THIS WEEK @ JK's TheatreScene

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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

Thursday, April 30, 2015

TheatreScene Thursday: Tonys, Tonys, Tonys (and Darren Criss)

Well, the TheatreScene was all about the Tonys this week, right?  Well, almost!

The Serious and Tony-Nominated Moves
of The Curious Incident
First things first - even though I only correctly predicted 77% of the musical Tony Awards nominations (my buddy Mike guessed an even more impressive 80%!), there really weren't any huge surprises to the ones I got wrong.  I think several of the categories will be really hard to predict, which is nice for a change.  I think that speaks well of the overall quality of this year's crop of shows.  Of course, I'm happy with some nice choices, like remembering the wonderful score to The Last Ship, and the awesome inclusion of the spectacular movement of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time in the choreography category.  And there were some disappointments for me, too: I really hoped that John Doyle's brilliant direction of The Visit would have been recognized, and the complete shut out of Finding Neverland does not diminish my love or enjoyment of it.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate Carmello and Hewitt's talents.  
But they sure have been in a lot of flops!

Speaking of Neverland, I've read lots of people opining on the "Weinstein Effect" and the possibility that there was backlash against the show because its lead producer is less than well-loved by many in the industry.  But I wonder if it's really more like "Carmello Curse"?  Aside from Falsettos, every show Carolee Carmello has originated a role in has been either a critical failure or a monetary one - and usually both.  Scandalous...Lestat...Parade On the other hand, she usually comes out smelling like a rose with several awards nominations for roles in these stinkers.  Doctor Zhivago may also have suffered a Tony shut out due to the "Hewitt Effect" - Tom Hewitt's track record in originating roles is even worse.  Only The Rocky Horror Show was a moderate hit on his resume.

My favorite moment of Tony Nominations Week is the reaction of Fun Home's Beth Malone to her new status as Best Leading Actress Tony nominee.  After expressing her joy, relief, surprise and gratitude, she kept it real with this picture she sent in to Playbill.  I love her even more now!


And here's my favorite show picture of the week:


I know there are plenty of naysayers about Darren Criss taking over in Hedwig, but I'm thinking he might bring something interesting and exciting to the whole gig.  (And he looks amazing in those leather shorts!)  I'll let you know what I think of his work (and that of Rebecca Naomi Jones) after I make a return visit to the Belasco next month!

Don't forget to cast your vote in this week's "Trendsday" Poll! (Click the "Vote Now" icon at the top of the left column on this page!)

Jeff

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Trendsday Poll: What is the "Missing" Tony Award?

It's "Trendsday" on Tony Nominations Week!

I'm speaking for myself here, but I think there are some areas of the Broadway season that deserve some serious recognition.  I can't tell you how many times I've left a show thinking, "It's a shame there isn't a Tony Award for..." I'm thinking of the amazing ensemble cast of Next to Normal, the jaw-dropping projections of The Who's Tommy, the amazing "Slap That Bass" from Crazy for You...

This season, I can think of several things - songs, visuals, casts - that won't be recognized on June 7th.  But they should be, right?

So I leave it to you, readers.  What should there be a Tony Award for?  VOTE BELOW AND SCROLL TO CLICK "FINISH SURVEY" TO MAKE IT COUNT!  This Trendsday Poll will close on Monday, May 4th at noon!



Have an idea for a theater-related poll or survey?  Let me know via Twitter (@jkstheatrescene), email me at jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com or drop a note in the comments below.

Jeff

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Trouper Tuesday: SYTYCD Alums and Broadway Babies Ricky Ubeda and Melanie Moore

For my first Trouper Tuesday, I thought I'd focus on two awesome dancers with one thing in common.  I'm talking about On The Town's Ricky Ubeda and Finding Neverland's Melanie Moore.  They are both champions of TV's So You Think You Can Dance.

Ubeda famously won his role in the revival as a part of his prize package, while Moore first appeared as Pan in the (controversial?) "preview" of  Finding Neverland with Jennifer Hudson on the Tony Awards.  Ms. Moore repeats her duties in that same show these days.






While I didn't get to see Ricky in On the Town, I bet he's terrific.  The guy's got some amazing skills, an inspiring amount of passion for his art, and an irresistible charisma.  I did get to see Melanie in her Broadway debut performance, and I'm pleased to report that her infectious smile and jaw-dropping contemporary, jazz and Broadway dance skills are nicely on display.  Moore has the added bonus of working with SYTYCD award-winning choreographer Mia Michaels.



These two Broadway Babies are Super Troupers!


Ricky Ubeda, Melanie Moore and Mia Michaels

Trouper Tuesdays will be my weekly spotlight on the kids in the chorus and the newbies to the Great White Way.  Of course, if you want to see someone featured, please make sure to Tweet me your suggestions (@jkstheatrescene), email me at jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com, or leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Jeff

Monday, April 27, 2015

The 2015 Tony Awards: Jeff and Mike's Nomination Predictions


I can't think of a better way to come back to the blogosphere than to carry on a JKTS tradition with our Tony Awards nominations predictions.  My best buddy and theatre companion Mike and I got to 19 of the 20 new musicals and musical revivals this season (Holler If Ya Hear Me closed before we got there, and we don't see it being remembered tomorrow).

We saw eye-to-eye on most shows, though we differed somewhat on An American in Paris and On the Town.  And you'll see from our "should be" picks that we differed from the critics on The Last Ship, On the Twentieth Century and Finding Neverland (and The Visit, depending on who you read).

If we were on the nominating committee, we'd honor Fun Home, Finding Neverland, The Visit, Something Rotten!, and The Last Ship with the most nods, with The King and I  getting most of our love among the revivals.

Since we are not on that nominating committee, we predict that they will give the most Tony love to: An American in Paris, Fun Home and Something Rotten!, each with nominations in the double digits, and The King and I, The Visit, On the Town and On the Twentieth Century doing well, too.  We also think that, unfortunately, Gigi, Side Show, Finding Neverland and Honeymoon in Vegas  will be coming away with barely a notice, if any at all.  Dr. Zhivago got zero notice in any column.

Here are our picks for what should be nominated and our predictions of what will be nominated:


Two of our favorites: Finding Neverland and The Last Ship 

BEST MUSICAL
JEFF: SHOULD
MIKE: SHOULD
JEFF: WILL
MIKE: WILL
Finding Neverland
Fun Home
An American in Paris
An American in Paris
Fun Home
The Last Ship
Fun Home
Fun Home
The Last Ship
Something Rotten!
Something Rotten!
Something Rotten!
The Visit
The Visit
The Visit
The Visit


5th Nominee:
The Last Ship
5th Nominee:
The Last Ship
BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
JEFF: SHOULD
MIKE: SHOULD
JEFF: WILL
MIKE: WILL
The King and I
Gigi
The King and I
The King and I
On the Town
The King and I
On the Town
On the Town
Side Show
Side Show
On the 20th Century
On the 20th Century
BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
JEFF: SHOULD
MIKE: SHOULD
JEFF: WILL
MIKE: WILL
Bill Condon
Side Show
John Doyle
The Visit
John Doyle
The Visit
John Doyle
The Visit
John Doyle
The Visit
Sam Gold
Fun Home
Sam Gold
Fun Home
Sam Gold
Fun Home
Sam Gold
Fun Home
Joe Mantello
The Last Ship
Casey Nicholaw
Something Rotten!
Casey Nicholaw
Something Rotten!
Casey Nicholaw
Something Rotten!
Casey Nicholaw
Something Rotten!
Bartlett Sher
The King and I
Bartlett Sher
The King and I
Bartlett Sher
The King and I
Bartlett Sher
The King and I
Christopher Wheeldon
An American in Paris
Christopher Wheeldon
An American in Paris
BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
JEFF: SHOULD
MIKE: SHOULD
JEFF: WILL
MIKE: WILL
Joshua Bergasse
On the Town
Joshua Bergasse
Gigi
Joshua Bergasse
On the Town
Joshua Bergasse
On the Town
Denis Jones
Honeymoon in Vegas
Joshua Bergasse
On the Town
Warren Carlyle
On the 20th Century
Warren Carlyle
On the 20th Century
Mia Michaels
Finding Neverland
Mia Michaels
Finding Neverland
Graciela Daniele
The Visit
Casey Nicholaw
Something Rotten!
Casey Nicholaw
Something Rotten!
Casey Nicholaw
Something Rotten!
Casey Nicholaw
Something Rotten!
Josh Rhodes
It Shoulda Been You
Christopher Wheeldon
An American in Paris
Christopher Wheeldon
An American in Paris
Christopher Wheeldon
An American in Paris
Christopher Wheeldon
An American in Paris



We think that the Tony nominators will be as kind to 
Fun Home, Something Rotten! and The Visit as we are!

BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL
JEFF: SHOULD
MIKE: SHOULD
JEFF: WILL
MIKE: WILL
James Graham
Finding Neverland
James Graham
Finding Neverland
Brian Hargrove
It Shoulda Been You
Brian Hargrove
It Shoulda Been You
Karey Kirkpatrick
and John O’Farrell
Something Rotten!
Karey Kirkpatrick
and John O’Farrell
Something Rotten!
Karey Kirkpatrick
and John O’Farrell
Something Rotten!
Karey Kirkpatrick
and John O’Farrell
Something Rotten!
Lisa Kron
Fun Home
Lisa Kron
Fun Home
Lisa Kron
Fun Home
Lisa Kron
Fun Home
Terrence McNally
The Visit
Terrence McNally
The Visit
Craig Lucas
An American in Paris
Craig Lucas
An American in Paris
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (MUSIC AND/OR LYRICS) WRITTEN FOR THE THEATRE
JEFF: SHOULD
MIKE: SHOULD
JEFF: WILL
MIKE: WILL
Fun Home
Jeanine Tesori, Music
Lisa Kron, Lyrics
Fun Home
Jeanine Tesori, Music
Lisa Kron, Lyrics
Fun Home
Jeanine Tesori, Music
Lisa Kron, Lyrics
Fun Home
Jeanine Tesori, Music
Lisa Kron, Lyrics
Something Rotten!
Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick, Music and Lyrics
Something Rotten!
Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick, Music and Lyrics
Something Rotten!
Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick, Music and Lyrics
Something Rotten!
Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick, Music and Lyrics
The Last Ship
Sting, Music and Lyrics
The Last Ship
Sting, Music and Lyrics
The Last Ship
Sting, Music and Lyrics
The Last Ship
Sting, Music and Lyrics
The Visit
John Kander, Music, Fred Ebb, Lyrics
The Visit
John Kander, Music, Fred Ebb, Lyrics
The Visit
John Kander, Music, Fred Ebb, Lyrics
The Visit
John Kander, Music, Fred Ebb, Lyrics
BEST ORCHESTRATIONS
JEFF: SHOULD
MIKE: SHOULD
JEFF: WILL
MIKE: WILL
An American in Paris
Christopher Austin,
Don Sebesky, Bill Elliott
Fun Home
John Clancy
An American in Paris
Christopher Austin,
Don Sebesky, Bill Elliott
An American in Paris
Christopher Austin,
Don Sebesky, Bill Elliott
Fun Home
John Clancy
Honeymoon in Vegas
Don Sebesky, Larry Blank,  
Jason Robert Brown,
Charlie Rosen
Fun Home
John Clancy
Fun Home
John Clancy
The Last Ship
Rob Mathes
The Last Ship
Rob Mathes
Something Rotten!
Larry Hochman
On the 20th Century
Larry Hochman
The Visit
Larry Hochman
The Visit
Larry Hochman
The Visit
Larry Hochman
Something Rotten!
Larry Hochman






Robert Fairchild, Leanne Cope, Lisa Howard, Tyne Daly, Kristin Chenoweth,
Andy Karl, Ken Watanabe, Kelli O'Hara, Collin Kelly-Sordelet, Michael Esper
Megan Fairchild and Christian Borle gave some of our favorite performances this season.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
JEFF: SHOULD
MIKE: SHOULD
JEFF: WILL
MIKE: WILL
John Cariani
Something Rotten!
Michael Cerveris
Fun Home
Michael Cerveris
Fun Home
Michael Cerveris
Fun Home
Michael Cerveris
Fun Home
Michael Esper
The Last Ship
Robert Fairchild
An American in Paris
Robert Fairchild
An American in Paris
Michael Esper
The Last Ship
Brian D’Arcy James
Something Rotten!
Brian D’Arcy James
Something Rotten!
Brian D’Arcy James
Something Rotten!
Matthew Morrison
Finding Neverland
Matthew Morrison
Finding Neverland
Ken Watanabe
The King and I
Ken Watanabe
The King and I
Roger Rees
The Visit
Roger Rees
The Visit
Tony Yazbeck
On the Town
Tony Yazbeck
On the Town
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
JEFF: SHOULD
MIKE: SHOULD
JEFF: WILL
MIKE: WILL
Lisa Howard
It Shoulda Been You
Lisa Howard
It Shoulda Been You
Kristin Chenoweth
On the 20th Century
Kristin Chenoweth
On the 20th Century
Laura Michelle Kelly
Finding Neverland
Laura Michelle Kelly
Finding Neverland
Lisa Howard
It Shoulda Been You
Leanne Cope
An American in Paris
Beth Malone
Fun Home
Beth Malone
Fun Home
Beth Malone
Fun Home
Beth Malone
Fun Home
Kelli O’Hara
The King and I
Kelli O’Hara
The King and I
Kelli O’Hara
The King and I
Kelli O’Hara
The King and I
Chita Rivera
The Visit
Chita Rivera
The Visit
Chita Rivera
The Visit
Chita Rivera
The Visit
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL
JEFF: SHOULD
MIKE: SHOULD
JEFF: WILL
MIKE: WILL
Christian Borle
Something Rotten
Christian Borle
Something Rotten
Christian Borle
Something Rotten
Christian Borle
Something Rotten
Kelsey Grammer
Finding Neverland
Tony Danza
Honeymoon in Vegas
Kelsey Grammer
Finding Neverland
Tony Danza
Honeymoon in Vegas
Josh Grisetti
It Shoulda Been You
Jay Armstrong Johnson
On the Town
Andy Karl
On the 20th Century
Kelsey Grammer
Finding Neverland
Andy Karl
On the 20th Century
Collin Kelly-Sordelet
The Last Ship
Brad Oscar
Something Rotten!
Andy Karl
On the 20th Century
Max von Essen
An American in Paris
Brad Oscar
Something Rotten!
Max von Essen
An American in Paris
Max von Essen
An American in Paris
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL
JEFF: SHOULD
MIKE: SHOULD
JEFF: WILL
MIKE: WILL
Victoria Clark
Gigi
Victoria Clark
Gigi
Victoria Clark
Gigi
Veanne Cox
An American in Paris
Megan Fairchild
On the Town
Judy Kuhn,
Fun Home
Tyne Daly
It Shoulda Been You
Tyne Daly
It Shoulda Been You
Judy Kuhn,
Fun Home
Sydney Lucas
Fun Home
Megan Fairchild
On the Town
Judy Kuhn,
Fun Home
Sydney Lucas
Fun Home
Ruthie Ann Miles
The King and I
Judy Kuhn,
Fun Home
Sydney Lucas
Fun Home
Ruthie Ann Miles
The King and I
Emily Skeggs
Fun Home
Sydney Lucas
Fun Home
Ruthie Ann Miles
The King and I



The Visit, The King and I and An American in Paris
have some beautiful design elements.

BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
JEFF: SHOULD
MIKE: SHOULD
JEFF: WILL
MIKE: WILL
Finding Neverland
Scott Pask
Finding Neverland
Scott Pask
An American in Paris
Bob Crowley and
59 Productions
An American in Paris
Bob Crowley and
59 Productions
Fun Home
David Zinn
Fun Home
David Zinn
The King and I
Michael Yeargan
Fun Home
David Zinn
Something Rotten!
Scott Pask
The King and I
Michael Yeargan
Something Rotten!
Scott Pask
The King and I
Michael Yeargan
The Visit
Scott Pask
The Visit
Scott Pask
The Visit
Scott Pask
The Visit
Scott Pask
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
JEFF: SHOULD
MIKE: SHOULD
JEFF: WILL
MIKE: WILL
Finding Neverland
Kenneth Posner
Finding Neverland
Kenneth Posner
An American in Paris
Natasha Katz
An American in Paris
Natasha Katz
Fun Home
Ben Stanton
Fun Home
Ben Stanton
Finding Neverland
Kenneth Posner
Fun Home
Ben Stanton
The King and I
Donald Holder
The Last Ship
Christopher Akerlind
Fun Home
Ben Stanton
The King and I
Donald Holder
The Visit
Japhy Weideman
The Visit
Japhy Weideman
The Visit
Japhy Weideman
Something Rotten!
Jeff Croiter
BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
JEFF: SHOULD
MIKE: SHOULD
JEFF: WILL
MIKE: WILL
Finding Neverland
Suttirat Anne Larlarb
Fun Home
David Zinn
Gigi
Catherine Zuber
An American in Paris
Bob Crowley
Gigi
Catherine Zuber
The King and I
Catherine Zuber
The King and I
Catherine Zuber
Fun Home
David Zinn
Side Show
Paul Tazewell
Side Show
Paul Tazewell
On the 20th Century
William Ivey long
The King and I
Catherine Zuber
Something Rotten!
Gregg Barnes
Something Rotten!
Gregg Barnes
Something Rotten!
Gregg Barnes
Something Rotten!
Gregg Barnes


What do you think of our picks?  What do you think we missed?  Drop me an email (jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com), Tweet me (@jkstheatrescene) or leave a comment below!

Jeff
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