Sunday, May 28, 2006

A look at things to come...

I am terribly bored by the 2005-2006 season. I don't even care who/what wins at the Tonys really. So I find myself hoping for a better 2006-2007. (Who isn't?!?) With that in mind, I offer you my list of upcoming season entries.

It should be noted that I don't have faith that we'll ever see the majority of these things this season, but, this list is based on what people have told me seriously. Being skeptical I have divided each category into two sections: "Things I'm totally or pretty sure we'll see this season" are marked in red and "Things I'm just not sure about" are marked in blue. A lot of the "Things I'm just not sure about" section is based simply on foreseeable theater availability or star scheduling, not potential quality of the product. For instance, I'm very excited about Cry Baby, but I can't bank on it definitely being here this season. What happens if there is not a theater available for it right away in the spring?

Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me (Opening August 10 at the Jacobs)
The Times, They Are A Changin'
Grey Gardens (Opening in October at the Walter Kerr)
Mary Poppins (Opening November 16 at the New Amsterdam)
High Fidelity (Opening in December)
Legally Blonde (Opening April 27)
Cry Baby
The Pirate Queen
Billy Elliot
Tale of Two Cities

The Coast of Utopia (Beginning October 10 at the Beaumont)
Lousing Louie (Opening October 12 at the Biltmore)
The Vertical Hour (Opening November 30 at the Music Box)
The Starry Messenger
The Year of Magical Thinking (Opening March 29 at the Booth)

Jay Johnson: The Two and Only (Helen Hayes)
Radio Golf
The Little Dog Laughed
After Miss Julie
The Bottom Line

Butley (Opening October 25 at the Booth)
Heartbreak House (Opening Winter at the American Airlines Theatre)
The Country Girl (Opening May 3 at the Biltmore)
Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Opening Spring at the American Airlines Theatre)

The Homecoming

A Chorus Line (Opening October 5 at the Schoenfeld)
Les Miserables (Opening November 9 at the Broadhurst)
The Pajama Game
Company (November previews)
110 in the Shade (Opening Spring at Studio 54)

The Wiz

Guys and Dolls
A Little Night Music

Monday, May 22, 2006

A postmortem

I'm a little behind on this posting, I know. It's been a long week though, so you'll all forgive me.

Very few people care what I think of the nominations (like very few people care about my reviews). So I'm just going to say that I was most surprised about Alison Pill and leave it at that.

I do want to spend some time talking about the lack of a replacement Tony Award. As anyone who reads this blog knows, I certainly know enough to speak on this matter. I do not believe at all that only 16 of the 24 Administration Committee attended Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. That figure just doesn't jive with the research I did. But, based on how the award is decided (requiring a minimum amount of votes, as it does), anything less than 24 members attending is completely unfair to the people eligible. End of story.

I have a great deal of respect for the members of the Administration Committee I know and I blame no one in that group for the issues with the execution of the award this year. This rule was simply was not well thought out. It was never clear who should get it or how it was being awarded. I mean, I posted all the previous stuff about it for a reason--because no one understood it. And, sadly, members of the Administration Committee I have spoken to also had competing views about who should receive it. Without clear guidelines, these things are always a disaster. Before next year, I hope the policies become better defined or the category is eliminated altogether. As it stands now, it is just not worth this mess.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Once more with feeling...

I want to state this once again for the record:

Frances Sternhagen and George Grizzard are eligible in the Featured categories
Lynn Redgrave is eligible in the Lead Actress category

I don't care what anyone else says, this is the truth. I stake my reputation on it.

Today there was much debate over this (with the show's own press agents in the dark)--I seriously spent a lot of time reproving these facts. I argued with people affiliated with Seascape and The Constant Wife who should know. But, in the end, the above statements were proven true.

I only feel the need to post this yet again because, unless Sternhagen picks up a featured nod (which could totally happen), I know I am going to get an email from someone calling Sternagen's lack of Lead Actress nomination the snub of the decade because there are so few actresses eligible in that category. Please don't send that email. I mean, I love random Tony discussions, but that one will just annoy me.

Also, an additional note, not that any of you care, but, while it was left out of the Tony release, the Hot Feet score is ineligible because it features only six new songs.

Time to rest up for the big day.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The end of Tony eligibility!

So today was the final Tony eligibility meeting of 2006. Huge (as Don Summa would say)!

I am not going to really get into full detail on what I think about the decision to give Sarah Jones a special Tony and eliminate the Special Theatrical category this year. I will say, I believe it simply smacks of horrible planning. Did no one realize when they decided Bridge & Tunnel was in the Special Theatrical category that just that show and The Blonde in the Thunderbird would be eligible? I can just picture the light bulb moment of a committee member once s/he realized (probably from reading it somewhere) that it was either nominate Suzanne Somers or just hand over a Tony to Jones (both things of course would have led to same result). You know, I said I didn’t want to get into detail and I’m going to let it go right now. Seriously--onto billing issues!

Most of the decisions made are in line with what I previously wrote, even The Threepenny Opera decision, which I totally guessed on. I however was totally caught off-guard with the decision to place Tim Daly (Caine Mutiny) in the Featured Actor category. I’m also really, really surprised that Hot Feet didn’t petition to have Vivian Nixon be lead. It’s clearly the starring role, even though others sing more than her. The decision not to move her up (or maybe there was no decision—it’s possible the team just didn’t think about it) is probably completely irrelevant to either the featured of lead race, but, it’s still odd.

So, for those of you that can’t follow the stories on the websites, I will break down today’s rulings by what they mean for each show that was covered.

--All actors will be considered in the featured categories

--Julia Roberts & Paul Rudd will be lead; Bradley Cooper will be featured

--Alan Cumming & Nellie McKay will be lead; Jim Dale, Ana Gasteyer and Cyndi Lauper will be featured

--Richard Griffiths will be lead; Everyone else will be featured

--Hugh Panaro will be lead

--Laura Benanti and Stephen Lynch will be lead

--All featured (though, again, I do not understand why)

--Sutton Foster and Bob Martin will be lead; Everyone else will be featured

--David Wilmot will be lead (though he doesn’t seem to have more stage time or lines than Domhnall Gleeson)

--Ralph Fiennes will be lead; Cherry Jones and Ian McDiarmid will be featured

--David Schwimmer and Zeljko Ivanek will be lead; Tim Daly and the others will be featured

--Oliver Platt and Brian F. O’Byrne will be lead; Martha Plimpton and Peter Scanavino will be featured

--Josh Strickland and Jenn Gambatese will be lead; Everyone else will be featured

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A Brief One

So, if I had to do the list over again, I'd put Shining City in "I'm Thinking Lock..." and Shuler Hensley in "Ummm... Probably Not." Also, apparently David Wilmot (Inishmore) is going to be Lead. He could get a nomination, I wouldn't be surprised, but he won't win.

OK, that's it for the night. I am yet again exhausted. Though--for a final note--I want to use this public forum to try to convince Kevin/Joe Iconis to get to work on a polygamy musical. The topic will only be hot for another year, tops.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Reference Guide

Anyone who knows me knows that Donna Lynne Champlin is one of my very favorite people. So I want to take this moment to tell everyone who didn't get my email that they should trek over to Ars Nova on Monday night for her Broadway Spotlight show. She's apparently going to let people pick stories out of a hat. I'm not sure I understand that concept, but I am sure it will be entertaining. I'll also personally try to be amusing before and after, though I'm not sure how... Buy tickets!

Okay, now since the Drama Desk nominations people have been calling and emailing me asking what certain shows are. I have no idea why they would do this rather than searching on the web themselves, but, they do. So, for all of you, a handy reference guide...

What: Warren Leight's No Foreigners Beyond this Point
Huh?: Yeah, I didn't remember it either. But this play, based on Leight's own experiences teaching English in China in 1980, played at 45 Below in the fall. I am impressed that the Drama Desk people recalled it.

What: The Traveling Lady
Huh?: Horton Foote has had a good year. This is another one of his works, presented at the Ensemble Studio Theater.

What: Vince Gatton for Candy & Dorothy
Huh?: This show happened at Theatre 3 (someone hipper than me would know where that is) in January. It centered on Warhol superstar Candy Darling and Catholic crusader Dorothy Day. Someone who had seen it would probably make better sense of that.

What: Janis Stevens for Vivien
Huh?: A show about Vivien Leigh at the American Theatre of Actors. I wish I had known about it when it was running--I would have gone.

What: Christine Jorgensen Reveals
Huh?: I have a personal attachment to this show and its New York Times-certified star Bradford Louryk. But, even if I didn't, I'd recommend it. In New York, Christine Jorgensen Reveals played at 59E59, Dodger Stages and Theatre Row. It features Louryk lip-syncing to a recording of Christine Jorgensen. I know it doesn't sound good, but it is (and it's short).

What: The Frog Bride, Golden Dragon Acrobats, Rain and The Stones
Huh?: All at the New Victory. Enough said.

What: Peer Gynt
Huh?: This Ibsen revival was done by BAM in April and was apparently very bizarre and touching. I don't know anyone who saw it.

Okay? Everyone happy now? So you don't even have to search the web. That's it. I didn't go out post-theater so I could sleep and now I shall.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Greetings & Replacement Tony Post 705

First I want to say “Hello” to my new readers that I’m not quite sure how I acquired. You know I began this blog so I could refer people I know to it when they ask me questions. Since then, I’ve thrown in some randomness. And I’m happy that others are finding it useful or entertaining, but, when reading it, please remember that a lot of the things I write are geared towards a very specific audience that understands my tone. So, you know, try not to take anything too seriously. (And feel free to email me if you’re offended by something. I’m good with semi-impersonal communication.)

OK, now on to ANOTHER replacement Tony post. I have spent so much time on this! This is the final list of people I believe to be eligible for the Best Rereation or whatever it’s called Tony. I have heard that Rent is not submitting Tim Howar and Spamalot is opting to propose Harry Groener and Martin Moran (leaving out Steve Kazee). That could not be true, it’s based totally on rumor, but I’m doing my list with that information. With Phantom having a new Christine, I’m not sure about whether it will be Sandra Joseph or new star, Rebecca Pitcher, so I’ll leave them both on with astericks next to their name. And given that Howard McGillin will most certainly be proposed, the show can only pick one of the leading ladies. (I bet one of my favorite press agents, occasional blog reader Mikey, might know...)

It is important to note that I have no way of knowing if any given show is proposing their stars. For instance, the Avenue Q leads are on here, but Avenue Q could have opted simply not to invite the Tony Admin committee, leaving those stars ineligible. I just don’t know. Also, there is the question regarding people who started last season. We’re assuming they can be considered (and, indeed, I know at least one of them has been proposed without objection), but there is no hard rule that I know of. So it could be that Steve Blanchard, Harvey Fierstein and more actually cannot be considered. And I feel like I may be missing someone… But, if it is a man, I doubt it is someone who could beat Pryce! Though you never know...

Barrett Foa
Steve Blanchard
Jonathan Pryce
Ron Eldard
Harry Groener

John Pinette
Matt Caplan
Howard McGillin
Martin Moran

Hunter Foster
John Treacy Egan
Harvey Fierstein

Mary Faber
Ashley Brown
Eileen Atkins
Shannon Durig
Antonique Smith
Eden Espinosa
Megan Hilty
Sandra Joseph*
Rebecca Pitcher*

*One of these two people will not be eligible

Monday, May 01, 2006

A tiny alteration...

I did my odds list before the Drama Desk nominations were announced, but I still don't think I'd change anything. My heart has always said Kelli O'Hara should be in 'Lock,' I got talked out of it, so there you go, that might be the one thing I'd change looking back. I still contend Felicia P. Fields is a 'Lock,' though she has so far been snubbed.

BUT the biggest thing I've learned is that it now appears Cherry Jones will be featured. They are asking for featured at least and, as I've said before, the Tony people rarely refuse such requests... So, I'd say, based on that:

Very Likely Featured Actress in a Play Nominees:
Tyne Daly, Rabbit Hole
Jayne Houdyshell, Well
Frances de la Tour, The History Boys
Cherry Jones, Faith Healer

And one more from that long list below.... I'd assume Zoe Wanamaker if she is featured. (Actually, I've never been 100% set on Tyne Daly, but everyone else seems to be, so I gave way to peer pressure there. And with her, there is only that one more slot...)

Very Likely Actress in a Play Nominees:
Kate Burton, The Constant Wife
Judy Kaye, Souvenir
Lisa Kron, Well
Cynthia Nixon, Rabbit Hole

Lynn Redgrave, The Constant Wife
I guess those are the five? Unless Julia somehow pulls one out (and, I mean, I do admire her Easter Bonnet campaign push)... That's really not a stellar bunch. I mean Lynn Redgrave, while genius, didn't even have a lead role! If Zoe Wanamaker is lead, it changes it a little bit. But, most importantly, looking at this list I think: "And the Tony goes to... Cynthia Nixon," a statement that makes me very happy.