Outer Critics Circle Winners Announced; Once and One Man, Two Guvnors Are Top Winners

The winners for the various awards are starting to be announced and that means speculation as to what it means to shows who are up for TONY Awards. 

Once won for Outstanding New Broadway Musical, so I’m crossing my fingers for it’s chances increasing at the TONYs. It also won for Best Book, while Newsies won for Best New Score – but that’s only because Once wasn’t eligible to be nominated for Best New Score. Newsies took the award for choreography, as it should, and Spider-man even picked up two awards for Best Set and Best Costume Designs, which it was definitely deserving of. Ghost won for Best Lighting, which made me very excited as it’s been snubbed for the last spot in the Best Musical category when it didn’t deserve it by any means. Ghost’s lighting is brilliant too.

Danny Burstein won for his performance in Follies in the Outstanding Actor in a Musical category. Having seen this performance, he was quite deserving of this. I’m not sure if he’ll take the TONY though. The buzz has been around Steve Kazee for his performance in Once. If he won the award it would be an outstanding surprise to me, personally, as I thought he’d be the one replaced with a name for the transfer to Broadway.

Before I forget to mention: One Man, Two Guvnors won for Outstanding New Broadway Play, Death of a Salesman won for Outstanding Revival of a Play, and Follies won for Outstanding Revival of a Musical. Will this be the blueprint for the Drama Desk and TONY Awards? Only time will tell…

Outer Critics Circle Winners Announced; Once and One Man, Two Guvnors Are Top Winners

One of the only benefits to being underemployed is that it leaves your Wednesday afternoons free. I still get up obscenely early every day and the week before last I woke up before 8 on Wednesday and decided to try my luck at the rush line for Death of a Salesman. There were already 20 or so people ahead of me when I got there, but on the other side of the sidewalk was the four person line for people waiting for rush tickets for the matinee. I was given a bracelet as a guarantee that I’d get tickets and I sat next to former Rockette and waited for an hour and a half. I ended up in Row B in the orchestra to the side. There was a full cast and I was ecstatic to finally see a staged version of this classic.

This is a play that is almost shoved down the throats of high school-aged kids, so you probably know what it’s about. It’s a three-hour long tragedy that when acted pristinely is a beautiful tragedy to watch.

The set, a middle class family’s house designed by Jo Mielziner, is beautiful to look at. The lighting, designed by Brian MacDevitt, is also exquisite.  The best part of this production is, obviously, the cast. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the title role of Willy Loman, with Linda Edmond supporting him as Linda Loman. The sons, Biff and Happy, are played respectively by Andrew Garfield and Finn Wittrock.

Hoffman and Edmond are fantastic, as expected, but Garfield was a different story. We know he can act in movies, but the timeless question of theatre snobs is, “But can they actually act onstage without 15 takes?” Well, I was thrilled to conclude that Garfield can indeed act onstage. His transitions between being 17 and 31 were easeful and believable. He broke down crying no fewer than 4 times in the second act, all believably. Finn Wittrock, a more seasoned stage actor, was also heartbreaking as Happy. A last stand-out in the cast was Fran Kranz as the nerdy-turned-successful schoolmate of the Loman brother’s, Bernard. 

This revival of Death of a Salesman is tragically beautiful in every sense of the phrase. It was definitely worth those 90 minutes on the street.