Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bark. Ruff. Woof. Whatever.

If I had only read the entire Sunday edition of The New York Times before I posted on Sunday, I would have promoted something. I don’t know if any of you read it, but “A Night Out With…” this week featured theater reporter Campbell Robertson hanging out with Chico. Uh, huh. The Blonde dog. It’s about a night out with a dog. And, if that isn’t enough, Cindy Adams was involved. I hope you didn’t miss it.

Today, there was (of course not as interesting) a feature about Ensemble Studio Theatre after the recent suicide of founder Curt Dempster. I have to say, the Ensemble Studio Theatre is fairly resistant. Does anyone remember when Susann Brinkley stole a big chunk of their money? I mean, checks were bouncing all over the place. I think Anna Paquin’s Roulette check bounced and I wouldn’t have wanted to be one of her people at that point. I’m just saying, the theatergoing public would have hardly known. Unlike Drama Dept. and other companies, which have slowed to a virtual stop at times of money crisis, EST pretty much stayed the course. So, you know, I have faith.

Meanwhile, to complete The Times day, I wanted to thank all of you out there who emailed me about my most recent piece for the paper. I really appreciate the feedback. Readers of this blog know I hardly ever talk about my stories—I don’t use this as a forum to promote my career—but I did want to answer a question that many people emailed me related to the last story I wrote. The question (basically) was: Is there something between a reading and a workshop?

And the answer is, no. Though, in some ways, in a non-technical sense, yes. Here is the thing—there are these things called “staged reading guidelines” and that says if you go over 15 hours for plays or 20 hours for musicals you owe the actors $100, but that is for 29 hours maximum. THEN there is a “staged reading contract,” which could sort of be thought as a reading/workshop hybrid, if in your mind you see the reading to be very bare bones. For that you have many more rehearsal hours, though a max of two weeks for the whole thing. There are stringent limitations on what you can do, so it’s no workshop, but you can at least work more than you can in 29 hours. Of course it still is called a reading and still is a reading, so, that gets me back to my original answer of "no." If I put in more details, I’m going to confuse everyone (probably including myself).

Ok, that is it. If you have news-ish questions, feel free to email me.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Wait until Wednesday...

It doesn't feel like Sunday to me. At all. And thus I cannot even think of how to create a real post, so I think I am going to skip until Wednesday. I will say that last week my In The Heights source said the Nederlander would 100% not be the In The Heights location, completely contrary to what he previously told me. This made me very glad I no longer deal with this stuff for a living. Also last week, I firmed up my plans to be away Tony weekend, another reason I am happy I do not deal with theater "news" for a living. And, on that note, come back Wednesday, I'm sure it will feel like Wednesday then and the post will be better. Meanwhile, feel free to email me questions about things you are curious about. I just might know the answer.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Chip on My Shoulder

I want to start off by thanking my guest blogger. A couple of you wanted guest blogger winner predictions and so I have opened that up to my mystery person and maybe we'll be seeing that.

I love how, on my own blog, the guest person gets all positive comments and I get a comment from an anonymous person that calls my musings "half-baked." That person also called me "smart and engaging," so I'm not going to attack him/her, but I do want to say that the writings here are sort of intentionally half-baked. They are musings. They are not theories on the world or anything--if you want those, I'm sure there are better places to go. Here you will find some random facts and some things--generally theater-related--I'm thinking about. (In the same chain of blog responses where this guy posted, Seth said he didn't think theater was theater without an audience, I sort of disagree in the sense that, if someone is rehearsing a piece of theater and no one is watching it, that doesn't make it not theater. Someone else also posted asking whether I was really talking about "what makes theater?" or "what makes performance?"--I don't know the answer to that, often I don't know exactly what I'm talking about, I'll think on it.)

ANYWAY... I apparently am the only one who read the East Hampton Star and thus knew about The Addams Family weeks ago. I admit I didn't know the exact team (I had heard Lippa, but he wasn't in the story), but in that Hampton Star story it talked about how Elephant Eye (the producer enhancing SAVED! at Playwrights Horizons) was producing it and it was happening, which is generally all that made the network news. And this story, like Spiderman before it, did make the network news. I am sure some guy at The East Hampton Star is like "that was my story!!!!! where is my credit????" But, anyway, I was interested in the news that the Shockheaded Peter guys were directing, that at least gives me hope that we're in for something stylized... and, as I believe I've previously said, I'd rather see something visually stimulating than something that's simply pink (even though I am a huge pink fan and often wear pink shiny shoes).

OK, so, on another note, this was sort of a big Tony tumult week. I cannot even get started on the fact that there again won't be a host, I think it will upset me too much tonight. I have to say--I found this "invite Blonde and LoveMusik" thing to be sort of fascinating. Why just them? Why not High Fidelity? Clowns and Bob Dylan ballads anyone? Big Black Lady? Oh--or is it only the open shows from this season? In that case--what of the poor sailors aboard The Pirate Queen? Is that not exciting enough? Does the Tony committee think LoveMusik is more exciting than Irish step-dancing? Because, if so, they are wrong, and that's coming from someone who hates Irish step-dancing. And--also--why not Les Miz? Personally, I'd like to see Lea Salonga perform. You know I think Lea Salonga could win the Best Replacement Tony. Oh, wait, oops. (And, actually, she wouldn't have been eligible, because, of course, it was never for featured people--despite the fact that Peter Filichia said on the radio last year one of his choices was Lauren Kennedy for Spamalot.)

Yeah, so, as you can see, I didn't get the additional show invites. And I'm sort of happy, for the sake of fairness, they were rescinded. Because I'm all for more musical numbers, but then you need to invite everyone. We are the world, people. We are the world.

And, on that note, I leave you to go read Playbill's In The Heights closing story and watch Blake beatbox.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Hello, Blogger!

Those of you who are long-time blog readers will know that last August, I had an anonymous guest blogger. This blogger made a request to return to Full Force once the Tony nominations had been announced. And, of course, I'll take any excuse to be lazy. So, without further ado:

Like an Ethel Merman understudy – hi Stritchie! – I haven't been used much this season to fill in for our intrepid leader, but I've asked to come before you again to sit behind you and whisper something I know something about, namely the Tony nominations, and namely, how I fared against my pre-season predictions in this blog on August 28 and 31 of 2006. Wow, that sentence was long AND gay! For those of you who don't remember, back in August of aught six I sat down and tried to predict upon whom Tony would smile, based on how the season was already shaping up. And here's how I did:


It wasn't hard to guess that The Coast of Utopia would be a snob hit extraordinaire/Tony nominee. It raised important questions about history, philosophy and why Brian F. O'Byrne continues to get jobs even though he both sucks and blows. I for one was happy that Lincoln Center did this play – which, face it, may never be done again in our lifetimes in a major way – and I am mostly pleased that it continues to be a frontrunner for the Best Play Tony.

I was right about my second prediction as well, Radio Golf, which though it wasn't officially announced in August seemed likely to pull into an out of the way Broadway theatre and set the town ABLAZE! 46% capacity, here we come!

I truly felt that The Year of Magical Thinking was, as I put it, "in like Flynn." It had pedigree, pedigree, pedigree, and a crazy tall Redgrave to boot. But I also always had a sneaking suspicion that something would go wrong along the way and, alas it has. That crazy tall Redgrave, though a genius, was not a match for the teeny tiny Joan Didion, but more importantly, Ms. Didion was not a match for the title of playwright. And don't get me started on that Hare-ible director.

The fourth slot was hard to nail down. I didn't think The Vertical Hour would be good, I was right about that. I didn't think The Little Dog Laughed would be a contender though, but then again, it's not!

Record: 2 for 4, and "that ain't 'alf bad." (Ten bucks to the person who can name the Tony acceptance speech I pulled that from.)


I did better here, correctly predicting Curtains, Grey Gardens and Spring Awakening. Not exactly hard to do, though many pundits didn't seem to realize that Curtains was a lock, based on its pedigree and its musical comedy chops. And a note in my defense: I didn't see Spring Awakening at the Atlantic, so I didn't know how good it was last August. But here's a question: why did it take 39,000 novice producers to move it to Broadway? Why weren't all the transfer queens fighting for what was to my eyes and ears one of the best pieces of theater, musical or otherwise, that I've seen in many a season. Sex sells, but I guess it scares safe-playing producers away too.

That fourth slot turned out indeed to be a toss up between Mary Poppins and a lot of bad shows. Actually, Martin Short: Fames Becomes Me was not bad, but then, sadly, it wasn't really a contender, even though I would have nominated it across the board: Musical, Book, Score, Actor and Big Black Lady Who Stopped the Show.

Record: 3 for 4.

I lead off my ruminations on this category with an ode to Nathan Lane in Butley, which I thought would be his ticket to Radio City. WRONG!

I followed this with a prediction of two Best Actor nominations for The Coast of Utopia – wrong – with one of them being Brian F. O'Byrne. RIGHT! Alas.

The fourth nod I tossed to Liev Schreiber. RIGHT!

The fifth slot was a mystery to me, with several performances bandied about that either came to be or didn't - remember Matthew Broderick in Kenneth Lonergan's The Starry Messenger? Inherit the Wind and Frost/Nixon clearly were not on the horizon yet, or I would have mentioned all their leading men. I never would have mentioned Boyd Gaines in Journey's End, not only because Journey's End also wasn't set yet, but also because Boyd Gaines is not the gift to acting so many of these theater frumps think he is. And he was bad in Journey's End. I go on record here saying he was bad.

Record: 2 for 5.

Again, a hard one to predict, because Deuce, A Moon for the Misbegotten, and Prelude to a Kiss were not yet announced. I did correctly call out Vanessa Redgrave and Julie White, though I called Vanessa Redgrave the clear front-runner. She's not. The award sits now somewhere between Eve Best and White. White might just best Best. That was VERY Variety of me!

Record: 2 for 5

BEST ACTOR – Musical
Well, I'm sure if you again ask Raul Esparza who will win this award, he will still say "ME! DON'T' YOU LOVE ME?! I DO!" Raul did indeed get nominated as I thought he would, and so did David Hyde Pierce, whom I still think is going to get the shiny spinning round silvery thing. The rest of my predictions are a little foggy. I mentioned Gavin Lee and both Spring Awakening boys, not knowing which would be eligible here. Michael Cerveris was not on the menu, because LoveMusik was not on the docket, and because I must have already had a big slab of boring soporific that morning. Speak low, Michael, and when you, speak, bore.

Record: 2 for 5

Audra Ann versus the meanest lady in show business has indeed come to pass. And though I was considered a heretic, a loon, a 'tard for thinking back in August that Ebersole had reason to worry about AholdtheAMcD, Rosie's good friend Christine goes to Radio City not the shoo-in her co-star Mary Louise Wilson is. There could be an upset. Again, I don't think it will happen. But it could. It could, people! It could.The other nominees? I was right about Charlotte d'Amboise most likely being nominated for her Cassie, I just got the category wrong. "Someone from Curtains will probably end up in this category, I'm assuming Debra Monk, and I'm assuming she'll be nominated." Right about that! The rest I didn't really offer any sure picks, and, again, LoveMusik hadn't sauntered Germanically our way yet. Donna, can you hear me? Donna, can you see me? Donna, are you showing up for work still? Hey, when is Yentl coming to Broadway? Idina, can you hear me?

Record: 3 for 5

'Til next August, America. Er, New York. Er, full force Cara Joy fans. We are small, but we are mighty! Just like our leader!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Well, in an unusual circumstance, a lot of my "locks" didn't get in. I mean, often I have mistakes in my own choices, but rarely are my "locks" so off. And Brooks Ashmanskas was in my "Ummm.... I think not." I'd like to say I thought "maybe..." after I posted the list, but I'm not that wise. I had no idea. I'm also sad for John Mahoney. So I'm sorry for being wrong and I'm sad also. Not a cheery combo.

But, anyway, Coram Boy. They should have asked for Special Theatrical. Sure, they got a bunch of nominations they wouldn't have been eligible for had the producers gone that way, but, they very well might have had a Tony. To those of you who argue that their petition for Special Theatrical wouldn't have been accepted because it's a play, I ask you to come up with the last 5 petitions Tony has denied. You'll have to go back far. Plus, this is sort of an event. It's a play with a choir. When will that ever happen again? So, it basically would have been Coram v. Kiki--sorry puppet man--and I don't know how many Tony voters even saw Kiki... (Yes, they are not supposed to vote in categories where they have not seen every nominee, but, that is sadly never honored.) Of course, without a Best Play nomination, I doubt Coram can even make it to Tony night. A lot of people will cheer it's demise, but, I for one will not be happy. I want things that are adventurous to succeed--regardless of my personal views on them--because I think it encourages other adventurous work. And I'd rather see something visually captivating than another August Wilson play.

Monday, May 14, 2007

It's that time of year again

I have not done my normal pre-Tony series. I have failed. And tonight, I’m so overwhelmed I almost wrote some crap paragraph about random news I heard and disregarded the whole Tony factor. Then I thought: “Wait… People want Tony stuff.” So, with that in mind, I offer you my eligibility list in the major acting categories. I mean, you all know the shows, and you probably don’t care about design, so, this should be enough. If anyone has any other questions, feel free to email me.

On Wednesday, I also plan on writing about why I think Coram Boy should have gone for Special Theatrical Event. Just a preview.

And special thanks to my friend Billy, as without his list, I never would have been able to do mine.

Also, another note, there might be some errors below. I don't think so, but I'm also not very awake. And I know there is going to be some talk about how Kristin isn't a lock, but, I think she is. I could be wrong... I just don't think so.


Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Christopher Plummer, Inherit the Wind
Liev Schreiber, Talk Radio

Brian Dennehy, Inherit the Wind
Boyd Gaines, Journey’s End
Nathan Lane, Butley
Harry Lennix, Radio Golf
Bill Nighy, The Vertical Hour
Brian F. O’Byrne, The Coast of Utopia
Michael Sheen, Frost/Nixon
Kevin Spacey, A Moon for the Misbegotten

Philip Bosco, Heartbreak House
Hugh Dancy, Journey’s End
Tom Everett Scott, The Little Dog Laughed
Alan Tudyk, Prelude to a Kiss

Eve Best, A Moon for the Misbegotten
Angela Lansbury, Deuce
Vanessa Redgrave, The Year of Magical Thinking
Marian Seldes, Deuce
Julie White, The Little Dog Laughed

Swoosie Kurtz, Heartbreak House
Julianne Moore, The Vertical Hour
Annie Parisse, Prelude to a Kiss

Raul Esparza, Company
David Hyde Pierce, Curtains

Michael Cerveris, LoveMusik
Jonathan Groff, Spring Awakening
Gavin Lee, Mary Poppins
Steve Kazee, 110 in the Shade
Martin Short, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me

Michael Arden, The Times, They are A-Changin’
Will Chase, High Fidelity
Hadley Fraser, The Pirate Queen
Alexander Gemignani, Les Miserables
Brian d’Arcy James, The Apple Tree
Norm Lewis, Les Miserables
Patrick Page, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Thom Sesma, The Times, They are A-Changin’

Kristin Chenoweth, The Apple Tree
Christine Ebersole, Grey Gardens
Audra McDonald, 110 in the Shade
Donna Murphy, LoveMusik

Ashley Brown, Mary Poppins
Laura Bell Bundy, Legally Blonde
Lea Michele, Spring Awakening
Debra Monk, Curtains

Stephanie J. Block, The Pirate Queen
Lisa Brescia, The Times, They are A-Changin’

John Mahoney, Prelude to a Kiss

John Ahlin, Journey’s End
Niall Buggy, Translations
Anthony Chisolm, Radio Golf
Billy Crudup, The Coast of Utopia
Johnny Galecki, The Little Dog Laughed
Richard Easton, The Coast of Utopia
Josh Hamilton, The Coast of Utopia
David Harbour, The Coast of Utopia
Jason Butler Harner, The Coast of Utopia
Ethan Hawke, The Coast of Utopia
John Earl Jelks, Radio Golf
Jefferson Mays, Journey’s End
Colm Meaney, A Moon for the Misbegotten
Denis O’Hare, Inherit the Wind
Julian Ovenden, Butley
Stark Sands, Journey’s End
Chandler Williams, Translations

Matthew Arkin, Losing Louie
Remy Auberjonois, Frost/Nixon
Nick Berg Barnes, Journey’s End
Terry Beaver, Inherit the Wind
John Behlmann, Journey’s End
Justin Blanchard, Journey’s End
Larry Bull, The Coast of Utopia
Denis Butkus, The Coast of Utopia
Bill Camp, Heartbreak House
Bill Camp, Coram Boy
Kieran Campion, Journey’s End
Michael Carlsen, The Coast of Utopia
Anthony Cochrane, The Coast of Utopia
Scott Cohen, Losing Louie
David Costabile, Translations
Alan Cox, Translations
David Cromwell, The Coast of Utopia
Dermot Crowley, Translations
John Curless, Journey’s End
Adam Dannheisser, The Coast of Utopia
Matt Dickson, The Coast of Utopia
Dashiell Eaves, Coram Boy
Tom Riis Farrell, Coram Boy
Michael FitzGerald, Translations
Brad Fleischer, Coram Boy
Peter Hermann, Talk Radio
Byron Jennings, Heartbreak House
Byron Jennings, Inherit the Wind
Corey Johnson, Frost/Nixon
John Christopher Jones, Heartbreak House
Aaron Krohn, The Coast of Utopia
Stephen Kunken, Frost/Nixon
Michael Laurence, Talk Radio
Mark Linn-Baker, Losing Louie
David Macdonald, Coram Boy
Graeme Malcolm, Translations
David Manis, The Coast of Utopia
Quentin Maré, Coram Boy
Andrew McGinn, The Coast of Utopia
Scott Parkinson, The Coast of Utopia
Darren Pettie, Butley
David Pittu, The Coast of Utopia
Richard Poe, Journey’s End
James Rebhorn, Prelude to a Kiss
Stephen Rowe, Frost/Nixon
Gareth Saxe, Heartbreak House
Andrew Scott, The Vertical Hour
Adam Seitz, Talk Radio
Brian Sgambati, The Coast of Utopia
Eric Sheffer Stevens, The Coast of Utopia
Armand Schultz, Frost/Nixon
Sebastian Stan, Talk Radio
Robert Stanton, The Coast of Utopia
Baylen Thomas, The Coast of Utopia
Marc Thompson, Talk Radio
David C. Wells, The Coast of Utopia
Wayne Wilcox, Coram Boy
James A. Williams, Radio Golf
Cornell Womack, Talk Radio


Jennifer Ehle, The Coast of Utopia

Robin Bartlett, Prelude to a Kiss
Xanthe Elbrick, Coram Boy
Ari Graynor, The Little Dog Laughed
Dana Ivey, Butley
Susan Lynch, Translations
Jan Maxwell, Coram Boy
Kellie Overbey, The Coast of Utopia
Tonya Pinkins, Radio Golf
Martha Plimpton, The Coast of Utopia
Lily Rabe, Heartbreak House
Laila Robins, Heartbreak House

Jolly Abraham, Coram Boy
Bianca Amato, The Coast of Utopia
Uzo Aduba, Coram Boy (Note--i originally had Abuda in featured actor and received multiple emails about it within 6 hours. my bad. i'm impressed that so many people noticed the error... and knew it was an error!)
Jacqueline Antaramian, Coram Boy
Mia Barron, The Coast of Utopia
Amanda Leigh Cobb, The Coast of Utopia
Patricia Conolly, The Coast of Utopia
Rebecca Creskoff, Losing Louie
Beth Fowler, Inherit the Wind
Karron Graves, Coram Boy
Pamela Gray, Butley
Shira Gregory, Frost/Nixon
Morgan Hallett, Translations
Laura Heisler, Coram Boy
Geraldine Hughes, Translations
Amy Irving, The Coast of Utopia
Patricia Kalember, Losing Louie
Felicity LaFortune, The Coast of Utopia
Angela Lin, Coram Boy
Jennifer Lyon, The Coast of Utopia
Stephanie March, Talk Radio
Kathleen McNenny, Coram Boy
Cristin Milioti, Coram Boy
Charlotte Parry, Coram Boy
Michele Pawk, Losing Louie
Christine Pedi, Talk Radi
Annie Purcell, The Coast of Utopia
Erika Rolfsrud, The Coast of Utopia
Barbara Rosenblatt, Talk Radio
Christina Rouner, Coram Boy
Triney Sandoval, Frost/Nixon
Jenny Sterlin, Heartbreak House
Jessica Stone, Butley
Ivy Vahanian, Coram Boy
Sonya Walger, Frost/Nixon
Jama Williamson, Losing Louie



John Gallagher Jr, Spring Awakening

Gary Beach, Les Miserables
Michael Berresse, A Chorus Line
Christian Borle, Legally Blonde
John Cullum, 110 in the Shade
Jason Danieley, Curtains
Edward Hibbert, Curtains
Christopher Innvar, 110 in the Shade
Marc Kudisch, The Apple Tree
Aaron Lazar, Les Miserables
John McMartin, Grey Gardens
David Pittu, LoveMusik
Michael Rupert, Legally Blonde
Jeffrey Schechter, A Chorus Line
Bobby Steggert, 110 in the Shade
Jason Tam, A Chorus Line

Ken Alan, A Chorus Line
Brad Anderson, A Chorus Line
Christian Anderson, High Fidelity
Brooks Ashmanskas, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me
Skylar Astin, Spring Awakening
Richard H. Blake, Legally Blonde
John Bolton, Curtains
Justin Brill, High Fidelity
Keith Buterbaugh, Company
Chris Butler, 110 in the Shade
Andrew Call, High Fidelity
Matt Caplan, High Fidelity
Matt Castle, Company
Paul Castree, High Fidelity
Matt Cavanaugh, Grey Gardens
Marcus Chait, The Pirate Queen
Walter Charles, The Apple Tree
Robert Cunningham, Company
Gideon Glick, Spring Awakening
Matthew Gumley, Mary Poppins
Neil Haskell, The Times, They are A-Changin’
Tyler Haynes, A Chorus Line
Henry Hodges, Mary Poppins
Adam Jacobs, Les Miserables
Daniel Jenkins, Mary Poppins
Brian Charles Johnson, Spring Awakening
Andy Karl, Legally Blonde
Jay Klaitz, High Fidelity
James T. Lane, A Chorus Line
Luke Longacre, The Times, They are A-Changin’
Michael X. Martin, Curtains
Jeff McCarthy, The Pirate Queen
Michael McCarty, Mary Poppins
Michael McCormick, Curtains
Michael McCormick, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Jason McDole, The Times, They are A-Changin’
Paul McGill, A Chorus Line
Charlie Neshyba-Hodges, The Times, They are A-Changin’
Jonathan Nosan, The Times, They are A-Changin’
Michael Paternostro, A Chorus Line
Michael Potts, Grey Gardens
Mark Price, Mary Poppins
Noah Racey, Curtains
Fred Rose, Company
Bruce Sabath, Company
Ernie Sabella, Curtains
Alexander Scheitinger, Mary Poppins
John Selya, The Times, They are A-Changin’
Marc Shaiman, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me
John Scherer, LoveMusik
Stephen Spinella, Spring Awakening
Bob Stillman, Grey Gardens
Ron Todorowski, The Times, They are A-Changin’
Price Waldman, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Jon Patrick Walker, High Fidelity
J.B. Wing, High Fidelity
Jonathan B. Wright, Spring Awakening
Tony Yazbeck, A Chorus Line
William Youmans, The Pirate Queen

Mary Louise Wilson, Grey Gardens

Linda Balgord, The Pirate Queen
Lilli Cooper, Spring Awakening
Natalie Cortez, A Chorus LineCharlotte d’Amboise, A Chorus Line
Erin Davie, Grey Gardens
Christine Estabrook, Spring Awakening
Jenny Galloway, Les Miserables
Jessica Lee Goldyn, A Chorus Line
Deirdre Goodwin, A Chorus Line
Capathia Jenkins, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me
Celia Keenan-Bolger, Les Miserables
Rebecca Luker, Mary Poppins
Orfeh, Legally Blonde
Nicole Parker, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me
Lauren Pritchard, Spring Awakening
Elizabeth Stanley, Company
Barbara Walsh, Company
Chryssie Whitehead, A Chorus Line
Karen Ziemba, Curtains

Mary Birdsong, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me
Jane Carr, Mary Poppins
Jenn Colella, High Fidelity
Mara Davi, A Chorus Line
Angel Desai, Company
Katherine Doherty, Mary Poppins
Carla Duren, 110 in the Shade
Ali Ewoldt, Les Miserables
Kathryn Faughnan, Mary Poppins
Kelsey Fowler, Grey Gardens
Lisa Gajda, The Times, They are A-Changin’
Ruth Gotschall, Mary Poppins
Kelly Jeanne Grant, Company
Kaitlin Hopkins, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Kristin Huffman, Company
Sarah Hyland, Grey Gardens
Amy Justman, Company
Heather Laws, Company
Katy Mixon, High Fidelity
Cass Morgan, Mary Poppins
Jan Neuberger, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Jill Paice, Curtains
Heather Parcells, A Chorus Line
Alisan Porter, A Chorus Line
Leenya Rideout, Company
Daphne Rubin-Vega, Les Miserables
Kate Shindle, Legally Blonde
Megan Sikora, Curtains
Nikki Snelson, Legally Blonde
Rachel Stern, High Fidelity
Phoebe Strole, Spring Awakening
Emily Swallow, High Fidelity
Yuka Takara, A Chorus Line
Anne Warren, High Fidelity
Kristin Wyatt, High Fidelity
Remy Zaken, Spring Awakening

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Still Standing, but Tired

At 3am, I tend not to want to focus on any Tivo-d program and thus I channel surf. I just happened to land on a repeat of the sitcom Still Standing the other day. Now, because of the involvement of Jami Gurtz, I feel like I must have watched this show once when it first began, but I don't remember. And I flipped on, saw Sally Struthers and kept it on for a minute, just long enough to hear this exchange.

Gurtz: "We saw Menopause the Musical."

Mark Addy (playing her husband): "That's a real show?"

Gurtz: "No, but that didn't stop them from putting it on anyway."

Which leads me to something I often ask myself--what constitutes theater? Is anything on a stage theater or does it have to have some element of theatricality to it? And what the hell does that even mean?

Ninety percent of readers have just clicked off. To the remaining 10% of you, thank you for your support, I offer you no answers. I do not like a lot of theater. But I give it credit for being theater, I suppose. Who are we to judge what is theater after all? I mean, if it's on the tv, it's considered television. And I think people going around trying to decide what theater is and is not, just makes us seem like pretentious snobs.

Like, I could say there is nothing really theatrical about The Year of Magical Thinking. But that is in a Broadway house and features an acclaimed theater actress. If I argued it wasn't actually theater, I fear I'd be in for a community exile, even from people who hated it.

That is enough of that. Completely unrelated note--The Times story on Henry Miller's Theater (completely with a nifty rendering of it) made me wonder whether Henry Miller's Theater will automatically be considered a Broadway house (as it is called in the story) or will it have to re-apply for Tony consideration. It will, after all, be a new theater, albeit one with an old name and facade. Of course it will be easily granted Tony eligibility and thus this will all just be formality, but I just wonder whether Roundabout will have to go through the steps.

OK, I need to stop all this crap now and, as a final note tonight, promote something that I know very little about. Everyone who knows me knows I so rarely see anything off-off-Broadway. I don't get the randomness of it all--there is not enough hours in the day. But every once and a while I get a release that sounds like it could be sort of funny. This company called The Milk Can Theatre Company (, which Bethany from the press office Barlow-Hartman is involved with, is doing a series of short plays inspired by recipes randomly drawn from a hat. Bethany has a 10-minute play, directed by press agent Ryan Ratelle, and it's inspired by an eggnog cheesecake recipe. Seriously. I had no idea there even was eggnog cheesecake, so, I learned something new just from the release.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Life Support

I'm very tired tonight, so this probably will not be very exciting or make that much sense.

Let's talk about Rent. (Whenever I say "let's talk about" I think of the Salt 'n Pepa song from my youth...)

When news began to spread a few weeks ago that In The Heights was going to move to Broadway, I heard right away that the rumor about it going to the St. James was false. I hoped the whole thing was false. I remember reading in Variety how the producers said they were staying put, a wise move, if you ask me. And the St. James? Come on! So I discounted the whole thing, as I did when I received the release that Once Around the Sun was moving to Broadway. Same with Zanna, Don't! (Though I also discounted the Jay Johnson show and that did move, so clearly I'm not always right...)

Then I heard from a very good source that the producers of In The Heights, two of which are of course behind Rent, wanted it to go to the Nederlander. I believe it's unwise to close Rent, which because of its low running costs tends to make money, to move in In The Heights, so I still didn't 100% believe it. Then, when it got out that Adam and Anthony were coming back, it all made sense. Adam after all came back to close Aida too. These original cast members would be part of the final cast. It would in fact close, with them giving their all the final performances, just as they had the first. But then.... Tamyra Gray. It was announced that she'd be in until November 25. Now this does not mean they are obligated to keep the show open that long--but it looks unlikely based on that announcement that they are currently planning to close Rent in early September. This means, I believe, as of now, that the earliest they are planning on closing is the end of the year. If that is the plan, they'd probably ask everyone to extend through then and hope they do. BUT--that leads to another issue... Can In The Heights survive through then at 37 Arts?

In The Heights is not selling well, according to my sources. And, even if they are not paying rent, their cast is big. I can't imagine it comes in much under $140,000 a week. Can it last at the rate it is going? Is it worth it to hemorrhage cash off-Broadway for another 9 months? I think not. I want to point out that when things don't sell off-Broadway, they don't tend to sell on Broadway, though people continue to think they will. I understand that a show gets more attention on Broadway and is in a more tourist-friendly theater if on Broadway, but, still, that doesn't tend to make fortunes turn automatically. Nevertheless, I understand people like to believe in miracles, like (SPOILER) the lottery win that plays a part in the show's story. But, even if they are banking on a Broadway lottery prize, they need to get the show there sooner, rather than later. There will be no prize at 37 Arts unless J. Lo replaces Mandy Gonzalez.

I think I'm sort of off-topic at this point and I'm yawning. Night all.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

It Could Please Me More, But...

As I sat through LoveMusik tonight, I thought about what was missing from the show. I've decided it's Brooke Sunny Moriber--how is an esoteric, pretentious musical complete without her? I really don't think it is.

Anyway, yes, I missed a post on Sunday. It was not my fault--I could not load the blogger software either Sunday night or Monday morning and by Monday afternoon I lost the energy to look. You shall all forgive me, I'm sure.

So I guess the biggest news of the week is Cabaret. (Small note: it always helps to keep these things in perspective--this was considered huge news on the rialto today, but, our huge news is actually very, very small news to the general public... even the public that lives on 54th street. And by Friday really no one will care.) I must admit I hadn't heard about Cabaret. I had heard Roundabout they hired David Grimm to work on an adaptation of Cyrano, which seemed very Roundabout, but nothing on Cabaret prior to today. The big topic today stemming from this was: Is this right for the Roundabout to do? And I say this--I'd like if they always took risks and didn't bring back shows we just saw, but I can't blame them for wanting a hit. Roundabout has a tendency to mount expensive shows. Without Studio 54 they have two theaters to do this expensive stuff in. And assuming they are still planning on taking over the future 950-seat theater in the building where Henry Miller's Theatre used to be, there will be three (I haven't checked up on this in a while--so please don't hold me to it). Now, sure they get money from tons of grants and subscribers, etc., but having a hit at one of their theaters helps fund the other stuff. I have a story in The Times today in which Roundabout AD Todd Haimes talks a little bit about financing issues and how it's hard to mount big things. No one would argue about that. Even with subsidy, it's not easy. So extra money coming in is handy. And will we miss sitting through shows at Studio 54? The truth is, with the possible exception of Assassins (which I didn't like, but was well-staged for the place), nothing other than Cabaret has really worked at 54. I'd rather write off 54 and see bigger, more well-realized productions at the AA and Laura Pels than have them all running cheaper new stuff.

Am I a fan of everything Roundabout does? Nope. Did I went a set and bigger cast for Apple Tree? Yup. Do I have any personal desire to see Cabaret again? Oh, no. (Though I'd totally be excited if it were like Kirsten Dunst in...) And I completely realize why people are upset about this and I respect their opinions. I'm just saying off all the things to pick on, bringing back Cabaret strikes me as a minor one.