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Category: Broadway

Thank you, Tonys: 'Memphis' and 'La Cage aux Folles' get big box-office jumps

June 21, 2010 |  7:37 am
Tony Awards Broadway news-1

"Life has been good for the Tony Award winners at the box office," reported Crain's New York Business on Friday. "The two most important award-winners, 'Memphis' — which won best musical — and 'La Cage aux Folles' — best musical revival — had big boosts in ticket sales.

"A spokeswoman for 'Memphis' said ticket sales for the show have increased a whopping 300% since [Tonys] night, though she wouldn't release a dollar amount. 'La Cage' sold more than $250,000 worth of tickets the day after winning the Tony, more than twice the usual daily figure." The previous week, "La Cage" sold $642,139. That's about 70% of capacity. 

Photos: "Memphis." Credit: Shubert Theatre. "La Cage aux Folles"  Credit: Longacre Theatre

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'Memphis' wins just four Tony Awards as musical prizes spread around

June 14, 2010 | 10:30 am

Memphiscover "Memphis" won best musical at Sunday's Tony Awards and three of its seven other bids -- score (Joe DiPietro, David Bryan), book (DiPietro) and orchestrations (Daryl Waters, Bryan). This tuner about the segregated south of the 1950s was the only traditional book musical in the top race this year. The other three contenders -- "American Idiot," "Fela" and "Million Dollar Quartet" -- all used existing songs to tell their stories. Each of those shows won at least one award as did several of the musical revivals in a season that failed to produce a juggernaut like last year's "Billy Elliot," which danced off with 10 Tonys.

"Fela" won choreography (Bill T. Jones), costume design (Marina Draghici) and sound design (Robert Kaplowitz), while "American Idiot" took lighting design (Kevin Adams) and scenic design (Christine Jones). Levi Kreis won the featured actor Tony Award for his portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis in "Million Dollar Quartet."

The second rialto remounting of the 1984 Tony-winning tuner "La Cage aux Folles" won the revival race just as the first had in 2005. "La Cage" was tied with "Fela" at a leading 11 nominations apiece but managed just two other wins besides this -- lead actor (Douglas Hodge) and director (Terry Johnson).

Hodge was widely expected to win a Tony to go along with the Olivier he has for this same performance, as rival nominee Sean Hayes ("Promises, Promises") acknowledged during his stellar turn as host of the Tonycast. However, Catherine Zeta-Jones was less of a sure thing to win lead actress, as evidenced by her shocked reaction. The Oscar champ ("Chicago") won for her work in the first rialto revival of the 1973 top tuner "A Little Night Music." On Friday, the Welsh actress was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (one step down from a Dame) by Queen Elizabeth II in her birthday honors list.

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Four pundits tie in predicting Tony Awards winners

June 14, 2010 |  9:22 am

Four journalists tied for achieving the best score (21) when predicting the 26 competitive races at the Tony Awards. Congrats! And thanks to you all for sharing your predix with us.

Tony award pic

Brian Lipton (TheaterMania) — 21

Paul Sheehan (The Envelope) — 21

David Sheward (Back Stage) — 21

Matt Windman (amNY) — 21

Wayman Wong (New York Daily News) — 20

Robert Diamond (Broadway World) — 19

Andy Humm (GayUSA, Gay City News) — 19

Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby, The Envelope) — 19

Martin Denton ( — 18

Lane Brown (New York Magazine Vulture) — 17

Susan Haskins (Theater Talk) — 17

Harry Haun (Playbill) — 17

Thom Geier (Entertainment Weekly) — 16

Leonard Jacobs (Clyde Fitch Report) — 16

Melissa Rose Bernardo (Entertainment Weekly) — 14


Pundits split over close Tonys races: See experts' predictions

Photo: American Theatre Wing

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Gold rush for 'Red' at Tony Awards

June 14, 2010 |  9:00 am

Red Playbill "Red" -- the John Logan two-hander about abstract artist Mark Rothko and his assistant -- was the big winner at Sunday's Tony Awards, prevailing in six of its seven bids: best play, featured actor (Eddie Redmayne), director (Michael Grandage), lighting design (Neil Austin), scenic design (Christopher Oram) and sound design (Adam Cork). Logan picked up an Oscar nomination for his part in penning the original script for 2000 best picture champ "Gladiator" and was a nominee again in that same category four years later for "The Aviator."

The only race "Red" lost was best actor as Alfred Molina was edged out by two-time Oscar champ Denzel Washington ("Glory," "Training Day") who won his first Tony Award for the first rialto revival of "Fences." Washington prevailed in the part of Troy, a onetime baseball star turned sanitation worker who struggles to reconcile his past and present. When James Earl Jones originated this role in the 1987 production, he took home the second of his two Tonys.

The 1987 Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner by August Wilson also won best revival of a play and a second Tony for Oscar nominee Viola Davis ("Doubt") as Troy's long-suffering wife, Rose. That part won Mary Alice the featured actress Tony for the original production but producers petitioned to boost Davis to the lead race. Davis won the featured actress Tony in 2001 for another Wilson work, "King Hedley II."

While Redmayne repeated his Olivier Award-winning performance when making his Broadway debut in "Red," Scarlett Johansson was new to the stage when she appeared in "A View From the Bridge." The four-time Golden Globe nominee won her first major awards hardware for her featured performance as a lovesick teenager in this third rialto remounting of the Arthur Miller classic. Among those she edged out was stage vet Jessica Hecht as her aunt.

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Denzel Washington and Viola Davis dish 'Fences' and August Wilson in the Tonys press room

June 14, 2010 |  6:59 am

Denzel Washington and Viola Davis spent some quality time with us journos in the press room at the Tony Awards, but, unfortunately, I could only grab a few minutes of their comments. A security goon ordered me to shut off my camera as soon as I started. That was absurd, because other media outlets were shooting video. I pressed a fight with the goon and a PR flack in the back of the room and, by the time I prevailed, Denzel and Viola were almost done talking. At least I caught a bit of what they said.

Last night at the Tonys, the security chaps were out of control. Several of them barked at me, ordered me to halt and not enter areas where I was cleared to enter, according to my press pass, which was in clear view, dangling from my neck. They were an army of bullies desperate to assert their authority despite not knowing the rules they were hired to enforce.

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Complete list of Tony Award winners

June 13, 2010 |  8:05 pm
Tonys Tony Awards winners news-1

Here is a complete list of winners of the Tony Awards bestowed at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Sunday night.



Douglas Hodge, "La Cage aux Folles"

Catherine Zeta-Jones, "A Little Night Music"


"La Cage aux Folles" 

Denzel Washington, "Fences" 

Viola Davis, "Fences"

Eddie Redmayne, "Red"

Scarlett Johansson, "A View From the Bridge" 

Levi Kreis, "Million Dollar Quartet"

Katie Finneran, "Promises, Promises"

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Backstage at the Tonys

June 13, 2010 |  5:22 pm

In previous years, the media covering the Tony Awards was stationed up in the glamorous Rainbow Room atop 30 Rock while the ceremony took place across the street at Radio City Music Hall. This year we were moved across Rockefeller Center to a sports club. That means Tony winners must walk past gym equipment (top photo) to get to the press room (middle photo — arrow marks The Envelope's great seats). Bottom photo: What the journos really care about — the free grub. (On the menu are pita-wrapped sandwiches, pasta salad, cheese squares and fruit.)

Tonys Tony Awards sports club

Tonys Tony Awards press room

Tonys feed journos Tony Awards

Photos: Tom O'Neil for the L.A. Times


Stars still shine at rain-soaked Tony Awards

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'Memphis' wins first Tonys of night with score, book and orchestration awards

June 13, 2010 |  4:50 pm

Bon Jovi bandmate David Bryan picked up two Tonys in quick succession as he won both the orchestration award and the score race. He shared the first with Daryl Waters edging out among others grand slam champ Jonathan Tunick ("Promises, Promises").

His Tony bookend for score is shared with co-lyricist Joe DiPietro. The score category was missing several of the musical maestros behind this season's contenders for the top award. The Tony Awards require nominated scores to have at least 50% original material. That ruled out  both "American Idiot" and "Fela!"

DiPietro got his own matching Tony when he won the book prize. In his wry acceptance speech, he mentioned the New York Times which did not believe he was the front-runner in this race. However, all but three of our panel of pundits predicted him to win this award.

Stars still shine at rain-soaked Tony Awards

June 13, 2010 |  4:48 pm

Here's what is going on now outside Radio City Music Hall just minutes before the start of the Tony Awards. Lots of rain! But that doesn't dampen the hubbub.

Check out the third set of photos below. That's Daniel Radcliffe. He jetted over from England just hours after wrapping production on the final "Harry Potter" picture. Radcliffe, who debuted on Broadway several seasons ago in "Equus" will be back next year in a revival of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." (On the left in those photos, you can only see a brief glimpse of Radcliffe's back as he signs autographs for fans while being crowded by security guards. At right you can see his profile while he starts the march down the red carpet.).

In the fourth photo down are the Green Day "Idiots" stopping for paparazzi pics on the way into the hall to cheer on the stage adaptation of their smash hit album "American Idiot."

Rain Tonys

Rain Fans Tonys Tony Awards

Daniel Radcliffe Tonys


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Talkin' Tonys with double nominee Jan Maxwell

June 13, 2010 | 11:00 am
Jan Maxwell is the fourth person to earn two acting bids in one year at the Tony Awards. She's nominated for her lead performance in "The Royal Family," the 1927 George S. Kaufman-Edna Ferber chestnut about an acting dynasty modeled on the Barrymores. She's also up for best featured actress for portraying the exasperated wife of a grandiose opera star in "Lend Me a Tenor," a classic, door-slamming farce. Most Tonys pundits predict she'll win for "Tenor." Both shows are up for best revival, but are expected to lose to "Fences."

Dishin' 'Hamlet' with Tony nominee Jude Law

June 12, 2010 |  6:43 pm

There have been many productions of "Hamlet" on Broadway since the Tonys began, but Jude Law is only the third actor to receive a nomination for portraying the Danish prince. Obviously, Tony voters like this guy. "Hamlet" is only Law's second Broadway role. He got nominated for his first too: "Indiscretions" (1995).

Join our live chat during the Tony Awards on Sunday

June 12, 2010 |  5:14 pm
Tony Awards Tonys Broadway news

Turn your viewing of the Tonys into a multimedia experience this Sunday at 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET). While viewing the ceremony on CBS, join us via computer to share your observations / questions/ snarky comments. We'll be backstage in the press room piping in too. Meantime, here is a breakdown of who the pundits predict will win.


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