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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

 

Stage Addiction: Flying To Osage County On A Boeing-Boeing

Welcome back to the weekly installments of Stage Addiction (huzzah!). To ease us back into the world of all things uselessly Broadway-related, I thought I'd catch you up on everyone's favorite gossip-fueled game: The Tony Awards! Here's the early handicapping on the play categories; next week I'll hit up the musicals (including some surprise last-minute entries!) and performances soon after. And awaaaay we go...

CONTENDERS for BEST NEW PLAY
Patrick Barlow, The 39 Steps
Caryl Churchill, Top Girls
Conor McPherson, The Seafarer
Tracy Letts, August: Osage County
David Mamet, November
Theresa Rebeck, Mauritius
Aaron Sorkin, The Farnsworth Invention
George Stevens Jr., Thurgood
Tom Stoppard, Rock 'N' Roll
Mark Twain, Is He Dead?

Assuming that August: Osage County is already a foregone conclusion in this category, there are many questions that must be asked regarding the other nominations. Namely: How old can a play be and still be a Best New Play? 25 years, as in the case of the prostitute-friendly Top Girls? 110 years, for the unfunny farce Is He Dead? Who knows...the Tony eligibility committee has played coy on both cases, although I expect them to ultimately be lenient.

Perhaps a more important factor will be salability. Of all ten contenders, half of them are already closed (or will be by April 1st). And with the news that the popular 39 Steps will move to the Cort for a longer run, following a similar move by August, voters may feel pressure to honor plays that can still sell tickets. Of the closed shows, only Seafarer and Mauritius were good enough to be remembered by next June.

Furthermore, with only Thurgood and Top Girls still to preview, this category is clearer than most. At the moment, here's how I see it:

Front-Runners: August, November, 39 Steps
Dark Horses: Seafarer, Top Girls, Thurgood
Long Shots: Mauritius, Rock 'N' Roll

CONTENDERS for BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
Marc Camoletti, Boeing-Boeing
Christopher Hampton, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
William Inge, Come Back, Little Sheba
Terrence McNally, The Ritz
Clifford Odets, The Country Girl
Harold Pinter, The Homecoming
William Shakespeare, Cymbeline
William Shakespeare, Macbeth
George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion
John Van Druten, Old Acquaintance
Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Unlike the new plays, many of the most important players in this category have yet to be seen. Chief among them are the acclaimed British import Boeing-Boeing (with its all-star American cast), Mike Nichols' reinvention of The Country Girl (with its even starrier cast), and Roundabout's luxe Les Liaisons Dangereuses (with Laura Linney...Uno!). This is especially important, since the current revivals have been wobbly with critics (Cat, Sheba) or in attendance (Homecoming). Of the closed shows, last fall's Pygmalion, Cymbeline and The Ritz seems so far away...and Old Acquaintance barely memorable. This probably means that the only sure bet is Captain Jean-Luc Picard Macbeth, which will be able to capitalize on its packed run at B.A.M. with a perfectly-timed transfer to Broadway.

Front-Runners: Macbeth, Dangereuses, Country Girl, Boeing-Boeing
Dark Horses: Homecoming, Cat/Roof
Long Shots: Cymbeline

NEXT WEEK: THE MUSICALS

Other Addictions:
Dividing The Estate Transfers to Broadway Fall 2009

Just $25 Bucks For Tony Frontrunner Passing Strange
McAnuff To Lead Ontario Festival

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5 Comments:

Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

ModFab, Great handicapping on your part (speaking of which, I appreciate your shouldering such a burden, literally!)

On the plays, I'd bet on August: Osage County, The Seafarer, November and Rock 'N' Roll.

You may think, "Wait a minute SOB, what about The 39 Steps. Call me crazy, but I have this suspicion that Tony nominators will treat it as a revival, even though the comedy is "reviving" a serious film.

3/18/08, 10:39 AM  
Blogger will g said...

Rock 'N' Roll a long shot? REALLY? Just wondering what your reasoning was on that one.

3/18/08, 2:17 PM  
Blogger ModFab said...

Will, R'N'R suffers from a lot of obstacles: fatigue with Stoppard after COAST OF UTOPIA, its recent closure, and most importantly, its inability to impress audiences the way that, say, AUGUST has. I think it's still got a shot, but I don't think it's a gimme. Not yet, anyway.

3/18/08, 4:04 PM  
Blogger will g said...

I just think it would be radical if the season's "snob-appeal" centerpiece, even closed, wasn't nominated.

3/18/08, 8:07 PM  
Blogger Vance said...

Is Glory Days one of those last minute Musical entries? Sorry, probably should save it until next week but I'm so excited! Really loved the (imperfect) show!

Though what's happening with title of show? or 13?

As for the plays, November? really? I guess it's Mamet. He commands enough clout to be fawned over by the voters I guess...

3/19/08, 12:23 PM  

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