September 19, 2015
        “Inside Out”: Looking at potential Best Animated Feature Contenders                "Black Mass" could get Johnny Depp back in the Oscar game                J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?                Telluride Announces 2015 Lineup - Steve Jobs, Black Mass, Suffragette                “Sicario”: Ten Films to see in September        

Tag Archives: Tony Award

Oscars show: Almost 4 Hours…

BY Michael Russnow
The Academy Awards for me was a surprise, notably in that I mostly enjoyed Neil Patrick Harris’ performance. In the past, when he’s hosted the Tonys and Emmys I’ve not always been impressed, perhaps because he tried too hard to show off skills that were adequate but not thrilling.
At the outset, I thought here we go again, bland, so-so singing with not so catchy lyrics, though against a clever background of cinematic screen moments into which Harris injected himself. And when Anna Kendrick joined him in song, the disparity in vocal ability was apparent, not to mention the charisma factor, which was eclipsed when Jack Black bounded onto the stage in a funny moment.
As the opening wound down, Harris was in much finer voice and his patter was often clever, in particular his bit about predictions in a locked box to be overseen by Octavia Spencer. His later spoof on Birdman, when he appeared in his undies, supposedly locked out of his dressing room, forcing him to appear onstage for his next introduction was very funny, not to mention daring. Fortunately, his workouts have put him in good stead.
So, for me the show worked and moved along at a steady page, albeit with a running time of 3 hours and 40 minutes, beginning with J. K. Simmons expected win as supporting actor in Whiplash after which he urged everyone to call their parents!
The look of the show was great, including the clever bellboy escorts, reflecting The Grand Budapest Hotel, though the choice to seat some nominees in box seats slowed down the proceedings, as Costume Design winner Milena Canonero for The Grand Budapest Hotel took forever to get to the stage, whereas Make-Up/Hair Stylist winners Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier for the same film were in regular theatre seats and had much easier access.
Another annoyance was why the orchestra was cued to play some people off too soon, as in the case of Foreign Language winner Pawel Pawlikowski, director of the Polish film Ida, though in other instances the folks were allowed to stay on for quite a bit longer.
And please do away with the Honorary Awards dinner and get the esteemed winners back onto the Oscar stage where they belong. The Academy’s excuse is the show runs too long, but some of the highlights of the past have been when cherished stars, often overlooked by Oscar, have […]

Hugh Jackman: The 68th Annual Tony Awards® ‘By the Numbers’

Before Broadway’s biggest night on Sunday, June 8th, 44 productions will have opened on Broadway in the 2013-14 season. Of those productions, 12 were eligible for Best New Musical and 10 were eligible for Best New Play at the 68th Annual Tony Awards.
Before the Awards ceremony begins, the 110 Tony Award Nominees will walk down 210 feet of red carpet. The Nominees will join an expected 5,500 guests in Radio City Music Hall, which spans a full New York City block wide.
During the Tony Awards broadcast, the winners from 26 categories will be announced. These winners will each receive a Tony Award with its signature 3-inch-diameter Tony Medallion that spins atop a 9-inch-tall Tony Statue.
By the time they hit the stage at the 68th-Annual Tony Awards, many of the performers and productions appearing at this year?s Awards show will have accomplished the following:
· 908: Number of total costumes made this year by the eight Tony-nominated costume designers from Bullets Over Broadway, A Gentleman?s Guide to Love & Murder, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Act One, Casa Valentina, After Midnight, Machinal and Twelfth Night
· 478.5: Number of performances Alan Cumming has portrayed the Emcee in Cabaret on Broadway
· 337: Number of costumes in each performance of Aladdin
· 300: Number of raw eggs Tony Nominee Andy Karl has consumed on stage in Rocky
· 67: Number of votes Lyndon B. Johnson, played by Tony Nominee Bryan Cranston, gets to pass his proposed bill in All the Way
· 26: Number of Carole King?s hit songs featured in Beautiful ? The Carole King Musical
· 16: Carole King’s age when she wrote her first song, as told in Beautiful ? The Carole King Musical
· 5: Number of Tony Awards Nominee Audra McDonald has won in her career
· 4: The height (in inches) of Tony Nominee Neil Patrick Harris? highest pair of heels worn in Hedwig and the Angry Inch
· 1: Number of inches Hedwig is angry about
The Tony Awards will be broadcast in a live three-hour ceremony from Radio City Music Hall, on the CBS television network on Sunday, June 8, 2014, at 8pm ET. For more information on the Tony Awards, please visit, developed, produced, and hosted by IBM, is centerpiece of the Tony Awards digital platform that includes an interactive Second Screen ( to complement the CBS telecast on June 8; a Spotlight Series on potential nominees; Google+ […]

Jennifer Hudson to guest star on ‘Smash’ ‘American Idol’ is taking over ‘Smash’ as former contestant Jennifer Hudson will be guest starring on the show starring other former contestant Katharine McPhee.
Hudson will reportedly guest star on an episode for the second season of the show, states E! News. NBC has announced that she will play “a Tony Award-winning Broadway star whose arrival will impact the lives of the show’s dueling Marilyns, Karen and Ivy.”
But she apparently won’t only be involved in the season premiere, but she will allegedly come back for a few episodes.
Will you tune in?
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Walt Disney Studios Unveils Epic Adventure “Frozen” Walt Disney Animation Studios presents an epic tale of adventure and comedy in “Frozen,” a computer-animated feature film slated for the big screen in November 2013. Directed by Chris Buck (“Tarzan,” “Surf’s Up”) and produced by Peter Del Vecho (“Winnie the Pooh,” “The Princess and the Frog”), “Frozen” features the vocal talents of film/TV/stage star Kristen Bell as Anna, a young dreamer about to take the adventure of a lifetime, and Tony Award ®-winning actress Idina Menzel as Elsa the Snow Queen. The movie will feature original songs by Broadway greats Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
In “Frozen,” a prophecy traps a kingdom in eternal winter, so Anna (voice of Bell) must team up with Kristoff, a daring mountain man, on the grandest of journeys to find the Snow Queen (voice of Menzel) and put an end to the icy spell. Encountering Everest-like extremes, mystical creatures and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction.
Bell has starred in a variety of films, including the comedies “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Couples Retreat,” and the upcoming films “Hit & Run,” “Some Girls” and the Farrelly Brothers’ “Movie 43.” On the small screen, Bell is currently starring in the Showtime series “House of Lies” alongside Don Cheadle; she has also starred in “Heroes” and “Veronica Mars.” Broadway credits include “The Crucible” and “Tom Sawyer.”
Menzel, who won a Tony Award® as Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Elphaba in Broadway’s “Wicked” (2004), landed her first role on Broadway in 1995 in the Tony Award-winning musical “Rent.” Film credits include “Enchanted” and the feature film “Rent.” She has appeared in a recurring role on TV’s “Glee” and recently released “Idina Menzel Live: Barefoot at the Symphony,” a live concert with an orchestra led by composer/conductor Marvin Hamlisch. Menzel is currently on a North American concert tour.
Robert Lopez is a three-time Tony Award®-winning writer of the Tony and Grammy® Award-winning musical “The Book of Mormon,” which was co-written with Trey Parker and Matt Stone (“South Park”), and the musical “Avenue Q,” which ran for six years on Broadway and four years in London’s West End. Lopez teamed with wife Anderson-Lopez, whose Drama Desk-winning show “In Transit” is Broadway-bound, to write original songs for 2011’s “Winnie the Pooh,” a stage version of “Finding Nemo” and a new musical called “Up Here.”
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Tony Awards on CBS tonight… and the winners are… Tonight’s Tony Awards on CBS may turn out to be a big ratings winner. For once, the Tonys have clear sailing all night with very little real competition on the regular broadcast networks. Almost everything else on the tube tonight is a repeat–from “American’s Got Talent” to “The Simpsons.”
Everything on Fox is a repeat. ABC has two first run reality shows–”Secret Millionaire” and “Exteme Makeover.” NBC has just “Dateline” that’s new and then the “Talent” repeat. The only real competition, off network, on cable, will be “True Blood” on HBO and “Mad Men” on AMC. So it’s up to Neil Patrick Harris and the Tony producers–the ball is in their court. They’ll have a slew of stars presenting and performing, and hopefully enough to keep viewers who dip in to see “Once” go up against “Newsies” for Best Musical among the many unknowns of the night. Some of the stars expected include Jessica Chastain, Hugh Jackman, Nick Jonas, Amanda Seyfried, Jim Parsons, Paul Rudd, Ellen Barkin, Angela Lansbury, Candice Bergen, Christopher Plummer, James Marsden, Mandy Patinkin and Sheryl Crow. Bernadette Peters should be there, too, although last night she failed to show up for her Lifetime Achievement Award at the pre-Tony cocktail party.
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Philip Seymour Hoffman and Andrew Garfield in “Death of a Salesman”

By Roger Friedman The greatest American play? Quite possibly Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” set in 1949 and revived last night on Broadway in a production that is outstanding. Mike Nichols directed and reinvented Miller’s classic, with Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman, Andrew Garfield (the new movie Spider Man) as Biff, Linda Emonds as Willy’s wife Linda, and Finn Wittrock as Happy. This is a historic production, quite possibly the best ever (and there have been many great ones starring Dustin Hoffman, Brian Dennehy, Lee J. Cobb, George C. Scott). Thursday night’s star studded opening was the second time I’ve seen this production, and it’s only gotten more devastating, deep, emotional, and overwhelming. Philip Seymour Hoffman is our generation’s Jason Robards. He is perfection as Willy Loman in all aspects–from Willy’s wrestling with his past (the father and brother who left him) to his denial about more current events, and his increasing mental in capacities. PSH has an Oscar for “Capote” but this is his Tony Award. He cannot be missed.
The whole cast is spot on. Considering it’s a play about fathers and sons, I was particularly moved by Andrew Garfield’s father’s reaction to seeing his son as the angry ne’er do well, Biff. At the party following the opening night at Bryant Park Grill, Mr. Garfield and Andrew just kept hugging and crying. The cast is extremely worn out emotionally after each performance. Even last night Mike Nichols, who’s sat through every preview to give “notes,” told me he was overwhelmed. Arthur Miller’s famous actress sister, Joan Copeland, t0ld me it was the best production she’d seen since the original. Martin Short told me that Tom Hanks had seen it a few days ago and declared it “the best thing he’s ever seen, period.” Columbia Pictures’ Amy Pascal came to congratulate her upcoming Spider Man.
Scott Rudin produced this extravaganza, and it made for quite a glittering night. In the audience were Nichols and Diane Sawyer, Paul Simon, Barbara Walters (who came with David Geffen), Julianna Margulies, Julianne Moore and Bart Freundlich, Catherine Keener, Amy Ryan, Spike Lee, Anjelica Huston, Meryl Streep and Don Gummer, and Garfield’s actress gf Emma Stone, Julia Roberts, plus “Saturday Night Live” star Bill Hader, who said he almost fainted when Nichols complimented his “SNL” work. It was kind of funny at one point seeing Streep, Gummer, Nichols, Sawyer and Huston all dining […]

Ricky Martin poses for Broadway’s revival of “Evita” pic You won’t be able to see Ricky Martin as Che in the upcoming Broadway revival of Evita until April 5, 2012 when the production is scheduled to open at The Marquis Theatre.
But previews will begin Monday, March 12, 2012 and tickets go on sale this Saturday at 10:00 am via / 1-800-745-3000.

Starring with Martin is Olivier Award-winning Argentinean actress Elena Roger as Eva Perón and Tony Award-winner Michael Cerveris as Juan Perón. The trio posed in New York City for a photo shoot with celebrity photographer Frank Ockenfels.
Michael Grandage will direct the production and Tony Award-winner Rob Ashford will choreograph.
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Bernadette Peters is back on Broadway in “Follies” Any time the great Bernadette Peters is on Broadway it is cause for celebration.
The two-tine Tony winner appeared most recently in A Little Night Music and now she is back heading the cast of Follies which officially opens on Monday, September 12, 2011 at the Marquis Theatre.
Production shots have been released of Miss Peters in the role of Sally Durant Plummer and I had to share some with all of you.
Here’s the plot: When former members of the “Weismann Follies” reunite on the eve of their theater’s demolition, two couples remember their past and face the harsher realities of the present. Reminiscing of their younger selves and the years gone by, the crumbling theater brings back memories for both couples of good times and bad.
The score features some of Stephen Sondheim’s best-known songs, including Broadway Baby, I’m Still Here, Too Many Mornings, Could I Leave You?, and Losing My Mind.
Follies originally opened on April 4, 1971 at the Winter Garden Theatre where it ran for 522 performances and received seven Tony Awards, including Best Original Score.
The current production with Miss Peters played a limited engagement at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater opening on May 7 and closing with sold-out houses on June 19, 2011.
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Cynthia Nixon to star in “Wit” on Broadway Cynthia Nixon may be best known for her role as Miranda Hobbs in the Sex and the City TV series and movies, but she also has a long Broadway career that will resume in January when she stars in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit.
The play will begin previews on January 5 at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre and which will officially open on January 26.
The play is about a brilliant and exacting poetry professor undergoing experimental treatment for cancer. A scholar who devoted her life to academia, she must now face the irony and injustice of becoming the subject of research.
Nixon has triumphed in Broadway before winning a Tony Award for her performance in Rabbit Hole. Her other Broadway credits are The Women, Indiscretions, The Heidi Chronicles, Hurlyburly, The Real Thing, and The Philadelphia Story.
An Emmy winner for Sex and the City and Law & Order: SVU, she currently appears on Showtime’s The Big C.
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Tony Awards open up the “Book of Mormon,” “War Horse”

By Sean O’Connell In a fairly predictable affair, the immensely popular “Book of Mormon” grabbed nine Tony Awards – including Best Musical – during Sunday’s telecast, broadcast live from the Beacon Theatre in New York City.
“We really want to thank the audiences because you guys made the show what it is and I think you’re going to have to atone for it one day,” co-creator Trey Parker said. Parker and his creative partner Matt Stone, of course, are the driving force behind “South Park.”
Best Play, meanwhile, went to Nick Stafford’s “War Horse,” which soon will be a feature film from director Steven Spielberg.
The ceremony was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, who made several jokes at the expense of the troubled “Spider-Man” musical and brought the house down with a duet with Hugh Jackman.
The Tony Award winners are:
War Horse by Nick Stafford
The Book of Mormon
Book of a Musical
The Book of Mormon, Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, Matt Stone
Original Score
The Book of Mormon, music and lyrics Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, Matt Stone
Revival of a Play
The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer
Revival of Musical
Anything Goes
Lead Actor in a Play
Mark Rylance, Jerusalem
Lead Actress in a Play
Frances McDormand, Good People
Lead Actor in a Musical
Norbert Leo Butz, Catch Me If You Can
Lead Actress in a Musical
Sutton Foster, Anything Goes
Featured Actor in a Play
John Benjamin Hickey, The Normal Heart
Featured Actress in a Play
Ellen Barkin, The Normal Heart
Featured Actor in a Musical|
John Larroquette, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Featured Actress in a Musical
Nikki M. James, The Book of Mormon
Direction of a Play
Marianne Elliott, Tom Morris, War Horse
Direction of a Musical
Casey Nicholaw, Trey Parker, The Book of Mormon
Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes
Larry Hochman, Stephen Oremus, The Book of Mormon
Scenic Design of a Play
Rae Smith, War Horse
Scenic Design of a Musical
Scott Pask, The Book of Mormon
Costume Design of a Play
Desmond Heeley, The Importance of Being Earnest
Costume Design of a Musical
Tim Chappel, Lizzy Gardiner, Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Lighting Design of a Play
Paule Constable, War Horse
Lighting Design of a Musical
Brian MacDevitt, The Book of Mormon
Sound Design of a Play
Christopher Shutt, War Horse
Sound Design of a Musical
Brian Ronan, The Book of Mormon
Special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement
Athol Fugard
Philip J. Smith
Regional Theater Tony Award
Lookingglass Theatre Company, Chicago
Isabelle Stevenson Award
Eve Ensler
Special Tony Award
Handspring Puppet Company
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