Omigod I think Broadway’s Palace Theater totally has a huge hit with the new musical Legally Blonde. Based on the Reese Witherspoon film of the same name, the savvy new show is an effervescent delight, bristling with non stop energy for almost two and a half hours of lively fun. First time Broadway director Jerry Mitchell rarely lets up on the frenzied pace and I doubt the target audience will care one iota. The smart creative team has delivered the message of being true to yourself in a candy coated; pastel colored package that explodes with oomph bombarding the senses like an overdose of adrenalin.
The rock musical Spring Awakening by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater took home eight Tonys including Best Musical making the ground breaking show the big winner at the 2007 Tony Awards presented live from Radio City Music Hall on Sunday. Tom Stoppard's three part epic tale The Coast of Utopia stunningly produced by Lincoln Center was right behind winning seven awards including Best Pay, Director, Lighting, Scenic Design, Costumes, and Acting Awards for Billy Crudup and Jennifer Ehle. Besides Best Musical Spring Awakening took Best Book, Director, Music & Lyrics, Orchestrations, Lighting, Choreography, and Featured Actor in a Musical for John Gallagher, Jr.
Boyd Gaines, the Tony and DD-winner for Contact and Tony winner for Roundabout’s 1993 revival of She Loves Me, has starred in such musicals as the 1995 revival of Company [as Bobby] and the Lincoln Center Theatre revival of Anything Goes. However, he's proved himself equally adept in heavy dramas, such as Roundabout’s recent Twelve Angry Men revival and The Heidi Chronicles, for which he won his first Tony. Now, he’s doing it again in the revival of Journey’s End, which started previews last night. It’s one of the most dramatic and provocative roles he’s played in a drama that has a fascinating past.
Frank Langella is Richard M. Nixon, the 37th President of the United States and his towering portrayal of our disgraced leader is at the center of the briskly entertaining new play Frost/Nixon by Peter Morgan. In his story, Morgan dramatizes the account of the 1977 television interviews between the TV personality David Frost and the post Watergate Nixon as a winner take all prize fight between two hungry opponents. Michael Sheen playing Frost is Langella’s worthy adversary and watching the two consummate actors go at each other with all the skills in their arsenal is thrilling indeed.
An immensely entertaining Radio Golf, the final play by the late great playwright August Wilson has arrived on Broadway in a handsomely staged production by Kenny Leon that bristles with forceful urgency. Convincingly performed by an outstanding cast of five, Wilson’s potent story has numerous plot twists that bring added dimension and suspense to his compelling tale.
The Coast of Utopia and Spring Awakening were the big winner at the 2006/2007 Drama Desk Awards winning Outstanding Play and Outstanding Musical respectively in an evening that featured many wins by our British colleagues. British playwright, Tom Stoppard's epic trilogy of 19th century Russian intellectuals,The Coast of Utopia, stunningly produced by Lincoln Center took home 7 awards at the ceremony hosted by Broadway darling Kristin Chenoweth. Besides being named Outstanding Play the saga won for Director Jack O'Brien and Martha Plimpton, Featured Actress in a Play, as well as awards for Sets, Lighting, and Costumes.
“What becomes a legend most?” For an in the flesh answer travel to West 45th Street in New York where a true legend, Angela Lansbury, is making her eagerly awaited return to Broadway in a first rate production of Te
rrence McNally’s latest offering Deuce, a fictitious comedy about arguably the greatest women’s doubles team in tennis history.. Lansbury, the musical actress, and McNally, the prolific playwright, need little introduction to Broadway audiences having each won four Tony Awards, but the fact that Lansbury, at 83, hasn’t appeared in a production here for 25 years has become a cause to celebrate.
The 52nd Annual Village Voice Obie Awards were presented at a ceremony hosted by Cynthia Nixon and T.R. Knight at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of New York University. The 2007 Village Voice Awards were presented by Angela Lansbury, Camryn Manheim, Terrence McNally, Stephanie March, Liev Schreiber, William Ivey Long and Anika Noni Rose Award winners for the 2006-2007 season are: Lifetime Achievement Award: Alvin Epstein Emerging Playwright Award ($1000 prize): Young Jean Lee Ross Wetzsteon Award ($2000 given annually to a theater that nurtures innovative new plays): Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre
Spring Awakening the new Broadway musical by Duncan Sheik & Steven Sater was the big winner when the 2007 Tony Nominations were announced yesterday. The ground breaking musical won 11 nominations including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, and Best Direction of a Musical by Michael Mayer. Tom Stoppard's three part 19th Century epic tale of Russian intellectuals, The Cost of Utopia, stunningly produced by Lincoln Center took 10 nominations including Best Play.The musical Grey Gardens boasting a superb performance by Christine Ebersole, the front runner for Best Actress in a Musical, picked up 10 nominations including Best Musical and one for Ebersole's co-star Mary Louise Wilson. Curtains, a musical murder mystery by John Kander and the late Fred Ebb won 8 nominations including Best Musical and Best Score. Two grand dames of the theater, Angela Lansbury and Vanessa Redgrave, won cited as well.
Nominations were announced in 25 competitive categories by the American Theatre Wing and mark 61 years of excellence. The Tony Awards will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall on CBS, June 10th, from 8:00 – 11:00 pm. A limited number of tickets may be purchased online through www.TonyAwards.com or by calling 212-3074544
Photos by Barry Gordin are from the press reception attended by the nominees on the 48th floor of the Marriott Marquis this Wednesday. A Complete List of the Nominations follows with additional photos.
No matter how professionally it’s produced, Thornton Wilder’s classic, OUR TOWN, typically evokes the feeling that one has just visited the high school auditorium. For better or worse, The Roundabout Theatre’s production of 110 IN THE SHADE at Studio 54 is a similar experience as it asks us to visit a moment of innocence in which story telling is laid bare.
The legendary showman Harold Prince has helmed the World Premiere of the new musical LoveMusik, giving the show a high concept Brechtian style that captures precisely the moody quality of the Kurt Weill songs featured in the evening. The esteemed director, who brought us memorable productions of Cabaret, Sweeny Todd, The Phantom of the Opera and Evita, has two multi talented Broadway stars Michael Cerveris and Donna Murphy to play Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya in the story of their 25 year relationship. The show is daring, indeed, but considering all the talent involved ultimately disappointing and rarely moving.