- Stage Rush’s Tony Award predictions
- Attending the opening of Desperate Writers
- Stage Rush TV will be coming to you from Los Angeles next week
- Broadway grosses
What do you think, Rushers? Are my predictions spot on or do you think I’m off base? Who do you think will take home the gold on Tony night? What are your Tony viewing plans? Leave your Tony Awards excitement in the comments below!
A conman has arrived at the Neil Simon Theatre, and his story blows up on stage in spectacular Broadway musical fashion. Catch Me If You Can, based on the Steven Spielberg film of how a teenager—Frank Abagnale Jr.—forged millions of dollars in checks and created false identities that included an airplane pilot, doctor, and lawyer. While the musical (from the composing team of Hairspray) falters in storytelling and tunes, it makes up for it with its stellar cast and production value.
Front and center of Catch Me If You Can is Aaron Tveit in a star-making turn as Frank Jr. Last seen on Broadway as Gabe in Next to Normal, Tveit’s performance solidifies him as a bona fide star, worthy of stage and screen. With killer good looks, endless charm, and one of the strongest voices on Broadway, the role of Frank Jr. allows Tveit to hijack the production, and he takes advantage of every moment. Not only does Tveit execute every dance step and note with tenacity, but his performance exhibits impressive endurance, as he is in nearly every scene. Tveit makes Frank Jr. crafty, but conveys much needed heart with the characters closest to him, making him sympathetic to the audience. His is a not-to-be-missed performance of an actor exploding into stardom.
Tveit’s performance has potential to show darker sides of Frank Jr., but the show’s book by Terrence McNally doesn’t allow for it. Catch Me gets too caught up in the sparkle of “Hey, aren’t all these fake identities fun!”, while forgetting that Frank Jr. suffers from deep-routed pain and is committing serious crimes. Read more
- Emotions run high at The Merchant of Venice opening
- Catch Me If You Can announces cast
- Next to Normal to close January 16
- 2011 Tony Awards will be held at the Beacon Theatre
- Broadway grosses
Have you seen Merchant of Venice yet, Rushers? Are you excited to see Aaron Tveit in Catch Me If You Can? What do you think of Next to Normal’s closing notice? Is sad, or a triumph? Do you like the Beacon Theatre as the new home of the Tony Awards (at least for 2011)? Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!
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.