2017 Tony Awards

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The American Theatre Wing’s 71st Annual Tony Awards, held at Radio City Music hall and broadcast live on CBS, were hosted by Kevin Spacey.  Spacey opened the show dressed as Evan Hansen from Dear Evan Hansen with a cast that said #HOST and sang a parody of “You Will Be Found” and then transitioned into a Groundhog Day parody and moved the cast to this leg. From there be paid tribute to The Great Comet and then Come From Away to finish off the four Best Musical Nominees.  He also dressed as Norma Desmond and then tap danced it was quite a lot going on.

During the show the cast of Come From Away performed “Welcome to the Rock,” the company of Dear Evan Hansen sang “Waving Through a Window,”  David Hyde Pierce performed “Penny in my Pocket from Hello, Dolly!, and Christine Ebersole and Patti LuPone performed “Face to Face” from War Paint.  Further performances included those by the remarkable companies of The Great CometFalsettosGroundhog Day, Bandstand, and Miss Saigon.

Best Play was presented to Oslo and Best Revival of a Play was awarded to August Wilson’s Jitney.  Best Leading Actress in a Play was awarded to Laurie Metcalf for A Doll’s House, Part 2 while Best Leading Actor in a Play went to Kevin Kline for Present Laughter. Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Play was awarded to Michael Aronov for his role in Oslo and Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Play was awarded to Cynthia Nixon for her role in Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes. Best Direction of a Play was presented to Rebecca Taichman for Indecent.

Best Musical was awarded to Dear Evan Hansen. Best Revival of a Musical was awarded to Hello, Dolly! and Bette Midler took home the Tony for Best Actress in a Musical for her role in the show. Best Actor in a Musical went to Ben Platt and Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical was presented to Rachel Bay Jones for their roles in Dear Evan Hansen. Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical was awarded to Gavin Creel for his role in Hello, Dolly!.  Best Score and Best Book of a Musical were presented to Benj Pasek & Justin Paul and Steven Levenson respectively for Dear Evan Hansen. Best Orchestrations also went to Alex Lacamoire for the show. Best Direction of a Musical was awarded to Christopher Ashely for Come From Away.

James Earl Jones was presented with this year’s award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

A full list of winners can be found here.

Full Red Carpet coverage can be found here.

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BroadwayCon 2017 – Day 3

The third, and final, day of BroadwayCon was a busy one. We began our day at Tyler Mount’s Broadway Besties with Keala Setlle, Andrew Chappelle, Ariana DeBose, and Christopher Jackson. It was a very fun event and included games and giveaways. 

Tyler Mount with Christopher Jackson

On the mainstage next was Waving Through A Window: The Dear Evan Hansen Panel. The entire cast and most of the creative team were there to discuss the creation and execution of the musical. They discussed their favorite parts of the show, enjoying being able to watch each other perform when they’re not in a scene and really digging into the lives and feelings of the characters. 

Dear Evan Hansen panel

We had a photo-op with Jeremy Jordan and then later we attended the BroadwayCon First Look featuring a preview of some of he musicals of the upcoming series including Bandstand, Come From Away, Significant Other, and more. Company members of the upcoming shows previewed songs from and details of the shows. We particularly enjoyed the song from Bandstand

First Look: Bandstand

We took one last stroll around the Marketplace and saw Ann Harada being interviewed by Broadway Masters. Once her interview was over they then interviewed Lesli Margherita before she had to run to her photo-op sessions. 

Ann Harada being interviewed for Broadway Masters

The last big thing of the con was the closing ceremony which was a fitting end to the weekend.

They’ve already  announced that there will be a BroadwayCon 2018. We’re looking forward to seeing what awesome guests and events will take place next year! 

BroadwayCon 2017 – Day 2 

Day 2 was eventful. There were a lot of awesome guests, panels and events. Andrew Keenan-Bolger signed copies of Jack and Louisa: Act 3 at the Drama Book Shop booth, the cast of the upcoming film Speech and Debate signed at the Lights of Broadway booth, Telly Leung and Sierra Boggess signed and took pictures at the Broadway Records booth, and those are only a few examples of the guests on hand for Day 2. 

We attended the Kinky Boots panel celebrating the show’s 3 years on Broadway. They talked about the effect the message of the show has on society, what it’s like stepping into the shoes of the performers that were in the show before you, and much more. 

Kinky Boots Panel

We also sat in on the Speech and Debate panel discussing what it was like to adapt the stage show to the screen, and the Madam Secretary panel which discussed the difference in acting and working on stage versus on screen. 

Madam Secretary Panel
We attended a Q&A with Arielle Jacobs on the Marketplace stage in which she discussed looking ethnically ambiguous and what that means for the parts she is able to play. 

Arielle Jacobs Q&A

But some of the highlights of the day were BroadwayCon Feud which pitted Team Hamilton against Team Burr and Lesli Margherita’s Variety Hour. 

It was a full and fun day of programming for Day 2. We’re looking forward to another great day for the third, and final day of the con. 

BroadwayCon 2017 – Day 1

This is our first year at BroadwayCon and we didn’t know exactly what to expect, but it is just like any other convention. There are awesome vendors, organizations, and some serious Cosplays.

The crowd was a manageable size making it fairly easy to get from booth to booth,  as you check out the artists and products you want to see. I have been to cons where you could barely move around the convention floor and trying to get to some booths felt futile, so this was a breeze of fresh air. However, it is only day 1. 

The vendors and exhibitors are everything Broadway fans want! Some of our favorites have been Broadway.com, BroadwayBox, The Lights of Broadway, The Drama Book Shop, and Broadway Records. 

There are opportunities to enter to win tickets to Broadway shows, panels, lectures, performances, autograph signings, and photo ops. There was a lottery system to get autograph and photo op passes for select Broadway stars, but there are also plenty of signing opportunities at some of the booths. Today we met Alice Riley at the Broadway Records booth and Carolee Carmello at The Lights of Broadway table. Both of them, along with The Drama Book Shop, will have guests at their booths every day during BroadwayCon. 

We didn’t go to very many panels or events today, but we did catch most of the events on the Marketplace Stage including Anthony Rosenthal’s and Alice Ripley’s Q&As and Lauren Pritchard and Kathryn Gallagher’s  performance. 

It’s been a fun day meeting a lot of new people and some of our favorite Broadway performers! We’re excited to come back tomorrow for day two! 

The 2016 Tony Awards


The American Theatre Wing’s 70th Annual Tony Awards, held at the Beacon Theatre and broadcast live on CBS, were hosted by James Corden.  In light of the horrific events in Orlando earlier in the day, the show was dedicated to those affected by said events.  

The cast of Hamilton opened the show in the best way possible: with a song about the night’s host, James Corden in a spoof of their opening number.  James Corden made a few jokes and then had his own musical number about his love of the theatre that did last for quite some time. It concluded with all of the musical acting nominees on stage with the message “this could be where you belong.”  

  
Hamilton was the night’s biggest winner taking home 11 awards including Best Musical, Best Costumes, Lighting, Choreography to Andy Blankenbuehler, Orchestrations to Alex Lacamoire, Direction to Thomas Kail, Featured Actress in a Musical to Renee Elise Goldsberry, Featured Actor in a play to Daveed Diggs, Score and Book to Lin-Manuel Miranda whose his speech, in the form of a sonnet, was inspiring, and Leslie Odom Jr for Best Lead Actor.  The Color Purple won best Revival of a Musical and Cynthia Erivo took home Best Leading Actress for her role in the show. 

At the age of 62, Jayne Houdyshell won her first Tony Award for The Humans.  The show also won Best Featured Actor for Reed Birney, Best Scenic Design of a Play for David Zinn and Best Play. Frank Langella won Best Lead Actor in a Play for The Father.  

Arthur Miller’s The View from the Bridge won Best Revival of a Play and Best Direction of a Play to Ivo van Hove.  Lead Actress in a Play went to Jessica Lange for her role in Long Day’s Journey Into Night. The show was also awarded best Lighting Design to Natasha Katz.   David Rockwell took home the award for Scenic Design of a Play for She Loves Me.

Alex Brightman and the kids of School of Rock performed “You’re in the Band.”  Those kids really do rock and they play those instruments live 8 times a week.  The cast of Shuffle along showed off the exquisite tapping showcased in the show and made me realize I need to see it! The cast of She Loves Me performed a medley of “Ilona,” “She Loves Me” and “Vanilla Ice Cream.”  James Corden showed a priceless video of Josh Groban in his high school production of The Fiddler on the Roof followed by the cast of Fiddler on the Roof sang “Sunrise, Sunset” followed by an excellent dance number!

Steve Martin, Edie Brickell introduced the cast of Bright Star performing “If You Knew My Story.” Cynthia Erivo and the cast of The Color Purple sang a medley of “Mysterious Ways” and “I’m Here.” The cast of On Your Feet performed a medley from the show with Gloria Estefan.  Deaf West’s Spring Awakening Broadway cast performed a medley of “Momma Who Bore Me,” “Bitch of Living”.  The company of Hamilton sang “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down).” The cast of Waitress sang “Opening Up” then Sara Bareilles started “She Used to be Mine” and Jessie Mueller finished it once she changed costumes. Bebe Neuwirth performed a tribute to Chicago for its twentieth anniversary.  The cast of Hamilton  closed the show, after winning Best Musical, with “The Schuyler Sisters.”

Throughout the night, some of the nominees performed bumpers outside during the broadcast. The first performance was Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sara Bareilles, Edie Brickell, Steve Martin and Lin-Manuel Miranda singing “Tomorrow” from Annie, with ALW on tambourine.  Other performances included: the cast of Shuffle Along sang “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat” from Guys and Dolls,  Alex Brightman and the kids of School of Rock singing “The Phantom of the Opera,” the cast of Fiddler on the Roof singing “No Business Like Show Business” from Annie Get Your Gun,  the cast of She Loves Me performed “Cabaret” and the cast of Hamilton singing “No Day But Today.”

A full list of tonight’s winners can be found here

2016 Tony Award Nominations


This morning, Tuesday, May 3, Nikki M. James and Andrew Rannells announced the 2016 Tony Award Nominations live from the Paramount Hotel’s Diamond Horseshoe in New York City. 

Productions that opened during the 2015 – 2016 Broadway Season on or before the April 28 cut-off date are eligible for Tony Awards this year. The 70th Annual Tony Awards, presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing,  will take place on June 12 at the Beacon Theatre.  The ceremony will be broadcast on CBS at 8/7c.  

Hamilton made history this year for most Tony nominations ever with 16, beating the previous record holders The Producers (2001) and Billy Elliot (2009) which received 15 each in their respective nomination years.. 

This year’s Tony nominees are: 

Best Musical
Bright Star 
Hamilton
School of Rock – The Musical
Shuffle Along
Waitress

Best Play
Eclipsed
The Father
The Humans
King Charles III

Best Revival of a Musical
The Color Purple
Fiddler on the Roof
She Loves Me
Spring Awakening 

Best Revival of a Play
Arthur Miller’s The Crucible 
Arthur Miller’s The View from the Bridge
Blackbird
Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Noises Off

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Laura Benanti, She Loves Me
Carmen Cusack, Bright Star
Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple
Jessie Mueller, Waitress
Phlillipa Soo, Hamilton

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Alex Brightman, School of Rock – The Musical
Danny Burnstein, Fiddler on the Roof
Zachary Levi, She Loves Me
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Laurie Metcalf, Misery
Lupita Nyong’o, Eclipsed
Sophie Okonedo, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Michelle Williams, Blackbird

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Gabriel Byrne, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Jeff Daniels, Blackbird
Frank Langella, The Father
Tim Pigott-Smit, King Charles III
Mark Strong, Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
Renee Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton
Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me
Jennifer Simard, Disaster!
Adrienne Warren, Shuffle Along


Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
Brandon Victor Dixon, Shuffle Along
Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress
Jonathan Groff, Hamilton
Christopher Jackson, Hamilton

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Pascale Armand, Eclipsed
Megan Hilty, Noises Off
Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans
Andrea Martin, Noises Off
Saycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Reed Birney, The Humans
Bill Camp, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
David Furr, Noises Off
Richard Goulding,King Charles III
Michael Shannon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Best Direction of a Musical
Michael Arden, Spring Awakening
John Doyle, The Color Purple
Scott Ellis, She Loves Me
Thomas Kail, Hamilton
George C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along

Best Direction of a Play
Rupert Goold, King Charles III
Jonathan Kent, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Joe Mantello, The Humans
Liesl Tommy, Eclipsed
Ivo Van Hove, Arthur Miller’s The View From the Bridge

Best Book of a Musical
Steve Martin, Bright Star
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Julian Fellowes, School of Rock – The Musical
George C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along

Best Original Score
Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Bright Star
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Glenn Slater, School of Rock – The Musical
Sara Bareilles, Waitress

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Sheldon Harnick & Marshall W. Mason

Regional Theatre Award
Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, NJ

Isabelle Stevenson Award
Brian Stokes Mitchell

Special Tony Award
National Endowment for the Arts
Miles Wilkin

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
Seth Gelblum
Joan Lader
Sally Ann Parsons


A full list of this year’s nominees can be found here

Beautifiul – The Carole King Musical on Tour

The writing duos of Carole King & Gerry Goffin and Cynthia Weil & Barry Mann wrote many of the top hits of the 1960s and 1970s.  Beautiful- The Carole King Musical tells the story of a sixteen year old girl  from Brooklyn who becomes one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time.  The story is exciting and fun but also very real and emotional, and it is coupled with an incredible B-plot of the relationship between Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann.

I had the privilege to see the original Broadway cast including Jessie Mueller as Carole King, who won a Tony for the role, and it was one of the best musicals I had ever seen (and the first time I saw the show I had a standing room only ticket, so I sincerely mean that).  When it was announced that the show would be going on tour I knew I would have to make it a point to see it!

My excitement was further escalated by the announcement that Abby Mueller would be playing Carole King! Yes, she is the sister of Jessie Mueller, but that’s not the only reason it’s great that she’s playing Carole King.  She is also a fantastic musical theater performer in her own right, and she brings her own unique aspects to the portrayal of Carole King.  The rest of the cast is also incredible! Liam Toby plays Gerry Goffin, Ben Fankhauser, who was recently seen as ‘Henry’ in North Carolina Theatre‘s production of Next to Normal, plays Barry Mann and Becky Gulsvig plays Cynthia Weil.  And you can’t forget about the excellent ensemble of actors who bring the music to life in a big way!

I can’t say much of anything that’s new about why this show is so incredible and truly a must-see, but I will tell you I got my mom tickets for her birthday and had to basically drag her to see the show with me, but I chose to drag her because I knew she would thoroughly enjoy it. Since we saw the show, she has told every single person she has encountered that they need to get to DPAC immediately and see this fantastic show!

Here are just a few of the local reviews Beautiful – The Carole King Musical has received:

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical is playing at DPAC through October 4 and then moves on to the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C..  You can find all of the upcoming tour dates here. Don’t miss this incredible show when it comes to a city near you!