Stephen King’s “Misery” — Now on Broadway with Bruce Willis and Laurie Metcalf

Posted on November 15, 2015 at 3:26 pm

Stephen King’s novel about a deranged fan who captures her favorite author became the film Misery, with an Oscar-winning performance by Kathy Bates.

Now it has been adapted for live theater, with a Broadway production starring Bruce Willis and Laurie Metcalf.

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Tony Nominations 2015

Posted on April 28, 2015 at 3:29 pm

The Tony nominations are out! I was delighted to see “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” get several nominations, including best play, best actor Alex Sharp, and best director Marianne Elliott. It is one of the most stunning evenings I have ever spent in the theater, with astonishing stagecraft that takes the audience inside the mind of an autistic teenager. It was even nominated for best choreography, although there is no dancing, just movement.

It’s nice to see Bradley Cooper nominated for his passion project, “The Elephant Man.” And it is very good to see special Tony awards going to John Cameron Mitchell, whose “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” has been a smash hit with Neil Patrick Harris, Darren Criss, and Michael C. Hall, and to the long-legged Broadway dancer Tommy Tune.

Best Musical

An American in Paris

Fun Home

Something Rotten!

The Visit

Best Play

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Disgraced

Hand to God

Wolf Hall Parts 1 and 2

Best Musical Revival

The King and I

On the Town

On the Twentieth Century

Best Play Revival

The Elephant Man

Skylight

This Is Our Youth

You Can’t Take It With You

Best Leading Actor in a Play

Steven Boyer, ‘Hand to God’ (In Performance Video)

Bradley Cooper, ‘The Elephant Man’

Ben Miles, ‘Wolf Hall Parts 1 and 2’

Bill Nighy, ‘Skylight’

Alex Sharp, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’

Best Leading Actress in a Play

Geneva Carr, ‘Hand to God’

Helen Mirren, ‘The Audience’

Elisabeth Moss, ‘The Heidi Chronicles’

Carey Mulligan, ‘Skylight’

Ruth Wilson, ‘Constellations’

Best Leading Actor in a Musical

Michael Cerveris, ‘Fun Home’

Robert Fairchild, ‘An American in Paris’

Brian d’Arcy James, ‘Something Rotten!’

Ken Watanabe, ‘The King and I’

Tony Yazbeck, ‘On the Town’

Best Leading Actress in a Musical

Kristin Chenoweth, ‘On the Twentieth Century’

Leanne Cope, ‘An American in Paris’

Beth Malone, ‘Fun Home’

Kelli O’Hara, ‘The King and I’

Chita Rivera, ‘The Visit’

Best Book of a Musical

‘An American in Paris,’ Craig Lucas

‘Fun Home,’ Lisa Kron

‘Something Rotten!,’ Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell

‘The Visit,’Terrence McNally

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics)

‘Fun Home,’ Music: Jeanine Tesori, Lyrics: Lisa Kron

‘The Last Ship,’Music and Lyrics: Sting (In Performance Video)

‘Something Rotten!,’ Music and Lyrics: Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick

‘The Visit,’ Music: John Kander, Lyrics: Fred Ebb

Best Featured Actor in a Play

Matthew Beard, ‘Skylight’

K. Todd Freeman, ‘Airline Highway’

Richard McCabe, ‘The Audience’

Alessandro Nivola, ‘The Elephant Man’

Nathaniel Parker, ‘Wolf Hall Parts 1 and 2’

Micah Stock, ‘It’s Only a Play’

Best Featured Actress in a Play

Annaleigh Ashford, ‘You Can’t Take It with You’

Patricia Clarkson, ‘The Elephant Man’

Lydia Leonard, ‘Wolf Hall Parts 1 and 2’

Sarah Stiles, ‘Hand to God’

Julie White, ‘Airline Highway’

Best Featured Actor in a Musical

Christian Borle, ‘Something Rotten!’

Andy Karl, ‘On the Twentieth Century’

Brad Oscar, ‘Something Rotten!’

Brandon Uranowitz, ‘An American in Paris’

Max von Essen, ‘An American in Paris’

Best Featured Actress in a Musical

Victoria Clark, ‘Gigi’

Judy Kuhn, ‘Fun Home’

Sydney Lucas, ‘Fun Home’

Ruthie Ann Miles, ‘The King and I’

Emily Skeggs, ‘Fun Home’

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Bunny Christie and Finn Ross, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’

Bob Crowley, ‘Skylight’

Christopher Oram, ‘Wolf Hall Parts 1 and 2’

David Rockwell, ‘You Can’t Take It with You’

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Bob Crowley and 59 Productions, ‘An American in Paris’

David Rockwell, ‘On the Twentieth Century’

Michael Yeargan, ‘The King and I’

David Zinn, ‘Fun Home’

Best Costume Design of a Play

Bob Crowley, ‘The Audience’

Jane Greenwood, ‘You Can’t Take It with You’

Christopher Oram, ‘Wolf Hall Parts 1 and 2’

David Zinn, ‘Airline Highway’

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Gregg Barnes, ‘Something Rotten!’

Bob Crowley, ‘An American in Paris’

William Ivey Long, ‘On the Twentieth Century’

Catherine Zuber, ‘The King and I’

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Paule Constable, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’

Paule Constable and David Plater, ‘Wolf Hall Parts 1 and 2’

Natasha Katz, ‘Skylight’

Japhy Weideman, ‘Airline Highway’

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Donald Holder, ‘The King and I’

Natasha Katz, ‘An American in Paris’

Ben Stanton, ‘Fun Home’

Japhy Weideman, ‘The Visit’

Best Direction of a Play

Stephen Daldry, ‘Skylight’

Marianne Elliott, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’

Scott Ellis, ‘You Can’t Take It with You’

Jeremy Herrin, ‘Wolf Hall Parts 1 and 2’

Moritz von Stuelpnagel, ‘Hand to God’

Best Direction of a Musical

Sam Gold, ‘Fun Home’

Casey Nicholaw, ‘Something Rotten!’

John Rando, ‘On the Town’

Bartlett Sher, ‘The King and I’

Christopher Wheeldon, ‘An American in Paris’

Best Choreography

Joshua Bergasse, ‘On the Town’

Christopher Gattelli, ‘The King and I’

Scott Graham & Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’

Casey Nicholaw, ‘Something Rotten!’

Christopher Wheeldon, ‘An American in Paris’

Best Orchestrations

Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky, Bill Elliott, ‘An American in Paris’

John Clancy, ‘Fun Home’

Larry Hochman, ‘Something Rotten!’

Rob Mathes, ‘The Last Ship’

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater

Tommy Tune

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

Stephen Schwartz

Regional Theatre Tony Award

Cleveland Play House

Special Tony Award

John Cameron Mitchell, ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theater

Arnold Abramson

Adrian Bryan-Brown

Gene O’Donovan

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Fifty Years of Fiddler on the Roof

Posted on September 20, 2014 at 8:00 am

fiddler japaneseThe Yiddish-language stories of Sholem Alechim, collected as Tevye the Dairyman and The Railroad Stories (Library of Yiddish Classics), inspired one of the most successful, influential, and widely performed Broadway musicals of all time, “Fiddler on the Roof,” which opened fifty years ago this week. It set the then-record of 3000 performances and still is listed as the 16th longest-running Broadway musical in history. There has been hardly a day since this story about a Jewish community in czarist Russia opened that it has not been performed somewhere around the world. Its songs, including “Sunrise, Sunset” and “If I Were a Rich Man,” have become standards, performed and recorded by singers around the world.

The play establishes its setting with the opening number, “Tradition,” where the fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters sing about the roles established for them by their culture and religion. But the theme of the play will be the pressure of modernity as all of the assumptions and beliefs of the community will be challenged.Cannonball_Adderley's_Fiddler_on_the_Roof

The central character is Tevye (played by Zero Mostel on Broadway and the Israeli actor Topol in the movie). He is a poor milkman with five daughtersshmuel_rodensky_in-anatevka_-_fiddler_on_the_roof.  Tradition would give Tevye the role of selecting husbands for his daughters based on what would be socially and economically advantageous. He approves of the widower butcher for his oldest daughter. But she challenges tradition by asking for his approval for her to marry the shy tailor she loves. Tevye must bend because he loves her and wants her to be happy. Seeing her in love makes him question for the first time whether his wife of 25 years, chosen for him, loves him. But his second daughter asks him to bend farther. She loves a hot-headed revolutionary, and she says they will marry whether Tevye approves or not. He is worried, but he gives them his blessing.

And then the third daughter asks him to bend further. She is in love with a non-Jew. Tevye says that is something he cannot accept. It shakes the foundations of his beliefs to even consider it. But not as much as they will be shaken by an anti-Semitic pogrom, with the Czar’s men all but destroying their village. The title of the play comes from the image of a musician precariously trying to maintain his balance and stay safely on a roof. The play ends with Tevye following millions of Europeans over the late 19th and early 20th century — immigrating to America, under the lamp held high for them by the Statue of Liberty.fiddlerplaybill

Many years ago, my parents were visiting Tokyo and saw that a production of “Fiddler on the Roof” was on stage there. They bought tickets. Even though it was in Japanese, with Japanese actors, they recognized the story and music. And they enjoyed the enthusiastic response of the audience. When it was over, my father asked one of the Japanese audience members who spoke English why the play was so popular there. He smiled, “It’s very Japanese!” The details, including the style of the music, are very particular to one group. But the themes of balancing tradition with growing understanding about ourselves and the world, about struggles between parents and children, about what is best for the community and what is best for the individual, are universal.

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Fathom Events: A Streetcar Named Desire with Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster

Posted on September 5, 2014 at 8:00 am

Fathom Events, BY Experience and National Theatre Live are presenting a live performance of Tennessee Williams’ timeless masterpiece, A Streetcar Named Desire broadcast to select cinemas nationwide directly from London’s Young Vic Theatre in an extraordinary one-night event, Tuesday, September 16.

The production stars Gillian Anderson (The X-Files, The Fall) as Blanche DuBois, Ben Foster (Lone Survivor, Kill Your Darlings) as Stanley and Vanessa Kirby (BBC’s Great Expectations, Three Sisters at the Young Vic) as Stella.

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Live Theater

Rifftrax Takes on Sharknado — In Theaters July 10

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Even better than Mecha-Shark vs. Godzilloctopus, the mad men of Rifftrax are taking on “Sharknado,” live on July 10 and transmitted in real time to theaters across the country.

Just the thing to get you ready for “Sharknado 2,” coming soon.

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