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Well, my "little vacation" ended up lasting two and a half years... funny how life steers your life in directions you weren't planning on. I'll start off with occasional posts, but I fully plan to resume this blog to full speed by the new year.

I hope you'll come back for frequent visits, to see new reviews, to share opinions, to take a survey (or two), and to celebrate the shows and show people that have made the TheatreScene!

Jeff

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

REVIEW: Pippin

Review of the Saturday, April 27 evening performance at the Music Box Theatre in New York City, New York.  Starring Patina Miller, Matthew James Thomas, Terrence Mann, Charlotte d'Amboise, Andrea Martin, Rachel Bay Jones, with Erik Altemus and Andrew Cekala.  Circus Creation by Gypsy Snider.  Choreography by Chet Walker in the style of Bob Fosse.  Direction by Diane Paulus.  2 hours, 25 minutes including intermission. 

Grade: A+

I suppose it should be somehow easier to review this show in light of the 10 Tony Award nominations it received today.  The complete truth is that I have been struggling to find the right words to convey the experience I had, now four full days later, at Pippin.  I've started this at least five different times, and actually got a pretty decent way into it once before chucking it completely.  Now, at draft six and day five quickly approaching, I realize that some experiences defy easy explanation; true, genuine emotion often is the most difficult thing to articulate.  Being a part of this production - yes, the audience is a part of this production - has been one of the top six theatre-going experiences of my life.  The exact words fail me still - art lovers, imagine trying to articulate the first time you saw the Sistine Chapel - but now, with it so fresh in my memory, I can tell you how the truly exceptional theatre experience feels: when it was over, my entire body was literally quivering from deep inside, and all of my senses were aware to a such a degree that it was as if they had been previously asleep.  It was a total body experience to say the least.

"Magic To Do"

"The Manson Trio"

The spectre of Bob Fosse is felt throughout this production, from the literal recreation of the iconic "Manson Trio" segment of "Glory," to the more esoteric touches like the truly frightening look of the players as they search out over the crowd, a hungry smile on their lips and a mesmerizing, but ominous blank stare in their eyes.  And there is the sexiness that pervades the whole thing, from the overt sexuality of "With You" to the coy double entendre of "No Time At All," and from the vampish sex appeal of Fastrada to the sinister sex appeal of the Leading Player.  Yes, Fosse looms large as one might expect.  But that in no way diminishes the accomplishments of choreographer Chet Walker, the circus creations of Gypsy Snider and the direction of Diane Paulus.  No, if anything, Fosse now provides the canvas on which this new trio creates their singular vision of art.  Walker brings the Fosse vocabulary to a dazzling array of production numbers, while Snider provides moment after moment of jaw-dropping stunts and envelope-pushing human drama in each circus routine, and Paulus, in true ringmaster fashion, juggles the choreography and circus acts with the demands of a surprisingly deeper-than-I-ever-remembered book (by Roger O. Hirson) and score that now somehow demands that we all look deeper into it (by Stephen Schwartz).  All four elements are so tightly and carefully intertwined that it is often impossible to distinguish when a scene ends, a number begins, or when a dance ends and a circus trick starts.  This is the very definition of "collaboration."  Just as she has with Hair and Porgy and Bess, Ms. Paulus has reinvigorated and reinvented a classic, this time with the perfect company of colleagues, designers and cast.

The World of Pippin

As dazzling as all of it is to watch, it is to the credit of all involved that when all is said and done, each element has its moment and then supports the others seamlessly.  Scott Pask's enormous circus tent set is dazzling for its sheer size and endless supply of wonders - hidden entrances and exits, a Shakespearean stage box, and hundreds of moving set pieces.  These all complement the sleek, sexy and full spectrum of color costumes - there have to be hundreds - designed with a circus-y flair, an eye toward history and a no holds barred theatricality by Dominique Lemieux.  The sets and costumes provide a surface for Kenneth Posner's complex and beguiling lighting plan, which helps  to guide our eyes, set the mood and to illuminate  (and darken) the dream-like quality of so many scenes.  Just as with the directorial elements, the designers have created a stunning world where life, the circus and the theatre intertwine and overlap.

I am sure over the long run of this production there will be many a cast change, and I'm sure any replacements will have their merits.  But it is hard to imagine this show with even one original cast member missing, including any of the multi-talented ensemble members, here called The Players: Gregory Arsenal and Philip Rosenberg (featured as a hand balancers), Yannick Thomas (trapeze specialist and bolero dancer) and Lolita Costet (Bolero dancer), Colin Cunliffe (the Head), Orion Griffiths (Rolla Bolla speciality), Andrew Fitch and Anthony Wayne (The "Manson Trio"), and dancer/acrobats/contortionists Viktoria Grimmy, Olga Karmansky, Bethany Moore, Stephanie Pope and Molly Tynes.  Each of these performers are exceptionally gifted and bring as much to the show as any of the featured players.

The Circus Artistry of Pippin

At the performance I attended, the role of young Theo was played with pluck and a generous helping of preteen angst by Andrew Cekala, who does an especially nice job balancing that angst with mirroring male role model Pippin, and without ever being an annoying "child actor."  The delightfully angelic and devilish turn by the hilarious Rachel Bay Jones gives the role of Catherine a much needed and welcomed depth missing from every one of the many productions of this show I've seen.  Her solo, in near darkness center stage, "I Guess I'll Miss the Man" resonates here as never before - a quiet moment that registers just as much as any of the flashy production numbers.  The impossibly handsome, light on his feet, and stupidly self-absorbed Lewis is played by the equally impossibly handsome Erik Altemuswho manages to bring this small, but pivotal, role to the foreground, as the anti-Pippin - a one man cautionary tale.

Pippin and Catherine

The Ensemble and Erik Altemus and Charlotte d'Amboise

The bewigged and so-sexy-it-makes-you-ache Charlotte d'Amboise channels everyone from Gwen Verdon to Donna McKechnie in her beautifully danced "Spread A Little Sunshine," and is both a funny and menacing presence as the scheming step-Queen, Fastrada.  Like Ms. Jones, Ms. d'Amboise brings a surprising depth to what is generally a one or two note character.  Part of the fun, too, is watching her work with the great Terrence Mann, her real-life husband.  The vastly underrated Mann, may have finally hit Tony gold with his astonishing turn as Charles, part growling tiger, part purring pussy cat.  He stalks the stage with a hunger in his eyes, a stalwart bravado, and sneaky warmth that brings out a poignant part of his characterization.  And bravo to him for getting through that crazy tongue-twister of a number, "War is a Science."
Terrence Mann and
Charlotte d'Amboise

Andrea Martin and Matthew James Thomas

Everything you've heard about Andrea Martin's performance is true.  She steals the show with every scene she's in, and her big scene and number, "No Time At All," is a true show-stopper, complete with a standing ovation and applause that does not stop until she takes a mid-show bow.  And yes, she does an amazing circus act - without a net.  But it is NOT remarkable because she's 66 years old.  It is remarkable because it is really THAT good.  Martin, though, is not a show-stopper because she's famous or larger than life.  It is because her performance is a veritable study in timing, delivery and austerity.  The woman says more with one pause or one bat of her huge eyelashes than many actors do with an entire soliloquy.  Every breath, pause and syllable, not to mention look, movement and twist is grounded in nothing else but character and story telling.  That is how a real pro does it.

Given the amount of press and social media chatter about the casting of Patina Miller as The Leading Player has gotten, you'd think we lived in the sexist is cool age of the 1950's or something.  But it makes total sense.  It is the women in Pippin's life that guide him and help him find fulfillment, not the men.  And Miller is sheer perfection here, giving a career-defining performance.  Does she erase the memory of Ben Vereen? No.  But she isn't trying to, either.  Her Player is an original creation, at times sly, sexy and even nurturing, even as (often simultaneously) she is dark, evil and manipulative.  She draws you in with that huge, toothy smile, and cunningly insinuates you into joining her with a potent and heady mix of sexuality and danger.  Ms. Miller is a powerful presence in every way - comedic, dramatic, musically, and as dancer and actress.  From the opening lines of "Magic to Do," to her delightful "Simple Joys," to the athletic "On the Right Track," she holds your attention in ways unseen on Broadway since Chita Rivera in Kiss of the Spider Woman.

Finally, in the title role is young Matthew James Thomas, who has now gone from second-string Spider-Man to true Broadway leading man.  One can only imagine how exhausted he must be after each performance.  He rarely leaves the stage, and when he's on it, he must be a quadruple threat all at once - singer, dancer, actor, circus performer.  (You should see how he works a stationary pole.)  And at all times, he must connect with the audience in an increasingly complex way.  His "Corner of the Sky" fits his take on Pippin perfectly, and he is an excellent foil to Miller, Mann, Martin and Bay.  The show rests on Pippin's ability to take the audience on the ride with him to "the ultimate finale."  Matthew James Thomas does just that in a humble, yet bravado-filled performance, full of innocence, life lessons learned and a sex appeal that takes you in, but never leaves you feeling dirty.

Patina Miller and Matthew James Thomas

This show is one of the few geared directly toward boys and men.  A coming of age tale, Pippin has proven to be universal, but it hits this male theatre-goer in ways that Cinderella and other girl-centric tales don't.  A boy becomes a true man when he realizes that it is how he lives his life and treats others that makes him one, not his physical strength, bravery and prowess in the bedroom.  As Pippin, and we, find out over the course of the show, it is the quest for the extraordinary that teaches us the most, but it is in the ordinary where we can make the most impact.  Perhaps it is my age and life experience that have made me appreciate this Pippin more than others.  Certainly, songs like "Morning Glow," which left me spent and in tears (I wasn't the only one, either), have deepened for me with age.  But now I really get the entire ending.   Paulus has made a change to the final moments of the show that even now gives me chills just thinking about it.  It speaks to me as never before.

Over the years of doing this blog, I have often struggled with how to convey those times when a show has been an exhilarating high (Matilda and Hands on a Hardbody this season) and when a show's touch is so profound that it represents a milestone in one's artistic life.  For me, that has happened with the original productions of A Chorus Line, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Sweeney Todd, the 1983 revival of Mame (my first Broadway show), next to normal, and now, with this revival of Pippin.  Perhaps, my time with the show may best be summed up by a writer (whose name and work escapes me now) who, when discussing this particular work, said something to the effect of this: you know when you are seeing a good production of Pippin when it stimulates your brain, your heart and your crotch.  In short, a superior production of Pippin makes you feel completely alive and part of the human experience.  And this is superior.

(Photos by Joan Marcus)

Jeff
4.238

Monday, April 29, 2013

REVIEW: Jekyll and Hyde

Review of the Saturday, April 27 evening performance at the Marquis Theatre in New York City, New York.  Starring Constantine Maroulis, Deborah Cox and Teal Wicks. Direction and choreography by Jeff Calhoun.  2 hours, 25 minutes including intermission.

Grade: F

With Constantine Maroulis in the title roles of Jekyll and Hyde you really do get a "twofer" your money.  I wish I could say it is two exciting performances as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  I wish I could say he is scary and sexy, evil and good, provocative and riveting.  But I have to be honest the "twofer" is boring and boorish. The "actor" in him is variations on one note sad-sad and sad-grumpy pants; the "singer" in him relies on American Idol parlor tricks at the expense of character.  And while I bring up that whole Idol thing, let me just call him out on something that drives me nuts when people who have no business on Broadway make it without earning it.  Constantine, you don't get to do that whole "slump-shouldered-crooked-bent-head-shuffle-to-the-front-I'm-so-humbled-by-all-the-applause-aw-shucks" shtick.  No one believes it, especially from someone whose fame came from the applause and phone calls of the very same audience.  Bad form. AND, as Randy Jackson would likely say, "Dawg.  You were pitchy.  Many times."  And maybe Simon might have said, "Style over substance.  I'm not feeling it."  You see, for all of the "vocal pyrotechnics" of every last number, it is all at the expense of character or emotion of the moment.  In fact, "This Is the Moment," one of the show's most famous songs, sounded pretty much the same as every other moment in the show: loud, overblown and absent of genuine feeling.

Dr. Henry Jekyll

Edward Hyde

Not that Maroulis is alone in this.  Deborah Cox, a far superior vocalist to her leading man, still managed to make every number of hers sound like all the others.  But at least I can say she appears to be trying.  That said, she's either too vulnerable or too tough, but never a mixture of the two, or even a variation of emotional level.  Of course, she is fighting an uphill battle.  Everything is working against her.  She's either fighting off the dirty hair and monotone growl of Maroulis as Hyde (not to mention an uncomfortable set of sequences involving light bondage), or the icky gross advances of her boss, Spyder (David Benoit).  A singer more than actress, she should have been given more direction, too.  She meanders around the stage with an air of not being sure where, from scene-to-scene, she's supposed to be, and no one told her what to do with her arms, either.  I have no doubt she could have been a kick-ass Lucy, but no one, it seems, has tried to help her.
Lucy (left), Emma (right) with her father

And did they cut a lot of Emma's role in this version?  I seem to recall a lot more of Jekyll's fiance in the original than we got here.  Of course, to be completely honest, Teal Wicks, as Emma, might have been on more than I realized.  In what I think was her first scene - the engagement party - I didn't realize she was Emma until she finally spoke to her betrothed.  Until then, she clung to what turned out to be her father, with a posture and deepened voice that came across more like a dowager from Downton Abbey than as a young socialite in love.  She can sing, but I've heard several others sing better and with more passion.  Again, this may be a function of the direction she has been given.  It is clear, even from the show's advertising, that this third member of a love triangle isn't all that important to the way this story will be told.  Instead of giving equal weight to the Jekyll/Emma pairing and the Hyde/Lucy pairing, Emma is footnote.  This is sad because the parallels between the opposite nature of the two women really could heighten the duality of the two men these women deal with.

A brief note or two about the "villains."  Even considering the inexcusable lack of plot and character development in Leslie Bricusse's laughable book, I felt absolutely nothing for these people, which is crucial for any villain, but even more so here, where their deaths are germane to a good portion of the plot.  They aren't even developed enough to call stereotypes, or interesting enough to look forward to their getting their due.  One of them, though, did do one thing for me.  Blair Ross does give the single worst performance of the entire 2012 - 2013 season.  Bar none - including the entire casts of Scandalous and Motown.  Side note - the bad guy in the fez suffered no more than a broken knee at the hands of Hyde.  In fact, he manages to crawl off the scene on his own.  And yet he turns up dead, anyway.  Really?

The Villains

It is hard to imagine that the same guy who put together the jubilant Newsies and the comparatively complex and infinitely more emotional Bonnie and Clyde was responsible for this.  I generally enjoy and definitely respect the work of Jeff Calhoun, but it would seem he didn't do much with this production.  Well, much that makes sense, anyway.  OK, what was with the hospital cronies in their underwear being dressed by their servants. I literally laughed out loud (not that anyone heard me - only my companion Mike was within 10 feet of me in any direction) as this was going on.  I also laughed heartily at the sound effects.  Who knew the being impaled and gutted by a crucifix sounded so squishy?  Then, too, are the oddly distancing moments in Hyde's lab, where a lot of the story and conflict happens.  But it gets lost on the huge Marquis stage, especially with a lack of scenery.  With so little happening, in such a huge space, any intensity gets washed out, and none of it all that interesting.  I am loathe to admit this, but I had to fight to stay awake.  For a horror thriller musical, it was so dull.

The stars and the director aren't helped much by the design team, either.  Crooked LED panels, looking like they might fall over at any second created more potential tension than the scenes they were supporting.  What was set designer Tobin Ost thinking with that odd set for Spyder's nightclub?  I get that the strings were supposed to be spiderweb-like (rim shot here).  But ugly to look at and with no pay off.  And Ost's costumes are uniformly Victorian enough, but also monochromatic for the most part.  In other words, it is boring to look at.  Even Emma's wedding gown was underwhelming.  And what else can I say but that the hookers in this show are the best dressed in Broadway history.  For someone who can barely afford to eat, Lucy dresses like the Queen.  Much has been talked about in regards to Daniel Brodie's projections, particularly when Hyde and Jekyll confront each other.  Well, it actually works.  Well, almost.  Whoever thought it was a good idea to have Hyde disappear in a filmed "Charlie's Angels"-like explosion clearly wasn't thinking it out.  Why didn't the walls explode or even smoulder a little?  Jeff Croiter's lighting may be more notable for its lack of light than actual illumination.  Finally, Ken Travis' overamplification made the show easy to hear, but at the expense of being able to tell who was talking or singing at any given moment.  Were this a rock concert, I'd say "bravo," but it isn't.

Spyder's Web?

Perhaps, much like the recent concept album with the same stars (review HERE), this would have been better as a concert.  And I am all for updating scores - Drood, Pippin and Cinderella have all benefited from just that.  But isn't it telling that a show that closed in 2000 needed to be "brought into the 21st century?"  But they did some updating - now all of the power ballads have been equally amped up so that what once sounded similar is now completely indistinguishable.  And the three numbers that aren't ballads have been reworked to the point that they are unrecognizable.  "Murder, Murder" is now a solemn hymn-like thing.  "Bring On the Men" is so slow in tempo that only senior citizens might become aroused by it.  And the most rousing number, "Facade," is now an odd waltz.  The lyrics, like the tempo, are now sung in groups of three, and so shoehorned into this waltz mode that the meaning of the words is lost completely.  Even some of the ballads have been heinously reworked.  When Jekyll sings his big "I need" number ("I Need to Know" appropriately enough), I had to ask my companion, Mike, if the orchestra was playing the same song Constantine was singing.  I kid you not.

Not only is this revival one of the worst shows of the season, this is also one of the most unnecessary productions ever staged.  For something that looks so slick, the whole thing smacks of not being ready for public consumption.  You'd never know that this was the last stop in a long national tour.  And, Jekkies, spare me your hate emails.  If it were any good, you'd all be there, selling the show out.  And you are staying away in droves.  So maybe I'll get letters of support instead?

(Photos by Chris Bennion)

Jeff
4.237

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The 2012 - 2013 Season: Jeff and Mike's Tony Awards Nomination Predictions

Well, the 2012 - 2013 Broadway season is in the history books.   My theatre-going buddy, Mike, and I were fortunate enough to see every new musical and musical revival.  And as is tradition for this blog, we will be making our Tony nominations predictions in all of the musical categories.  Below, you'll see our choices for what we feel SHOULD be nominated and what WILL be nominated.  We both wanted to note that this season, in several categories there were many excellent choices, and it was particularly difficult to narrow some categories down.

We shall see how we compare to the actual Tony nominations on May 1st!

Let us know what you think SHOULD be nominated, and/or guess what will be nominated by writing in via email (jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com), Twitter (@jkstheatrescene), or by leaving a comment at the bottom of this blog entry!

THE MUSICAL CATEGORIES

Jeff - Should
Jeff - Will
Mike - Should
Mike - Will
BEST MUSICAL
BEST MUSICAL
BEST MUSICAL
BEST MUSICAL
Bring It On: The Musical Hands on a Hardbody Bring It On: The Musical Hands on a Hardbody
Hands on a Hardbody Kinky Boots Hands on a Hardbody Kinky Boots
Kinky Boots Matilda Kinky Boots Matilda
Matilda Motown: The Musical Matilda Motown: The Musical
BEST MUSICAL
REVIVAL
BEST MUSICAL
REVIVAL
BEST MUSICAL
REVIVAL
BEST MUSICAL
REVIVAL
Annie Annie Annie Annie
Cinderella Cinderella Cinderella Cinderella
The Mystery of Edwin Drood The Mystery of Edwin Drood The Mystery of Edwin Drood The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Pippin Pippin Pippin Pippin
BEST BOOK OF
A MUSICAL
BEST BOOK OF
A MUSICAL
BEST BOOK OF
A MUSICAL
BEST BOOK OF
A MUSICAL
Douglas Carter Beane, Cinderella Douglas Carter Beane, Cinderella Douglas Carter Beane, Cinderella Douglas Carter Beane, Cinderella
Harvey Fierstein, Kinky Boots Harvey Fierstein, Kinky Boots Harvey Fierstein, Kinky Boots Harvey Fierstein, Kinky Boots
Dennis Kelly, Matilda Dennis Kelly, Matilda Dennis Kelly, Matilda Dennis Kelly, Matilda
Douglas Wright, Hands on a Hardbody Douglas Wright, Hands on a Hardbody Douglas Wright, Hands on a Hardbody Douglas Wright, Hands on a Hardbody
BEST 
SCORE OF A MUSICAL
BEST 
SCORE OF A MUSICAL
BEST 
SCORE OF A MUSICAL
BEST 
SCORE OF A MUSICAL
Kitt, Miranda (M), Green, Miranda (L) - Bring It On Pasek, Paul (M,L) - A Christmas Story Kitt, Miranda (M), Green, Miranda (L) - Bring It On Pasek, Paul (M,L) - A Christmas Story
Anastasio (M), Green (M,L) - Hands on a Hardbody Anastasio (M), Green (M,L) - Hands on a Hardbody Anastasio (M), Green (M,L) - Hands on a Hardbody Anastasio (M), Green (M,L) - Hands on a Hardbody
Lauper (M,L) - Kinky Boots Lauper (M,L) - Kinky Boots Lauper (M,L) - Kinky Boots Lauper (M,L) - Kinky Boots
Minchin (M,L) - Matilda Minchin (M,L) - Matilda Minchin (M,L) - Matilda Minchin (M,L) - Matilda
NOTES: Jeff: A Christmas Story: The Musical could be a Best Musical contender.


THE DIRECTION CATEGORIES

Mike - Should
Mike - Will
Jeff - Should
Jeff - Will
BEST 
ORCHESTRATIONS
BEST 
ORCHESTRATIONS
BEST 
ORCHESTRATIONS
BEST 
ORCHESTRATIONS
Anastasio, Hart - Hands on a Hardbody Hochman - Pippin Anastasio, Hart - Hands on a Hardbody Hochman - Pippin
Nightingale - Matilda Nightingale - Matilda Nightingale - Matilda Nightingale - Matilda
Oremus - Kinky Boots Oremus - Kinky Boots Oremus - Kinky Boots Oremus - Kinky Boots
Hochman - Pippin Troob - Cinderella Hochman - Pippin Troob - Cinderella
BEST 
CHOREOGRAPHY
BEST 
CHOREOGRAPHY
BEST 
CHOREOGRAPHY
BEST 
CHOREOGRAPHY
Andy Blankenbuehler - Bring It On Jerry Mitchell - Kinky Boots Jerry Mitchell - Kinky Boots Jerry Mitchell - Kinky Boots
Jerry Mitchell - Kinky Boots Josh Rhodes - Cinderella Josh Rhodes - Cinderella Wilcox, Adams - Motown: The Musical
Peter Darling - Matilda Peter Darling - Matilda Peter Darling - Matilda Peter Darling - Matilda
Chet Walker - Pippin Chet Walker - Pippin Chet Walker - Pippin Chet Walker - Pippin
BEST DIRECTION
OF A MUSICAL
BEST DIRECTION
OF A MUSICAL
BEST DIRECTION
OF A MUSICAL
BEST DIRECTION
OF A MUSICAL
Scott Ellis - The Mystery of Edwin Drood Mark Brokaw - Cinderella Scott Ellis - The Mystery of Edwin Drood Mark Brokaw - Cinderella
Jerry Mitchell - Kinky Boots Jerry Mitchell - Kinky Boots Jerry Mitchell - Kinky Boots Jerry Mitchell - Kinky Boots
Diane Paulus - Pippin Diane Paulus - Pippin Diane Paulus - Pippin Diane Paulus - Pippin
Matthew Warchus - Matilda Matthew Warchus - Matilda Matthew Warchus - Matilda Matthew Warchus - Matilda
NOTES: Jeff: Motown: The Musical could be a Best Orchestration contender

THE DESIGN CATEGORIES

Jeff - Should
Jeff - Will
Mike - Should
Mike - Will
BEST SCENIC
DESIGN  
(MUSICAL)
BEST SCENIC
DESIGN  
(MUSICAL)
BEST SCENIC
DESIGN  
(MUSICAL)
BEST SCENIC
DESIGN  
(MUSICAL)
Beowulf Boritt - Chaplin Rob Howell - Matilda Rob Howell - Matilda Rob Howell - Matilda
Rob Howell - Matilda Anna Louizos - The Mystery of Edwin Drood Christine Jones - Hands on a Hardbody Anna Louizos - Cinderella
Anna Louizos - The Mystery of Edwin Drood Anna Louizos - Cinderella Anna Louizos - The Mystery of Edwin Drood Scott Pask - Pippin
Scott Pask - Pippin Scott Pask - Pippin Scott Pask - Pippin David Rockwell - Kinky Boots
BEST LIGHTING
DESIGN 
(MUSICAL)
BEST LIGHTING
DESIGN 
(MUSICAL)
BEST LIGHTING
DESIGN 
(MUSICAL)
BEST LIGHTING
DESIGN  
(MUSICAL)
Kenneth Posner - Kinky Boots Ken Billington - Chaplin Kenneth Posner - Kinky Boots Kevin Adams - Hands on a Hardbody
Kenneth Posner - Cinderella Brian Nelson - The Mystery of Edwin Drood Kenneth Posner - Cinderella Kenneth Posner - Cinderella
Kenneth Posner - Pippin Kenneth Posner - Pippin Kenneth Posner - Pippin Kenneth Posner - Pippin
Hugh Vanstone - Matilda Hugh Vanstone - Matilda Hugh Vanstone - Matilda Hugh Vanstone - Matilda
BEST COSTUME
DESIGN
(MUSICAL)
BEST COSTUME
DESIGN
(MUSICAL)
BEST COSTUME
DESIGN
(MUSICAL)
BEST COSTUME
DESIGN
(MUSICAL)
Rob Howell - Matilda Amy Clark, Martin Pakledinaz - Chaplin Rob Howell - Matilda Gregg Barnes - Kinky Boots
Dominique Lemieux - Pippin Rob Howell - Matilda Dominique Lemieux - Pippin Rob Howell - Matilda
William Ivey Long - The Mystery of Edwin Drood Dominique Lemieux - Pippin William Ivey Long - The Mystery of Edwin Drood Dominique Lemieux - Pippin
William Ivey Long - Cinderella William Ivey Long - Cinderella William Ivey Long - Cinderella William Ivey Long - Cinderella
BEST SOUND
DESIGN  
(MUSICAL)
BEST SOUND
DESIGN  
(MUSICAL)
BEST SOUND
DESIGN  
(MUSICAL)
BEST SOUND
DESIGN  
(MUSICAL)
Deans, Helm - Pippin Simon Baker - Matilda Deans, Helm - Pippin Simon Baker - Matilda
Peter Hylenski - Motown: The Musical Deans, Helm - Pippin Peter Hylenski - Motown: The Musical Deans, Helm - Pippin
Brian Ronan - Bring It On Peter Hylenski - Motown: The Musical John Shivers - Kinky Boots  Peter Hylenski - Motown: The Musical
Nevin Steinberg - Cinderella John Shivers - Kinky Boots Nevin Steinberg - Cinderella John Shivers - Kinky Boots

THE ACTING CATEGORIES

Mike - Should
Mike - Will
Jeff - Should
Jeff - Will
BEST 
FEATURED ACTOR
BEST 
FEATURED ACTOR
BEST 
FEATURED ACTOR
BEST 
FEATURED ACTOR
Keith Carradine - Hands on a Hardbody Keith Carradine - Hands on a Hardbody Keith Carradine - Hands on a Hardbody Keith Carradine - Hands on a Hardbody
Gabriel Ebert - Matilda Will Chase - The Mystery of Edwin Drood Will Chase - The Mystery of Edwin Drood Will Chase - The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Hunter Foster - Hands on a Hardbody Gabriel Ebert - Matilda Gabriel Ebert - Matilda Gabriel Ebert - Matilda
Daniel Stewart Sherman - Kinky Boots Dan Lauria - A Christmas Story Daniel Stewart Sherman - Kinky Boots Daniel Stewart Sherman - Kinky Boots
Terrence Mann - Pippin
Terrence Mann - Pippin
Terrence Mann - Pippin
Terrence Mann - Pippin
BEST 
FEATURED ACTRESS
BEST 
FEATURED ACTRESS
BEST 
FEATURED ACTRESS
BEST 
FEATURED ACTRESS
Lesli Margherita - Matilda Lesli Margherita - Matilda Victoria Clark - Cinderella Victoria Clark - Cinderella
Andrea Martin - Pippin Andrea Martin - Pippin Lesli Margherita - Matilda Lesli Margherita - Matilda
Chita Rivera - The Mystery of Edwin Drood Jessie Mueller - The Mystery of Edwin Drood Andrea Martin - Pippin Andrea Martin - Pippin
Keala Settle - Hands on a Hardbody Chita Rivera - The Mystery of Edwin Drood Keala Settle - Hands on a Hardbody Keala Settle - Hands on a Hardbody
Betsy Wolfe - The Mystery of Edwin Drood Keala Settle - Hands on a Hardbody Betsy Wolfe - The Mystery of Edwin Drood Betsy Wolfe - The Mystery of Edwin Drood
BEST 
LEADING ACTRESS
BEST 
LEADING ACTRESS
BEST 
LEADING ACTRESS
BEST 
LEADING ACTRESS
Stephanie J. Block - The Mystery of Edwin Drood Stephanie J. Block - The Mystery of Edwin Drood Stephanie J. Block - The Mystery of Edwin Drood Stephanie J. Block - The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Erin Dilly - A Christmas Story Carolee Carmello - Scandalous Erin Dilly - A Christmas Story Lilla Crawford - Annie*
Taylor Louderman - Bring It On Lilla Crawford - Annie* Valisia LeKae - Motown: The Musical Valisia LeKae - Motown: The Musical
Patina Miller - Pippin Patina Miller - Pippin Patina Miller - Pippin Patina Miller - Pippin
Laura Osnes - Cinderella Laura Osnes - Cinderella Laura Osnes - Cinderella Laura Osnes - Cinderella
BEST 
LEADING ACTOR
BEST 
LEADING ACTOR
BEST 
LEADING ACTOR
BEST 
LEADING ACTOR
Bertie Carvel - Matilda Bertie Carvel - Matilda Bertie Carvel - Matilda Bertie Carvel - Matilda
Rob McClure - Chaplin Santino Fontana - Cinderella Santino Fontana - Cinderella Santino Fontana - Cinderella
Billy Porter - Kinky Boots Rob McClure - Chaplin Rob McClure - Chaplin Rob McClure - Chaplin
Stark Sands - Kinky Boots Billy Porter - Kinky Boots Jim Norton - The Mystery of Edwin Drood Billy Porter - Kinky Boots
Matthew James Thomas - Pippin Anthony Warlow - Annie Billy Porter - Kinky Boots Anthony Warlow - Annie
NOTES: 
Jeff and Mike: We did not see Lilla Crawford perform in Annie
Jeff: Matthew James Thomas could be a Leading Actor in a Musical contender



Jeff
4.236

Saturday, April 27, 2013

HOT or NOT: NEW POLL! The Principal Cast and Swings of JEKYLL AND HYDE!!

Well, it seems like just yesterday that we began our quest for the HOTTEST MUSICAL STARS OF THE 2012 - 2013 SEASON.  But at long last, we are at the last qualifying week!  This time, you'll decide if one last Leading Actor, Leading Actress, Featured Actor, Featured Actress and Swing will make it to the finals or not. So who in the principal cast and the swings of Jekyll and Hyde is HOT or NOT?


Be sure to click "DONE" at the bottom of the poll.  
THIS POLL WILL CLOSE ON THURSDAY, MAY 2 AT 7PM!


The Principals and Swings of 
JEKYLL AND HYDE

Head Shots


Lead Actor
Constantine Maroulis

Lead Actress
Deborah Cox

Featured Actress
Teal Wicks

Featured Actor
David Benoit (left) Laird Mackintosh (right)

Featured Actor
Richard White

Swings
Stephen Mitchell Brown (left) Rob Richardson (right)

Swing
Haley Swindal



Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.



COMING MAY 6: THE FINALS!  
VOTE FOR THE HOTTEST MUSICAL STARS OF THE SEASON!
Jeff
4.235

Friday, April 26, 2013

The 2012 - 2013 Season: By the Numbers

FOR ALL BLOGS PERTAINING TO THE 2013 TONY AWARDS AND THE 2012 - 2013 SEASON, CLICK ON "THE TONY AWARDS" TAB AT THE TOP OF THE SCREEN.

The 2013 - 2014 Broadway season has begun!  But first...



The First: Opening Night: June 14, 2012

The Last: Opening Night: April 25, 2013

Although there was far less of it than last season, there was plenty of drama this theatre season.  On TV, Glee continues to regularly feature numbers from Broadway shows, while the bigger news came from Smash, which proved to be a ratings bomb this, its second season.  Broadway stars old and new (Jeremy Jordan, Wesley Taylor, Krysta Rodriguez, Andy Mientus, Christian Borle, Harvey Fierstein, Bernadette Peters and Liza Minelli) couldn't save the show.  I personally loved it.  What a shame.  On Broadway, scandal hit the play Orphans, when Shia Labeuf was let go from the production, and publicly Tweeted his displeasure with co-star Alec Baldwin.  Both made the talk show rounds.  A bomb threat nearly ended the opening night of Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, but the show went on.  And, as usual, "star" power at the box office proved either hit (Tom Hanks, Bette Midler, Jessica Chastain) or miss (Scarlett Johannson, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes, Debra Winger).

Let's look back at the season just ended simply by the numbers, without regard to critical and/or financial success or failure.

This season, the Tony Committee met four times to determine eligibility of productions that opened, starting with Harvey on June 14, 2012 through Pippin on April 25, 2013.  13 new plays, 13 play revivals, 8 new musicals, 7 musical revivals, and  7 special event productions - 48 productions in all - were considered for the coveted silver medallion.  The seven special events, one play and two musical revivals were deemed ineligible for award consideration (marked with * below).

Special Event Productions (7)

  • Barack on Broadway (Benefit)*
  • Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth*
  • Running on Empty*
  • Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on Broadway*
  • Assassins (Benefit)*
  • Manilow on Broadway*
  • The Little Rascals: Once Upon a Dream*



Golden Boy
Play Revivals (12)

  • Harvey
  • An Enemy of the People
  • Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • The Heiress
  • Golden Boy
  • Glengarry Glen Ross
  • Picnic
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
  • The Big Knife
  • Orphans
  • The Trip to Bountiful


Play Revivals - Solo (1)

  • Macbeth

Ann

New Plays - Solo (3)

  • Ann
  • The Testament of Mary
  • I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers



Breakfast at Tiffany's

Plays (10)

  • Grace
  • Dead Accounts
  • The Performers*
  • The Anarchist
  • The Other Place
  • Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • Lucky Guy
  • The Nance
  • The Assembled Parties

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Musical Revivals (7)

  • Fela!*
  • Annie
  • Elf*
  • The Mystery of Edwin Drood
  • Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella
  • Jekyll and Hyde
  • Pippin

Kinky Boots

New Musicals (8)

  • Bring It On: The Musical
  • Chaplin
  • Scandalous
  • A Christmas Story: The Musical
  • Hands on a Hardbody
  • Kinky Boots
  • Matilda
  • Motown: The Musical


If I had a say about the musical nominations...

With the Tony nominations just a few days away, here are a few things I hope the Tony Nominating Committee remembers:

The Mystery of Edwin Drood:

  • The show itself
  • The performances of Jim Norton, Betsy Wolfe, Stephanie J. Block, Will Chase and Jessie Mueller
  • The costume design of William Ivey Long
  • The set design of Anna Louizos
  • The choreography of Warren Carlyle



A Christmas Story: The Musical

A Christmas Story: The Musical

  • The score by Pasek and Paul
  • The performances of John Bolton, Erin Dilly, Dan Lauria and Johnny Rabe


Chaplin

  • The direction and choreography of Warren Carlyle
  • The lighting by Ken Billington
  • The performances of Rob McClure and Jenn Colella

Bring It On: The Musical

Bring It On: The Musical

  • The direction and choreography of Andy Blankenbuehler
  • The score by Tom Kitt, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Amanda Green
  • The performance of Ryann Redmond

Hands on a Hardbody

Hands on a Hardbody

  • The book by Douglas Wright
  • The score by Amanda Green and Trey Anastasio
  • The performances of Keala Settle, David Larsen, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Allison Case, Jon Rua, Keith Carradine and Hunter Foster
  • The lighting by Kevin Adams


Annie

  • The performance of Anthony Warlow

Cinderella

Cinderella

  • The lighting design of Kenneth Posner
  • The costume design of William Ivey Long
  • The set design of Anna Louizos
  • The performances of Ann Harada, Harriet Harris, Victoria Clark, Laura Osnes and Santino Fontanna



Kinky Boots

  • The score by Cyndi Lauper
  • The book by Harvey Fierstein
  • The direction of Jerry Mitchell
  • The performances of Billy Porter, Daniel Stewart Sherman and Marcus Neville

Matilda

Matilda

  • The sets by Rob Howell
  • The lighting by Hugh Vanstone
  • The direction by Matthew Warchus
  • The choreography by Peter Darling
  • The book by Denis Kelly
  • The score by Tim Minchon
  • The performances by Lesli Margherita and Lauren Ward


Motown: The Musical

  • The performance of Valisia LeKae




What do you hope makes the Tony cut?  Add a comment below!!

Jeff
4.234
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