Connect with us

Broadway

Fat Ham Glitters Gloriously on Broadway

Published

on

Rising up from the dead, in a matter of speaking, after playing to acclaim at The Public Theatre downtown, playwright James Ijames’s Fat Ham has opened on Broadway and that is a just cause for a glitter ball celebration. This smart and sly backyard BBQ reformation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet is not simple in any way, shape, or form. It’s breathtakingly brilliant and funny; not a reassignment at all like that brilliantly orchestrated Death of a Salesman that also opened on Broadway this season. That revival wisely and wonderfully uncovered that classic play from a new vantage point, that of the Black Man’s experience inside a twisted American Dream. It shifted its view, elevating and expanding Miller’s vision exponentially while staying firmly rooted in the actual text. This “revenge is mad hard” restructuring that is Fat Ham takes on the abstract beams of structure in an equally brilliant way, but replants and reforms the ideas exponentially, baking in the various juices of a whole new sauce in a manner that is absolutely delicious.

Strongly and intuitively directed with style by Saheem Ali (LCT’s The Rolling Stone), Fat Ham wants to unpack some very modern ideas around toxic masculinity and gender stereotypes, peppered with the life experiences of being a Black queer man who doesn’t and doesn’t always want to live up to the expectations of his paternal role models. As a Juicy Hamlet, Marcel Spears (CSC’s Othello), with a wise wink and an eye-roll, finds himself orchestrating and organizing a backyard BBQ all in order to celebrate his mother’s far-too-quick wedding to his father’s brother, after his problematic father’s untimely death in jail. Juicy isn’t exactly mourning the man who is his father as he hangs up backyard lights to create a festive mood, as Pap wasn’t exactly a good man to the “soft” Juicy. But the idea that his mother, Tedra, portrayed enthusiastically by Nikki Crawford (Woolly Mammoth’s Fairview), has exchanged one bad man for another, his uncle, Rev, brutally portrayed by the wonderful Billy Eugene Jones (Shakespeare in the Park’s Much Ado About Nothing), stings the gentle conflicted soul of Juicy in a way that almost stuffs him into passivity.

(L to R): Nikki Crawford, Billy Eugene Jones, Benja Kay Thomas, Marcel Spears, Adrianna Mitchell, and Calvin Leon Smith in Broadway’s Fat Ham. Photo by Joan Marcus.

All of this Shakespearian drama rings true and clear, but what Ijames (Kill Move Paradise) has done with this brilliantly crafted play is to take those cornerstones of tragedy and angst, and elevate them up above the split-level Black man’s suburban experience, and infuse it all with the aroma of hilarity and wise wit. It’s a complex layering that unleashes so much flavor around being queer, Black, and soft in modern-day America that’s it’s almost too tasty to digest simply. The third eye is opened, and the fourth wall is shattered, time and time again, as the party celebrating the nuptials is darkened and enlightened by the ghostly return of Pap, also dynamically portrayed by Jones. Tio, ridiculously well played by the brilliant Chris Herbie Holland (Berkeley Rep’s White Noise), is the first to see the return of Pap, as he watches over the suburban castle walls like the good friend he is. But he’s not the last.

But unlike the long-winded Hamlet, we don’t have to hold our collective breath too long for the ghost of Pap to reemerge, most wonderfully, from a festive pile of decorations, thanks to some fine illusions work done by Skylar Fox (Broadway’s Harry Potter…). He pops up in a cloud of BBQ smoke, tasking his son with the avenging of his death. In what is a beautifully witty twist of the writing pen, Juicy is by no means a prince, but he is heir to the barbecue and butcher business throne that Uncle Rev will now take over, since Juicy seems disinterested, and more aligned with getting an online degree in human resources. He’s not the knife-wielding type that takes joy in the slaughtering of pigs, let alone the murder of his Uncle, even if that ghostly presence convinces Juicy that Rev is the one responsible for his death. The revenge murder, Juicy tells himself, is his chance to prove something; to his father, his uncle, his mother, and to himself, that he is more than the “weak” and “soft” queer man they see and look down upon. He is much more, but only if he can muster up the anger and energy to do the deed set out before him.

(L to R, clockwise): Calvin Leon Smith, Nikki Crawford, Billy Eugene Jones, Benja Kay Thomas, Adrianna Mitchell, and Marcel Spears in Broadway’s Fat Ham. Photo by Joan Marcus.

We feel his emotional discomfort and anger, layered on by a lifetime of abuse, trauma, and betrayal by a family that is baked in some pretty dysfunctional agendas. But Ijames has found his way to navigate the dilemma with plenty of strong slices of comedy and smart asides directed straight out into the play’s adoring audience. We collectively get behind the tender soul of Juicy, seeing his struggle, yet wanting an outcome that brings punishment to the Uncle but somehow sidesteps all the deadly tragedy that Shakespeare found necessary. Yet we wonder if that is possible. Much like its cast of characters.

Other guests arrive, as we knew they would, bringing into focus the different Hamletlayers, while also holding our hearts close to who might be the doomed Ophelia in this formulation (I must admit I held my breath at one point wondering and hoping that a brutal tragedy was about to take on another death). The family friend by the name of Rabby, beautifully played by Benja Kay Thomas (ATC’s Halfway Bitches…) stomps her way in, taking up as much space and air as her big Mama hat, thanks to the smart costuming by Dominique Fawn Hill (Portland Center Stage’s Rent). Pulled along, she brings her two children; the rebellious Opal, deliciously portrayed by Adrianna Mitchell (NYTW’s runboyrun), and the dutiful, uniformed Larry, dynamically played by Calvin Leon Smith (Amazon’s “The Underground Railroad“), who fill out the roster on more levels than one could imagine. Their connections to Juicy are brilliantly nuanced; becoming the sauce that makes this meal utterly delicious and textured. The pack unpacks the complex ideas of generational trauma, the emotional costs connected to internalized shame, and the pain behind hiding one’s true authentic self. These three, plus the wonderful return of Tio, unearth chaos and tender connection in abundance, bringing this piece of meat forward beyond any expectations that one could have when walking into this 2022 Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

Adrianna Mitchell and Benja Kay Thomas in Broadway’s Fat Ham. Photo by Joan Marcus.

With lines and passages from Shakespeare’s Hamlet snuck in most beautifully, spoken directly into a karaoke microphone after a game of charades, aimed to illicit a guilty reaction from the Rev, Fat Ham finds its way through all the nods to the great play, while avoiding all the landmines planted in the backyard. It invites complete compassion for the young and bullied Juicy, as he does an internalized battle against his father’s brutality, his Uncle’s savage bullying, and his mother’s beautiful inability to both find security in her own life while protecting her son from the birthright of violence that lives in their pseudo-royal butchering bloodline. Juicy must find his own way through, living up to his own morality and all that inherited trauma that makes it all so difficult. Even as he makes mistakes along the way the cause pain in his world of love.

Flavored with the perfect lyrical blending of humor and authenticity, Fat Ham and its cast deliver forth a meal that is miraculously delicious. On a perfectly thought-out set designed by Maruti Evans (LCT’s At the Wedding) with a devilishly good lighting design by Bradley King (Broadway’s Hadestown) and a solid sound design by Mikaal Sulaiman (Broadway’s Cost of Living), the play brings Hamlet to the party and lets its Shakespearian framework soar as high as Tio’s brilliant storytelling. It serves us hilarity and humanity in abundance, while never losing sight of its strong message about the Juicy strength of what it means to embrace who we truly are. So now let us all rejoice in the party that has been uniformly hidden, and fire forth the glitter in celebration of all that is inside Fat Ham.

Adrianna Mitchell, Chris Herbie Holland, and Marcel Spears in Broadway’s Fat Ham. Photo by Joan Marcus.

For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

My love for theater started when I first got involved in high school plays and children's theatre in London, Ontario, which led me—much to my mother’s chagrin—to study set design, directing, and arts administration at York University in Toronto. But rather than pursuing theater as a career (I did produce and design a wee bit), I became a self-proclaimed theater junkie and life-long supporter. I am not a writer by trade, but I hope to share my views and feelings about this amazing experience we are so lucky to be able to see here in NYC, and in my many trips to London, Enlgand, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and beyond. Living in London, England from 1985 to 1986, NYC since 1994, and on my numerous theatrical obsessive trips to England, I've seen as much theater as I can possibly afford. I love seeing plays. I love seeing musicals. If I had to choose between a song or a dance, I'd always pick the song. Dance—especially ballet—is pretty and all, but it doesn’t excite me as, say, Sondheim lyrics. But that being said, the dancing in West Side Story is incredible! As it seems you all love a good list, here's two. FAVORITE MUSICALS (in no particular order): Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris in 2005. By far, my most favorite theatrical experience to date. Sunday in the Park with George with Jenna Russell (who made me sob hysterically each and every one of the three times I saw that production in England and here in NYC) in 2008 Spring Awakening with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele in 2007 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (both off-Boadway in 1998 and on Broadway in 2014, with Neal Patrick Harris, but also with Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell, my first Hedwig and my last...so far), Next To Normal with Alice Ripley (who I wish I had seen in Side Show) in 2009 FAVORITE PLAYS (that’s more difficult—there have been so many and they are all so different): Angels in American, both on Broadway and off Lettice and Lovage with Dame Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack in 1987 Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in 2012 Almost everything by Alan Ayckbourn, but especially Woman in Mind with Julia McKenzie in 1986 And to round out the five, maybe Proof with Mary Louise Parker in 2000. But ask me on a different day, and I might give you a different list. These are only ten theatre moments that I will remember for years to come, until I don’t have a memory anymore. There are many more that I didn't or couldn't remember, and I hope a tremendous number more to come. Thanks for reading. And remember: read, like, share, retweet, enjoy. For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

Broadway

And The Winners Of The 77th Tony Awards Are: The Outsiders, Merrily We Roll Along, Stereophonic and Appropriate

Published

on

Hillary Clinton did show and the Tony’s gave her a standing ovation, but against all odds the best musical of the year The Outsiders won. I have never been so happy to be wrong in my predictions as The Outsiders was my favorite show this year. I am so proud of this industry for honoring this amazing production.

Merrily We Roll Along, Stereophonic, Sarah Paulson, Appropriate, Maleah Joi Moon and so many other predicted choices took home the coveted award.

Ariana DeBose hosted the night, where the surprises were Jeremy Strong, Danya Taymor for The Outsiders, Kecia Lewis for Hell’s Kitchen.…yeah! 

The playbill for the night and the 77th Tony Awards, had speeches that were powerful. Especially in Act One. The theatre before the event.

In the show a tribute to Chita Rivera, Chita you will be missed.

Here is the list of the winning shows and performers:

BEST MUSICAL: The Outsiders

Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff, and Lindsay Mendez in NYTW’s Merrily We Roll Along. Photo: Joan Marcus.

BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL: *Merrily We Roll Along

BEST ACTRESS (MUSICAL): *Maleah Joi Moon, Hell’s Kitchen

BEST ACTOR (MUSICAL): *Jonathan Groff, Merrily We Roll Along. 

BEST FEATURED ACTRESS (MUSICAL):***Kecia Lewis — Hell’s Kitchen

BEST FEATURED ACTOR (MUSICAL): *Daniel Radcliffe, Merrily We Roll Along

BEST DIRECTOR (MUSICAL): ***Danya Taymor — The Outsiders. This win gives me such hope as Danya Taymor directs with heart. Her directorial performance in Jonah also was a tour de force. Taymor makes you feel.

BEST BOOK Of A MUSICAL: *Shaina Taub for Suffs

BEST MUSICAL SCORE: * Shaina Taub for Suffs

BEST ORCHESTRATIONS: *Jonathan Tunick, Merrily We Roll Along

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY: *Justin Peck, IIinoise

SCENIC DESIGN (MUSICAL): Tom Scutt — Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

COSTUME DESIGN (MUSICAL): *Linda Cho, The Great Gatsby 

LIGHTING DESIGN (MUSICAL): ***Brian MacDevitt and Hana S. Kim — The Outsiders

SOUND DESIGN (MUSICAL): ***Cody Spencer — The Outsiders

PLAYS

Tom Pecinka and Sarah Pidgeon Photo by Julieta Cervantes

BEST PLAY: * Stereophonic

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

BEST PLAY REVIVAL: *Appropriate 

BEST ACTRESS (PLAY): *Sarah Paulson, Appropriate

BEST ACTOR (PLAY): Jeremy Strong — An Enemy of the People

BEST FEATURED ACTRESS (PLAY): *Kara Young, Purlie Victorious

BEST FEATURED ACTOR (PLAY): **Will Brill, Stereophonic. Thrilled for this win. One of my favorite performances of the year.

BEST DIRECTOR (PLAY): *Daniel Aukin, Stereophonic

BEST SCENIC DESIGN (PLAY): David Zinn, Stereophonic

BEST COSTUME DESIGN (PLAY): *Dede Ayite, Jaja’s African Hair Braiding 

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN (PLAY): Jane Cox — Appropriate

BEST SOUND DESIGN (PLAY): *Ryan Rumery, Stereophonic

Audra McDonald

Given special awards were: The Wilma Theatre Outstanding Regional Theatre,

lifetime Achievement to George C. Wolfe, Excellence in Theatre Education to CJay Philip

Harvey Fierstien

lifetime Achievement to Jack O’Brien

Brian Stokes Mitchell and Billy Porter

Isabelle Stevenson Award Billy Porter

*our prediction to win.

** our prediction to what should win

*** our prediction for Best but we did not think would win

Continue Reading

Broadway

James Monroe Iglehart At The Drama Desk and A Rap For A Wonderful World: The Louis Armstrong Musical

Published

on

T2C was at the Drama Desk Awards and talked to our friend James Monroe Iglehart. Years ago I learned that James could make up raps instantaneously, so I had him do one at the Hamilton opening night for Lin Manuel Miranda. Since James is opening up in October in A Wonderful World: The Louis Armstrong Musical, I ask him to do a rap to plug his show. This is the result.

James’s new musical is about the life and loves of Louis Armstrong and Tony Award® winner James Monroe Iglehart is the legendary American icon. A Wonderful World charts Armstrong’s incredible journey from the birth of jazz in his native New Orleans through his international stardom. It features beloved songs recorded and made popular by Armstrong, including favorites like “What a Wonderful World” and “When You’re Smiling,” among many other standard favorites.

The show is conceived by Tony Award® nominee and Drama Desk Award winner Christopher Renshaw (Broadway’s The King and I, Taboo), and novelist Andrew Delaplaine. Book by Aurin Squire (“This is Us,” “The Good Fight”). Directed by Renshaw, with choreography by Rickey Tripp (Associate Choreographer for Broadway’s Hell’s Kitchen, Once on This Island, and Choir Boy). Featuring classic songs from Armstrong’s catalogue.

We look forward to seeing James and this new musical.

Continue Reading

Broadway

Who Should/Will/Did Win a 2024 Tony Award? Predictions and Actual Winners.

Published

on

By

Here’s my list of who I think will win, who I think should win, and who ended up winning on June 11th, Tony night, as I like to call it. There are a number of obvious choices, but a few races that are difficult to call. Like the Jessica Vs Sarah American Horror alumn battle, or the emotional contest of Best New Musical. Here are mine.

Below is the full list of winners (🏆), my predictions (⭐️), who I think should win (👍), and all of the nominations:

Here goes nothing.

⭐️= Who I think Will Win

👍= Who I Think Should Win

🏆= Who Did in the End Win (stay tuned Sunday, June 11th, 2023 from the United Palace Theatre in NYC)

Best Book of a Musical

Hell’s Kitchen – Kristoffer Diaz

The Notebook – Bekah Brunstetter

The Outsiders– Adam Rapp and Justin Levine

👍 ⭐️ Suffs – Shaina Taub

Water for Elephants – Rick Elice

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

Days of Wine and Roses – Music & Lyrics: Adam Guettel

Here Lies Love – Music: David Byrne and Fatboy Slim – Lyrics: David Byrne

👍 The Outsiders – Music & Lyrics: Jamestown Revival (Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance) and Justin Levine

Stereophonic – Music & Lyrics: Will Butler

⭐️ Suffs – Music & Lyrics: Shaina Taub

Jeremy Strong in An Enemy of the People – Photo by Emilio Madrid.

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

William Jackson Harper, Uncle Vanya
Leslie Odom, Jr., Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch
Liev Schreiber, Doubt: A Parable
👍 ⭐️ Jeremy Strong, An Enemy of the People
Michael Stuhlbarg, Patriots

This is a hard one, but I’m leaning on the overall effect of the riveting An Enemy of the People leading Strong to a Tony victory. Stuhlbarg was excellent in the lesser excellent Patriots. Odom and Harper are two good actors who I believe underperformed, and I’m hoping their star-power doesn’t push them over the winning line.

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

Betsy Aidem, Prayer for the French Republic
Jessica Lange, Mother Play
Rachel McAdams, Mary Jane
👍 ⭐️ Sarah Paulson, Appropriate
Amy Ryan, Doubt: A Parable

Although everyone here excelled, particularly Aidem and Ryan, I do believe Paulson delivered something more profound and detailed than Lange, probably because the play gave her so many more complex opportunities which she gobbled up fantastically for our pleasure.

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

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

Brody Grant, The Outsiders
👍 ⭐️ Jonathan Groff, Merrily We Roll Along
Dorian Harewood, The Notebook
Brian d’Arcy James, Days of Wine and Roses
Eddie Redmayne, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

No shocker here. This is Groff’s moment, even though I loved Grant and Redmayne in their lesser received shows. James was also good, vocally, in a musical that I just didn’t connect to, so I wasn’t as connected to him or his performance. The same can be said of O’Hara. I just didn’t care, even within the dramatic ending.

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

👍 Eden Espinosa, Lempicka
⭐️ Maleah Joi Moon, Hell’s Kitchen
Kelli O’Hara, Days of Wine and Roses
👍 Maryann Plunkett, The Notebook
Gayle Rankin, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

I think the new kid on the block might take home the prize, although I would not be disappointed if either Espinosa or Plunkett jumped to the front of the Hell’s Kitchen train.

Eden Espinosa in Lempicka. Photo: MATTHEW MURPHY AND EVAN ZIMMERMAN

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

👍 Will Brill, Stereophonic
⭐️ Eli Gelb, Stereophonic
Jim Parsons, Mother Play
Tom Pecinka, Stereophonic
Corey Stoll, Appropriate

Such a hard call, but I fully believe that, as in many categories including this one, it will be a winning Stereophonic night. Some say Stoll might snatch it up, but I’d be very surprised.

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

Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Doubt: A Parable
👍 Juliana Canfield, Stereophonic
Celia Keenan-Bolger, Mother Play
👍 Sarah Pidgeon, Stereophonic
⭐️ Kara Young, Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch

Gosh. Young was, for me, by far the best thing in this revival elevating it spectacularly leaving everyone, including the bland Odem, Jr. At the bottom of the hill.

Leslie Odom, Jr. and Kara Young in PURLIE VICTORIOUS – Photo by Marc J. Franklin.

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

Roger Bart, Back To The Future: The Musical
👍 Joshua Boone, The Outsiders
Brandon Victor Dixon, Hell’s Kitchen
Sky Lakota-Lynch, The Outsiders
👍 ⭐️ Daniel Radcliffe, Merrily We Roll Along
Steven Skybell, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

I’ll be cheering for Radcliffe when he wins the Tony for his performance in this stellar production, but I did love The Outsiders maybe more than most, and Boone really gave the new musical its solid emotional heart.

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

Shoshana Bean, Hell’s Kitchen
Amber Iman, Lempicka
Nikki M. James, Suffs
Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer, Monty Python’s Spamalot
👍 ⭐️ Kecia Lewis, Hell’s Kitchen
Lindsay Mendez, Merrily We Roll Along
👍 Bebe Neuwirth, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

What an amazing group, and I’d really be happy anyway this one went, but Neuwirth feels so damn perfect in the part, and Lewis made me cry, so there’s that….

Steven Skybell and Bebe Neuwirth in CABARET at the Kit Kat Club at the August Wilson Theatre. Photo by Marc Brenner.

Best Scenic Design of a Play

dots, Appropriate
dots, An Enemy of the People
Derek McLane, Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch
David Zinn, Jaja’s African Hair Braiding
👍 ⭐️ David Zinn, Stereophonic

Conrad Ricamora (Ninoy Aquino – left), Arielle Jacobs (Imelda Marcos – right), and the cast of Here Lies Love in the Broadway Theatre.
Photo Credit: Billy Bustamante, Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman (2023)

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

AMP featuring Tatiana Kahvegian, The Outsiders
Robert Brill and Peter Nigrini, Hell’s Kitchen
Takeshi Kata, Water for Elephants
David Korins, Here Lies Love
Riccardo Hernández and Peter Nigrini, Lempicka
Tim Hatley and Finn Ross, Back To The Future: The Musical
👍 ⭐️ Tom Scutt, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Best Costume Design of a Play

Dede Ayite, Appropriate
⭐️ Dede Ayite, Jaja’s African Hair Braiding
👍 Enver Chakartash, Stereophonic
Emilio Sosa, Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch
David Zinn, An Enemy of the People


Eddie Redmayne (center) and the cast of CABARET at the Kit Kat Club at the August Wilson Theatre. Photo by Marc Brenner.

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Dede Ayite, Hell’s Kitchen
Linda Cho, The Great Gatsby
David Israel Reynoso, Water for Elephants
👍 Tom Scutt, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club
⭐️ Paul Tazewell, Suffs

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Isabella Byrd, An Enemy of the People
Amith Chandrashaker, Prayer for the French Republic
👍 ⭐️ Jiyoun Chang, Stereophonic
Jane Cox, Appropriate
👍 Natasha Katz, Grey House

The cast of The Outsiders. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Brandon Stirling Baker, Illinoise
⭐️ Isabella Byrd, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club
Natasha Katz, Hell’s Kitchen
Bradley King and David Bengali, Water for Elephants
👍 Brian MacDevitt and Hana S. Kim, The Outsiders

Best Sound Design of a Play

Justin Ellington and Stefania Bulbarella, Jaja’s African Hair Braiding
Leah Gelpe, Mary Jane
Tom Gibbons, Grey House
Bray Poor and Will Pickens, Appropriate
👍 ⭐️ Ryan Rumery, Stereophonic

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

Best Sound Design of a Musical

M.L. Dogg and Cody Spencer, Here Lies Love
👍 Kai Harada, Merrily We Roll Along
Nick Lidster for Autograph, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club
⭐️ Gareth Owen, Hell’s Kitchen
Cody Spencer, The Outsiders

Best Direction of a Play

👍 ⭐️ Daniel Aukin, Stereophonic
Anne Kauffman, Mary Jane
Kenny Leon, Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch
Lila Neugebauer, Appropriate
Whitney White, Jaja’s African Hair Braiding

Gabriel Olivera de Paula Costa and Wade McCollum in WATER FOR ELEPHANTS – Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Best Direction of a Musical

👍 ⭐️ Maria Friedman, Merrily We Roll Along
Michael Greif, Hell’s Kitchen
Leigh Silverman, Suffs
👍 Jessica Stone, Water for Elephants
Danya Taymor, The Outsiders

Friedman, in a way, did the impossible with this formerly problematic musical so her win is well deserved. But Stone also delivered a spectacular worthy of the Water for Elephants story it told.

Best Choreography

Annie-B Parson, Here Lies Love
Camille A. Brown, Hell’s Kitchen
👍 Rick Kuperman and Jeff Kuperman, The Outsiders
⭐️ Justin Peck, Illinoise
Jesse Robb and Shana Carroll, Water for Elephants

Ricky Ubeda and Ben Cook of Broadway’s Illinoise. Photo by Liz Lauren.

Best Orchestrations

Timo Andres, Illinoise
👍 Will Butler and Justin Craig, Stereophonic
Justin Levine, Matt Hinkley and Jamestown Revival (Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance), The Outsiders
Tom Kitt and Adam Blackstone, Hell’s Kitchen
⭐️ Jonathan Tunick, Merrily We Roll Along

Best Play

Jaja’s African Hair Braiding – Author: Jocelyn Bioh

Mary Jane – Author: Amy Herzog

Mother Play – Author: Paula Vogel

Prayer for the French Republic – Author: Joshua Harmon

👍 ⭐️ Stereophonic – Author: David Adjmi

No contest. Really. And that’s no slight to the other wonderfully written plays in this group.

Kecia Lewis and Maleah Joi Moon in Hell’s Kitchen on Broadway. Photo by Marc J. Franklin.

Best Musical

⭐️ Hell’s Kitchen

Illinoise

👍 The Outsiders

Suffs

👍 Water for Elephants

This is a hard call cause none of them are perfect yet all deliver something pretty special. And unique. I loved The Outsiders, more than I imagined I would. Its heart beats the strongest for me, but I think Keys will triumph for expanding the genre and the audience up so many floors.

Natalie Gold, Alyssa Emily Marvin, Michael Esper, Sarah Paulson, and Corey Stoll in 2ST’s Appropriate. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Best Revival of a Play

⭐️ Appropriate – Author: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

👍 An Enemy of the People – Author: Amy Herzog

Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch

An Enemy of the People is solid and as strong as its Strong star, but Appropriatedelivers in so many unexpected ways it’s impossible not to be taken in completely, laughing in its uncomfortableness and its tense emotional turmoil.

Best Revival of a Musical

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Gutenberg! The Musical!

👍 ⭐️ Merrily We Roll Along

The Who’s Tommy

Another no-contest win. But I also loved Cabaret far more than your average critic. And I’m still a little surprised by that.

Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff, and Natalie Wachen in Merrily We Roll Along. Photo by Mathew Murphy.

Continue Reading

Broadway

Tony Predictions: What Will Win, What Should Win and What Should Have Been Nominated

Published

on

Stereophonic, Illinoise, Sarah Paulson in Appropriate, and Jessica Lange in Mother Play, Julieta Cervantes; Matthew Murphy; Belasco Theatre; 2ndStage

There were 36 productions that included musicals, plays, and revivals, opening on Broadway this season. On Sunday the coveted statues will be given out at the 77th annual Tony Awards. Here is T2C’s predictions of what and who will win, what should win and what whould have been nominated.

BEST MUSICAL

What will win: Suffs, because Hillary Clinton is a producer and New York is a fan.

What Should Win: Hell’s Kitchen. This show shows New York in a fabulous light, unlike New York, New York of last year. Also Alicia Keys music will bring in a younger audience which will help Broadway survive.

What Should Have Been Nominated: Heart of Rock and Roll. This heartfelt musical was ignored by the critics, but is beloved by those who see it.

BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL

What will win, what should win: Merrily We Roll Along Hands down this is the chosen piece.

BEST ACTRESS (MUSICAL)

What will win, what should win: Maleah Joi Moon, They are going to want to honor Hell’s Kitchen and this is how they will do it.

BEST ACTOR (MUSICAL)
Who will win: Jonathan Groff, Merrily We Roll Along. Merrily is going to take every award it is nominated for.

Who Should Win: Brian d’Arcy James, Days of Wine and Roses. Brian has deserved this honor and his performance was layered and heartbreaking.

BEST FEATURED ACTRESS (MUSICAL)

Who will win: Lindsay Mendez, Merrily We Roll Along. Merrily is going to take every award it is nominated for.

Who Should Win: Bebe Neuwirth, Cabaret. It is a spectacular performance and Bebe has given a great deal to theatre.

BEST FEATURED ACTOR (MUSICAL)

Who will win: Daniel Radcliffe, Merrily We Roll Along. Merrily is going to take every award it is nominated for.

Who Should Have Been Nominated:George Abud in Lempika and Paul Alexander Nolan Water for Elephants. Mr Nolan’s performance was my favorite of the season.

BEST DIRECTOR (MUSICAL)

Who will win: Maria Friedman, Merrily We Roll Along. Merrily is going to take every award it is nominated for.

Who Should Win: Jessica Stone, Water for Elephants. Her direction was like looking at slides from a view master.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

What will win: Shaina Taub for Suffs. She is the darling of Broadway.

Who Should Win and should have been nominated: Music by Matt Gould, lyrics by Carson Kreitzer, for Lempicka. This was an exciting score and had songs that will last.

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Music by Barry Manilow and lyrics by Bruce Sussman for Harmony. This score is a classic and was ripped off.

BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL

What will win: Suffs

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Harmony

BEST ORCHESTRATIONS

What will win: Jonathan Tunick, Merrily We Roll Along

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Music orchestrated by Cian McCarthy; Music arranged by Remy Kurs for Lempicka

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

What will win: Justin Peck, IIinoise. This is a dance show so they will honor it.

Who should win: Rick and Jeff Kuperman, The Outsiders. The Kuperman’s have their cast flying and soaring and it is spectacular.

Who should have been nominated: Lorin Latarro  Heart Of Rock and Roll. Dancing on bubble wrap and cardboard is inventive and should have been reconized.

SCENIC DESIGN (MUSICAL)

What will win: David Korins, Here Lies Love 

Who Should Have Been Nominated: Paul Tate dePoo III, The Great Gatsby 

COSTUME DESIGN (MUSICAL)

Who will and should win: Linda Cho, The Great Gatsby 

LIGHTING DESIGN (MUSICAL)

What will win: Bradley King and David Bengali, Water for Elephants

SOUND DESIGN (MUSICAL)

What will win: Kai Harada, Merrily We Roll Along 

PLAYS

BEST PLAY

What will win: Stereophonic. It is the darling of the critics.

Who Should Win: Prayer for the French Republic. This play was so brilliantly done, but with the Pro-Palestinian conflict this show is being dismissed by the voters.

BEST PLAY REVIVAL
What will win: Appropriate 

BEST ACTRESS (PLAY)
Who will win: Sarah Paulson, Appropriate and Jessica Lange, Mother Play. This should be a tie, but if they give the award to one person it will go to Sarah Paulson

BEST ACTOR (PLAY)
Who Will Win: Leslie Odom Jr., Purlie Victorious

Who Should Win: Michael Stuhlbarg, Patriots

BEST FEATURED ACTRESS (PLAY)

Who will win: Kara Young, Purlie Victorious

Who Should Win: Celia Keenan-Bolger, Mother Play

BEST FEATURED ACTOR (PLAY)

Who will win: Corey Stoll, Appropriate

Who Should Win: Will Brill, Stereophonic, but the nominees will cancel each other out. This was one of the best performances of the year.

BEST DIRECTOR (PLAY)

Who will win: Daniel Aukin, Stereophonic

BEST SCENIC DESIGN (PLAY)

What will win: dots, Appropriate 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN (PLAY)

What will win: Dede Ayite, Jaja’s African Hair Braiding 

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN (PLAY)

What will win: Jiyoun Chang, Stereophonic 

BEST SOUND DESIGN (PLAY)

Who will win: Ryan Rumery, Stereophonic

Continue Reading

Broadway

The  78th Annual Theatre World Awards And You Are There

Published

on

The historic 78th Annual Theatre World Awards Ceremony was held on Monday evening, June 10, 2024 at the Marquis Theatre.

The event was hosted by well-known theater journalist, Peter Filichia.

Ali Louis Bourzgui

Winners of the 2024 Theatre World Awards were honored The Who’s Tommy‘s Ali Louis Bourzgui

 Oh, Mary!‘s Cole Escola

 The Outsiders‘ Brody Grant was given his award by Daphne Rubin Vega

Michael Imperioli and wife

 An Enemy of the People‘s Michael Imperioli

Phillip Johnson Richardson

The Wiz‘s Phillip Johnson Richardson

Nichelle Lewis

Nichelle Lewis, Phillip Johnson Richardson

and Nichelle Lewis

 Patriots‘ Will Keen

 Mary Jane‘s Rachel McAdams

Hell’s Kitchen‘s Maleah Joi Moon was given his award by Kristin Chenoweth

Casey Likes

Tom Pecinka

and Stereophonic‘s Tom Pecinka

Sarah Pidgeon

Sarah Pidgeon

Chris Stack.

and Chris Stack.

A.J. Shively

Also receiving honors were A.J. Shively, who has won the Dorothy Loudon Award for his work in Irish Rep’s Philadelphia, Here I Come

Len Cariou

Len Cariou, winning the John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement

Peter Filichia

and arts writer Peter Filichia, this year’s Special Award honoree.

There to honor them were

Maria Friedman

André De Shields

A great night was had by all.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2023 Times Square Chronicles

Times Square Chronicles