Critical Confabulations

a theatre, film & pop culture review

Theatre Week in Review: April 26, 2013

A sampling of theatre news, reviews and humor for the week: on Broadway & beyond

The Outer Critics Circle nominees were announced, with the revival of Pippin garnering the most nominations with eleven.

Outstanding New Broadway Play and Musical nominees:

  • broadway-signGrace
  • Lucky Guy
  • The Nance
  • The Testament of Mary
  • Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
  • Chaplin: The Musical
  • A Christmas Story
  • Hands on a Hard Body
  • Kinky Boots
  • Matilda the Musical

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play and Musical nominees:

  • Bad Jews                                     
  • Cock                                              
  • My Name is Asher Lev            
  • Really Really                              
  • The Whale

  • February House
  • Dogfight
  • Giant
  • Here Lies Love
  • Murder Ballad

The Olivier Awards are this Sunday, and they don’t play by the same rules as the Tonys and the Oscars — meaning, most awards are up for grabs. (Speaking of the Tonys: Nominees will be announced April 30.)

Fox is eyeing Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon Levitt to star in a new film adaptation of Guys and Dolls. I know we’re all disappointed by the Brando-Sinatra 1955 film, and that we love JGL, but no. Sue me, sue me, but Luck, please be a Lady and find some more suitable singers to rock the boat.

Speaking of musical movies: The Last Five Years, currently in the midst of its first NYC revival at Second Stage Theatre, will have it’s own cinematic adaptation starring Newsie/Smash bad-boy Jeremy Jordan and Pitch Perfect‘s Anna Kendrick (Hey, we know that at least one of them can sing very well.) The critics didn’t quite believe in the 2ST production, but its cult-like following proves that doesn’t matter: The New York Times put out a call, and wrangled some obsessives to gush about, well, their obsession, and other memories of the show.

And now on to a (book turned) movie turned musical: American Pyscho the musical will premiere in London in December. Yes, the book is by a writer from Glee (shudder) and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (double shudder), and the music is by Duncan Sheik (hmm), BUT it will be directed by Rupert Goold, the genius behind such play-with-music oddities as Enron. Now if only we could get Christian Bale to (attempt to) sing again.

Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr make a case for the economic worth of arts organizations in the UK. In the process, they reveal something about the US:

In July, as the Financial Times reported this week, the US economy will officially grow overnight by 3 per cent. That is not because of a shift in its underlying prospects, but because of an update to the national accounts, which will recognize an extra $70 billion as the capital value of “artistic originals”, a category that in itself will contribute an extra 0.5 per cent to the GDP of the world’s largest economy. In other words, the US is recognizing the full value of its own creative and cultural sector.

“The US is recognizing the full value of its own creative and cultural sector.” Huh. News to me.

A new playhouse attached to London’s Globe theatre announced its inaugural season — and there’s not a Willy in sight. But let’s be honest: Webster’s Duchess of Malfi is badass, and way more interesting choice than the billionth production of King Lear.

Carey Perloff, the Artistic Director of American Conservatory Theater, applies the insights of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In to women in the theatre:

If [a woman] is at the center of the story, and not sitting quietly on the periphery behaving herself, our hearts race a little faster. We understand what is risked and what is gained. Lean In is a potent reminder that we need to become more adept at shaping our own narratives.

Actors: This Is Why We Have Auditions.

Top 11 Theatre Annoyances includes:

What is even worse than arriving late, is when people have the audacity to sit and fidget for ten minutes after arriving, taking off their coat, finding their mobile phone, jangling keys and whispering to their friend. If you’re late, you could at least be quiet.

But fails to recognize my favorite: When someone next to you clearly doesn’t enjoy the show and makes it audibly known by sighing loudly and constantly, tapping feet and thrumming fingers against the armrest and squirming in his/her seat. If you hate it that much, leave. Please. For the rest of us, if not for yourself.

Producer Ken Davenport bemoans the lack of available Broadway theatres large enough to house big musicals. Apparently, the dozen or so open theatres, at an average of 1,083 seats each, are only suitable for plays. Here’s an idea: Stop putting on (usually mediocre-to-bad) extravagantly-produced musicals, and start producing more quality plays. Also, Phantom, Mamma Mia!: It’s time to move on. Out you go, now. Pry those cold, nearly dead fingers of yours from the Majestic and the Winter Garden, please.

Monday marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Stephen Lawrence who was murdered in a racist attack in southeast London, inspiring Richard Norton-Taylor’s docudrama, The Color of Justice (which I may or may not have footnoted in my thesis about the musical Parade. Naturally.)

Happy Birthday, Uncle Willy! (April 23) Thanks for all the plays (maybe) and for all these fun phrases:



One comment on “Theatre Week in Review: April 26, 2013

  1. filmhipster
    April 26, 2013

    Cool poster at the end, would love to have that on my wall. 🙂


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