Tuesday, June 15, 2010

JERRY HERMAN, DIVAPALOOZA, BOBBY BELFRY...AND MORE!

(JERRY HERMAN, pictured here with Producer/Director/Writer/Editor: Amber Edwards, WORDS AND MUSIC BY JERRY HERMAN)
Jerry Herman: Enjoying the Latest “La Cage” Ride (SOURCE: Deborah Behrens)

Three is Jerry Herman’s lucky number.

He the only composer/lyricist to have three shows play concurrently on Broadway as well as the only one for decades to have three runs of more than 1500 consecutive performances until Stephen Schwartz caught up in 2007.
Theatrical juggernauts Hello, Dolly! and Mame anchor both lists with Dear World briefly making it a menage a trois in 1969 and La Cage Aux Folles adding another pair of legs to the duos long distance team 14 years later.
Now the second Broadway revival of the show that made “I Am What I Am” a national gay anthem, starring Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge this time around as St. Tropez nightclub owner Georges and his drag queen partner Albin, is poised to put Herman in the history books again as the first composer/lyricist to win three Tony Awards for the same musical.
This production has already garnered four Outer Critics Circle Awards, three Drama Desk Awards and a Drama League Award for Best Musical Revival.


“I thought, I can’t expect any more from La Cage,” he acknowledges one morning in his Beverly Hills living room “It gave me my third show that ran over 1500 performances. It gave me two Tony Awards. And it gave me a new bunch of songs people are singing at bar mitzvahs and weddings and god knows where else. What more can there be, you know?
I thought that it had given me its all.”
Nominated for 11 Tony Awards, this third outing is not your father’s La Cage. Before crossing the pond to 48th Street, London’s Terry Johnson-helmed Menier Chocolate Factory production tossed out the high glam glitz of the 1983 original and stripped it down to its shabby drag club roots. Six Cagelles and the principal actors perform for an audience seated in a small theatre set up like a real club.
It won 2009 Olivier Awards for Best Musical Revival and Best Actor in a Musical for star Douglas Hodge. When producers Sonia Friedman and David Babani approached Herman two years prior with Johnson’s fresh conceit, he realized they had uncovered a new way to expand the life of the show.


“They didn’t want me to change anything,” he explains. “They didn’t want Harvey to change any dialogue. They just wanted our blessing to do it in this very scaled-down fashion so the audience actually feels like they’re coming into a little club and having that experience of being part of the show. Harvey and I were thrilled because we recognized how life-giving that was to our baby. There would now be new ways and new places to do it.
“Let’s face it, the original La Cage was expensive. I mean the Cagelles’ costumes used every sequin and bead in New York! They were magnificent but it was known as an expensive, heavy musical. And I loved every minute of it.”


Herman credits the London team with birthing the new La Cage concept completely on their own sans his input, which he admits was a new experience for him.
“The three of them were very instrumental in how this was done. They did it. I wasn’t there. I supervised the two returns of Carol Channing in Hello, Dolly! and I always have my hand in a Mack & Mabel production somewhere because I’m trying to get that into the perfect place. But I had nothing to do with it! So it was a real eye opener because neither Harvey or I were there to say ‘you can’t do that to this.’ We just let them go.”
While some health issues prevented Herman from seeing the London production, he attended opening night at the Longacre Theatre and saw how letting go transformed his show.
“Oddly enough my initial reaction was, this enhances my work more than the original,” he admits.
“It is so much more moving and so much funnier because there’s nothing in the way. I didn’t realize that until I saw it. Not only is it a wonderful new way to do the show but now it directs more focus to the important things I was writing about. There’s a song in La Cage called ‘Look Over There’ where George scolds his son and says, ‘How can you forget about this man who brought you love and brought us all this joy and say he’s not welcome at your wedding?’
This production made that stronger. That’s what I’m thrilled about. That Harvey’s work and my work is stronger. And we didn’t change a thing.”


What did change in the ensuing 27 years since the show’s first 1983 mounting was public attitude towards sexual identity. Gay and lesbian characters now enjoy prominent storylines in television and on film. Gender bending performers like Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert top the music and style charts. Being metrosexual, having a bromance or kissing your gal pal are now mainstream magazine topics. Drag is viewed by a younger generation of out men as a relic of an era when gay life was more closeted. According to Herman, the new grittier La Cage taps into the modern zeitgeist in a way he could never have imagined.


“I have a word for it. Raw. It’s right out there in front of you. I’m not trying to denigrate the first production in any way. I want you to know that. I am so grateful to Arthur Laurents for what he did on that and to all the people who put it together with me because we created a statement at a difficult time. AIDS was just scaring everybody.
I love that production and I always will. This is something totally different, which I didn’t expect.
It has just been an extraordinary year for me because of all this.”

Searching for Mame & Dolly (LOOK NO FURTHER! READ HERE: http://www.richardskipper.com/h-testimonials/2008-06.16.html)


Jerry Herman is a gracious host who greets you in the marble floored foyer of his one floor Beverly Hills apartment with partner Terry Marler (pictured here) at his side, then asks what drink the house man can bring you before offering your choice of seats in a well appointed living room accented by a large red curled piece of wall art and a black grand piano.

Using La Cage as an example, Herman underscores why a good pairing is crucial to a show’s success.
“Douglas and Kelsey together are an exquisite pair. First of all they like each other as people and it shows.
You can’t hide that on a stage.
I once had a male/female couple who hated each other off-stage and tried to hide it. It didn’t work. I’m looking for the right two stars for a Mack & Mabel now.”

A team that worked like gangbusters was Angela Lansbury and Bea Arthur in Mame but Herman didn’t know it for sure until the out of town tryout in Philadelphia.



“A show is a living thing, specially one that’s in rehearsal and going through changes. You never know. You always think you have something wonderful because it’s your baby. I worked sometimes for two years on a score before I actually got it into rehearsal.
And still you never know what you have until that first audience. We were in love with Mame and with Angela and Bea. What a combination! What a happy time it was. Fifteen minutes after the curtain went up in Philadelphia, I knew I had an enormous hit.

I didn’t have to wait until the curtain call.
They went crazy in that audience.
It’s then that you really know what you have. And it’s tough to be greeted by less than that, which has happened to me.”

According to Herman Mame was a gift in every department as was turning Angela Lansbury into a Broadway star.
His current challenge is finding an established star rather than anointing a new one for a possible revival. Producers don’t want to back an unknown in the current economic climate and the talent pool of triple threats has diminished over time.
“If you have any idea who could do that today, please pass it on to me,” he says sincerely. “You have to put a star into a show like Mame today. And who do we have? You know we don’t train people like that anymore. We’re also considering a new Dolly.

After the La Cage madness cools down, we will do one of them but we have to find that lady first.” That lady needs to be a 40 something or older actress with an established track record who’s a triple threat who can sell tickets and attract backers.

And that’s not all on Herman’s wish list.

“Between Dolly and Mame, the more difficult one is Mame because she literally has to be a lady.

She can’t be a clown. I did a film of Mame with a great clown, the most wonderful funny lady but she was not Mame.
Mame is an elegant woman who lives on Beekman Place and who doesn’t think she’s funny. She has to sing because she’s naked out there with ‘If He Walked Into My Life’ and the opening number. I mean she’s got to have pipes. She’s got to dance and she’s got to be a very believable heartfelt actress. And she’s got to look great in a magnificent Bob Mackie wardrobe. She’s got to be able to do all that. I don’t know where you’ll find her.”

Not that Herman hasn’t tried. “I promise you I spend hours of my time looking through magazines, looking through books, watching movies to see if there’s somebody I’ve passed by who’s still with us who can do it. I’d rather just give people the original album with Angela and say ‘this is Mame’ than to have a half-baked version of it, you know?”

Interest in a new Hello, Dolly! came after a new generation re-discovered the film via movie clips utilized in Pixar’s animated 2008 blockbuster WALL-E. A scene showing Michael Crawford and Marianne McAndrew singing “It Only Takes a Moment” and holding hands form the basis for a robot’s understanding of love.
Herman admits he had no idea what Pixar had in mind when he gave them the rights to use the footage.

“I have to tell you WALL-E affected me so deeply because I didn’t know. I signed a piece of paper that allowed Pixar to use pieces of two songs from Hello, Dolly! I said how wonderful you know, it’s Pixar. They’re not going to do anything to hurt those songs. And that’s all I knew. I had no idea the whole idea of learning about love and learning about happiness actually came from that brilliant idea of an old tape. I give them such credit. But I didn’t know when I went to the theatre. You should have seen me in there. When it ended with ‘and that is all that love’s about,’ I was in tears.”

Herman credits Pixar with making those two songs familiar to a new generation. “There are kids who know the songs now and me. So you know, my life has been so extraordinary. How you ever imagine as a kid who wanted to be a songwriter that it would turn out to be this? You don’t dare dream that you know. But it’s things like WALL-E that came at me unexpectedly that have made my life even more wonderful and richer.”
So if a show like La Cage with its glamorous showgirls can be re-imagined in an intimate space, how would he feel about large cast productions like Hello, Dolly! and Mame making the same transition if asked?
“Because if you had asked me three or four years ago would I like to see La Cage scaled down to that I probably would have said no thinking about the gorgeous Arthur Laurents production. But I would no longer say no to anything because I want people to hear my songs. If they hear them played with a 30-piece orchestra, I’ll be ecstatic.

If they hear them played by an eight-piece orchestra in New York, I’m just as happy because they’re getting the melody and the lyrics just as clearly.
So there’s a whole difference in my thinking. I have to grow a little, too.”

He does admit, given current Broadway ticket prices, audiences expect to get some bang for their musical buck in terms of elaborate sets and large scale production numbers, which are the central attractions of both Dolly and Mame.

“Mame comes with glamour and it comes with Beekman Place. I don’t know if I would like to see it as a small musical.
I do think honestly that Dolly is strongest with a chorus singing ‘Put on Your Sunday Clothes’ and 14 waiters singing ‘Hello, Dolly!’ But can it be scaled down? Yes, it can be because like La Cage it’s about people. It’s about Dolly Levi and Horace Vandergelder. Cornelius Hackl and Irene Molloy. Barnaby Tucker and Minnie Fay.
I would never say no anymore!” he laughs.



Herman is one of the last composer/lyricists to have had a foot both in the golden era of Broadway musicals led by Cole Porter to Rodgers & Hammerstein melodies that influenced popular culture and the new Sondheim-helmed epoch of mathematical complexity and socio-political statement.



“I got into the business still in time to have songs of mine played on the radio,” he admits.
“One threw the Beatles off the Billboard chart! ["Hello, Dolly!" sung by Louis Armstrong reached the number one spot in 1964 ending the Beatles streak of
three number one hits in a row.]
“Then to witness the great change in Broadway. I mean the great Sondheim came along and changed things. He writes beautiful melody. Nobody really gives him enough credit for that. But I was there writing pop songs that could be done by Eydie Gorme. So I had the best of both Broadways.”

The ability to sing or write pure melody lines has become undervalued in a Simon Cowell led world.
American Idol’s influence on a new generation of singers and its blatant demeaning of traditional Broadway style interpretation has many concerned for the art form’s future.
Herman thinks one shouldn’t have to be chosen over another.

“I don’t feel you have to lose a way of making music to gain a new way,” he emphasizes. "You don’t have to throw out the baby with the bathwater to go new places. The healthiest Broadway for me is when Next to Normal is playing across the street from Hello, Dolly! which is playing around the corner from A Little Night Music, playing two blocks away from a jukebox musical like Mama Mia. They all have their place. Even a Gilbert and Sullivan. You don’t have to throw one out to make room for the others. People don’t understand that.”

Herman walks down the hall to his office. Behind the desk is a nearly full-sized oil painting of him seated in a chair, handsomely clad in a Mad Men era suit when he was among Broadway’s youngest and brightest.



“I love it even now,” he admits looking at the portrait by Roger Robles. “You still want to look like that. Sometimes it’s hard for me because they would start an encore with ‘the new young composer’ and all of a sudden to be the oldest!

But I have to tell you there is absolutely no way I can wrap my brain around the fact I’m approaching my 79th birthday.
I can’t imagine it because there’s nothing in me that feels like that. I know I don’t look like that cute kid anymore but I don’t feel like a man of that age or behave like one!

He gives a good deal of the credit to his partner of 12 years, Palm Springs real estate broker Terry Marler.
“I have a guy in my life who is youthful and full of vigor and we go to South Beach and we walk along the ocean. We go to movies. We go to Broadway together. We have the most beautiful life. And neither of us, well he’s 15 years younger than I am to begin with, but neither of us feel like we’re anywhere near those numbers!” he laughs. “Maybe when the actual 80 comes, I’ll have to sit down with myself and say, ‘You know, it’s embarrassing Jerry not to realize where you are on the ladder!”



As for his life at this vantage point, Herman takes a page from his childhood days.

“I used to go on the Cyclone in Coney Island with my father who was a rollercoaster nut. I would scream my head off and my mother would stand down there and think we were both crazy. She would not get on it no matter what we tried to do. And it’s not stopping.”

The 14th Annual Tony Awards Party, hosted by Tommy Tune, featured the Julie Harris Award presented by Annette Bening to Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell in recognition of not only his theatrical accomplishments but also his leadership as Chairman of the Board of The Actors Fund. Jerry Herman was recognized with this award two years ago. The gala is produced and written by Marc Cherry and David Rambo with the only live feed in California of the Tony Awards broadcast from New York.


DIVAPALOOZA is a tribute to the Great Divas of Stage and Screen with an All Male Cast. On June 28th at 7:00 p.m. Jay Rogers,Eric Michael Gillett,Jaron Vesley,Jim Speake,Steven Hodge,Bill McKinley,T.Oliver Reid,Tom Gamblin,Shane Gallagher,David Colbert,Troy Cain,Aaron Lee Battle,with a special performance by Ricky Ritzel and Joseph Macchia. Kenneth Green Musical directs.
The evening will benefit Help Is On The Way Today a non for profit that helps children living with HIV and AIDS.

DIVAPALOOZA
The Laurie Beechman June 28th at 7:00 p.m. Doors oepn at 6:15 p.m.
$20 Cover Charge and $15 Food/Drink Minimum

To make resevations call 212-695-6909



BOBBY BELFRY live at THE OAK ROOM
with THE DAVID BUDWAY TRIO
June 17th at 7pm & 9pm
The Plaza Hotel
10 Central Park South, NY NY 212-758-7777
Reserve ASAP!
$15 Cover/2 drink minimum
No cover with dinner

Supper Club Thursdays with

Bobby Belfry


The famed Oak Room at The Plaza Hotel (10 Central Park South, NY NY 212-758-7777) is one of New York's most beautiful restaurants where some of the most famous faces have wined and dined. The Oak Room was also home to Truman Capote's legendary black & white ball and to this day hosts some of the most glamorous events in New York City.


Part of New York City nightlife has always been the supper club; a place where one can hear the sounds of a live band while enjoying a remarkable meal snuggled up to their loved one with a chilled martini in hand, while the singer crooned out a tune. Starting Thursday June 17 that experience returns to New York as Chef Eric Hara and his Oak Room team present singer/songwriter Bobby Belfry and his trio weekly with sets at 7pm and 9pm (no cover with dinner, $15 cover 2 drink minimum.) Chef Hara feels that the opulence and beauty of his dining room demands more than dinner and has always wanted to enhance diners' experiences by giving more; live music feels like a natural extension of what is already offered, and Bobby's style fits perfectly into the room.


A very diverse performer Bobby Belfry has performed at Feinstein's, The Metropolitan Club, and Brandy's, Lincoln Center, Town Hall, The Russian Tea Room, The Rainbow Room, Bitter End, China Club, CBGB's, Smoke, The Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, The New Jersey Performing Arts Center, The Kennedy Center, and The Cinegrill in Hollywood. He is award winning singer/songwriter, whose latest album, entitled ´LIVE: In The Heart Of The Universe¡ has just been released to great response.

"Bobby Belfry is one to savor, embrace and lend the hand of fame to...smooth jazz outlets will have a ball with this shrewd offering" said Chuck Taylor of Billboard Magazine.


Bobby has also appeared on national television on "The Morning Blend", a news/talk show on MSNBC, and is a frequent guest on WOR Radio's The Joey Reynolds Show, whose theme song, penned by Bobby, is played for an audience of 5 million listeners, nightly. He has also received the MAC Award for outstanding Pop/R&B Vocalist and several Critics Choice Vocalist Awards.



Lovers of both food and music now have a wonderful reason to visit the Oak Room, too often one experience is sacrificed for the other, at The Oak Room they live in perfect harmony.

Mame' casting choice succeeds



(SOURCE:ROHAN PRESTON, Star Tribune)

Music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. Book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. Directed by Steven Meerdink for Minneapolis Musical Theatre.

7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sun. Ends June 27.

Illusion Theater, 8th fl., Hennepin Center for the Arts, 528 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.
Tickets: $25-$28. 612-339-4944 or www.aboutmmt.org




Mame is defined onstage by theater and screen icon Angela Lansbury, who played it on Broadway in the 1966 original musical and won one of her raft of Tonys.

Onscreen, Lucille Ball brought a flighty sensibility to Mame in a 1974 film version of the Jerry Herman classic.

With husky voice, fetching figure and very careful steps, Twin Cities actor Kevin Hansen is delivering a Mame that wakes theatrical ghosts. Hansen has gleefully stepped into the pumps of the Bohemian auntie who meets misfortune with grace and indefatigability.

The Minneapolis Musical Theatre's staging that opened over the weekend and stars the handsome Hansen is not the campy production I half-expected it to be. Under the no-fuss direction of Steven Meerdink, Overall, the actor and the large cast play it straight.

If this "Mame" is ultimately cute and charming, it's not because the music, directed by Lori Maxwell, is live (it's not), or because the dance moves are new and dashing (the production draws heavily on Onna White's original choreography) or even because director Meerdink brings out new ideas in this revival.

Like "Hello, Dolly" and "Gypsy," "Mame" has great music, snazzy choreography and a story that affirms some national ethos.
Mame lives in New York, her life an endless party with arty friends such as publisher M. Lindsay Woolsey (Paul R. Coate) and singer-actor Vera Charles (Karen Wiese-Thompson). She does not change her lifestyle when her deceased brother's son, Patrick (Graham Zima as the young Patrick and Max Wojtanowicz as the older version), comes to the big city to live with her.
Through misfortune and fortune, Mame introduces Patrick to all the characters of her world, much to the consternation of Dwight Babcock (Brent Declaw).
Hansen's surrounding cast draws their antic or credible characters vividly. Wiese-Thompson is true to Vera's haughtiness and weariness.
Wojtanowicz's older Patrick embodies earnest pleasantness. And Crystal Manik gives a risible performance as nanny Agnes Gooch.

But it is Hansen, with vocal strength and spot-on comic timing, who carries the simple production on his strong shoulders. Vocally, he is at his best when he's singing with the full ensemble on such numbers as "Open a New Window" and "It's Today," both expressive of Mame's, and the show's, try-again philosophy.

Rohan Preston • 612-673-4390

Red, Memphis, La Cage aux Folles, Fences Win 2010 Tony Awards (SOURCE:Kenneth Jones, PLAYBILL.COM)




Red, John Logan's portrait of abstract-expressionist artist Mark Rothko, and Memphis, the story of showbiz aspirations and forbidden love in the Civil Rights era, were named Best Play and Best Musical, respectively, at the 2010 Tony Awards ceremony June 13 at Radio City Music Hall.

In other production categories, the Tony for Best Revival of a Play went to the late August Wilson's drama Fences starring Denzel Washington (who won the Best Actor Tony) and Viola Davis (who was Tony-blessed as Best Actress in a Play), and Best Revival of a Musical went to La Cage aux Folles starring British actor Douglas Hodge (who won the Tony as Best Actor in a Musical) and Kelsey Grammer.

Sean Hayes, a 2010 Best Actor nominee currently starring in Broadway's Promises, Promises, hosted the 64th Annual Tony Awards, which celebrate the best of Broadway's 2009-10 season.

The revival of Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein's La Cage aux Folles originated (with Hodge as Albin/Zaza) at the tiny Menier Chocolate Factory in London and has been hailed by critics. Director Terry Johnson (who won the Tony for Best Direction of a Musical) reinvented the title's drag club not as a lavish Vegas-style venue but as a grittier, vest-pocket neighborhood joint. He also set the 1984 musical in the late '70s, before AIDS-era modern gay expression surfaced, making the Jerry Herman anthem "The Best of Times" more poignant than ever. Except for Hodge and one featured dancer (Nicholas Cunningham) from the U.K., the Broadway cast of La Cage is made up of American performers.



American playwright John Logan got the idea for his play Red when he viewed Rothko paintings in London while he was working there on the film of "Sweeney Todd."

Young British actor Eddie Redmayne, who plays Ken — a fictional assistant to artist Mark Rothko in Red — won the Tony as Best Featured Actor in a Play. His character brings out the best and worst in Rothko, illuminating the life of the passionate, troubled artist. Redmayne previously won the Olivier Award for his work after the play's debut at London's Donmar Warehouse.

Michael Grandage, Donmar's artistic director, won in the category of Best Direction of a Play for Red (he was a previous Tony direction nominee for Frost/Nixon). Grandage's entire design team (lights, set and sound) won 2010 Tonys. The play is set in Rothko's grubby-gray industrial art studio, where the color of the world is not only Rothko's scarlet canvases but the two vivid men who dwell there.

Lyricist-librettist Joe DiPietro, who has been writing for the theatre for more than 15 years, won Tony for Best Book of a Musical and Best Score (sharing the latter with composer-lyricist David Bryan, the rocker of the band Bon Jovi). DiPietro may be best known for his international hit musical I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.

Memphis, the tale of a white DJ who promotes and falls for a black singer in the Jim Crow South, has been in development for seven years, and was seen in readings, workshops and an out-of-town tryout co-produced by La Jolla Playhouse and 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle before coming to Broadway.
The Tony win is a sweet victory for lead producers and the show's longtime shepherds Sue Frost and Randy Adams of Junkyard Dog Productions.

The one award for the musical Million Dollar Quartet — about the fateful 1950s recording-studio meeting of Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley — went to Best Featured Actor in a Musical Levi Kreis for his fiery turn as Lewis. He and his castmates originated their roles in Chicago for a long run before the work transferred to Broadway.



The one award for the new revival of A Little Night Music went to Catherine Zeta-Jones as Best Actress in a Musical.
The show goes on hiatus June 20 before Bernadette Peters steps into Zeta-Jones' shoes in July (with Elaine Stritch taking the role created by Angela Lansbury).

Bill T. Jones (pictured) won the Tony for Best Choreography for the expressionistic musical Fela!, about the late Nigerian musician and activist Fela Kuti.

Katie Finneran is on stage in the new revival of Promises, Promises for only about 15 minutes, but critics and audiences went wild for her performance as a tipsy one-song character named Marge MacDougall. Tony voters loved her, too: She won the Tony as Featured Actress in a Musical. It's her second featured-actress Tony after winning in 2002 for a revival of Noises Off

Film star Scarlett Johansson, for her Broadway debut as a niece struggling to grow beyond the grasp of her uncle, in A View From the Bridge, won the Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Play. She thanked her mom for helping her pound the pavement when she was a child actress. Like her co-stars in the Arthur Miller play, glamorous Johannson disappeared behind a Brooklyn accent and embraced the clouds of working-class hardship that shrouded the acclaimed revival.

Lifetime Achievement Award recipient playwright Ayckbourn thanked two major New York supporters of his work in recent years — Lynne Meadow, artistic director of Manhattan Theatre Club, and Off-Broadway's 59E59 Theaters and its leaders Peter Tear and Elysabeth Kleinhans. This is the first Tony won by the author of such plays as Absurd Person Singular, Bedroom Farce and The Norman Conquests. He noted that this was a special Tony, and that he hoped to win in a competitive category one day. "If not, and it's my last, what a helluva good way to finish," he said.

When she accepted her Special Tony for Lifetime Achievement, Marian Seldes (pictured) walked to the microphone, put her hand to her cheek and wordlessly made a stunned expression before exiting (slowly, grandly) into the wings.

The final tally of winners follows:
Red - 6
Memphis - 4
Fences - 3
Fela - 3
La Cage aux Folles - 3
American Idiot - 2
A View from the Bridge - 1
Promises, Promises - 1
Million Dollar Quartet - 1
The Royal Family - 1
A Little Night Music - 1

Nominees and recipients of the 64th Annual Tony Awards follow, with recipients marked in bold and with an asterisk.

Best Musical

American Idiot

Fela!
*Memphis

Million Dollar Quartet


Catherine Zeta-Jones and Douglas Hodge
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical

Kelsey Grammer, La Cage aux Folles
Sean Hayes, Promises, Promises
*Douglas Hodge, La Cage aux Folles
Chad Kimball, Memphis
Sahr Ngaujah, Fela!

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical

Kate Baldwin, Finian's Rainbow
Montego Glover, Memphis
Christiane Noll, Ragtime Sherie Rene Scott, Everyday Rapture
*Catherine Zeta-Jones, A Little Night Music

Best Revival of a Musical

Finian's Rainbow

*La Cage aux Folles

A Little Night Music

Ragtime

Best Play

In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play
Author: Sarah Ruhl
Next Fall
Author: Geoffrey Nauffts

*Red
Author: John Logan

Time Stands Still
Author: Donald Margulies

Best Revival of a Play

*Fences

Lend Me a Tenor

The Royal Family

A View From the Bridge

Best Choreography

Rob Ashford, Promises, Promises
*Bill T. Jones, Fela!
Lynne Page, La Cage aux Folles
Twyla Tharp, Come Fly Away

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play

Jude Law, Hamlet
Alfred Molina, Red
Liev Schreiber, A View from the Bridge
Christopher Walken, A Behanding in Spokane
*Denzel Washington, Fences

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play

*Viola Davis, Fences
Valerie Harper, Looped
Linda Lavin, Collected Stories
Laura Linney, Time Stands Still
Jan Maxwell, The Royal Family

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical

Kevin Chamberlin, The Addams Family
Robin De Jesús, La Cage aux Folles
Christopher Fitzgerald, Finian's Rainbow
*Levi Kreis, Million Dollar Quartet
Bobby Steggert, Ragtime

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical

Barbara Cook, Sondheim on Sondheim
*Katie Finneran, Promises, Promises
Angela Lansbury, A Little Night Music
Karine Plantadit, Come Fly Away
Lillias White, Fela!

Best Direction of a Musical

Christopher Ashley, Memphis
Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Ragtime
*Terry Johnson, La Cage aux Folles
Bill T. Jones, Fela!

Best Direction of a Play

*Michael Grandage, Red((L-R) Director Michael Grandage, actors Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne and playwright John Logan attend the Broadway opening of "RED" after party at Gotham Hall on April 1, 2010 in New York City.
March 31, 2010 - Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images North America)
Sheryl Kaller, Next Fall
Kenny Leon, Fences
Gregory Mosher, A View from the Bridge

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play

David Alan Grier, Race
Stephen McKinley Henderson, Fences
Jon Michael Hill, Superior Donuts
Stephen Kunken, Enron
*Eddie Redmayne, Red



Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play

Maria Dizzia, In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play
Rosemary Harris, The Royal Family
Jessica Hecht, A View from the Bridge
*Scarlett Johansson, A View from the Bridge
Jan Maxwell, Lend Me a Tenor


Best Sound Design of a Musical

Jonathan Deans, La Cage aux Folles
*Robert Kaplowitz, Fela!
Dan Moses Schreier and Gareth Owen, A Little Night Music
Dan Moses Schreier, Sondheim on Sondheim

Best Sound Design of a Play

Acme Sound Partners, Fences
Adam Cork, Enron
*Adam Cork, Red
Scott Lehrer, A View from the Bridge

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Marina Draghici, Fela!
*Christine Jones, American Idiot
Derek McLane, Ragtime
Tim Shortall, La Cage aux Folles

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

*Kevin Adams, American Idiot
Donald Holder, Ragtime
Nick Richings, La Cage aux Folles
Robert Wierzel, Fela!

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Neil Austin, Hamlet
*Neil Austin, Red
Mark Henderson, Enron
Brian MacDevitt, Fences

Best Scenic Design of a Play
John Lee Beatty, The Royal Family
Alexander Dodge, Present Laughter
Santo Loquasto, Fences
*Christopher Oram, Red

Best Costume Design of a Musical
*Marina Draghici, Fela!
Paul Tazewell, Memphis
Matthew Wright, La Cage aux Folles

Best Costume Design of a Play

Martin Pakledinaz, Lend Me a Tenor
Constanza Romero, Fences
David Zinn, In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play
*Catherine Zuber, The Royal Family

Best Book of a Musical

Everyday Rapture
Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott

Fela!
Jim Lewis and Bill T. Jones

*Memphis
Joe DiPietro (Pictured David Bryan and Joe DiPietro)

Million Dollar Quartet
Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux

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

The Addams Family
Music & Lyrics: Andrew Lippa Enron
Music: Adam Cork
Lyrics: Lucy Prebble

Fences
Music: Branford Marsalis

*Memphis
Music: David Bryan
Lyrics: Joe DiPietro, David Bryan

Best Orchestrations

Jason Carr, La Cage aux Folles
Aaron Johnson, Fela!
Jonathan Tunick, Promises, Promises
*Daryl Waters & David Bryan, Memphis

The 2010 Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre were presented to playwright and director Alan Ayckbourn, and Tony Award-winning actress Marian Seldes.

The recipient of the Isabelle Stevenson Award is Tony Award winner David Hyde Pierce. The Isabelle Stevenson Award recognizes an individual from the theatre community "who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations, regardless of whether such organizations relate to the theatre.

This year's Tony Honors are presented to The Alliance of Resident Theatres New York, B.H. Barry and BC/EFA executive director Tom Viola.

The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT, is the recipient of the 2010 Tony Award for Regional Theatre.
***

Playbill.com blogged from the Tony ceremony press room throughout the evening. Playbill magazine editor Blake Ross tweeted from her seat in Radio City Music Hall to give theatre fans a view of the ceremony from the audience's perspective, including what's not captured on camera in the auditorium. Join Twitter and follow her at twitter.com/PlaybillBlake. Playbill staffers tweeted on Twitter throughout the evening, too. Join Twitter and follow twitter.com/Playbill. We'll also share Tony news on Facebook. Join Facebook and follow Playbill.







The new musical Fela!, which began life Off-Broadway, and the revival of La Cage aux Folles, earned 11 nominations a piece, the most of any production of the season.
*

The 2010 Tonys are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. At The Broadway League, Paul Libin is chairman, and Charlotte St. Martin is executive director.
At the American Theatre Wing, Theodore S. Chapin is chairman, and Howard Sherman is executive director. For Tony Award Productions, Alan Wasser and Allan Williams of Alan Wasser Associates are the general managers.


Support THE ARTS! LIVE THEATRE! Go see a LIVE show this week!


Send me your reviews and suggestions and I will put them in my next blog coming out June 20th.
Here's to an ARTS-filled week! Don't forget to contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS: http://www.carolchanning.org/Foundation.htm

With grateful XOXOXs for your support!

Richard Skipper

Follow me on Twitter @RichardSkipper
HERE IS WHAT AUDIENCES ARE SAYING ABOUT MY WORK:

The Following is from Rich Siegel's blog:To acknowledge one special professional relationship in particular, I've toured the US with cabaret star Richard Skipper , from Maine to Colorado to South Carolina and various points in between. I suppose I never expected back in my music school days that I would be working for a man who puts on a dress and becomes Carol Channing, but doing so has been an absolute delight!
Celebrities! (This paragraph is not for the squeamish! I am dropping names!) Did I tell you that just before a Richard Skipper show in Mississippi Carol Channing herself called to wish us a good show?!! Part of the fun of working as a free-lance musician has been contact with celebrities, and I'd be lying if I denied it! (SOURCE: http://richsiegel.com/musicmaina.html)

What a fun night last Wednesday at The Iguana - and a great & fabulously talented crowd too! Thank you for creating this wonderful new room, Richard, and for creating this great community of singers in the city! xo, Lori Evanson



It was great to see Richard Skipper perform last night at Tudor City Greens AND The Iguana. He is the perfect host and has proven he is a great host anywhere. We can't wait to see his show in July. I'm getting some others to join us.
Oh...and a friend of ours in California just LOVES him. She sees the reviews and testimonials and thinks he is pretty classy. We hope they will be out here in the fall and she can't wait to meet him. Mary Lahti


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NYC THE AWARD WINNING WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA STARRING DANA LORGE, RICHARD SKIPPER, AND FRIENDS!
Dana Lorge and I have put our OWN spin on the variety show format and are now hosting every Wednesday night in NYC at The Iguana VIP Lounge (http://www.iguananyc.com) in the heart of NYC (240 West 54th Street 8-11PM/with an intermission).

Cover: $12 - no food or drink minimums – but remember – the food is great!
WINNER OF TWO 2010 MANHATTAN ASSOCIATION OF CABARETS AND CLUBS AWARDS (MAC) FOR OUTSTANDING VARIETY SHOW AND OUTSTANDING HOSTS!
or more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_
RESERVATIONS A MUST!!!!!!!! 212-765-5454.









TOMORROW NIGHT!June 16th: 2010 Frederique Bessone, Nina Grand, Lisa Raze returns and Lorinda Lisitza joins us for the first time!


JUNE 23rd: CELEBRATING ONE YEAR OF WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA!Daryl Glenn, Sigali Hamberger, Bobbie Horowitz, Dora Rubin, Pam Tate,and Catt John, Julie Reyburn!




June 30th: KEVIN DOZIER!, Barbara Gurskey, Evan Lawrence, TRAVIS MOSER RETURNS, Frank Torren!

JULY 7th: JON BURR & LYNN STEIN and JANICE HALL RETURN!


JULY 28: PAULETTE DOZIER RETURNS

TILL NEXT WEEK...HERE'S TO A MUSICAL JUNE!

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