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Posts from the ‘News’ Category

8
Jun

2010 Tony Awards: Winner Picks & Predictions

The Tony Awards are just five days away, and as you prepare for the big night, check out Stage Rush’s predictions of who will win and who should. Don’t forget to tune into Stage Rush’s live blog of the Tony Awards during the telecast this Sunday, where I’ll be reporting LIVE from the Tony press room on all the excitement!

Best Play

In The Next Room (or the vibrator play) by Sarah Ruhl
Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts
Red by John Logan (WILL WIN)
Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies

This race is a close one between Red and Time Stands Still. Don’t know what will tip the scales here—both have critical and box office success. Some might say Time has lost momentum, since it’s been closed since late March, yet it’s reopening in October. Due to far more nominations, Red is most likely to take it.

Best Musical
American Idiot (SHOULD WIN)
Fela!
Memphis (WILL WIN)
Million Dollar Quartet

With such few nominations and lowered buzz, American Idiot won’t have enough strength to take the prize from Memphis, which has gotten an intense media push since the nominations.

Best Revival of a Play
Fences by August Wilson (WILL WIN)
Lend Me A Tenor by Ken Ludwig
The Royal Family by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber
A View From The Bridge by Arthur Miller

Everyone’s a strong contender here, but the star power of Fences (and timeliness, since it’s still running) makes it the shoo-in.

Best Revival of a Musical
Finian’s Rainbow (SHOULD WIN)
La Cage aux Folles (WILL WIN)
A Little Night Music
Ragtime

With so many nominations, La Cage is set up to take this one, easily. I would throw the statue to Finian’s though. It took a lot of risk to revive a strange, little-known musical, and the cast was so powerful. La Cage was revived less than six years ago—it’s time to retire this show for while. Read more »

8
Jun

Analysis: Peters and Stritch to replace Zeta-Jones and Lansbury in ‘Night Music’

In an anticipated announcement Monday, it was revealed that Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch will replace Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury in A Little Night Music, effective July 13. Zeta-Jones and Lansbury will depart the show June 20, and the production will take a three-week hiatus, during which the actresses will rehearse.

This casting news effectively saves this production from shuttering, as it had already marked June 20 as its closing day. Until this point, the show’s producers had wooed numerous A-list actresses to assume the roles (Gwyneth Paltrow and mother Blythe Danner, Debbie Reynolds), but with no talks coming to fruition. Yet Peters and Stritch’s commitments to the show are a well-deserved saving grace for a high quality production.

I wonder if Peters felt slighted when she began talks for the role, since she wasn’t the first approached, and the other attempts were well publicized. Peters will fit the role extremely well, which makes me question why the producers hadn’t asked her earlier. Although from their first attempts at a replacement, it is clear they were looking for more Hollywood power, and Peters has more Broadway clout to her name than from film. Regardless, I don’t think her name will perform poorly at the box office, as she’s become one of those Broadway legends that people flock to see. Read more »

4
Jun

David Mamet makes Funny Or Die debut

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet (whose latest play, Race, is currently on Broadway) has made his foray into the world of viral online videos. Mamet made his debut Thursday on the comedy video website Funny Or Die, writing and directing “Lost Masterpieces of Pornography.” The video stars Kristen Bell and Ed O’Neill as, what else, a slinky office assistant to a Supreme Court judge (respectively, of course).

What do you think, Rushers? Does this move help make Mamet more relevant to a new generation? What was your favorite line? Mine was, “It is the Dred Scott Decision!” Did you chuckle or did the video fall flat?

25
May

For Stephen Kunken, Tony announcement meant triumph and loss

Stephen Kunken has been riding an emotional roller coaster. The day after he wrapped his run as the Stage Manager in the Barrow Street Theatre’s Our Town this winter, he and his wife flew to Ethiopia to bring home their adopted eight-month daughter. Three days later, the ebullient family was back in New York and Kunken began rehearsals for Enron. Two months later, Kunken received his first Tony nomination and was informed that the play was closing all within the same day.

Despite the head-spinning timing, Kunken is well versed in the nature of theater. He has appeared in numerous acclaimed Broadway productions like Proof, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Frost/Nixon, in addition to roles in Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock, Gossip Girl, and Law & Order. His portrayal of Enron’s Andy Fastow, the wormy brainiac who concocts the illegal plan that draws the company into historical scandal, has earned him a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actor.

Kunken sat down with Stage Rush to talk about the unpredictability of theater, Tony night fake outs, and watching raptors cackle off stage.

What was your reaction when you found out you were nominated?
My immediate reaction was I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. It’s the pinnacle of an industry you’ve gotten into. It’s just amazing to even step onto a Broadway stage. When I took my first step on a Broadway stage, I realized it was a threshold that I’d crossed. The first time anybody mentions your name in a review, it’s “Wow.” At that moment when you’re nominated and you’re embraced by the community, it’s hard to put a word to it. I truly believe the nomination is the win.

What nominee are you most excited for?
Stephen McKinley Henderson from Fences. Stephen has been in this for so long and is such a fantastic actor. It’s going to be hard, because if he wins, the presenter is going to announce, “Stephen…” and I’ll be like, (gasp). And my middle name is Michael, so they’ll say, “Stephen M…” I’ll have to wait till they get to the “Henderson” to know. Then I’ll have to put my ass back in the chair.

Read more »

20
May

ITBA Awards 2010

The 2010 Independent Theater Blogger Association (ITBA) Awards are here! Watch Susan Blackwell, Jeannine Frumess, and Ann Harada of the new off-Broadway musical The Kid announce the winners.

15
May
redesign thumb

PSA: Stage Rush gets a major facelift

Well, look who got a makeover! Do not be alarmed—this is the same, trusty Stage Rush you’ve come to rely on for Broadway features, reviews, and discussion. Well, not the same—it’s better. As Stage Rush’s content grows, our job is to serve you better in every way. Hopefully this redesign will provide a more efficient, navigable, and enjoyable experience. So take a look around the new digs, and most importantly, keep rushing!

4
May

2010 Tony Awards: Nominations & Reactions

Well, here they are folks. And just like Christmas morning, we’re excited about some things, and disappointed about others. Check out the list of the 2010 Tony Award nominees below, where you’ll also find what predictions of mine were incorrect (not too many!) and my take on the categories.

Best Play
In The Next Room (or the vibrator play) by Sarah Ruhl
Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts
Red by John Logan
Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies

Predictable category. Tonys got it right. Note though how few nominations Next Fall received, including getting shut out of the acting categories.

Best Musical
American Idiot
Fela!
Memphis
Million Dollar Quartet

My wrong guess: Everyday Rapture

Surprised Million Dollar Quartet made it in here, particularly with so few nominations. At least it wasn’t The Addams Family.

Best Revival of a Play
Fences by August Wilson
Lend Me A Tenor by Ken Ludwig
The Royal Family by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber
A View From The Bridge by Arthur Miller

Best Revival of a Musical
Finian’s Rainbow
La Cage aux Folles
A Little Night Music
Ragtime Read more »

3
May

2010 Tony Awards: Nominee Predictions

It’s been a Broadway season dominated by straight plays and Hollywood names adorning marquees. It’s also been a weak year for the original musical, with only two entries (The Addams Family and Memphis) having original scores. Nevertheless, the Tony nominations are upon us. Before Lea Michele and Jeff Daniels announce the 2010 Tony Award nominations Tuesday morning over a live webcast on the Tony website, check out Stage Rush’s predictions on which names will make the cut and will be seen at Radio City Music Hall on June 13.
Best Play
In The Next Room (or the vibrator play) by Sarah Ruhl
Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts
Red by John Logan
Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies
Best Musical
American Idiot
Everyday Rapture
Fela!
Memphis
Best Revival of a Play
Fences by August Wilson
Lend Me A Tenor by Ken Ludwig
The Royal Family by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber
A View From The Bridge by Arthur Miller
Best Revival of a Musical
Finian’s Rainbow
La Cage aux Folles
A Little Night Music
Ragtime Read more »
19
Mar

Duncan Sheik: Original Broadway cast will not reprise roles in ‘Spring Awakening’ film

Thursday night, the Grammy and Tony award-winning singer and composer Duncan Sheik performed the first show in his six-city concert tour at the South Orange Performing Arts Center in New Jersey. I caught up with Sheik at the post-concert reception, and with a glass of wine in hand, he discussed some details of the Spring Awakening film adaptation, currently in development.
For those hoping that Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff will reprise their roles in the film, Sheik said there is no chance of any original Broadway cast members making it on screen. Sheik noted that by the time the film goes into production, the actors would look too old to convincingly portray 15 to 16 year olds.
Regarding the much-talked-about decision to hand directing and producing responsibilities over to McG, mostly known for action movies such as Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and Terminator Salvation, Sheik maintains that the director was adamant about taking on the project. Sheik said McG courted himself and writing partner Steven Sater for 18 months about the project. It was McG’s desire to shoot on location in places like Prague, and to focus on the performances that won Sheik and Sater over. Sheik added that McG has extensive experience with big-budget films, and said he claimed he knew how to make the film look high budget for less.
Also milling around the reception was Holly Brook, a regular back-up singer and accompanist on Sheik’s tours, who just came off the successful San Diego run of the composer’s latest musical venture, Whisper House. If the musical ghost story makes its way to the east coast, Brook said she would love to reprise her role as the female ghost. While she said she does not yet know of any upcoming production plans, she said one change that would likely be made is to the set design. Brook said that while at the Old Globe, the scenery, which is the interior of a lighthouse in Maine, was a bit complicated and didn’t come across well enough to the audience. Brook added that the redesigned set would probably be more minimalist.
The concert Read more »
1
Mar

‘Glee’ concert tour: What is it with Lea Michele and May 18?

May 18, 2008. It was a big day for me, as I had seats (excellent ones, might I add) to Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff’s final performance in Spring Awakening. Sitting there in the audience, with an electricity of excitement in the air, I knew it was a very important day in Michele’s life too. What I didn’t know is that this date—May 18—would continue to be a milestone day in her life each time it came around for the next two years running. 
Last year on May 19 (give me a little wiggle room here), the pilot episode of Glee broadcast on Fox after part one of the season finale of American Idol. I couldn’t believe that almost exactly a year ago, I was watching Michele perform live to a packed Broadway house, and now I was watching her in a lead role in a debuting major television series, following the most successful show in America. As everyone knows, Glee became a huge hit and threw Michele into superstardom, as well as earning her a Golden Globe nomination just half-way through the show’s first season. 
Fox announced today that the cast of Glee will be hitting the road for a four-city concert tour, kicking off in Phoenix on… May 18. What other date would it possible be?? 
It strikes me as interesting that on this date for three years in a row, Michele has reached a new pinnacle in her career. From someone who maintains a healthy level of OCD, I think it’s rather pleasant that her career contains such symmetry. And to be embarrassingly honest, I was mistily reminiscent when May 18 hit last year, remembering that incredible last performance at Spring Awakening. Needless to say, I think May 18 is going to be a day that I continue to remember—not to speak of what Michele must think of the date. 
What do you think, Rushers? Did you make the May 18 connection with Lea Michele? Are you buying tickets to the Glee concert tour? Do you cry every May 18? (I’m sure you don’t. Only losers do that.) ::looks around suspiciously::