Mr. Horvath! Yogi Bera!

I was invited to the opening night party for Bronx Bombers on Thursday night. I got to work on my “Chat With Strangers Until Your Friends Show Up” skills and conversed with some pretty interesting people. Before I headed out, I was able to snap this picture with Peter Scolari. He was pretty cool. He fist-pumped my friend and I. 

Total highlight of the week. 

As you may or may not have known, the fall revival of Romeo and Juliet, staring Orlando Bloom and  Condola Rashad, was filmed and is being shown on select screens across the country from February 13th to the 19th. Right in time for Valentine’s Day!

That Girl Allisonis giving away a pair of tickets to one lucky reader. I think it’s a perfect Valentine’s Day activity. Even if you saw the production live, I think it will be a completely different experience seeing it on screen, with close ups and all. And who doesn’t love seeing Orlando Bloom up close on screen?

Want to win? Comment and tell me what you’re doing on Valentine’s Day (even if you’re doing anti-Valentine’s Day!) and reblog this post! The winner will be announced on Wednesday.

I saw the Twelfth Night’s companion yesterday, Richard III. I had no idea what it was about except that it was about a king that murdered people. 

As with Twelfth Night, the company acted through the three hour drama exquisitely.  Mark Rylance stole the show again, duh, followed by the lovely Samuel Barnett (at least in my opinion). 

I preferred Twelfth Night to Richard III, but I think that’s only because I was more familiar with that story.

Both pieces are beautiful examples of Shakespeare’s texts when they’re performed with integrity and as they’d been performed when they were originally written. And I’m incredibly glad I saw them both. 

I’m Running Things Now, or: August: Osage County, the film

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I’d almost forgotten that the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning drama August: Osage County was being made into a film. Until my friend emailed me and invited me an advance press screening. Of course I’d goAugust premiered on Broadway in 2007 and I was supposed to go see it but then the Local 1 strike of 2007 happened and Broadway shut down for the week of Thanksgiving (I happened to be interning at The Broadway League – then known as The League of American Theatres and Producers – so it was an interesting time to say the least). A few months later, I finally broke down and paid for a student ticket. Three and a half hours flew by in the theatre but I think most of the play flew right over my head. In other words: it wasn’t my pick for the Tony Award that year.

But I was excited to see the film regardless. I mean, it has Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. It couldn’t be that bad. And it wasn’t. It wasn’t half bad at all. These two women give the best performances of their lives. The entire movie is an emotional roller coaster. It made me really thankful that none of the plot points have happened in my family. 

Julianne Nicholson is heartbreaking as Ivy. Juliette Lewis is the necessary comedic relief as as Karen. Abigail Breslin is Jean, Roberts’ daughter, and she’s a totally perfect little bitch. Dermot Mulroney, though usually a gentleman in movies, is a complete slime ball in this film (in a the completely perfect way he’s supposed to be, naturally).

The movie was just under two hours. I have no idea how they cut an hour worth of text from the play but they did and they upheld the integrity of the play perfectly. I liked the movie more than I liked the play, but seeing the movie made me want to re-read the play. I think that’s the sign that the movie has served it’s purpose.

August: Osage County is the perfect family Christmas movie this year. 

I saw Love’s Labour’s Lost at the Delacorte two Sundays ago after I found out my friend Steve was able to get an extra ticket for me. I missed out on Comedy of Errors, sadly, but I was stoked to see this one especially because Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman were behind the score. Oh, and did I mention that it was an hour-forty with no intermission? Lastly: the cast seemed pretty kick-ass. 

All of this was an equation for an awesome show.

Well, it had it’s moments. I would prefer to listen to Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson any day (as I don’t remember any of Love’s score). The set was beautiful, the band was great (I love that the conductor was occasionally part of the cast), and the cast was pretty kick-ass.

I really enjoyed the performances that Patti Murin, Daniel Breaker, and Kevin Del Aguila gave. I thought it was really awesome to see Rory Thayer (the red head from the movie Accepted) onstage too. 

So I’ve seen better at the Delacorte, but I’ve also certainly seen worse. 

When shall we three meet again?

I love Macbeth. It’s my favorite of Shakespeare’s dramas. I studied it while I was abroad in London. I worked at the last broadway revival starring Patrick Stewart (I watched that production 13 times in all it’s 3 hour and 15 minutes of glory). I was excited but honestly skeptical when I learned it would be coming back again this season.

As a one-man show. That was one act and an hour and forty five minutes long. What?! But the silver lining was that Alan Cumming would be the star. He’d be playing all the characters. Still: the prospect was intimidating.

But yesterday I went to see the recent revival and I was absolutely blown the fuck away.

The premise is that Alan Cumming is a patient in an institution playing all these characters in his padded cell. They make full use of the three cameras and screens watching him. In all fairness, there are two actors in the show with him but they are there mostly to watch over him occasionally and sedate him when necessary.

The concept is truly heartbreaking to watch. Any time Cumming gets a little too into the action he’s imagined, the doctors rush in to sedate and put him back into his bed where he curls up in the fetal position and cries briefly.

Alan Cumming is a force to be reckoned with. He’s incredible. During the curtain call, he seemed very humbled and surprised to be receiving so much attention for his out-of-this-world performance.

I love Macbeth and if you do too, this is a production not to be missed.

Disclosure: My company works on this show, but I am in no way shilling for them. 

Nominations Announced for 67th Annual Tony Awards; Kinky Boots Earns 13 Nominations – Playbill.com

So, there were donuts in the conference room at my office today as we waited with baited breath for the nominations on NY1. The donuts were good; the fact that Matilda received 12 nominations was better.

Things I’m particularly excited about:

  • Bring It On’s nominations (Best Musical, Best Choreography). I loved this show – though I may be biased. But I’m totally ecstatic that it got two nominations that it very much, IMO, deserved.
  • Rob McClure for Chaplin. He was just phenomenal. There were no words. 
  • Condola Rashad in The Trip to Bountiful. She was endearing, and funny, and gave a great performance.
  • Pippin’s nomination for Best Revival of a Musical. You just have to see it to get it.

The hysterical moment came when they announced Best Lighting of a Musical. Kenneth Posner received three out of four nominations. I’m not sure that’s ever happened before. If he doesn’t win.. it’ll be the biggest shock of the awards.

I guess nothing else is that big of a shock as far as the nominations go. I suppose I have to see Kinky Boots now. I guess I’ll be rushing it! 

Congrats to all of the nominees!

Nominations Announced for 67th Annual Tony Awards; Kinky Boots Earns 13 Nominations – Playbill.com

“Extraordinary how potent cheap music is!”

I will admit that I was a bit nervous as to how Kim Cattrall would fair onstage in Private Lives, but not nervous enough to keep me from buying a ticket. Noel Coward’s Private Lives is a classic comedy about an ex-husband and wife, Elliot (Paul Gross) and Amanda (Kim Cattrall),  who wind up staying in adjacent hotel suites on their honeymoons with their new beaus and end up running away together because their attraction to one another is just that strong. Their new husband and wife, Victor (Simon Paisley Day) and Sybil (Anna Madeley), find them a few days later in an epic brawl in Amanda’s flat in Paris and they question what they should do going forward – make-up? Divorce?

The cast is absolutely stellar with not a weak link on the stage.  The sets are beautiful and the direction is great.  I waited after the show to get Playbills signed for my two Sex and the City-obsessed best friends and Ms. Cattrall was gracious and signed my three playbills without question.  She’s also quite beautiful up-close!

Private Lives is a classic and this production would make Mr. Coward proud. 

One of the producer’s of this season’s revival of Born Yesterday, Philip Morgaman, courted the playwright’s estate lawyer for years in order to gain the rights after being a long time fan of the play.  Apparently the last revival was a huge failure and the playwright didn’t want to have his play illy produced again.  Morgaman found a way to make Born Yesterday feel fresh, even though it’s decades old.  

Born Yesterday tells a story that feels very much like Pygmalion, and though it’s not a perfect play and drags sometimes, it is a very amusing script with a great change-of-heart from the main character in the end.  The reason to see this revival is the blonde haired actress above, Nina Arianda.  

Arianda was supposedly discovered by director Walter Bobbie when he cast her in this seasons much buzzed about off-Broadway production of Venus in Fur, which I unfortunately missed.  People talked about her incredible performance in that role but she’s even more captivating in Born Yesterday.  She has perfect comedic timing and made the audience love her [character] even thought she might be a little naive and not truly gets what’s going on around her.

The set is gorgeously designed (by John Lee Beatty) and incredibly detailed, as are the costumes (by Catherine Zuber).  Born Yesterday was enjoyable but Arianda is hands down the best actress of this season (maybe tied with Frances McDormand in Good People) and makes this play something not to be missed.  

I look forward to watching Arianda win her TONY in June.  

(photo via)