Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Record-Setting Lineup For B'way! WOW!



The Boradway season just ending has been the greatest season for musicals in decades! Incredible!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

How Well Will You Do On This Quiz?



OK, now put your Broadway fan skills to the test in this week’s video quiz: Name That Tune: Musicals by Stephen Sondheim. Hint: one of these hit shows was recently revived on Broadway.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Outer Critics Circle Award Nominees Announced

The new Broadway musical Anastasia and the Bette Midler-led revival of Hello, Dolly!, topped the list of 2017 Outer Critics Circle Award nominees, announced Tuesday, April 25 at the Algonquin Hotel.
Anastasia received 13 nominations, including nods for stars Christy Altomare, John Bolton, Caroline O'Connor, and Mary Beth Peil, while Hello, Dolly! received 10 nods, which included leading players Midler, David Hyde Pierce, Kate Baldwin, and Gavin Creel.
The full list of nominees is below. 

Outstanding New Broadway Play

A Doll's House, Part 2

Indecent

Oslo

Sweat


Outstanding New Broadway Musical
Anastasia

A Bronx Tale — The Musical

Come From Away

Groundhog Day

Holiday Inn


Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play

If I Forget

Incognito

A Life

Linda

Love, Love, Love


John Gassner Award

(Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)

Men on Boats

Small Mouth Sounds

Tell Hector I Miss Him

Vietgone

The Wolves


Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical
The Band's Visit

Hadestown

Himself & Nora

Kid Victory

Spamilton


Outstanding Revival of a Play

(Broadway or off-Broadway)

The Front Page

Jitney

The Little Foxes

Othello

The Price


Outstanding Revival of a Musical

(Broadway or off-Broadway)

Finian's Rainbow

Hello, Dolly!

Miss Saigon

Sunset Boulevard

Sweeney Todd


Outstanding Actor in a Play

Michael Emerson, Wakey, Wakey

Daniel Craig, Othello

Kevin Kline, Present Laughter

David Oyelowo, Othello

David Hyde Pierce, A Life


Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play

Michael Aronov, Oslo

Danny DeVito, The Price

Nathan Lane, The Front Page

Richard Thomas, The Little Foxes

Richard Topol, Indecent


Outstanding Actress in a Play

Janie Dee, Linda

Sally Field, The Glass Menagerie

Allison Janney, Six Degrees of Separation

Laura Linney, The Little Foxes

Laurie Metcalf, A Doll's House, Part 2


Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play

Johanna Day, Sweat

Jayne Houdyshell, A Doll's House, Part 2

Katrina Lenk, Indecent

Nana Mensah, Man From Nebraska

Cynthia Nixon, The Little Foxes


Outstanding Actor in a Musical

Christian Borle, Falsettos

Nick Cordero, A Bronx Tale — The Musical

Andy Karl, Groundhog Day

David Hyde Pierce, Hello, Dolly!

Tony Shalhoub, The Band's Visit


Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical

John Bolton, Anastasia

Gavin Creel, Hello, Dolly!

Jeffry Denman, Kid Victory

Shuler Hensley, Sweet Charity

Andrew Rannells, Falsettos


Outstanding Actress in a Musical

Christy Altomare, Anastasia

Christine Ebersole, War Paint

Katrina Lenk, The Band's Visit

Patti LuPone, War Paint

Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly!


Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical

Kate Baldwin, Hello, Dolly!

Stephanie J. Block, Falsettos

Jenn Colella, Come From Away

Caroline O'Connor, Anastasia

Mary Beth Peil, Anastasia


Outstanding Solo Performance

Ed Dixon, Georgie: My Adventures With George Rose

Marin Ireland, On the Exhale

Sarah Jones, Sell/Buy/Date

Judith Light, All the Ways to Say I Love You

Simon McBurney, The Encounter


Outstanding Book of a Musical

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Terrence McNally, Anastasia

Itamar Moses, The Band's Visit

Chazz Palminteri, A Bronx Tale — The Musical

Danny Rubin, Groundhog Day

Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From Away


Outstanding New Score

(Broadway or off-Broadway)

Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Anastasia

Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, A Bronx Tale — The Musical

Tim Minchin, Groundhog Day

Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From Away

David Yazbek, The Band's Visit


Outstanding Director of a Play

Lila Neugebauer, The Wolves

Jack O'Brien, The Front Page

Daniel Sullivan, The Little Foxes

Rebecca Taichman, Indecent

Kate Whoriskey, Sweat


Outstanding Director of a Musical

Christopher Ashley, Come From Away

David Cromer, The Band's Visit

Darko Tresnjak, Anastasia

Matthew Warchus, Groundhog Day

Jerry Zaks, Hello, Dolly!


Outstanding Choreographer

Andy Blankenbuehler, Bandstand

Kelly Devine, Come From Away

Warren Carlyle, Hello, Dolly!

Savion Glover, Shuffle Along

Denis Jones, Holiday Inn


Outstanding Scenic Design
(Play or Musical)

Alexander Dodge, Anastasia

Nigel Hook, The Play That Goes Wrong

Mimi Lien, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

Scott Pask, The Little Foxes

Douglas W. Schmidt, The Front Page


Outstanding Costume Design

(Play or Musical)

Linda Cho, Anastasia

Susan Hilferty, Present Laughter

Santo Loquasto, Hello, Dolly!

Ann Roth, Shuffle Along

Catherine Zuber, War Paint


Outstanding Lighting Design
(Play or Musical)

Christopher Akerlind, Indecent

Donald Holder, Anastasia

Natasha Katz, Hello, Dolly!

Bradley King, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

Kenneth Posner, War Paint


Outstanding Projection Design

(Play or Musical)

Duncan McLean, Privacy

Jared Mezzochi, Vietgone

Benjamin Pearcy for 59 Productions, Oslo

Aaron Rhyne, Anastasia

Tal Yarden, Indecent


Outstanding Sound Design
(Play or Musical)

Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin, The Encounter

Gareth Owen, Come From Away

Nicholas Pope, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

Nevin Steinberg, Bandstand

Matt Stine, Sweeney Todd


Outstanding Orchestrations

(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Doug Besterman, Anastasia

Larry Blank, Holiday Inn

Bill Elliott & Greg Anthony Rassen, Bandstand

Larry Hochman, Hello, Dolly!

Jamshied Sharifi, The Band's Visit

Broadway's 2017 Drama Desk Nominees Announced . . .

Nominations for the 2017 Drama Desk Awards are out and Hello, Dolly! leads the pack with ten nominations while the new musicals Come From Away and Anastasia followed with nine nominations each.
A complete list of nominations follows.
Outstanding Play
If I Forget, by Steven Levenson (Roundabout Theatre Company)
Indecent, by Paula Vogel (Vineyard Theatre)
A Life, by Adam Bock (Playwrights Horizons)
Oslo, by J. T. Rogers (Lincoln Center Theater)
Sweat, by Lynn Nottage (The Public Theater)
Outstanding Musical
Anastasia
The Band's Visit (Atlantic Theater Company)
Come From Away
Hadestown (New York Theatre Workshop)
The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical
Outstanding Revival of a Play
The Front Page
The Hairy Ape (Park Avenue Armory)
Jitney (Manhattan Theatre Club)
The Little Foxes (Manhattan Theatre Club)
"Master Harold"... and the Boys (Signature Theatre Company)
Picnic (Transport Group Theatre Company)
Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Falsettos (Lincoln Center Theater)
Hello, Dolly!
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Sweet Charity (The New Group)
Tick, Tick...BOOM! (Keen Company)
Outstanding Actor in a Play
Bobby Cannavale, The Hairy Ape (Park Avenue Armory)
Daniel Craig, Othello (New York Theatre Workshop)
Kevin Kline, Present Laughter
David Hyde Pierce, A Life (Playwrights Horizons)
John Douglas Thompson, Jitney (Manhattan Theatre Club)
Outstanding Actress in a Play
Cate Blanchett, The Present
Laura Linney, The Little Foxes (Manhattan Theatre Club)
Laurie Metcalf, A Doll's House, Part 2
Amy Ryan, Love, Love, Love (Roundabout Theatre Company)
Harriet Walter, The Tempest (St. Ann's Warehouse)
Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Nick Blaemire, Tick, Tick...BOOM! (Keen Company)
Jon Jon Briones, Miss Saigon
Nick Cordero, A Bronx Tale
Andy Karl, Groundhog Day
Jeremy Secomb, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Christy Altomare, Anastasia
Christine Ebersole, War Paint
Sutton Foster, Sweet Charity (The New Group)
Patti LuPone, War Paint
Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly!
Laura Osnes, Bandstand
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Michael Aronov, Oslo (Lincoln Center Theater)
Danny DeVito, The Price (Roundabout Theatre Company)
Nathan Lane, The Front Page
Jeremy Shamos, If I Forget (Roundabout Theatre Company)
Justice Smith, Yen (MCC Theater)
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Jayne Houdyshell, A Doll's House, Part 2
Randy Graff, The Babylon Line (Lincoln Center Theater)
Marie Mullen, The Beauty Queen of Leenane (BAM)
Cynthia Nixon, The Little Foxes (Manhattan Theatre Club)
Emily Skinner, Picnic
Kate Walsh, If I Forget (Roundabout Theatre Company)
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Gavin Creel, Hello, Dolly!
Jeffry Denman, Kid Victory (Vineyard Theatre)
George Salazar, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical
Ari'el Stachel, The Band's Visit (Atlantic Theater Company)
Brandon Uranowitz, Falsettos (Lincoln Center Theater)
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Kate Baldwin, Hello, Dolly!
Stephanie J. Block, Falsettos (Lincoln Center Theater)
Jenn Colella, Come From Away
Mary Beth Peil, Anastasia
Nora Schell, Spamilton
Outstanding Director of a Play
Richard Jones, The Hairy Ape (Park Avenue Armory)
Anne Kauffman, A Life (Playwrights Horizons)
Richard Nelson, What Did You Expect?/Women of a Certain Age (The Public Theater)
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Jitney (Manhattan Theatre Club)
Daniel Sullivan, The Little Foxes (Manhattan Theatre Club)
Daniel Sullivan, If I Forget (Roundabout Theatre Company)
Outstanding Director of a Musical
Christopher Ashley, Come From Away
Bill Buckhurst, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Rachel Chavkin, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
David Cromer, The Band's Visit (Atlantic Theater Company)
Jerry Zaks, Hello, Dolly!
Outstanding Choreography
Andy Blankenbuehler, Bandstand
Warren Carlyle, Hello, Dolly!
Aletta Collins, The Hairy Ape (Park Avenue Armory)
Kelly Devine, Come From Away
Denis Jones, Holiday Inn (Roundabout Theatre Company)
Outstanding Music
Stephen Flaherty, Anastasia
Dave Malloy, Beardo (Pipeline Theatre Company)
Richard Oberacker, Bandstand
Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From Away
David Yazbek, The Band's Visit (Atlantic Theater Company)
Outstanding Lyrics
Gerard Alessandrini, Spamilton
GQ and JQ, Othello: The Remix
Michael Korie, War Paint
Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From Away
David Yazbek, The Band's Visit (Atlantic Theater Company)
Outstanding Book of a Musical
Terrence McNally, Anastasia
Itamar Moses, The Band's Visit (Atlantic Theater Company)
Richard Oberacker and Rob Taylor, Bandstand
Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From Away
Joe Tracz, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical
Outstanding Orchestrations
Doug Besterman, Anastasia
Bruce Coughlin, War Paint
Benjamin Cox, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 
Bill Elliott and Greg Anthony Rassen, Bandstand
August Eriksmoen, Come From Away
Jamshied Sharifi, The Band's Visit (Atlantic Theater Company)
Outstanding Music in a Play
Daniel Ocanto, Graham Ulicny, and Sean Smith, Alligator (New Georges in collaboration with the Sol Project)
Marcus Shelby, Notes from the Field (Second Stage)
Bill Sims Jr., Jitney (Manhattan Theatre Club)
Outstanding Revue
Hello Dillie! (59E59)
Life is for Living: Conversations with Coward (59E59)
Outstanding Set Design for a Play
David Gallo, Jitney (Manhattan Theatre Club)
Nigel Hook, The Play That Goes Wrong
Laura Jellinek, A Life (Playwrights Horizons)
Stewart Laing, The Hairy Ape (Park Avenue Armory)
Douglas W. Schmidt, The Front Page
Outstanding Set Design for a Musical
Lez Brotherston, 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips (St. Ann's Warehouse)
Simon Kenny, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Mimi Lien, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
Santo Loquasto, Hello, Dolly!
Jason Sherwood, The View UpStairs
Outstanding Costume Design for a Play
Jane Greenwood, The Little Foxes (Manhattan Theatre Club)
Susan Hilferty Present Laughter
Murell Horton, The Liar (CSC)
Toni-Leslie James, Jitney (Manhattan Theatre Club)
Stewart Laing, The Hairy Ape (Park Avenue Armory)
Ann Roth, The Front Page
Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical
Linda Cho, Anastasia
Toni-Leslie James, Come From Away
Santo Loquasto, Hello, Dolly!
Anita Yavich, The View UpStairs
Paloma Young, Bandstand
Catherine Zuber, War Paint
Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play
Christopher Akerlind, Indecent (Vineyard Theatre)
James Farncombe, The Tempest (St. Ann's Warehouse)
Rick Fisher, The Judas Kiss (Brooklyn Academy of Music)
Mimi Jordan Sherin, The Hairy Ape (Park Avenue Armory)
Stephen Strawbridge, "Master Harold"...and the Boys (Signature Theatre Company)
Justin Townsend, The Little Foxes (Manhattan Theatre Club)
Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical
Jeff Croiter, Bandstand
Mark Henderson, Sunset Boulevard
Bradley King, Hadestown (New York Theatre Workshop)
Bradley King, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
Amy Mae, Sweeney Todd: The Barber of Fleet Street
Malcolm Rippeth, 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips (St. Ann's Warehouse)
Outstanding Projection Design
Reid Farrington, CasablancaBox (HERE)
Elaine McCarthy, Notes from the Field (Second Stage)
Jared Mezzocchi, Vietgone (Manhattan Theatre Club)
John Narun, Gorey: The Secret Lives of Edward Gorey (Life Jacket Theatre Company)
Aaron Rhyne, Anastasia
Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
Mikhail Fiksel, A Life (Playwrights Horizons)
Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin, The Encounter
Brian Quijada, Where Did We Sit on the Bus? (Ensemble Studio Theatre/Radio Drama Network)
Leon Rothenberg, Notes from the Field (Second Stage)
Jane Shaw, Men on Boats (Playwrights Horizons/Clubbed Thumb)
Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical
Simon Baker, 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips (St. Ann's Warehouse)
Peter Hylenski, Anastasia
Scott Lehrer, Hello, Dolly!
Nicholas Pope, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
Mick Potter, Cats
Brian Ronan, War Paint
Matt Stine, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Outstanding Wig and Hair
David Brian Brown, War Paint
Campbell Young Associates, Hello, Dolly!
John Jared Janas, Yours Unfaithfully (Mint Theatre Company)
Jason Hayes, The View UpStairs
Josh Marquette, Present Laughter
Tom Watson, The Little Foxes (Manhattan Theatre Club)
Outstanding Solo Performance
Nancy Anderson, The Pen (Inner Voices) (Premieres)
Ed Dixon, Georgie: My Adventures with George Rose
Marin Ireland, On the Exhale (Roundabout Underground)
Sarah Jones, Sell/Buy/Date (Manhattan Theatre Club)
Brian Quijada, Where Did We Sit on the Bus? (Ensemble Studio Theatre/Radio Drama Network)
Anna Deavere Smith, Notes from the Field (Second Stage)
Unique Theatrical Experience
CasablancaBox (HERE)
The Paper Hat Game (The Tank/3-Legged Dog)
The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (National Theatre of Scotland)
The Ephemera Trilogy (The Tank/Flint & Tinder)
Outstanding Fight Choreography
J. David Brimmer, Yen (MCC Theatre)
Donal O'Farrell, Quietly (Irish Repertory Theatre)
Michael Rossmy and Rick Sordelet, Troilus and Cressida (New York Shakespeare Festival)
Thomas Schall, Othello (New York Theatre Workshop)
Thomas Schall, The Hairy Ape (Park Avenue Armory)
U. Jonathan Toppo, Sweat (The Public Theatre)
Outstanding Adaptation
David Ives, The Liar, (Classic Stage Company)
Ellen McLaughlin, The Trojan Women, (The Flea Theatre)
Outstanding Puppet Design
Basil Twist, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Lyndie Wright, Sarah Wright, 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips (St. Ann's Warehouse)

Special Awards
The Wolves – Outstanding Ensemble
“The superbly talented cast of Sarah DeLappe's debut play—Mia Barron, Brenna Coates, Jenna Dioguardi, Samia Finnerty, Midori Francis, Lizzy Jutila, Sarah Mezzanotte, Tedra Millan, Lauren Patten, and Susannah Perkins—jelled as one, proving that team spirit is just a alive on the stage as it is on the soccer field.”
Special Award to Phil LaDuca
“Proving that character comes from the ground up, the designer's innovative flexible dance shoe ensures that hoofers on any stage remain on point.”
Lila Neugebauer – Sam Norkin Award
“During a season that saw her helm the original works The AntipodesEverybody, Miles For Maryand The Wolves, and resurrect the works of esteemed playwrights Edward Albee, Maria Irene Fornes, and Adrienne Kennedy in Signature Plays, director Lila Neugebauer has shown that her dauntless insight into the human condition knows no bounds.”
The Drama Desk nominating committee determined that the Broadway productions of Dear Evan Hansen and Significant Other were ineligible this year, as they were considered in the 2015–2016 season for their Off-Broadway engagements. Indecent, Sweat and Oslo were considered for their Off-Broadway stagings despite also transferring to Broadway this season.
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 was considered eligible for its design, staging, and new members of the company, but not for book and score as the committee determined them not sufficiently different from its earlier, already eligible Off-Broadway productions.
The Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George was not considered in accordance with the wishes of its producers.
Shows with multiple nominations
Hello, Dolly! – 10
Anastasia – 9
Come From Away – 9
The Hairy Ape – 8
Bandstand – 7
The Band's Visit – 7
The Little Foxes – 7
War Paint – 7
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – 7
Jitney – 6
A Life – 5
946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips – 4
The Front Page – 4
If I Forget – 4
Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 – 4
Notes from the Field – 4
Falsettos – 3
Present Laughter – 3
The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical – 3
The View UpStairs – 3
CasablancaBox – 2
A Doll's House, Part 2 – 2
Hadestown – 2
Indecent – 2
The Liar – 2
"Master Harold" ...and the Boys – 2
Oslo – 2
Othello – 2
Picnic – 2
Spamilton – 2
Sweat – 2
Sweet Charity – 2
The Tempest – 2
Tick, Tick...BOOM! – 2
Where Did We Sit on the Bus? – 2
Yen – 2

Monday, April 24, 2017

With These Two Together, How Could It Go Wrong?


It takes more than talent to change the face of a nation—discover the story of two women who not only made it, but made it on their own. Get a behind-the-scenes look at WAR PAINT, now on Broadway.


There was no love lost between them.
In fact, they were said to be bitter rivals.
Self-made, relentlessly competitive and seemingly self-sufficient, these two pioneering businesswoman built hugely profitable enterprises. Though they were contemporaries with headquarters near one another and though they may have found themselves at the same place at the same time, they never actually met face-to-face.
Elizabeth Arden was like a female Ralph Lauren. She represented the preppie ideal -- old money exuding class and sleek American style. Helena Rubenstein was the perfect counterpoint to all that. She exuded old world imperiousness -- regal, richly European and trimmed to the nines with baubles, bangles, colognes and creams.
Now, these two titans who virtually invented the cosmetics industry as we know it are brought to life on Broadway in War Paint, a musical bio/documentary starring certifiable divas Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole. And damned if these two dueling stars don't nail their characterizations from the first moment to the final curtain.
Both LuPone and Ebersole each have defining moments and Big Numbers. LuPone shines in Now You Know and Forever Beautiful while Ebersole stands out in Oh, That's Rich and Pink. And, the both of them match each other note-for-note in Face to Face, Beauty in the World and (most poignantly) in If I'd Been A Man.
War Paint has a book by Doug Wright, music by Scott Frankel, and lyrics by Michael Korie, based both on Lindy Woodhead's 2004 book War Paint and on the 2007 documentary film The Powder & the Glory by Ann Carol Grossman and Arnie Reisman. Wright, Frankel and Korie are the same team that brought us Grey Gardens (which also featured Ebersole) a few years back. This trio seems to have a fondness for musicals based on a true story and featuring two women in conflict.
In a musical that is dominated by women, LuPone and Ebersole are supported by John Dossett and Douglas Sills, two male cohorts that the divas deem both dispensable and inter-changeable. 
At the height of their success, there was nothing that one woman wouldn't do to sink the other. Unfortunately, their acidic vitriol dominates a somewhat stiff first act that has the characters move about the stage almost as elaborate figures on a chess board. Ebersole inhabits one side of the stage with LuPone on the other and never the twain shall meet. And there's little or no choreography. The saving grace can be found in more than a few humorous lines superbly delivered by Lu Pone and the eye-popping costumes designed by Catherine Zuber. Not since Coco has Broadway seen such a celebration of couture.
It's in the second act (when both doyennes become vulnerable as their empires begin to deteriorate) that these two characters finally become softer, more three-dimensional and more appealing. Here's where they finally begin to emerge from their destructive intractability and show a bit of heart and soul. Here, they come as close as they ever will to acknowledging mistakes and revealing regrets. Sadly, this has to be accomplished in part through a dramatic device -- an actual meeting and dialogue between the two. It's a long time coming but it finally gives the musical not just a deeper meaning but a sort of raison d'etre. 
Be sure of this, however -- War Pain is an absolute tour de force.
It's as if somebody had paired Merman and Martin in a narrative where you couldn't take your eyes off each one of them. It's that good. And you won't see finer drama-in-song on any other Broadway stage right now.
For LuPone and Ebersole, alone and together, War Paint is worth it.

Friday, April 21, 2017

OMG! Absolutely Stupendous, Unanimous Praise!



Hello Dolly with Bette Midler opened on Broadway last night and it has taken the town by storm.
Every reviewer has lavished praise on this new production of the classic 1964 musical -- a 53-year-old gem with a 70+ year-old star.
Forget the rap or hip hop (or whatever it is) around the corner or that millennial musical homage to social media, because Dolly is back in town and she's the new toast of Broadway.

Here's a sampling of the reviews:

Ben Brantley - New York Times:
The pinnacle of fine dining in New York these days can’t be found in a Michelin-starred restaurant, though it will probably cost you just as much. No, you’ll have to get yourself and your wide-open wallet to the Shubert Theater, where the savory spectacle of Bette Midler eating turns out to be the culinary event of the year.

Marilyn Stasio - Variety:
The audience claps at the overture and whistles at the set; and when Bette Midler makes her entrance, everyone falls into a dead swoon. “Hello, Dolly!” is back on Broadway, and it looks so fresh, you want to pinch its cheek.

Maya Stanton - Entertainment Weekly:
How to describe a force of nature? A blockbuster success even before the curtain went up on opening night, the new revival of Hello, Dolly! marks legendary performer Bette Midler’s highly anticipated return to Broadway, and thanks to a top-notch cast and an award-laden production team, it more than justifies the hype.

Charles McNulty - LA Times:
Rarely has an exclamation point in a title been earned as thoroughly as the one in the new Broadway revival of “Hello, Dolly!” starring Bette Midler.

Joe Dziemanowicz - NY Daily News:
Hello, blockbuster!
They don’t make ’em like they used to — and that goes double for Broadway’s dazzling revival of “Hello, Dolly!” thanks to the show itself and its above-the-title supernova, Bette Midler.
Frankly, there ought to be another exclamation point.

Robert Kahn, NBC, New York:
Hearing Midler sing “Hello, Dolly!” is such a tingly experience that you eventually sit back down and wonder: Is this what it was like when Carol Channing debuted “Dolly!” on Broadway half a century ago? And, was Midler put on Earth to carry forth that legacy? It sure feels that way. This “Hello, Dolly!” is as blissful an escape as anyone could want.

Linda Winer - Newsday:
If there were such a thing as a happiness meter at the Shubert Theatre these days, where, oh, where would that be placed? The obvious position is in the audience, where fans of “Hello, Dolly!” and fans of Bette Midler — which may well add up to just about everyone — have come together in a palpable bonding festival of hot-ticket excitement, contentment and raucous joy.

Jesse Green - New York magazine:
Suffice it to say that in the long line of memorable Dollys I’ve seen or heard — from the alienoid Carol Channing to the louche Pearl Bailey to the enameled Barbra Streisand — Midler is by far the most natural and inviting.

Chris Jones - Chicago Tribune:
With a grinning Midler coming down the staircase — and Zaks not only gives her a descent to remember but even her own little runway out in front of the orchestra and closer to her fans — that contrived chaos, choreographed throughout with a terrific sense of humor by Warren Carlyle, all makes sense.

David Rooney - The Hollywood Reporter:
I can't recall the last time I felt a crowd so frothed up with excitement at a Broadway show, and certainly in those terms, no production currently playing in New York can touch this perfectly upholstered revival of the indestructible 1964 musical chestnut. What's more astonishing is that the enthusiasm never wanes, sending wave upon wave of love across the footlights for two and a half vigorously entertaining hours. And in a testament to the spirit of the veteran showbiz troupers who are now a vanishing breed, Midler soaks it up like a heat-seeking beacon and then beams it right back out into the house.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

2017 Drama League Award Nominations Announced!

The nominees for the 83rd Annual Drama League Awards were announced at Sardi's today by Bebe Neuwirth and Patina Miller. The Drama League Award winners will be announced on Friday May 19th at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in the Broadway Ballroom (1535 Broadway). The ceremony will be hosted by Audra McDonald and Will Swenson.

2017 DRAMA LEAGUE AWARDS NOMINEES
OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A BROADWAY OR OFF-BROADWAY PLAY
A Doll’s House, Part 2 
Caught
Everybody
If I Forget
Indecent
A Life
Oslo
The Play That Goes Wrong
Sweat
Tell Hector I Miss Him
The Wolves

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A BROADWAY OR OFF-BROADWAY PLAY
A Doll’s House/The Father
The Beauty Queen Of Leenane
Jitney
The Little Foxes
Master Harold And The Boys
Othello
Present Laughter
The Price
Six Degrees Of Separation
Troilus And Cressida

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A BROADWAY OR OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL
Amélie, A New Musical
Anastasia
Bandstand                                                                                  
Come From Away 
Dear Evan Hansen
Groundhog Day
Hadestown                                                                                 
Natasha, Pierre And The Great Comet Of 1812
Ride The Cyclone
War Paint

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A BROADWAY OR OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL
NOTE: This season’s revival of Sunday in the Park with George was not considered for awards eligibility, at the producers’ request.

Cats
Falsettos
Hello, Dolly!
Miss Saigon
Sunset Boulevard
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
Sweet Charity

NOMINEES FOR THE DISTINGUISHED PERFORMANCE AWARD
One winner is selected from this category. The recipient can only receive this award once during his or her career.

Note: Due to receiving The Drama League’s 2017 Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award, Bette Midler will not be considered for this year’s Distinguished Performance Award.

Denée Benton, NatashaPierre and the Great Comet of 1812
Reed BirneyMan From Nebraska
Cate BlanchettThe Present
Ato Blankson-WoodThe Total Bent
Christian BorleCharlie and the Chocolate Factory; Falsettos
Leon Addison BrownMaster Harold and the Boys
Kate BurtonPresent Laughter
Daniel Craig, Othello
Johanna Day, Sweat
Marcia DeBonisSmall Mouth Sounds
Danny DeVitoThe Price
Jennifer EhleOslo
Carson Elrod, The Liar
Michael Emerson, Wakey Wakey
Sally Field, The Glass Menagerie
Sutton Foster, Sweet Charity
Josh GrobanNatasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
Gideon Glick, Significant Other
Harriet Harris, The Roads To Home
Corey Hawkins, Six Degrees of Separation
Allison Janney, Six Degrees of Separation
Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen
Sarah JonesSell/Buy/Date
Andy KarlGroundhog Day
Kevin KlinePresent Laughter
John Leguizamo, Latin History for Morons
Kecia Lewis, Marie and Rosetta
Judith Light, All The Ways To Say I Love You
Laura Linney, The Little Foxes
Jefferson Mays, Oslo
Simon McBurney, The Encounter
Laurie Metcalf, A Doll’s House, Part 2
Joe Morton, Turn Me Loose
Cynthia Nixon, The Little Foxes
Eva Noblezada, Miss Saigon
Caroline O’Connor, Anastasia
Laura Osnes, Bandstand
Aisling O’Sullivan, The Beauty Queen of Leenane
David Hyde Pierce, A Life; Hello, Dolly!
Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen
Daniel Radcliffe, Privacy
Amy Ryan, Love, Love, Love
Nora Schell, Spamilton
Jeremy Secomb, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Anna Deveare Smith, Notes From The Field
John Douglas Thompson, Jitney; A Doll’s House/The Father
Kate Walsh, If I Forget
Michelle Wilson, Sweat

The Drama League also wishes to acknowledge the previous recipients of the Distinguished Performance Award who appeared in New York productions this season. As the Award can only be won once in a performer’s lifetime, they are ineligible this season. Their exemplary work, however, is recognized and applauded.

Glenn CloseSunset Boulevard
Christine EbersoleWar Paint
Harvey FiersteinGently Down The Stream
Nathan LaneThe Front Page
Patti LuPoneWar Paint
Mary-Louise ParkerHeisenberg
Liev SchreiberLes Liaisons Dangereuses

The Drama League previously announced its 2017 Special Recognition Honorees: the legendary Bette Midler will receive the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award; Bill Berloni will receive the Unique Contribution to the Theater Award for his work in animal training for Broadway; and Michael Greif, represented on Broadway this season with both Dear Evan Hansen and War Paint, will receive the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing.

 
Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre 
Bette Midler


Unique Contribution to the Theatre
Bill Berloni


Founders Award for Excellence in Directing
Michael Greif



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

In The Search For That Elusive Smash Hit . . .



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Monday, April 3, 2017

Will YOU Meet YOUR Significant Other?

Significant Other, the new American play by Joshua Harmon is calling for submissions to help a lucky bachelor or bachelorette find their own significant other.

THE DETAILS:
Let’s be honest - dating in New York City sucks. In Significant Other, the character Jordan Berman (played by Gideon Glick) is desperately trying to find a date, but he's not the only one without any luck when it comes to the dating game. We all know at least one person looking for the perfect match. And that’s where the cast of Significant Other will come in. Starting today, Significant Other wants YOU to send us your eligible unattached friend (or yourself!). On Thursday, April 6th, the show will announce a lucky single to be a special guest at Significant Other on Broadway at The Booth Theatre (222 W. 45th) on Thursday, April 13th, for a chance to find love ON STAGE at the show!

But wait – there’s more! On top of selecting a lucky single as our special guest, from April 6th-11th we will be accepting submissions for THREE additional potential suiters to share the stage, April 13th, with our lucky single, where our cast will help make the match! So…who are these significant others? Well - you! If you think you or your friend is a perfect match for our dating game contestant, after April 6th, submit using THE SAME details below and FIND YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER AT SIGNIFICANT OTHER on Broadway!"

Check out our cast announcing this special event! https://youtu.be/1ukgyaY4lrA

How To Enter:
*All Submissions Need Approval From The Person Being Submitted*
Send a photo of yourself (or friend) along with answers to the questions below to DatingGame@SignificantOtherBroadway.com

Name:
Age:
Looking for a Guy or a Girl:
Current Job:
Hometown:
3 Fun Facts About You:

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SIGNIFICANT OTHER PLAYING SCHEDULE:
Tuesdays & Thursdays at 7:00 PM; Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM; Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 PM; Sundays at 7:00 PM

Significant Other now playing at The Booth Theatre (222 West 45th St.) officially opened Thursday, March 2nd. Tickets are currently available for purchase on-line at Telecharge.com, by phone at 212-239-6200 or in-person at the box office. Groups can be booked through Broadway Inbound at broadwayinbound.com or by calling 866-302-0995.

The Broadway debut of playwright Joshua Harmon is complemented by the Broadway debut of director Trip Cullman, who guided the play to its successful off-Broadway engagement. The cast includes: Gideon Glick (Spring Awakening), Barbara Barrie (Company). John Behlmann (Journey’s End), Sas Goldberg (Stunning), Rebecca Naomi Jones (American Idiot), Lindsay Mendez (Wicked) and Luke Smith (Peter and the Starcatcher Tour)

The creative team includes choreography by Sam Pinkleton (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, Amélie), scenic design by Mark Wendland (Tony Award nominee, The Merchant of Venice, Next to Normal), costume design by Kaye Voyce (The Real Thing, The Realistic Joneses), lighting design by Japhy Weideman (Tony Award nominee, The Visit, Airline Highway, Of Mice and Men) and sound design by Daniel Kluger (The Common Pursuit).

Significant Other began at Roundabout Theatre Company following the professional debut and world premiere of Joshua Harmon's play Bad Jews at Roundabout Underground’s Black Box in fall 2012. Bad Jews was the first play to transfer to the Roundabout's Laura Pels Theatre and became the third most produced licensed play last season. Significant Other becomes Roundabout’s second new play to transfer to Broadway following the success of Stephen Karam’s Tony Award-winning play, The Humans.

Significant Other is presented on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards, Roundabout Theatre Company, Rebecca Gold, Ronald Frankel, Spencer Ross, Ira Pittelman & Tom Hulce, Patty Baker, CandyWendyJamiePaula Productions, Gabrielle Palitz, Terry Schnuck, Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub, Caiola Productions, Adam S. Gordon, In Fine Company, Cody Lassen, Aaron Priest, Darren P. DeVerna & Jeremiah J. Harris, Will Trice and The Shubert Organization.

Website: www.significantotherbroadway.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/significantbway
Twitter: www.twitter.com/significantbway
Instagram: www.instagram.com/significantbway

Sunday, April 2, 2017

This Is One Sunday You Don't Wanna Let Go!


Jake Gyllenhaal chats with Seth about his heart chakra and Mandy Patinkin's thoughts on his Broadway performance in Sunday in the Park With George.
When the New York City Center Encores series announced that, as a special event, it would present Hollywood heartthrob Jake Gyllenhaal in the title role of Stephen Sondheim's iconic musical Sunday in the Park With George the Big Question was: That's quite a coup, but can he sing? Sure, he had appeared on stage before and even in a musical but it was a smaller, novelty outing. The question remained: Does he have what it takes to carry a Big, Serious, Broadway Musical?
Well, Gyllenhaal & Co. are now on Broadway singing "Sunday" and the question's been answered. We'll get to that in a moment. But first, a bit of background.
Written by James Lapine with music and lyrics by Sondheim, Sunday in the Park With George has always seems a bit bifurcated. Like two mini-musicals, the first and second acts appeared to tell different stories. Part one examined the brief life of the tortured pointillist painter George Seurat and his effort to produce the iconic painting that gives the show its name. Part two looks into the modern, somewhat disjointed world of Seurat's presumed great-grandson (also named George and also an artist) who's exploring a 1980s sound and light form of experiential art. The problem isn't just the time gap between the two acts but the device itself. In the original (which we saw on Broadway in 1984) the jump from then to now seemed abrupt and somewhat gimmicky. Also, the music in the much shorter act two never seemed to match the more audacious first act.
This was in no way the fault of the two stars (Mandy Patinkin as George and Bernadette Peters as Dot) who brought both vocal heft and fine acting to their roles. In fact, they seemed so remarkably well-suited to their task that they set a very high bar for the future. No, the problem was that the dazzle of High Art at the start seemed to fizzle in the face of the contrived art (which was mostly left to our imagination) at the finish.
Still, the musical was a landmark work. It not only charted new ground and gave us some of Sondheim's most haunting music and lyrics but it set everyone to thinking about the nature of art itself and it's meaning in our lives, both then and now. Indeed, this daring original work won the Pulitizer Prize, an honor captured by fewer than 10 musicals.
The show remains enveloped with a tapestry of nuanced meaning and lingering irony that puts it right up there with Sondheim's Into The Woods as a sort of musical examination of timeless themes. And the songs (most notably Finishing The Hat, Putting It Together, Move On, Sunday, We Do Not Belong Together and Beautiful) are nothing less than unforgettable. Like the best of Sondheim, these songs never stoop to sentimentality. Though they still touch you deeply, above all, they make you think.
So, how does this new production surmount the leap from 1886 to 1984? Well, it does it in part with yet another device. But this time, it's a device that works. This time, we're treated to a dazzling dash of Broadway LED and laser special effects (with music) in the form of George's latest art installation, Chromolume #7.  What we see now at the Hudson Theatre probably wasn't possible in 1984 and, in its own way, it seems almost as inventive as Seurat's pioneering pointillism. Remember, pointillism foresaw the mosaic of modern photography, television and pixelated computer screens -- all "art forms" that required the viewer to assemble the picture in his or her mind. Now, the digital age has given us a sound and light attraction that combines human imagination and electronic derring-do. And, once again, you're engaged and challenged to "connect the [lighted] dots." In the second act, as the lights descend, ascend and dance all around you, you can almost hear the 1880s George singing: Dot, do, dot, dot . . . dot, dot, dot, dot . . . "
Now, the Big Question: Can Jake Gyllenhaal carry a tune? Indeed he can, thank you.
Not only does he sing beautifully but Gyllenhaal plays the role of George with such tortured intensity (particularly in the first act) that at times he seems to be overtaken by a kind of madness. It's more than an artist's obsessiveness. It's an all-consuming drive that finds itself immersed as much in the shear mechanics of art as the creative process itself. Stooped and disheveled, Gyllenhaal brings a darkness to the role that was not quite so evident in 1984. And, as Dot (Surat's love interest) Annaleigh Ashford is at times coquettish, stubborn, beguiling, childish, ornery and ultimately sensible. You'll see why Ashford is not only one of Broadway's most versatile stars but is also a Tony Award winner. Tony or not, she doesn't play the role as a diva. She gives us a Dot that seems a bit more accessible and somewhat more updated.
Directed by Sarna Lapine, this is a Sunday for the new century. But it's also a journey that remains true to the spirit and intent of the original. At it's core, it remains a study in the art of making art.
It was Picasso who said: "The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls." Take a needed couple of hours away from the everyday grind and leave the dust of daily life behind as you enter the world of Sunday in the Park With George. It'll be good for your soul. We promise!

BTW: Broadway and Hollywood are two vastly different realms. Not all screen actors can make it on the stage, and visa-versa. It says something about Gyllenhaal that's he's been able to make the transformation seem seamless. Broadway demands a stronger presence, larger body movements and much more emoting. Jake manages not only to pull it off but to do it with appealing believability. Beyond all that, he really seems to enjoy every moment of it. Bravo!