgio Vasari, Marcel DuChamp, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Chaim Soutine, Rudolf Steiner, and Joseph Cornell.

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The Ferryman

Brian d’Arcy James Leads New American Cast of The Ferryman

By: Ellis Nassour

Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman is one of the most acclaimed plays of this or any season. In its London West End debut, it won numerous awards, including the coveted Olivier for Best Play and director Sam Mendes. In its Broadway transfer, playing at the Bernard Jacobs Theatre at least into July, the play has over 25 Best Play picks and a New York Times’ Critics Pick. Needless to say, it’s a front runner for a Tony nomination for Best Play and Director. Mendes is an Oscar and Tony winner—Best Picture, American Beauty; 1998 revival, Cabaret. Butterworth was Tony-nominated in 2011 for Best Play for Jerusalem, his Broadway playwriting debut, which starred Tony winner Mark Rylance.

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To Kill A Mockingbird Screening

Fathom Events and TCM Big Screen Classics Presents Screenings of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird

By: Ellis Nassour

March 22, 2019: Experience one of the most significant milestones in film history with two screenings each on Sunday, March 24, and Wednesday, March 27, when Fathom Events, TCM Big Screen Classics, in association with Universal Pictures, present rare theatrical screenings of the  acclaimed and Oscar-nominated film adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird. It will play in more than 600 cineplexes nationwide – including 10 in the New York metropolitan area.

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WP Theater Gala

Bonnie Comley

Bonnie Comley to be honored at WP 40th Anniversary Season Gala

This year, at their 4oth Anniversary Season Gala, WP Theater is honoring Bonnie for her incredible accomplishments as a leader in the Broadway community, Founder and Co-President of BroadwayHD and a multi Tony Award-Winning Producer.

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Golden Shamrock Gala

The Gingold Theatrical Group honored Stephen Schwarz and Mary Pamela Singleton

March 17, 2019: The Gingold Theatrical Group hosted their 2019 Golden Shamrock Gala on Saturday, March 16th at 3 West Club (3 West 51st Street), and honored humanitarian and award-winning creator of Godspell, Pippin, and Wicked, Stephen Schwartz, and tireless supporter of the arts in New York, Mary Pamela Singleton.

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Into the Woods: In Concert

By: Iris Wiener

Broadway stars headed Into the Woods in Patchogue on March 8th and 9th as a part of the Patchogue Theatre’s ongoing Broadway Series, a popular concert program that was created by Gary Hygom and John McDaniel. The Stephen Sondheim musical fantasy was at its finest, backed by a phenomenal 15-piece orchestra with sixteen diverse, extraordinarily talented performers bringing new life to a timeless classic. The production featured McDaniel’s direction and conduction, with Stephen DeAngelis’ casting.

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My Fair Lady

Allan Corduner, Laura Benanti, Christian Dante White, and the company of Lincoln Center Theater’s “My Fair Lady.”

5 Reasons Why My Fair Lady is Worth a Second Visit

By: Iris Wiener

March 8, 2019: How can you improve upon a stellar musical that was nominated for ten Tony awards (of which it won one) and five Drama Desk awards (of which it won two)? It’s a difficult feat, but not an impossible one. The classic show, now playing at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theatre, has aged well in its current production, and still feels as fresh and exciting as it did when it opened in April 2018. This is equally attributable to the care with which My Fair Lady was originally constructed and the new talent that only elevates the exquisite piece. Here are five of many reasons why it’s time for a second go-round with this “loverly” musical:

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Paulanne Simmons Unscripted

Merrily We Roll Along … Again

February 27, 2019: Seeing Roundabout’s revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along reminded me of two things. First, Sondheim, even at his worst is better than almost all of his imitators. And second, producers and directors would do well to stop reviving plays and musicals that weren’t so great the first (and sometimes second and third) time round.

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