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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

 

Stage Addiction: Ben Brantley Can Just Suck It

- And I am telling you...I am completely going on opening day. Check out this link and try to keep from jumping for joy.

- Although he's playing Wolverine this weekend at a megaplex near you, Hugh Jackman is also planning for the workshop of the Broadway-bound musical Leap of Faith, based on the 1992 Steve Martin dramedy. Will this get in the way of his plan to star in the Pal Joey revival for director Joe Mantello? Is Hugh just going to stop doing movies and move to Broadway full time, and move into my apartment to be my love slave? Don't crush a girl's dream, people.

- Ben Brantley, chief theatre bitch/critic of the New York Times, is in a pisser of the mood. The cause? This season's Broadway musicals. The reason? They suck.

- Any show queen worth her salt is going to high-tail it to Philly next month for the long-awaited return of Bright Lights, Big City. The cast has been announced, and it includes...Orfeh? Really? Booming voice Orfeh? The Great American Trailer Park Musical Orfeh? She's got the biggest voice in the musical theatre, but I'm not sure she's right for the gritty world of drug addiction musicals. Call her when Showgirls: The Musical gets underway.

- Tony Award Presenter Watch: scheduled are Julia Roberts, Eric McCormack, Ralph Fiennes, Cynthia Nixon, Martin Short, Alfre Woodard and Anna Paquin with more to be announced. And yet...still no host. Paging Hugh Jackman, please pick up the white courtesy phone...

- Welcome to the Playwright's Corner, where good things happen to good people (and bad things happen to terrible plays). In the Good Things Department, Adam Rapp is moving up to his first major Off-Broadway venue with Essential Self-Defense, at Playwrights Horizons next spring. In the Terrible Play department...well, now we know why a Terrence McNally play would open out-of-town. Love. Valour. Depression.

- The last of the major precursor awards to the Tonys, the Drama Desks, were held Sunday...although chosen by a secret cabal of what are generally regarded to be bullshit artists, they nevertheless perked up the Tony races with some odd omissions. (No nods at ALL for Tony contenders like Faith Healer, Rabbit Hole, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Shining City, The Wedding Singer or The Color Purple.) As I said...bullshit artists. However...

- Drama Desk Awards, Plays: The History Boys was the big winner in the play categories, picking up trophies for Best Play, Richard Griffiths (Lead Actor), Samuel Barnett (Supporting Actor), Frances de la Tour (Supporting Actress), and Nicholas Hytner (Director). The also-rans: Awake and Sing! (Best Revival, Ensemble, Set Design), The Trip to Bountiful (Lois Smith, Lead Actress), Primo (Solo Performance), Christine Jorgensen Reveals (Unique Theatrical Event), and Stuff Happens (Ensemble).

- Drama Desk Awards, Musicals: In the musical categories, awards were spread further around. The big winner was The Drowsy Chaperone, which picked up seven awards including Best Musical, Supporting Actress (Beth Leavel), Original Score, Book, Lyrics, Set Design, and Costume Design. The only other shows to win multiples were Sweeney Todd (Best Musical Revival; John Doyle, Director; Orchestrations; Lighting Design) and Jersey Boys (John Lloyd Young, Lead Actor; Sound Design). One prize each went to Grey Gardens (Christine Ebersole, Lead Actress), The Threepenny Opera (Jim Dale, Supporting Actor), and The Pajama Game (Kathleen Marshall, Choreography).

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