2007 Verve Awards

2006 Verve Awards

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Best Arts and Culture Blog Nominee

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Stage Addiction: LoveMusik Is Meant To Be Ironic, See...

The first of the major theatre awards, the Outer Critics Circle, announced their 2007 slate of nominees yesterday, giving us the first serious clues to this year's Tony Award race. Already there are some surprises. The overwhelming presence of Mary Poppins, which topped the nomination count with 11, should have The Pirate Queen, Curtains and LoveMusik quaking in their collective boots...with Spring Awakening, Grey Gardens and Legally Blonde near-locks for three of the four Best Musical slots, Poppins just went a long way towards closing out the category. Over among the dramas, the Outer Critics Circle kicked The Year of Magical Thinking to the curb, which seems like a sign of things to come for Joan Didion's elegant stage memoir. But the biggest surprises were in Best Revival, where both Kevin Spacey and his show, A Moon for the Misbegotten, were passed over. When stars like Spacey (and Julianne Moore) get skipped, you know they've got a big hill to climb. The Drama League Awards announce tomorrow, followed soon after by the Drama Desk Awards. Then we'll see where the cards lie. (And of course, ModFab's own exhaustive Tony Nomination Predictions will appear next week. Which will answer everything. Everything, I tell you!)

I do love a good bitchfight...especially when it involves the queen bitch of all mankind, producer Scott Rudin, and The New York Times. Rudin was incensed that the Times allows its readers to write their own reviews of plays on the NYT website. So he decided to quote one of the reader reviews in his ads for The Year of Magical Thinking...in the New York Post. Ha! Citizen journalism triumphs! (Well, not really, but it's still fun.)

The musical stage adaptation of Cry-Baby, John Waters' punk-rebel homage, is heating up with a workshop in NYC happening even as you read this sentence. If things go well, you can expect it on Broadway as a major awards contender in 2008.

Is it true that Broadway's new LoveMusik, starring Michael Cerveris and Donna Murphy, is planning a commercial run after it finishes up at the nonprofit MTC/Biltmore? I say: don't believe it for a minute. Once the critics get a look at this atrocious, overcooked mess (and see the audiences streaming out at intermission, never to return), transfer talk should end abruptly. (I'm more apt to believe the rumors about a transfer of Blackbird, to be honest.)

Rejoice, fans of naked boy wizards! The Daniel Raddcliffe nude scenes in Equus are closing up shop in London, but will come stateside next summer (2008) for a Broadway run. Even better news: he'll be legal by then! Rowr!

Could there possibly be a better cast for the movie version of Doubt than Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman? Pray that, for the role of the young nun, they don't muck it up by casting someone ridiculous like Lindsay Lohan or Amanda Bynes. Streep and Hoffman...potentially one of the great matchups in movie history.

It's coming. The $300 Broadway ticket. And when it gets here (soon)...it'll be perfectly legal. Yes, we'll be eliminating scalpers, which is a great thing. Sadly, the theatres will now do it themselves, although they claim otherwise.

Are you an overly hormonal triple-threat between the ages of 16 and 21, who would love to masturbate and/or show your bottom on stage while singing alt-rock tunes at the top of your lungs? Then the open call for Spring Awakening is for you!

In an unexpected spasm of political awareness, the nonprofit behemoths Manhattan Theatre Club and Roundabout Theatre Company each announced yesterday challenging works that will join their next season. At MTC, it's a long-overdue revival of Caryl Churchill's Top Girls, a masterpiece of the avant-garde; over at Roundabout, they'll counter with J.T. Rogers' new play, The Overwhelming, about a family caught up in the Rwandan genocide. This, from the houses that gave us Losing Louie and The Foreigner? I'm going to lower my skeptically-raised eyebrow and hope for the best.

Xanadu seems to finally be getting its act together, putting tickets on sale finally (very late, but better late than never), opening their website, announcing an opening date, and putting out disconcerting radio spots. Listening to the sound clip, I can't say that my faith in leading lady Kerry Butler is stronger. Or in the show, for that matter.

In an effort to make sure there is no skanky, unshaven bisexual character in the entirety of world drama that he hasn't played, Alan Cumming will play Dionysus in The Bacchae in London in September. Fans of his work in Cabaret, Bent, Design For Living, The Threepenny Opera, Josie and the Pussycats, and Spy Kids 3-D should book their flights now.

Can the Broadway revival of Chicago sink any lower in their stunt casting? Usher was one thing, and Huey Lewis, John O'Hurley, and Harry Hamlin were just plain desperate. But casting Joey Lawrence is a crime against all that's holy and decent in the world.

  • Dreamgirls' Anika Noni Rose has a new gig...as a Frog Princess. Ribbit.
  • Still can't get tickets to Jersey Boys? Not to worry...its Tony-winning leading man John Lloyd Young just re-upped for another six months.
  • One of the best actors in the universe, Brian Murray, will lead the revival of Gaslight (the basis of the classic film of the same name) beginning May 9. Impossible to pass up.
  • Legally Blonde, in which the music is peppy and Reese Witherspoon is but a faint memory (April 29)

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