Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bits and Pieces for 06.13.10

Don't forget to vote in this month's poll!

(Click on the links below to get to the articles!)
Monday: Broadway Bares at 20: The First 5 Years
Tuesday: One That Got Away: Floyd Collins
Wednesday: Gotta Dance!  The 2010 Astaire Award Winners
Thursday: 2012: The Year of the Diva?
Friday: The Tonys: My Thoughts on the Musical Nominees
Saturday: At Last!  My 2010 Tony Picks

IN MEMORIAM: Theatre Blogger/Writer Patrick Lee
It has been happening so much lately.  Taking time to mourn the passing of members of the theatre community is never a pleasant experience.  But it is particularly difficult when someone is taken so early and without warning.

Such is the case with Patrick Lee, who passed away recently at the young age of 47, according to  If you read a lot of theatre blogs, you probably know his name, or if you read, you might have read an interview or other article he wrote.  Whether you know who he is or not, all of us in the theater blogging community owe him a debt of gratitude.  He was one of the first theater bloggers and one of the best.  Without him and other pioneers of this fledgling media type, blogging on the subject we all love might not be taken so seriously.

I did not know Mr. Lee personally, but I have read his work and I aspire to his quality and ease.  My friends in this little corner of the blogosphere who did know him speak of him with the kind of praise and caring that all of us hope can be said of us when we pass.  To his friends and family, my thoughts and prayers are with you.  And Patrick, thank you.

On the day of the Tony Awards, I'd be remiss not to include something about it.  How great is it that this year, the Tony itself has grown?  That's right.  The award will be bigger!  ("Heftier" was a word another columnist used, but I am weight sensitive!)

The 64th Annual Tony Award winners will be taking home a trophy that is 250% heavier than their counterparts did last year.  And it will be just over 1/3 taller.  Last year (and the previous seasons) the Tony was a tiny 3.25" tall and weighed just one pound (a cheap plastic base will do that).  But this year, the award will be a whopping 5" tall and comes in at 3.5 pounds!  Talk about your growth spurt!

And, yes, the silver medallion will still spin.  The award has looked like it has since the first Tony telecast in 1967, though this is its first time getting bigger.  The very first recipients of the award were given money clips and the men were given cigarette lighters and the women were given compacts.  How far we've come...

A few weeks ago, I took the producers of A Little Night Music to task for seeming to give up on their show after the Tony nominations were announced.  I got an anonymous email from someone in the production (thanks for reading!) who told me to "Hold on to [my] shorts!" that a MAJOR announcement was forthcoming, and that I'd be sorry I counted them out so fast.  Not too long after that, the rumors about Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch replacing Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury started to float around.  I pretty much held my tongue until it was announced as officially happening.

Well, it is happening!  And to anyone and everyone involved in the show, my apologies for thinking you'd given up.  Clearly, you haven't.  And I'll be seeing the show in mid-August.


OK, OK already... these tributes to rock bands past are getting old, aren't they?  Jersey Boys is decent, Million Dollar Quartet is an embarrassment, and since I've seen them, I can say RAIN - A Tribute to the Beatles is embarrassing.  That it is going to be on Broadway starting October 11 for a limited engagement is an atrocity.  They are a reasonable facsimile looks-wise, sound-wise and the costume changes are swift and pretty amazing.  But the evening is a bore, and little more than a cover band at a decent, not great, local bar.


Dare I get excited again?  Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is back in the news, and this time it is good, I think!  next to normal's Jennifer Damiano has been signed to play Mary Jane to Reeve Carney's Peter Parker/Spiderman!  I am thrilled to see this Tony nominee is moving on to at least bigger things, though the jury is still out on "better."  She leaves n2n in mid-July along with Alice Ripley and Brian d'Arcy James.  I am again looking forward to Spidey.  But please... CHANGE THE TITLE!  It is like a "kick me" sign on a band geek.


My favorite play in recent memory, Next Fall just celebrated its 100th Broadway performance.  Congratulations to all involved - it is no small accomplishment.  Here's to 100 more!  (I'm trying to be optimistic...)


Congratulations to the American Idiot company, which has won the Actors Equity Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity on Broadway Award for the 2009-2010 season.

It is bad enough that American Idol perpetuates a myth about the quality of the "Broadway sound."  Funny how the runner's up are consistently more successful than the winners AND a lot of them do Broadway to much success?

Now So You Think You Can Dance is doing the same, and worse.  You'd think that these dancers - so tearfully passionate about their art - would know a little more about the dancing on Broadway in the last, I don't know, 35-40 years?  For the very first time in its 7 seasons, I actually watched an episode this week, and actually was looking forward to it when they announced a "Broadway Round" of the elimination competition.  Cut to a montage of dancers cooing, "This'll be silly fun!"  Silly?  Have you ever stepped foot in a Broadway theatre during your 20 or so years of life?  Yeah... not one of those fools would last a week rehearsing West Side Story or Come Fly Away, let alone perform either show.  Cut to these idiots doing jazz hands, and cheesy-smiled box steps.  Bob Fosse is rolling in his grave.

Of course, the producers don't help much.  Not only do they allow such footage to make the show, but they tout one of the judges, Tyce Diorio as "Tyce Diorio, Broadway Choreographer."  OK, I looked up this genius on, and yes, he has a credit:  Good Vibrations, Associate Choreographer.  Closer inspection of the credits for that mega-flop reveal that he was one of FIVE associate/assistant choreographers.  (NOTE TO TONYS: Give Twyla the award!  She does it ALONE!)  Does that really make him a Broadway choreographer?  He hasn't even been in a Broadway show!  (This guy is the same hot mess that is the funniest/saddest/most infuriating part of the documentary Every Little Step. Read my review of it and him, here.) And does that mean that we can call sometimes judge, aka hot tamale train-wreck Mary Murphy a Broadway dancer?  After all, she did ONE performance of Burn the Floor.

No wonder so much of this country doesn't take Broadway or theater in general seriously.


82: The number of nominees who will NOT win a Tony Award this season. (Barring any ties.)
12: The number of women nominated for Tonys in categories that aren't women only
7: The number of hours until the Tony Awards start
3: The number of categories that pit artists against themselves

16:  The number of performances left of the "it'll run forever, it means so much" musical revival of Hair.  Wait!  Wasn't this supposed to be West Side Story?  Hmmm

Happy Birthday last week to:
06/06: Harvey Fierstein (56)
06/07: Liam Neeson (58)
06/08: Julianna Margulies (44)
06/09: Aaron Sorkin (49)
06/10: Gina Gershon (44) (right, with Glee-bound John Stamos)
06/11: Adrienne Barbeau (65)
06/12: the late Anne Frank (81)

Comments?  Leave one here or email me at

1 comment:

  1. I'm so excited about Peters and Stritch coming into Night Music. I'll be seeing it July 18th, along with the final N2N performance with Alice Ripley, Brian D'Arcy James, and Jennifer Damiano.
    I got to see La Cage yesterday. Promises is next on my list, and I'd like to see Next Fall if it will stick around long enough to do so.


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