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Entries in Broadway and Stage (141)

Tuesday
Apr282015

Tony Nominations. With Context!

Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe & Tony Nominee Kelli O'Hara in THE KING AND I Tony/Emmy/Globe winner Mary Louise Parker and perpetually undervalued Bruce Willis announced the Tony nominations for the 2014/2015 theater season this morning with the musicals Fun Home & An American in Paris (which are both pretty great) leading with 12 nominations each. Broadway's "Best" will be honored live on Sunday June 7th on CBS with (this just in!) Tony winners and gargantuan cross-media talents Alan Cumming & Kristin Chenoweth co-hosting.

You can expect to see several movie star faces at the ceremony and you can also expect to see several closing notices before then for the shows that were shunned. The big question mark for the night of June 7th is whether perennial bridesmaid Kelli O'Hara (this is her fifth nomination for Best Actress in a Musical and her sixth overall) will finally take home the gold or if one of the living legends she's up against will win another; Chita Rivera and Kristin Chenoweth are not playin' around, each earning rave reviews.

When Oscar makes their announcements we rarely think to consult the list of 300ish movies that are eligible for Best Picture but because the Tony Awards are selected from a very distinct and small group of productions, it's useful to know what else was eligible, so we're serving you context with this full list of nominations

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Apr252015

"Something Rotten" and/in Adapting "Doctor Zhivago"

Does the classic film / novel translate well to the stage? Stage Door, our theater review series, is in hyperdrive, it's difficult to keep up what with shows opening left and right. The Tonys, like the Oscars, have a glut problem right before the eligibility deadline. Nominations are announced this coming Tuesday.

The Twin Perils of Snark & Earnestness
If you want to be a massive musical comedy hit, the current fever is to be slightly self-deprecating about the thing that you are. Something Rotten, which is expected to do well at the Tonys and already a hit, is a new musical comedy that doubles as an anachronistic in-on-the-joke Shakespeare comedy and a spoof of Broadway song & dance. The actual plot centers around a poor playwright (Tony-winner Brian d'Arcy James) with the surname of "Bottom" -- and yes, that leads to exactly the crass jokes you might expect it does -- who struggles in obscurity while his contemporary William Shakespeare (Tony-winner Christian Borle from Smash doing a full Tim Curry) is treated like a rock star.

More Something Rotten and a new Doctor Zhivago after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr232015

Drama Desk Nominations, Tony's More Inclusive Cousin

Lin-Manuel Miranda as "Hamilton"The Drama Desk Nominations for the 2014/2015 theater season have been announced and the Tony Awards follow suit in a week's tim (theater seasons run summer to spring). The chief difference, besides the level of fame, is that the Drama Desk categories have more nominees but also more eligible contenders since Off Broadway productions (and there are lots more of those) are also considered for the top prizes. Hamilton, the new hip-hop Off Broadway musical about the founding fathers from Lin-Manuel Miranda of "The Heights" fame dominated with 13 nominations but it's not eligible for the Tonys.

It's also impossible to get tickets to and popular with celebrities (Madonna famously was barred from going backstage after using her cel phone -ugh - but everyone's been to it including Michelle Pfeiffer). In the reverse situation, "Fun Home," which is an absolute must see and could lead the Tony nominations, is not eligible for the Drama Desk nominations since it was already eligible in its Off Broadway run last season. "Hamilton" is moving to Broadway in the summer which means it'll be eligible for the 2016 Tony Awards.

The full nominee list, which also included a lot of nominations for screen-to-stage transfer "Let the Right One In" is after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr212015

Stage Door: "Fun Home" & "An American in Paris"

The Tony Award Nominations are exactly one week from today, so we really ought to talk about the musicals that might be vying for top honors. Both of today's shows have movie connections, albeit one more tenuous than the other. Both are also likely nominees in the Best Musical category, which is the Best Picture of the Tony Awards. Yes, there are 3 other top prizes (Play, Revival of a Play, Revival of a Musical) but Musical is the most coveted prize and the one with arguably the biggest impact on legacies and box office. Ten musicals are eligible in this category for the 2014/2015 season and I'd be surprised if these two won't comprise half of the four-wide nominee list. 

Two fine "new" musicals after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr132015

Q&A Part 1: Avatar the Musical (Not Really) & Instant Classics

For this week's "Ask Nathaniel" party, I asked people to be inspired by the theater (Tony season is upon us) or by the science fiction genre. I promised 10 questions. 10 answers but that's too long. So here's part one of two: 4 questions today. 6 tomorrow. here we go...

I started drawing myself as a Na'vi but got bored when I realized my lack of hair meant I couldn't ride dragons. Unfinished.STEVE: Do have fear that the million Avatar sequels that will happen will ruin the magic of the original for you?

NATHANIEL: I love Avatar but it will ruin itself. Technological breakthroughs rarely age well because there's always another technological breakthrough around the corner to make the previous one look antique. The exception is something like Star Wars because its success wasn't really about how "new" it looked. In fact, it was successful because it was so good at being an old thing (adventure serial) and using old techniques in improved new ways like models and matte paintings and whatnot. I think it's quite funny that the upgrades when they "fixed" the Star Wars trilogy later on actually made them seem less timeless. Computerized Jabba the Hut for example totally places you in the exact moment of when CGI looked like that. Puppet Jabba is forever.

Plus will those three Avatar sequels actually happen despite the current plans? James Cameron has only made two films in the past 20 years and he's already 60 years old. I realize he's planning to shoot them simultaneously but if he weren't he'd be wrap up a full Avatar quadrilogy in 2044 or so and then retire and/or die at 90.

JAMES: What witches do you think Meryl Streep was offered when she turned 40?

OMG I LOVE THIS QUESTION. I have ignorantly never questioned this  despite the fact that Meryl Streep has been quoted about this a few times. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr022015

Finger-Linking Good


No Screen
Indie Wire Patricia Arquette will pen a memoir on her career and single motherhood  
EW A chocolate sculpture of Benedict Cumberbatch. eek.
Tony Awards what's eligible? We'll be revving up more theater posts for Tony Season (everything is about to open... April being the theater's December if you will)
NY Times profiles the "Hand to God" playwright Robert Askins. ("Hand to God" is the latest risque puppet comedy post Avenue Q -- though not really like it otherwise -- and it's very funny)

Big Screen
IndieWire Manoel de Oliveira RIP (1908-2015)

Small Screen
Buzzfeed the greatest article ever written about the Starz series Outlander Season 1
Melanie Lynskey teases a second season of Togetherness. Did you watch it? So funny-sad and endearing
AV Club the 7 defining pitches of Mad Men

Computer Screen
Dartboard Patton Oswalt goes on an epic twitter rant about comedy and our delicate sensibilities in 2015
Variety thinks Marvel & Netflix have nothing to worry about with the impending launch Daredevil though correct me if I'm wrong... this review of 5 episodes (no spoilers) doesn't really say if it's any good or not, does it? 

Today's Must Watch
MISSI PYLE WANTS TO F*** YOU UP. Watch this amusing commercial and then help Missi raise funds to shoot her music video (multiple celebrity cameos promised) for her awesome revenge anthem "I Wanna Fuck You Up" -- Consider your donation a thank you for her awesomely generous guest blogging day right here at TFE. Yes, I am donating. Although I haven't decided who I want to fuck up the most. You can name your target in her video!