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2014 Tony Award nominations announced

nphNominations for the American Theatre Wing’s 68th annual Tony Awards were announced today by actress of stage and screen Lucy Liu and Tony-nominee Jonathan Groff.

This year's fabulous nominees include last year's host, Neil Patrick Harris, Idina Menzel, Stephen Fry, and Chris O'Dowd. Nominated shows include the Harvey Fierstein-penned play, 'Casa Valentina', 'Beautiful - The Carole King Musical' and Disney's latest adaptation, 'Aladdin'. As previously announced, the 2014 Isabelle Stevenson Award will be presented to Rosie O’Donnell.

The nominees were selected by an independent committee of 33 theatre professionals appointed by the Tony Awards Administration Committee. Winners will be voted in 26 competitive categories by 860 members of the theatrical community. 

Marking 68 years of excellence on Broadway, The Tony Awards will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 8th (US time). Hugh Jackman will serve as host.


The nominees are...

Best Play

Act One
Author: James Lapine
Producers: Lincoln Center Theater, André Bishop, Adam Siegel, Hattie K. Jutagir

All The Way
Author: Robert Schenkkan
Producers: Jeffrey Richards, Louise Gund, Jerry Frankel, Stephanie P. McClelland, Double Gemini Productions, Rebecca Gold, Scott M. Delman, Barbara H. Freitag, Harvey Weinstein, Gene Korf, William Berlind, Caiola Productions, Gutterman Chernoff, Jam Theatricals, Gabrielle Palitz, Cheryl Wiesenfeld, Will Trice, The Oregon Shakespeare Festival,
American Repertory Theater

Casa Valentina
Author: Harvey Fierstein
Producers: Manhattan Theatre Club, Lynne Meadow, Barry Grove, Colin Callender, Robert Cole, Frederick Zollo, The Shubert Organization

Mothers and Sons
Author: Terrence McNally
Producers: Tom Kirdahy, Roy Furman, Paula Wagner & Debbie Bisno, Barbara Freitag & Loraine Alterman Boyle, Hunter Arnold, Paul Boskind, Ken Davenport, Lams Productions, Mark Lee & Ed Filipowski, Roberta Pereira/Brunish-Trinchero, Sanford Robertson, Tom Smedes & Peter Stern, Jack Thomas/Susan Dietz

Outside Mullingar
Author: John Patrick Shanley
Producers: Manhattan Theatre Club, Lynne Meadow, Barry Grove

Best Musical

After Midnight
Producers: Scott Sanders Productions, Wynton Marsalis, Roy Furman, Candy Spelling, Starry Night Entertainment, Hal Newman, Allan S. Gordon/Adam S. Gordon, James L. Nederlander, Robert K. Kraft, Catherine and Fred Adler, Robert Appel, Jeffrey Bolton, Scott M. Delman, James Fantaci, Ted Liebowitz, Stephanie P. McClelland, Sandy Block, Carol Fineman, Marks-Moore-Turnbull Group, Stephen & Ruth Hendel, Tom Kirdahy

Aladdin
Producers: Disney Theatrical Productions, Thomas Schumacher

Beautiful - The Carole King Musical
Producers: Paul Blake, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Jeffrey A. Sine, Richard A. Smith, Mike Bosner, Harriet N. Leve/Elaine Krauss, Terry Schnuck, Orin Wolf, Patty Baker/Good Productions, Roger Faxon, Larry Magid, Kit Seidel, Lawrence S. Toppall, Fakston Productions/Mary Solomon, William Court Cohen, John Gore, BarLor Productions, Matthew C. Blank, Tim Hogue, Joel Hyatt, Marianne Mills, Michael J. Moritz, Jr., StylesFour Productions, Brunish & Trinchero, Jeremiah J. Harris

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder
Producers: Joey Parnes, S.D. Wagner, John Johnson, 50 Church Street Productions, Joan Raffe & Jhett Tolentino, Jay Alix & Una Jackman, Catherine & Fred Adler, Rhoda Herrick, Kathleen K. Johnson, Megan Savage, ShadowCatcher Entertainment, Ron Simons, True Love Productions, Jamie deRoy, Four Ladies & One Gent, John Arthur Pinckard, Greg Nobile, Stewart Lane & Bonnie Comley, Exeter Capital/Ted Snowdon, Ryan Hugh Mackey, Cricket-CTM Media/Mano-Horn Productions, Dennis Grimaldi/Margot Astrachan, Hello Entertainment/Jamie Bendell, Michael T. Cohen/Joe Sirola, Joseph & Carson Gleberman/William Megevick, Green State Productions, The Hartford Stage, The Old Globe

Best Revival of a Play

The Cripple of Inishmaan
Producers: Michael Grandage Company, Arielle Tepper Madover, L.T.D. Productions, Stacey Mindich, Starry Night Entertainment, Scott M. Delman, Martin McCallum, Stephanie P. McClelland, Zeilinger Productions, The Shubert Organization

The Glass Menagerie
Producers: Jeffrey Richards, John N. Hart Jr., Jerry Frankel, Lou Spisto/Lucky VIII, INFINITY Stages, Scott M. Delman, Jam Theatricals, Mauro Taylor, Rebecca Gold, Michael Palitz, Charles E. Stone, Will Trice, GFour Productions, American Repertory Theater

A Raisin in the Sun
Producers: Scott Rudin, Roger Berlind, Eli Bush, Jon B. Platt, Scott M. Delman, Roy Furman, Stephanie P. McClelland, Ruth Hendel, Sonia Friedman/Tulchin Bartner, The Araca Group, Heni Koenigsberg, Daryl Roth, Joan Raffe & Jhett Tolentino, Joey Parnes, S.D. Wagner, John Johnson

Twelfth Night
Producers: Sonia Friedman Productions, Scott Landis, Roger Berlind, Glass Half Full Productions/Just for Laughs Theatricals, 1001 Nights Productions, Tulchin Bartner Productions, Jane Bergère, Paula Marie Black, Rupert Gavin, Stephanie P. McClelland, Shakespeare's Globe Centre USA, Max Cooper, Tanya Link Productions, Shakespeare Road, Shakespeare's Globe

Best Revival of a Musical

Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Producers: David Binder, Jayne Baron Sherman, Barbara Whitman, Latitude Link, Patrick Catullo, Raise the Roof, Paula Marie Black, Colin Callender, Ruth Hendel, Sharon Karmazin, Martian Entertainment, Stacey Mindich, Eric Schnall, The Shubert Organization

Les Misérables
Producer: Cameron Mackintosh

Violet
Producers: Roundabout Theatre Company, Todd Haimes, Harold Wolpert, Julia C. Levy, Sydney Beers, Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino, David Mirvish, Barry and Fran Weissler, Elizabeth Armstrong, Mary Jo and Ted Shen

Best Book of a Musical

Aladdin
Chad Beguelin

Beautiful - The Carole King Musical
Douglas McGrath

Bullets Over Broadway
Woody Allen

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder
Robert L. Freedman

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

Aladdin
Music: Alan Menken
Lyrics: Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin

The Bridges of Madison County
Music & Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder
Music: Steven Lutvak
Lyrics: Robert L. Freedman & Steven Lutvak

If/Then
Music: Tom Kitt
Lyrics: Brian Yorkey

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Samuel Barnett, Twelfth Night
Bryan Cranston, All The Way
Chris O'Dowd, Of Mice and Men
Mark Rylance, Richard III
Tony Shalhoub, Act One

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Tyne Daly, Mothers and Sons
LaTanya Richardson Jackson, A Raisin in the Sun
Cherry Jones, The Glass Menagerie
Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill
Estelle Parsons, The Velocity of Autumn

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Neil Patrick Harris, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Ramin Karimloo, Les Misérables
Andy Karl, Rocky
Jefferson Mays, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder
Bryce Pinkham, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Mary Bridget Davies, A Night with Janis Joplin
Sutton Foster, Violet
Idina Menzel, If/Then
Jessie Mueller, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical
Kelli O'Hara, The Bridges of Madison County

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Reed Birney, Casa Valentina
Paul Chahidi, Twelfth Night
Stephen Fry, Twelfth Night
Mark Rylance, Twelfth Night
Brian J. Smith, The Glass Menagerie

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Sarah Greene, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Celia Keenan-Bolger, The Glass Menagerie
Sophie Okonedo, A Raisin in the Sun
Anika Noni Rose, A Raisin in the Sun
Mare Winningham, Casa Valentina

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Danny Burstein, Cabaret
Nick Cordero, Bullets Over Broadway
Joshua Henry, Violet
James Monroe Iglehart, Aladdin
Jarrod Spector, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Linda Emond, Cabaret
Lena Hall, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Anika Larsen, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical
Adriane Lenox, After Midnight
Lauren Worsham, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Beowulf Boritt, Act One
Bob Crowley, The Glass Menagerie
Es Devlin, Machinal
Christopher Oram, The Cripple of Inishmaan

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Christopher Barreca, Rocky
Julian Crouch, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Alexander Dodge, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder
Santo Loquasto, Bullets Over Broadway

Best Costume Design of a Play

Jane Greenwood, Act One
Michael Krass, Machinal
Rita Ryack, Casa Valentina
Jenny Tiramani, Twelfth Night

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Linda Cho, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder
William Ivey Long, Bullets Over Broadway
Arianne Phillips, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Isabel Toledo, After Midnight

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Paule Constable, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Jane Cox, Machinal
Natasha Katz, The Glass Menagerie
Japhy Weideman, Of Mice and Men

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Kevin Adams, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Christopher Akerlind, Rocky
Howell Binkley, After Midnight
Donald Holder, The Bridges of Madison County

Best Sound Design of a Play

Alex Baranowski, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Steve Canyon Kennedy, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill
Dan Moses Schreier, Act One
Matt Tierney, Machinal

Best Sound Design of a Musical

Peter Hylenski, After Midnight
Tim O'Heir, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Mick Potter, Les Misérables
Brian Ronan, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical

Best Direction of a Play

Tim Carroll, Twelfth Night
Michael Grandage, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Kenny Leon, A Raisin in the Sun
John Tiffany, The Glass Menagerie

Best Direction of a Musical

Warren Carlyle, After Midnight
Michael Mayer, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Leigh Silverman, Violet
Darko Tresnjak, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Best Choreography

Warren Carlyle, After Midnight
Steven Hoggett & Kelly Devine, Rocky
Casey Nicholaw, Aladdin
Susan Stroman, Bullets Over Broadway

Best Orchestrations

Doug Besterman, Bullets Over Broadway
Jason Robert Brown, The Bridges of Madison County
Steve Sidwell, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical
Jonathan Tunick, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

* * *
Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-competitive Categories

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Jane Greenwood

Regional Theatre Award
Signature Theatre, New York, N.Y.

Isabelle Stevenson Award
Rosie O’Donnell

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
Joseph P. Benincasa
Joan Marcus
Charlotte Wilcox

* * *
Tony Nominations by Production

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder - 10
Hedwig and the Angry Inch - 8
After Midnight - 7
Beautiful - The Carole King Musical - 7
The Glass Menagerie - 7
Twelfth Night - 7
Bullets Over Broadway - 6
The Cripple of Inishmaan - 6
Act One - 5
Aladdin - 5
A Raisin in the Sun - 5
The Bridges of Madison County - 4
Casa Valentina - 4
Machinal - 4
Rocky - 4
Violet - 4
Les Misérables - 3
All The Way - 2
Cabaret - 2
If/Then - 2
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill - 2
Mothers and Sons - 2
Of Mice and Men - 2
A Night with Janis Joplin - 1
Outside Mullingar - 1
Richard III - 1
The Velocity of Autumn - 1

Bernadette Peters Australian Tour

bernadette peters liveBernadette Peters in concert Theatre Royal Sydney 3 April, 2014

“When you wish upon a star your dreams come true” so sang Ms Peters and they did for a packed Theatre Royal assembled to worship the Queen of Broadway, Miss Bernadette Peters, making a return visit to Sydney after some 15 years. My excitement had been building for weeks as friends who saw her the first time round all acclaimed her in concert to be unforgettable – and on this occasion she was even more fabulous than the hype.

Backed by a stunning eleven piece orchestra we were treated to arguably a perfect pick of Broadway songs. Some from the collection of Broadway shows she’s done, some from the brilliant collection of CD recordings she’s made and some, especially for her Australian audiences, written by Peter Allen, who we learned was a dear friend and colleague of hers (but more on that later).

Warming us up Bernadette showed off her witty side with a fresh as the morning version of Nothing like a dame from South Pacific and a sultry version of Fever draped atop the baby grand. Looking a million bucks in a gorgeous décolleté lilac beaded gown, with flashes of leg, Bernadette Peters was the ultimate showgirl.

With delightful patty linking the songs we learned about her roles on stage and TV and got a little insight to her career now three decades long.  

Bernadette Peters is regarded by many as the foremost interpreter of the works of Stephen Sondheim and acclaimed for her performances in the musicals Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, A Little Night Music and Follies. Lucky for us we heard a lovely selection of those shows songs.

Children will Listen from Into the Woods was beautifully haunting, when she sang Send in the Clowns it’s as if she was ‘Desiree Armfeldt’ right there centre stage at the Royal, and it was like I heard Losing my Mind for the very first time its desperation engulfed me.

One of my all-time favourite recordings of Ms Peters is Being Alive from Company which she sang as her finale. It was a dream come true to hear it live and it was perfect, unforgettable!

And so to the Peter Allen songs which she included for this Australian tour, If you were Wondering and a heartfelt I Honestly Love You. It was clear she had a great affection for him - they had toured together and had been friends. Adding those songs, and delivered with such affectionate intent, crowned a concert that audience will never forget.    


Yoko Ono - War is Over! (if you want it)

WarIsOver ifyouwantit YokoOno 378x313Growing up in Wales as a teenager in the late sixties The Beatles and all they got up to was fascinating and completely drove pop culture of the day. I became aware of Yoko Ono, of course, when she married John Lennon and I can remember their Bed Peace piece in 1969 which was absolutely massive. These two hippies staying in a white bed, in a white room for two weeks in the name of world peace.

 

So it seems that Yoko Ono has carried this thread as the driver for her art ever since and currently showing at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney is her first Australian exhibition and of course Peace is its central theme. The title comes from a text work by Ono and her husband John Lennon that first appeared at Christmas 1969 across public billboards in twelve cities worldwide, including New York and London.

 

Much of the work is installation based and to get the most out of your visit you need to get actively involved with the work. Many of the pieces were first created in the sixties and recreated in the last few years to form this show.

 

The whole problem is that you have to buy-in to this now quaint notion that sticking a post-it note on a wall will repair your relationship with your mother, or stamping the word peace on your city of choice on a huge map will ensure that place embraces peace, or taking a jigsaw piece of sky away with you in the hope that, one day in the future, the world can build a new sky together. All of which might have been moving in its day but now seems out of touch and silly for us cynics.

 

Amongst all this I did find a few pieces engaging, although maybe not in the way Yoko imagined. Wish Tree for Sydney (1996/2013) is presented on the MCA Sculpture Terrace in which visitors are invited to write their private wishes onto small paper cards and tie them to the branches of native Australian trees. Over time, the cards accumulate like blossoms, and the intention is Wish Trees become symbolic of the collective power of the hopes and dreams of those who participate. Reading the wishes of visitors before me was interesting; I must lose weight this year, I wish the pubs closed at two o'clock, and I will give up crystal meth.

 

I found the highlight to be a modern piece Doors and Sky Puddles (2011) comprising of multiple upright doors that appear to float from the gallery floor. Yoko One wrote the following text alongside the piece:"Doors are just a figment of our imagination, barriers that exist in our mind and we need strength and courage to pass through them". In this large vast space it's a moment that stopped me in my tracks and made the whole visit worthwhile.

 

This show runs till the end of February at the MCA and will not travel in Australia. I think it has limited appeal, helped by having a context of who Yoko Ono is, but really has nothing new to say.