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And The Winners of The 2020 Pulitzer Prizes Are…

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“Things are never as bad as they seem.”1961 Fiction winner Harper Lee.

The 2020 Pulitzer Prizes was announced May 4 at 3 PM ET via live stream on the prize’s official website. Originally scheduled for April 20, the annual Prizes in Journalism, Books, Drama, and Music have been pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“The Pulitzer board includes many high-level journalists who are on the frontlines of informing the public on the quickly evolving coronavirus pandemic. As they focus on this critical mission, this postponement will provide additional time to thoroughly evaluate the 2020 Pulitzer finalists,” administrator Dana Canedy said in an online statement.

The 104th winners are:

Public Service

Anchorage Daily News with contributions from ProPublica

For a riveting series that revealed a third of Alaska’s villages had no police protection, took authorities to task for decades of neglect, and spurred an influx of money and legislative changes.The New York TimesThe Washington PostBreaking News Reporting

Staff of The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.

For its rapid coverage of hundreds of last-minute pardons by Kentucky’s governor, showing how the process was marked by opacity, racial disparities and violations of legal norms. (Moved by the jury from Local Reporting, where it was originally entered.)Staff of the Los Angeles TimesStaff of The Washington PostInvestigative Reporting

Brian M. Rosenthal of The New York Times

For an exposé of New York City’s taxi industry that showed how lenders profited from predatory loans that shattered the lives of vulnerable drivers, reporting that ultimately led to state and federal investigations and sweeping reforms.Jay Hancock and Elizabeth Lucas of Kaiser Health NewsStaff of The Wall Street JournalExplanatory Reporting

Staff of The Washington Post

For a groundbreaking series that showed with scientific clarity the dire effects of extreme temperatures on the planet.Rosanna Xia, Swetha Kannan and Terry Castleman of the Los Angeles TimesStaff of Reveal from The Center for Investigative ReportingLocal Reporting

Staff of The Baltimore Sun

For illuminating, impactful reporting on a lucrative, undisclosed financial relationship between the city’s mayor and the public hospital system she helped to oversee.Peter Smith, Stephanie Strasburg and Shelly Bradbury of the Pittsburgh Post-GazetteStaff of The Boston GlobeNational Reporting

Dominic Gates, Steve Miletich, Mike Baker and Lewis Kamb of The Seattle Times

For groundbreaking stories that exposed design flaws in the Boeing 737 MAX that led to two deadly crashes and revealed failures in government oversight.

T. Christian Miller, Megan Rose and Robert Faturechi of ProPublica

For their investigation into America’s 7th Fleet after a series of deadly naval accidents in the Pacific.Staff of The Wall Street JournalInternational Reporting

Staff of The New York Times

For a set of enthralling stories, reported at great risk, exposing the predations of Vladimir Putin’s regime.Staff of ReutersStaff of The New York TimesFeature Writing

Ben Taub of The New Yorker

For a devastating account of a man who was kidnapped, tortured and deprived of his liberty for more than a decade at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, blending on-the-ground reporting and lyrical prose to offer a nuanced perspective on America’s wider war on terror. (Moved into contention by the Board.)Chloé Cooper Jones, freelance reporter, The VergeEllen Barry of The New York TimesNestor Ramos of The Boston GlobeCommentary

Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times

For a sweeping, deeply reported and personal essay for the ground-breaking 1619 Project, which seeks to place the enslavement of Africans at the center of America’s story, prompting public conversation about the nation’s founding and evolution.Sally Jenkins of The Washington PostSteve Lopez of the Los Angeles TimesCriticism

Christopher Knight of the Los Angeles Times

For work demonstrating extraordinary community service by a critic, applying his expertise and enterprise to critique a proposed overhaul of the L.A. County Museum of Art and its effect on the institution’s mission.Justin Davidson of New York magazineSoraya Nadia McDonald of The UndefeatedEditorial Writing

Jeffery Gerritt of the Palestine (Tx.) Herald Press

For editorials that exposed how pre-trial inmates died horrific deaths in a small Texas county jail—reflecting a rising trend across the state—and courageously took on the local sheriff and judicial establishment, which tried to cover up these needless tragedies.Jill Burcum of the Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minn.Melinda Henneberger of The Kansas City StarEditorial Cartooning

Barry Blitt, contributor, The New Yorker

For work that skewers the personalities and policies emanating from the Trump White House with deceptively sweet watercolor style and seemingly gentle caricatures. (Moved into contention by the Board.)Kevin Kallaugher, freelancerLalo Alcaraz, freelancerMatt Bors of The NibBreaking News Photography

Photography Staff of Reuters

For wide-ranging and illuminating photographs of Hong Kong as citizens protested infringement of their civil liberties and defended the region’s autonomy by the Chinese government.Dieu Nalio Chery and Rebecca Blackwell of Associated PressTom Fox of The Dallas Morning NewsFeature Photography

Channi Anand, Mukhtar Khan and Dar Yasin of Associated Press

For striking images of life in the contested territory of Kashmir as India revoked its independence, executed through a communications blackout. Erin Clark of The Boston GlobeMary F. Calvert, freelance photographerAudio Reporting

Staff of This American Life with Molly O’Toole of the Los Angeles Times and Emily Green, freelancer, Vice News

For “The Out Crowd,” revelatory, intimate journalism that illuminates the personal impact of the Trump Administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy.Andrew Beck Grace, Chip Brantley, Graham Smith, Nicole Beemsterboer and Robert Little of NPRNigel Poor, Earlonne Woods and Rahsaan Thomas

BOOKS, DRAMA & MUSIC

Fiction

The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)

A spare and devastating exploration of abuse at a reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida that is ultimately a powerful tale of human perseverance, dignity and redemption.The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett (Harper)The Topeka School, by Ben Lerner (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)Drama

A Strange Loop, by Michael R. Jackson

A metafictional musical that tracks the creative process of an artist transforming issues of identity, race, and sexuality that once pushed him to the margins of the cultural mainstream into a meditation on universal human fears and insecurities.Heroes of the Fourth Turning, by Will ArberySoft Power, by David Henry Hwang and Jeanine TesoriHistory

Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America, by W. Caleb McDaniel (Oxford University Press)

A masterfully researched meditation on reparations based on the remarkable story of a 19th century woman who survived kidnapping and re-enslavement to sue her captor.Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership, by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (University of North Carolina Press)The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America, by Greg Grandin (Metropolitan Books)Biography

Sontag: Her Life and Work, by Benjamin Moser (Ecco)

An authoritatively constructed work told with pathos and grace, that captures the writer’s genius and humanity alongside her addictions, sexual ambiguities and volatile enthusiasms.Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century, by George Packer (Alfred A. Knopf)Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, And Me, by the late Deirdre Bair (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday)Poetry

The Tradition, by Jericho Brown (Copper Canyon Press)

A collection of masterful lyrics that combine delicacy with historical urgency in their loving evocation of bodies vulnerable to hostility and violence.Dunce, by Mary Ruefle (Wave Books)Only as the Day Is Long: New and Selected Poems, by Dorianne Laux (W.W. Norton)General Nonfiction

The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America, by Greg Grandin (Metropolitan Books)

A sweeping and beautifully written book that probes the American myth of boundless expansion and provides a compelling context for thinking about the current political moment. (Moved by the Board from the History category.)

The Undying: Pain, Vulnerability, Mortality, Medicine, Art, Time, Dreams, Data, Exhaustion, Cancer, and Care, by Anne Boyer (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

An elegant and unforgettable narrative about the brutality of illness and the capitalism of cancer care in America.Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life, by Louise Aronson (Bloomsbury)Solitary, by Albert Woodfox with Leslie George (Grove Atlantic)Music

The Central Park Five, by Anthony Davis

Premiered on June 15, 2019 at the Long Beach Opera, a courageous operatic work, marked by powerful vocal writing and sensitive orchestration, that skillfully transforms a notorious example of contemporary injustice into something empathetic and hopeful. Libretto by Richard Wesley.and all the days were purple, by Alex WeiserSky: Concerto for Violin, by Michael Torke

SPECIAL CITATIONS

Special Awards and Citations

Ida B. Wells

For her outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching.

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Book Reviews

Merrily, Gatsby, Mary Jane, and More Win Applause at 2024 Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards

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Merrily We Roll Along has continued its award-winning roll, topping the list of winners for the 2024 Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards, chosen by Broadway.com readers.

The hit revival won in a total of five categories, including Favorite Musical Revival. They honored all three of its stars: Jonathan Groff was named Favorite Performance of the Year (Musical), while Daniel Radcliffe and Lindsay Mendez won in featured categories. Groff and Radcliffe also won a second award for the category of Favorite Onstage Pair.

The Great Gatsby won the award for Favorite New Musical, while the musical’s stars Jeremy Jordan and Eva Noblezada won in the leading musical acting categories. Other musical performers who won awards included Spamalot’s Leslie RodriguezKritzer for Favorite Diva Performance, Gutenberg! The Musical! star Josh Gad for Favorite Funny Performance, and Grant Gustin, the lead of Water for Elephants, won for Favorite Breakthrough Performance.

Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer (center) and the cast of Spamalot. Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman, 2023.

On the play front, David Adjmi’s Stereophonic was named Favorite New Play, and An Enemy of the People won for Favorite Play Revival. Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch star Leslie Odom, Jr. and Mary Jane star Rachel McAdams won in the leading acting categories, with Appropriate‘s Elle Fanning and Alex Brightman from The Shark is Broken named featured acting favorites.

The Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards contains many unique categories. Favorite Replacement awards, honoring actors who stepped into hit shows, were won by Jordan Fisher for Hadestown and Sutton Foster for Sweeney Todd. The composer for The Notebook, Ingrid Michelson won for Favorite New Song for “Carry You Home.

This year’s winners will be honored at a private reception at 48 Lounge on June 6.

A complete list of winners follows.

The cast of Stereophonic on Broadway. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

Favorite New Musical
The Great Gatsby (Book by Kait Kerrigan, Music by Jason Howland, Lyrics by Nathan Tysen)

Favorite New Play
Stereophonic (Written by David Adjmi)

Favorite Musical Revival
Merrily We Roll Along

Favorite Play Revival
An Enemy of the People

Favorite Long-Running Show
Wicked

Favorite Tour
Beetlejuice

Favorite Performance of the Year (Musical)
Jonathan Groff, Merrily We Roll Along

Favorite Performance of the Year (Play)
Leslie Odom, Jr., Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch

Leslie Odom, Jr. and Kara Young in Purlie Victorious – Photo by Marc J. Franklin.

Favorite Leading Actor in a Musical
Jeremy Jordan, The Great Gatsby

Favorite Leading Actress in a Musical
Eva Noblezada, The Great Gatsby

Favorite Leading Actor in a Play
Leslie Odom, Jr., Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch

Favorite Leading Actress in a Play
Rachel McAdams, Mary Jane

Favorite Featured Actor in a Musical
Daniel Radcliffe, Merrily We Roll Along

Favorite Featured Actress in a Musical
Lindsay Mendez, Merrily We Roll Along

Favorite Featured Actor in a Play
Alex Brightman, The Shark is Broken

Favorite Featured Actress in a Play
Elle Fanning, Appropriate


Sarah Paulson and Elle Fanning in 2ST’s Appropriate. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Favorite Diva Performance
Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer, Spamalot

Favorite Funny Performance
Josh Gad, Gutenberg! The Musical!

Favorite Onstage Pair
Jonathan Groff and Daniel Radcliffe, Merrily We Roll Along

Favorite Breakthrough Performance (Male)
Grant Gustin, Water for Elephants

Favorite Breakthrough Performance (Female)
Rachel McAdams, Mary Jane

Favorite Replacement (Male)
Jordan Fisher, Hadestown

Favorite Replacement (Female)
Sutton Foster, Sweeney Todd

Favorite New Song
“Carry You Home,” The Notebook (Music and Lyrics by Ingrid Michelson)

Rachel McAdams in MTC’s Mary Jane. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Shows with Multiple Wins
Merrily We Roll Along – 5
The Great Gatsby – 3
Mary Jane – 2
Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch – 2

Performers with Multiple Wins
Jonathan Groff, Merrily We Roll Along – 2
Rachel McAdams, Mary Jane – 2
Leslie Odom, Jr., Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch – 2
Daniel Radcliffe, Merrily We Roll Along – 2

Jeremy Jordan, Eva Noblezada, and the cast of The Great Gatsby. Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman

For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

 

 

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Book Reviews

Mark Bego: The Prince Of Pop Biographies Gets Political With Yorkshire Publishing’s Campaigning For President

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What is the best-selling rock & roll biographer in the show business realm doing, writing a book on politics with “Campaigning For President?” asks author Mark Bego, “One of the reasons why this is a viable transition into another literary genre for me, is that political campaigns are 90% show business, and the act of finding an audience and playing to it—just like the music business.”

Mark Bego

Bego, whose last two books— “Band of Gold” with Freda Payne, and “Joe Cocker:  With A LOT of Help from His Friends”—both from Yorkshire Publishing—electrified the charts and further solidified his position as “the Prince of Pop Biographies” (a title given to him by Publisher’s Weekly).  On the heels of the Cocker biography, Bego was approached about reviving and updating the popular 2008 book: “Campaigning For President.”  According to him, “I am always up for a new literary adventure—and this seemed like a fun and historically relevant one to be involved with!”

Jordan M. Wright was the owner of the world’s most extensive collection of U.S. Presidential campaign memorabilia when he published the original 2008 book, “Campaigning For President.”  Only months later Wright tragically died, and his collection eventually found a permanent home at Long Island University. Since that time there have been five new presidential campaigns to write about, including the current 2024 Trump vs. Biden battle.  Bego was approached by Wright’s widow, Pamala Wright, about writing five new chapters, a new beginning, and re-imagining the original coffee table book.  “It intrigued me, and I was up for the challenge,” proclaims Bego.

According to Mark, “The five political campaigns that I have written about for this book have undoubtedly been the most dramatic ones ever mounted. And, the best part of this assignment is the fact that the book does not take political sides.  It is all about the memorabilia that is created for a presidential campaign, not the politics of it.  You can be a Republican, an Independent, or a Democrat, and still find everything in this book to be fascinating and of historical significance.”

“In my mind, a political rally can unfold the same way as a rock concert,” says Bego. “People can walk away from such an event with a Donald Trump ‘MAGA’ hat, or an ‘I’m With Hillary’ bumper sticker, or any number of catchy marketing items.  While I have spent my time collecting PEZ dispensers, and memorabilia on The Supremes and The Beatles, the original author of this book—Jordan M. Wright—was busy collecting political campaign items from George Washington in the 1780’s, up to George W. Bush in the 2000’s.  It is basically the same act, just a different arena.”

This new and fully updated version of the lavishly illustrated book “Campaigning For President,” with all new Bego material, is due to be released on June 4 from Yorkshire Publishing.  It represents Mark’s 69th published book.

Bego explains, “There is flattering memorabilia in this book about every candidate, and there are also some unflattering memorabilia about many of them too.  My task here is to present both sides of the coins, and to view the items in this book for their cleverness, their bitchiness, their ideals, their humor, and—ultimately—their effectiveness in the political outcome.”

Mark Bego’s next literary effort will undoubtedly return him to his musical wheelhouse. “I have several titles in my head; and in fact, have already begun writing one of them,” confirms the author.

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Book Reviews

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Four Award-Winning Musical Theatre Writers Who Turned to Writing Books

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“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents”, is  filmed live every Wednesday from 5 – 6 in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience.

In this episode T2C’s publisher and owner Suzanna Bowling talks with Douglas J Cohen, Stephen Cole ,Alison Louise Hubbard and David Spencer, musical theatre writers, who all have books out.

We are so proud because the show and our guests are now featured on the TV screens in the lobby and the hotel rooms.

I am so grateful to my guests Douglas J Cohen How To Survive A Killer Musical: Agony and Ecstasy on the Road to Broadway, Stephen Cole Mary & Ethel… and Mikey Who?, Alison Louise Hubbard The Kelsey Outrage, The Crime of the Century A historical true crime novel and David Spencer The Novelizers: An Affectionate History of Media Adaptations and Originals, Their Astonishing Authors—and the Art of the Craft

Thank-you Magda Katz for videoing and creating the content to go live, the audience who showed up to support us, Rommel Gopez and The Hotel Edison for their kindness and hospitality.

You can catch us on the following platforms:

Pandora:

https://www.pandora.com/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/PC:1001084740

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/show/1084740

Spotify:

Amazon:

https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/e3ac5922-ada8-4868-b531-12d06e0576d3

Apple Podcasts:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/id1731059092

We hope to see you there on April 24th. We will be announcing our guests tomorrow.

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Book Reviews

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Four Award-Winning Musical Theatre Writers Who Turned to Writing Books

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I am so pleased to announce our guest for next Wednesday’s show on April 17th are four award-winning musical theatre writers who turned to writing books.

For a veteran musical theatre dramatist, getting a new musical on is rarely easy, even at the healthiest of times. But when a pandemic stops everything cold—and a restless creative spirit is driven to both keep writing and reach an audience—what can be done? Well, four musical dramatists independently decided to meet the challenge head on with the same answer: Write a book! But their creative paths to near- simultaneous publication would be as unique as the rave-reviewed books themselves. And when they realized that their musical theatre backgrounds cast them as an equally unique quartet…they decided to come full circle back to the theatre community …to tell that story…the story of how their incredible books came to be…which in its way is also a universal story; a story for our time. A story of taking stock, taking a deep breath, taking new steps…and turning the page. Here are our writers:

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David Spencer is an award-winning musical dramatist, author, critic and musical theatre teacher, whose work has been produced in the US, Canada and England. His most well-known credits as lyricist-librettist are two musicals in collaboration with composer Alan Menken: The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, based on the novel by Moredecai Richler (original cast album on Ghostlight Records) and Weird Romance (co-librettist: Alan Brennert; original cast album digital-on-demand from Columbia Masterworks). He made his professional debut writing the acclaimed colloquial English-language adaptation of La Bohème for the Public Theatre; and as composer-lyricist wrote scores and orchestrations for Theatreworks/USA’s young audience versions of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables (librettist-director for both: Rob Barron). His published books are The Musical Theatre Writer’s Survival Guide (Heinemann), the acting edition of Weird Romance (Samuel French)—and, pulpsmith proud, Passing Fancy, an original novel based on the TV series Alien Nation (PocketBooks). He recently completed a draft of his first straight play, Spirit Run (story by him and Jerry James).

David is an ex officio steering committee and faculty member of the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, where he taught for over 25 years, and has also taught at HB Studio, Workshop Studio Theater in New York; and Goldsmith’s College and BML in London.

His book is The Novelizers: An Affectionate History of Media Adaptations and Originals, Their Astonishing Authors—and the Art of the Craft

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 Stephen Cole is an award-winning musical theatre writer whose shows have been produced from New York City to London to the Middle East and Australia. His off-Broadway musical with Matthew Ward, After The Fair, was nominated for the Outer Critic’s Circle Award for Best Musical and was subsequently produced in London to great acclaim. The Night Of The Hunter won the prestigious Edward Kleban Award and was produced in New York City, Dallas, and San Francisco, where it was nominated for several Bay Area Theatre Awards. The award-winning 1998 concept CD features Ron Raines, Sally Mayes, and Dorothy Loudon. Saturday Night At Grossinger’s has had successful runs in Texas (starring Gavin MacLeod), Los Angeles, and Florida. Broadway legend Chita Rivera toured in Casper, and Hal Linden and Dee Hoty starred in the world premiere of his musical adaptation of Dodsworth. In 2005, Stephen was commissioned to write Aspire, the first American musical to premiere in the Middle East. This experience resulted in another musical about the creation of that show entitled The Road To Qatar!, produced to rave reviews and awards Off-Broadway, in London, and at the Edinburgh Festival, garnering a Best Musical nomination. Among his other produced shows are Rock Odyssey, which played to hundreds of thousands of kids for ten seasons of productions at the Adrienne Arscht Center in Miami, and Merman’s Apprentice, presented in concert at Birdland in New York City, followed by an all-star cast album on Jay Records, and an acclaimed premiere production in Sonoma, CA in 2019. Stephen’s latest critically acclaimed musical is Goin’ Hollywood. Stephen’s published books include That Book About That Girl and I Could Have Sung All Night, the Marni Nixon story, currently in development as a feature film from Amazon. Stephen has also written several published stories and his real-life friendships with Ethel Merman and Mary Martin resulted in this, his first novel. Visit www.stephencolewriter.org.