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.
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
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.
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.
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
“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!)
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Barbara Cook, Sondheim on Sondheim Katie Finneran, Promises, Promises Angela Lansbury, A Little Night Music Karine Plantadit, Come Fly Away Lillias White, Fela!
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
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
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!
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
Alec Baldwin heads a powerful production ofEQUUS, 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.
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
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.
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