Reviews

The Merchant of Venice

Ah what treasures Central Park’s Delacorte Theatre does hold! The renowned actor Al Pacino is starring in the Public Theater’s staging of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice as Shylock, a viscous vindictive Jew in the Bard’s tricky tragicomedy tale. Directed by the predictably safe Daniel Sullivan the production features a top notch cast that includes an often radiant Lily Rabe, Bryon Jennings and Hamish Linklater along with a sturdy ensemble of accomplished actors. If Sullivan’s production offers little more than a literal interpretation of the text short on nuance and devoid of emotional layers, the actors nonetheless display a commanding flair for Shakespeare’s lush language and the stark revolving black metal staging with the sumptuous park backdrop is a visual delight.

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Motown Live at Ross School

Julie Andrews, Courtney Sale Ross

The Ross School 2010 Annual Benefit Gala kicked off their summer season on Saturday June 19, 2010. The evening billed as Motown Live at the Starlight Club honored the renowned stage and film legend Julie Andrews with a festive dinner and dancing extravaganza, which featured the cool sounds of musicians from the early Motown era including The Miracles, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and Jr Walker’s Allstar Band. Harry Winston Jewelers donated at diamond and pear studded lady’s quartz watch valued at nearly $30,000 for the live auction that was a huge success for the Ross School scholarship funds.  Guests rocked the night away at the school’s major benefit. For more Ross School news, please visit www.ross.org/news where you will find all sorts of programs for children of all ages and adults.
…Christiano

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Guild Hall Preview

Cleota Reed, Dr. David Tatham, Ruth Appelhof

On Saturday June 19 The Board of Trustees and Ruth Appelhof, Executive Director of Guild Hall, hosted a members  preview of the new exhibition in the museum, which will be on view through July 25, 2010:  WINDSLOW HOMER, The Pleasures of Summer, and MERCEDES MATTER, A Retrospective. Also on display are the Sculptures of Gloria Kisch in the Roy & Frieda Sculpture Garden. A reception followed at the lavish gardens of Mickey and Paola Schulhof home in East Hampton.

 

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Features

NYC Summer Theater Sizzles

NYC theater scene sizzles in summer…
                    By: Isa Goldberg

During the summer, the theater scene in New York City is a swarm of theater festivals all of them promising Dionysian abandon and many conjuring classical themes as conceived by emerging artists. Audiences will have their choice of everything from the “Clubbed Thumb”(Clubbed Thumb.org) to “Planet Connections” (planetconnectionsfestivity.com), both of which return this year along with the “Ice Factory” turning up the heat while SPF (Short Play Festival) takes a hiatus.

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HMI “Schools Out”

Rob Smith, Scott Sanders, Peter Wilson

The Hetrick Martin Institute home of the Harvey Milk High School and the largest social services organization supporting LGBTQ youth held its 11 Annual School’s Out Benefit in the Hamptons on Saturday June 12. The East Hampton event on the grounds of the famed Grey Gardens was a huge success selling out quickly for cocktails and dancing on the magnificent gardens that were once the home of “Big Edie” and “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale, relatives of Jackie Kennedy and subjects of the recent Broadway musical, subsequent film and earlier documentary. The Hetrick Martin Institute is the oldest social organization of its kind. For more information concerning their work or how to be of support visit www.hmi.org
…christiano

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Around The Town

Drama Desk Panel

Chad Kimball, Montego Glover


“The Music is the Message,”
a Drama Desk Panel discussion hosted by Scott Siegel (Broadway by the Years) was presented at Sardi’s on Friday June 18.  Participants from some of the season’s hit musical productions included Christine Andreas (La Cage aux Folles), Jeffry Denman (Yank!), Montego Glover (Memphis), Chad Kimball (Memphis), Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), David Thompson (The Scottsboro Boys), and David Zellnick (Yank!)

 

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Meet the Tony Nominees

Denzel Washington
Viola Davis

Fela and La Cage aux Folles led the list with 11 nominations each when the 2010 Tony nominations were announced on Tuesday May 4. The musicals were followed by Kenny Leon’s stirring revival of August Wilson’s Fences, which nabbed 10 nominations including Best Revival of Play and Tony nods for Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. The next day The Millennuim Broadway Hotel was filled with Broadway celebrities from this year’s list of nominees for a “meet the press reception.” 
By: Patrick Christiano 
Photography: Barry Gordin

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Reviews

Everyday Rapture ****

While the Mennonite folk Sherie Rene Scott left behind and refers to in her new musical Everyday Rapture may still be waiting for the title’s religious occurrence, the blonde, long-limbed, angel-voiced diva is the embodiment of that rapture at the American Airlines Theatre. Her musical co written with her director Dick Scanlan is a captivating delight.

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2010 Tony Awards

Viola Davis, Denzel Washington

Memphis and Red  took top prizes, best musical and best play respectivitly, at the 2010 Tony Awards held Sunday June 13 at Radio City Music Hall.

Memphis, an orginal rock ‘n roll musical by David Bryan and Joe DePietro, which has been seven years coming to frutition and features no big name performers, a rarity by today’s standards, also won best book, score, and orchestrations.  The British play Red by John Longan in addition to best  play scored five Tony wins the most for the evening. However, a most surprsing trend may be developing as the Hollowywood star power nominees eclipsed Broadway veterns winning in every category they were nominated. They included Denzel Washingon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Scarlett Johnsson.

August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning drama Fences won the Tony for best revival and the play’s stars, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, scored Tonys for best leading actor and actress. Best revival of a musical went to  La Cage aux Folles,  a British import, which also won best director of a musical Terry Johnson and best actor in a musical Douglas Hodge.
Christiano 

Arielle Tepper Madover, John Logan “Red”

Photography By Barry Gordin

A complete list of winners follows:

Best Play
In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play
Next Fall

Red

Time Stands Still

Best Musical

American Idiot
Fela! 

Memphis


Million Dollar Quartet

Joe DiPietro, David Bryan, Sue Frost, Randy Adams

Best Book of a Musical

Everyday Rapture
Fela! 

Memphis
Million Dollar Quartet

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

The Addams Family
Enron

Fences

Memphis

Best Revival of a Play

Fences

Lend Me a Tenor

The Royal Family

A View from the Bridge

Best Revival of a Musical
Finian’s Rainbow

La Cage aux Folles

A Little Night Music
Ragtime

Denzel Washington

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play

Jude Law, Hamlet

Alfred Molina, Red
Liev Schreiber, A View from the Bridge
Christopher Walken, A Behanding in Spokane
Denzel Washington, Fences

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
Viola Davis, Fences

Valerie Harper, Looped

Linda Lavin, Collected Stories

Viola Davis

Laura Linney, Time Stands Still

Jan Maxwell, The Royal Family

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical

Kelsey Grammer, La Cage aux Folles

Sean Hayes, Promises, Promises
Douglas Hodge, La Cage aux Folles
Chad Kimball, Memphis

Sahr Ngaujah, Fela!

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical
Kate Baldwin, Finian’s Rainbow
Montego Glover, Memphis


Catherine Zeta- Jones

Christiane Noll, Ragtime
Sherie Rene Scott, Everyday Rapture

Catherine Zeta-Jones, A Little Night Music

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play
David Alan Grier, Race

Stephen McKinley Henderson, Fences
Jon Michael Hill, Superior Donuts

Stephen Kunken, Enron
Eddie Redmayne, Red

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play

Scarlett Johansson

Maria Dizzia, In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play
Rosemary Harris, The Royal Family

Jessica Hecht, A View from the   Bridge

Scarlett Johansson, A View from the Bridge

Jan Maxwell, Lend Me a Tenor


Levi Kreis

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical

Kevin Chamberlin, The Addams Family

Robin De Jesús, La Cage aux Folles

Christopher Fitzgerald, Finian’s Rainbow

Levi Kreis, Million Dollar Quartet

Bobby Steggert, Ragtime

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical

Katie Finneran

Barbara Cook, Sondheim on Sondheim

Katie Finneran, Promises, Promises

Angela Lansbury, A Little Night Music

Karine Plantadit, Come Fly Away

Lillias White, Fela!

Christopher Oram


Best Scenic Design of a Play

John Lee Beatty, The Royal Family

Alexander Dodge, Present Laughter

Santo Loquasto, Fences

Christopher Oram, Red

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Marina Draghici, Fela! 

Christine Jones, American Idiot

Derek McLane, Ragtime

Tim Shortall, La Cage aux Folles

Catherine Zuber

Best Costume Design of a Play
Martin Pakledinaz, Lend Me a Tenor

Constanza Romero, Fences

David Zinn, In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play

Catherine Zuber, The Royal Family

Best Costume Design of a Musical


Marina Draghici, Fela! 

Santo Loquasto, Ragtime

Paul Tazewell, Memphis

Matthew Wright, La Cage aux Folles

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Neil Austin, Hamlet
Neil Austin, Red

Mark Henderson, Enron


Kevin Adams

Brian MacDevitt, Fences

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Kevin Adams, American Idiot
Donald Holder, Ragtime

Nick Richings, La Cage aux Folles

Robert Wierzel, Fela!

Best Sound Design of a Play
Acme Sound Partners,
Fences
Adam Cork, Enron
Adam Cork, Red

Scott Lehrer, A View from the Bridge

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Jonathan Deans, La Cage aux Folles
Robert Kaplowitz, Fela!
Dan Moses Schreier and Gareth Owen, A Little Night Music
Dan Moses Schreier, Sondheim on Sondheim

Best Direction of a Play

Michael Grandage, Red

Sheryl Kaller, Next Fall

Kenny Leon, Fences

Gregory Mosher, A View from the Bridge

Best Direction of a Musical

Christopher Ashley, Memphis

Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Ragtime
Terry Johnson, La Cage aux Folles

Bill T. Jones, Fela!

Best Choreography

Rob Ashford, Promises, Promises
Bill T. Jones, Fela!

Bill T. Jones

Lynne Page, La Cage aux Folles

Twyla Tharp, Come Fly Away

Best Orchestrations


Jason Carr, La Cage aux Folles

Aaron Johnson, Fela!
Jonathan Tunick, Promises, Promises
Daryl Waters & David Bryan, Memphis

Angela Lansbury
Bebe Neuwirth, Nathan Lane
Eddie Redmayne
Eddie Redmayne
Katie Finneran
Levi Kreis

 

Montego Glover, Chad Kimball
Douglas Hodge
Catherine Zeta- Jones, Viola Davis
Catherine Zeta- Jones
SIr Alan Ayckbourn
David Hyde Pierce
Christine Jones, Kevin Adams

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Equus at Guild Hall

Alec Baldwin
Sam Underwood

Alec Baldwin heads a powerful production of EQUUS, Peter Shaffer’s acclaimed play, which opened at Guild Hall’s John Drew Theater on Friday June 11th. The 1974 Tony Award winning drama concerns a psychiatrist Martin Dysart (Baldwin), who must treat a 17 year old young man Alan Strang (Sam Underwood), who has blinded six horses with a spike for no apparent reason. In the drama directed by Tony Walton, who designed the 1977 film starring Richard Burton, Dysart is forced to examine his own life as he attempts to unravel the reasons behind the boy’s horrific act.

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Astaire Awards

Ben Vereen
Patricia Watt, Kenny Ortega

Ben Vereen hosted the 28th Annual Fred & Adele Astaire Awards honoring excellence in dance on stage and in film  Monday, June 7, 2010 at the Gerald Lynch Theater in NYC. The star studded event celebrating dancers and dance featured performances by cast members of Fela, Come Fly Away, Ragtime & Memphis as well a special numbers by Ronald K. Brown’s Evidence, A Dance Company, “Dancing With the Stars” Tony Dovolani and Lee Roy Reams  performing with ladies who once danced with Fred Astaire. The evening was directed by Lee Roy Reams and produced by Patricia Watt.  Director & Choreographer Kenny Ortega received the The Douglas Watt Lifetime Achievement Award.
Photography: Barry Grordin

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“Dissonance” at Bay Street

Morgan Spector, Robert Stanton, Rosie Benton, Gregory Wooddell, Daniel Gerroll

The New York Premiere of Dissonance, an engaging new play by Damian Lanigan, opened at Bay Street Theatre’s Mainstage on Saturday June 5. The first play of  their 2010 summer season is a poignant tale that tests the loyalties of a string quartet when Beth (Rosie Benton), the foursome’s attractive cellist, begins giving music lessons to Jonny (Gregory Wooddell), a sexy rock star. The smart story unfolds during their rehearsals for a major concert revealing a tense conflicted history that is heightened as Jonny and Beth’s romance blooms. Lonny Price, a Tony nominated director, guides a talented cast that includes Daniel Gerroll, Morgan Spector, and Robert Stanton, to the final fade out on the stage of Carnegie Hall.

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Around The Town

The Outer Critics Circle Awards

Catherine Zeta-Jones

By: Patrick Christiano
The 60th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards were announced at Sardi’s Restaurant (234 West 44th Street) in NYC on May 27, 2010. Catherine Zeta- Jones A Little Night Music and Montego Glover Memphis  tied for Outstanding Actress in a Musical.

The 2009-2010 Outer Critics Circle Award Winners are:

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY
Next Fall
* Red
Superior Donuts
Time Stands Still

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Around The Town

The Drama League Awards

The 76th Annual Drama League Awards will be Hosted by Vanessa Williams and Michael Urie on May 21, 2010  at The Marriott Marquis Times Square

 

 

 THE 76th ANNUAL DRAMA LEAGUE AWARDS NOMINATIONS

 

 

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