Sunday, May 18, 2008

I Say Twilight You Say Rock

I must admit, I was late to the Twilight party, but I've been completely sucked in (if you'll excuse the lame vampire pun) to this vampire/human love story. My sister described this addiction nicely before she finished the series, "When I'm not reading, I'm thinking about when I can read." I've been so into these books, I almost forgot how much fun it is to be a Harry Potter fan until I went to a Harry and the Potters concert last week.

Since Twilight author Stephenie Meyer is being compared to J.K. Rowling, I got to wondering if Twilight rock would be the new wizard rock. So far, I've only found two Twilight theme bands. The Bella Cullen Project, a mellow all female trio, and the Mitch Hansen Band, a mellow one-man band. Neither of these bands are really doing it for me. I'd like to see something with a little more energy and wit. Maybe some bands that sing in character, as Harry and the Potters do. Jacob and the Blacks anyone? Edward and the Cullens? Or how about Stupid Shiny Volvo Owners? If anybody knows of any other Twilight bands, I'd love to hear about it. If you read the books, what would you name your Twilight band?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

There's No Business Like Show Business

It's that time of year again: Tony nominations. The biggest surprise was all the love for Cry-Baby. Best musical? Seriously? I would have liked more nominations for Is He Dead?, especially for Norbert Leo Butz, but at least David Pittu was nominated. And it closed a while ago so I wasn't really expecting it to do well. Here is the full list of nominees as well as some early predictions/thoughts. I haven't seen everything yet, but I'm hoping that will change before June 15.

Best Play:
August: Osage County
Rock 'n' Roll
The Seafarer
The 39 Steps

I think it's a pretty safe bet that August will win, deservedly so.

Best Musical:
In the Heights
Passing Strange

I have yet to see In the Heights, but considering it got the most noms this year (13), I think it might win. Maybe Passing Strange will take it (it did win the NY Drama Critics Circle Award), but I don't think there's a definite front runner yet.

Best Book of a Musical:
Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan
In the Heights
Quiara Alegria Hudes
Passing Strange
Douglas Carter Beane

I hope Stew wins something, but I don't think it will be for book, because that was not the strongest part of the show. Maybe In the Heights, but from what I've heard about Xanadu (which I also have not seen yet), this might be its category.

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre:
Cry Baby
Music & Lyrics: David Javerbaum and Adam Schlesinger
In the Heights
Music & Lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda
The Little Mermaid
Music: Alan Menken
Lyrics: Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater
Passing Strange
Music: Stew and Heidi Rodewald
Lyrics: Stew

Well, The Little Mermaid does have a great score, but how is this nominated for best original score? Anyway, it's not going to win. I think this is the category that Passing Strange is most likely to win. It's interesting that two of the big front runners this year in the new musical categories are off Broadway transfers starring the man who also wrote the music for the show (Miranda and Stew).

Best Revival of a Play:
The Homecoming
Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Tough category this year, but I hope Boeing-Boeing wins. I encourage everyone to see this play. I am usually not a huge fan of farce, but I don't know if I've ever laughed so hard in a theatre.

Best Revival of a Musical:
Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific
Sunday in the Park with George

This might be the most competitive category this year (except for Grease, how'd that get in there?). I haven't seen South Pacific, but I from what I heard about it, it will probably win over Gypsy.

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play:
Ben Daniels, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Laurence Fishburne, Thurgood
Mark Rylance, Boeing-Boeing
Rufus Sewell, Rock 'n' Roll
Patrick Stewart, Macbeth

Patrick Stewart doesn't have a Tony, so maybe it will go to him, but Mark Rylance, who is generally known as a Shakespearean actor, gave a brilliant comedic performance that deserves to be recognized. I've heard amazing things about Ben Daniels as well.

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play:
Eve Best, The Homecoming
Deanna Dunagan, August: Osage County
Kate Fleetwood, Macbeth
S. Epatha Merkerson, Come Back, Little Sheba
Amy Morton, August: Osage County

It's all about the August women, and they are both deserving, but I think Amy Morton might take it.

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical:
Daniel Evans, Sunday in the Park with George
Lin-Manuel Miranda, In the Heights
Stew, Passing Strange
Paulo Szot, Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific
Tom Wopat, A Catered Affair

I haven't seen either of these performances, but I believe it will be between Paulo Szot and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Stew's narration doesn't really seem like acting. I didn't care much for Evans and Wopat gave a good performance in an underwhelming musical.

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical:
Kerry Butler, Xanadu
Patti LuPone, Gypsy
Kelli O'Hara, Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific
Faith Prince, A Catered Affair
Jenna Russell, Sunday in the Park with George

Another tough category. This really was a good year for Broadway overall. I'll be surprised if LuPone doesn't win, but you never know.

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play:
Bobby Cannavale, Mauritius
Raul Esparza, The Homecoming
Conleth Hill, The Seafarer
Jim Norton, The Seafarer
David Pittu, Is He Dead?

Will they give it to Esparza as a sorry for last year gesture? I sort of hope so, even though this wasn't his strongest performance.

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play:
Sinead Cusack, Rock 'n' Roll
Mary McCormack, Boeing-Boeing
Laurie Metcalf, November
Martha Plimpton, Top Girls
Rondi Reed, August: Osage County

I'm so happy for Mary McCormack. I hope she wins.

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical:
Daniel Breaker, Passing Strange
Danny Burstein, Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific
Robin De Jesus, In the Heights
Christopher Fitzgerald, The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein
Boyd Gaines, Gypsy

Patti LuPone gets most of the glory for Gypsy, but the rest of the cast is just as deserving, and Boyd Gaines should win.

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical:
de'Adre Aziza, Passing Strange
Laura Benanti, Gypsy
Andrea Martin, The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein
Olga Merediz, In the Heights
Loretta Ables Sayre, Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific

What I said about Gaines, but for Benanti.

Best Scenic Design of a Play:
Peter McKintosh, The 39 Steps
Scott Pask, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Todd Rosenthal, August: Osage County
Anthony Ward, Macbeth


Best Scenic Design of a Musical:
David Farley and Timothy Bird & The Knifedge Creative Network, Sunday in the Park with George
Anna Louizos, In the Heights
Robin Wagner, The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein
Michael Yeargan, Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific


Best Costume Design of a Play:
Gregory Gale, Cyrano de Bergerac
Rob Howell, Boeing-Boeing
Katrina Lindsay, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Peter McKintosh, The 39 Steps

I loved the costumes from Boeing-Boeing, but I haven't seen any of these other plays.

Best Costume Design of a Musical:
David Farley, Sunday in the Park with George
Martin Pakledinaz, Gypsy
Paul Tazewell, In the Heights
Catherine Zuber, Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific

I'll totally have to guess on this one for now, but South Pacific or Sunday.

Best Lighting Design of a Play:
Kevin Adams, The 39 Steps
Howard Harrison, Macbeth
Donald Holder, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Ann G. Wrightson, August: Osage County

Macbeth, maybe. Or The 39 Steps because Kevin Adams is brilliant.

Best Lighting Design of a Musical:
Ken Billington, Sunday in the Park with George
Howell Binkley, In the Heights
Donald Holder, Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific
Natasha Katz, The Little Mermaid

Sunday, maybe Mermaid, but probably Sunday.

Best Sound Design of a Play:
Simon Baker, Boeing-Boeing
Adam Cork, Macbeth
Ian Dickson, Rock 'n' Roll
Mic Pool, The 39 Steps

Macbeth, maybe, or The 39 Steps.

Best Sound Design of a Musical:
Acme Sound Partners, In the Heights
Sebastian Frost, Sunday in the Park With George
Scott Lehrer, Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific
Dan Moses Schreier, Gypsy

I don't know too much about sound, so I won't even try to guess.

Best Direction of a Play:
Maria Aitken, The 39 Steps
Conor McPherson, The Seafarer
Anna D. Shapiro, August: Osage County
Matthew Warchus, Boeing-Boeing

Since I'm assuming August will win for best play, Anna D. Shapiro.

Best Direction of a Musical:
Sam Buntrock, Sunday in the Park with George
Thomas Kail, In The Heights
Arthur Laurents, Gypsy
Bartlett Sher, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific

Considering Laurents already has a Tony for Gypsy, Bartlett Sher. Correction, Laurents has never won a Tony for Gypsy, but I still stand by my original prediction.

Best Choreography:
Rob Ashford, Cry-Baby
Andy Blankenbuehler, In The Heights
Christopher Gattelli, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific
Dan Knechtges, Xanadu

actually deserved this nomination. The choreography was really creative and the best part of the show, so hopefully Rob Ashford will win.

Best Orchestrations:
Jason Carr, Sunday in the Park with George
Alex Lacamoire & Bill Sherman, In The Heights
Stew & Heidi Rodewald, Passing Strange
Jonathan Tunick, A Catered Affair

Is anyone still reading this? Maybe they'll be nice and give one award to A Catered Affair, but I kind of doubt it. Probably Sunday.

I'm very excited to see what happens. This is an interesting year and I think the winners will be all over the place, (see this New York Times article). Congrats to all the nominees.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Playbill just announced that the new musical, Glory Days, is closing after only one performance and 17 previews. The show was written by two 23-year-olds (one of who was also in Cry Baby, poor guy) and stars four young actors. I feel really bad for them, I hope their spirits aren't totally crushed by the negative reviews, and I do think they have potential (especially actor Jesse JP Johnson, who gives the most real and touching performance in the group), but I can't help but be excited. I saw this show on Saturday and it wasn't horrible, but definitely not Broadway material. The closing notice puts that Saturday afternoon in a new perspective because now I can say that I've seen a show that will be remembered for how quickly it closed (see: Carrie), and that kind of makes me happy.

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