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Category: Sean Hayes

'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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Gold Derby nuggets: Emmys updates | Tonys telecast details | 'Glee' has Emmys covered

June 9, 2010 |  4:27 pm

Emmy Awards statue • Just before airing the 62nd edition of the Emmy Awards live nationwide on Aug. 29, NBC will feature a one-hour red carpet special hosted by Billy Bush and Maria Menounos who appear on the NBC-produced "Access Hollywood." They will be joined by Nate Berkus whose self-titled talker debuts in Sept. including on many of the NBC O&O stations.

• In a first, NBC is trying to reach Emmy voters shopping at three Los Angeles branches of Bloomingdales with displays showcasing their potential nominees. As Nellie Andreeva reports, "each is themed after a UMS-produced primetime series in contention for Emmy nominations, with the mannequins dressed like characters from the series in settings and situations reminiscent of the shows. UMS' costume designers dressed the mannequins with clothes from the Bloomingdales’ collections, and the studio’s visual artists created a scene representative of each show (for example: in the 'Parks and Rec' display, a parks and rec worker in a hard hat is planting a tree while two colleagues sit on a park bench.)" DEADLINE

Bob Sassone profiles five actors and four shows that he would like to see earn Emmy nominations. Among these are two past supporting champs — "Lost" foes Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson — as well as potential lead actor nominees Timothy Olyphant ("Justified") and Zachary Levi ("Chuck"). For Bob, the comedy series category should include "Chuck," "Cougar Town," The Middle" and "Party Down." TV SQUAD

Tony Awards stauteSean Hayes says he won't use his forum as Tony Awards host to talk about the recent controversy caused by Newsweek columnist Ramin Setoodeh who slammed him for playing straight in the rialto revival of the 1968 tuner "Promises, Promises." As well as emceeing these top theater kudos, the Emmy champ for "Will & Grace" is a contender in the lead actor race. He told reporters Wednesday, "he'll keep the Tonys moving along quickly so folks in the audience and at home will be entertained. He was short on specifics, though he did say he and (co-star Kristin) Chenoweth will appear together during the CBS show." SHOW TRACKER

• Add the following bold-faced names to the roster of talent appearing on Sunday's Tony Awards: Paula Abdul, Katie Holmes, Angela Lansbury, Daniel Radcliffe, Mark Sanchez, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, and Stanley Tucci. The kudocast will air in 45 countries spread across four continents.

• Our great pal Lou Lumenick reports, "Harvey Weinstein apparently smells Oscar potential in 'Miral,' the new film from "Diving Bell and the Butterfly'' director Julian Schnabel. A news release says the embattled mogul 'personally acquired' the French-financed film, starring Freida Pinto, Hiam Abbass, Willem Dafoe and Vanessa Redgrave in a fact-based story of a Jerusalem orphanage founded in 1948. Release before the end of the year is promised and the film is expected to premiere at the Venice and/or Toronto film festivals. NY POST

Patrick Healy has the details on the upcoming first rialto revival of the 1980 Tony-winning musical "Evita." Argentinian Elena Rogers will portray the fiery Eva Peron in this Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice tuner while Ricky Martin will play Che Guevera. Both parts won their Broadway originators — Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin — Tony Awards. Rogers contended for the Olivier in 2006 for the West End version of this remounting and won that award last year for her performance in "Piaf." ARTS BEAT

Glee Emmy Awards • Four of the stars of "Glee" — Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Matthew Morrison — are featured on the cover of the TV academy's magazine. Inside the aptly-titled publication, Lynch — who is a leading contender in the supporting race — talks about her character Sue Sylvester: "There’s a real person beneath the bravado who wants to be accepted and loved although she would never show that. In her narcissistic view of the world, everything’s about one-upping and victory. I had an acting teacher in college we called the Dragon Lady. She taught through shame and humiliation, and when she walked down the hall, people would part like the Red Sea.”

Tina Jordan has good news for "Glee" fans suffering from withdrawal without their weekly fix. "Little, Brown has multiple book projects in the works for its 'Glee' program; the first will be an original novel called 'Glee: The Beginning.' This prequel to the show, which includes a double-sided poster, will hit stores this August." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Top photo: Emmy Awards statue. Credit: ATAS.

Middle photo: Tony Awards statue. Credit: American Theater Wing.

Bottom photo: Cast of "Glee" on the cover of Emmy magazine. Credit: ATAS.

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Gold Derby nuggets: Sandra Bullock returning to red carpet? | Can Cannes boost Oscar hopes? | Tonycast details

May 25, 2010 |  1:58 pm

Sandra Bullock MTV Movie AwardsSandra Bullock may actually be on hand to collect a golden popcorn bucket or two at the MTV Movie Awards on June 6. Ted Casablanca and John Boone deliver the scoop: "While nothing is confirmed, a fashionable source spills that Sandra's stylist has been pulling together outfits from top-notch labels for 'The Blind Side' babe to check out should she decide to strut her stuff for the photogs." Bullock is in the running for three awards -- best kiss (with her co-star from "The Proposal" Ryan Reynolds), best female performance ("The Blind Side") and best comedic performance ("The Proposal"). Bullock won three MTV kudos back in 1995 for her breakout hit "Speed" and contended for four more in the following two years.  E ONLINE

Sir Paul McCartney will be feted at the White House on June 2 when he will be presented with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The award -- bestowed by the Library of Congress -- has gone to Paul Simon (2007) and Stevie Wonder (2009). Wonder -- a one-time duet partner for McCartney -- is among those bold-faced names slated to perform during the ceremony. Also on hand will be Elvis Costello, Faith Hill and the Jonas Brothers with the event set to air July 28 on PBS.

• "Glee" will continue to sing for Fox for at least two more seasons. The network announced the renewal of the freshman hit -- which won the Golden Globe for best comedy series -- on Monday. Both of our Emmy experts -- Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria -- expect the show to be in the running for the top TV award when nominations are announced July 8.

Randee Dawn thinks that "Glee" will not be the only first-year series to figure in this year's Emmy Awards. For example, both "Modern Family" and "The Good Wife" feature likely nominees. However, she cautions, "despite the abundance of new contenders this year, the odds of a winner among them are slim. During the past five years, in the comedy categories only two first-time lead actress nominees have won (Felicity Huffman in 2005 for 'Desperate Housewives' and America Ferrera in 2007 for 'Ugly Betty') and only one lead actor (Ricky Gervais in 2007 for 'Extras'; he had won notice in other categories but not in acting). First-time nominees have even less luck in the lead actor and actress drama categories. Patricia Arquette ('Medium') was the last one, male or female, to win for her first nomination, and that was in 2005." THR

Javier Bardem Cannes Biutiful • The Envelope's Pete Hammond filed a series of must-read reports from the Cannes filmfest. In this final dispatch, Pete considers the awards potential of various films. "Of the prizewinners, expect to see Javier Bardem become a major player leading up to the 83rd Oscars once the Spanish-language 'Biutiful' finds a domestic distributor. The film is likely to be Mexico's foreign-language entry even though it was shot in Spain. Leading the list of foreign-language contenders is 'Of Gods and Men,' the moving, true drama about a group of monks under siege in war-torn Algeria. It follows nominees 2008 Palme d'Or winner 'The Class'  and 2009 grand jury winner, 'Un Prophète,' as the obvious French entry (Cannes fest director Thierry Frémaux is on the selection committee) but has a better chance than either of those actually to prevail in the category. I guarantee it will play very well with the academy's more conservative selection committee, whereas Thailand's 'Boonmee' may be too surreal for their tastes." And Pete says, "other movies not winning award recognition but making a big enough splash here to move on to the academy race include a potential best picture and actress (Lesley Manville) nominee in Mike Leigh's 'Another Year,' with 'Fair Game' also in picture and acting contests (Sean Penn, Naomi Watts). NOTES ON A SEASON

• Two helmers -- veteran Roger Corman and relative newcomer Lee Daniels -- will be honored by the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television during the upcoming annual Festival of New Creative Work. Both will be in the spotlight on the closing night of the fest June 10.

•The Channel 4 biopic "Mo" starring Julie Walters as the late Labour politican Mo Mowlam picked up three prizes at the BAFTA craft kudos Tuesday -- director, editing, and hair/makeup. Walters is nominated at next month's BAFTA TV awards for her gritty performance. "Red Riding" won two awards while "The X Factor" won the production team prize. BBC

• One of the Vulture wags -- Josh Duboff -- takes note of the surprisingly low number of tweets about Sunday's series finale of "Lost." As Josh writes, "While the numbers are still impressive - there were 437,613 'Lost'-related tweets the night of the finale, significantly higher than the average of 27,000 tweets posted per show during the season -- the series-ender's twitter chatter was tromped by that of other big events, like the Academy Awards, which saw about 780,000 Oscar-related tweets this past March. You know, we were thinking that church scene could have benefited from an uncomfortably long interpretative dance number." NEW YORK

Tony Awards logo Following Tuesday's announcement of Sean Hayes as host of this year's Tony Awards comes the first round of bold-faced names scheduled to appear on the June 13 CBS kudocast: Antonio Banderas, Justin Bartha, Cate Blanchett, Michael Douglas, Kelsey Grammer, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Linney, Lucy Liu, Lea Michele, Helen Mirren, Matthew Morrison, Chris Noth, Bernadette Peters, David Hyde Pierce, Tony Shalhoub, Liev Schreiber, Denzel Washington and Raquel Welch.

• Three-time Grammy champ Brandford Marsalis told Andrew Gans he was shocked to get a Tony nomination for his score for the revival of "Fences." As he explains, "When you've finished … a record, you're like, 'All right, this might get a Grammy nomination.' It crosses your mind, [but it] never crossed my mind, that, 'Wow, this ['Fences'] music might get nominated for a Tony.' It just never crossed my mind." As to whether the jazz composer would tackle a full-length tuner, he says, "When you think about the stuff that Gershwin wrote and Lorenz Hart and Hammerstein and Rodgers, they wrote these songs for these plays, and the songs are still being sung 60, 100 years later. And, then you look at some of the modern plays and some people have been able to do that, but that would be the challenge: to write songs that have a certain kind of universal appeal in an era like ours now. It would be a hell of a challenge. If this opens the door to that, that would be awesome." PLAYBILL

• Turns out current Tony nominees Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury are indeed irreplaceable. The two headline the nominated revival of Stephen Sondheim's 1973 Tony champ "A Little Night Music." While the run had been extended to Aug. 29, it will now shutter on June 20 which is the end date for these star troupers. There had been a rumor along the rialto that Oscar champ Gwyenth Paltrow ("Shakespeare in Love") and her Tony-winning mother Blythe Danner would head up a replacement cast.

Top photo: Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards. Credit: MTV

Middle photo: Best actor winner Javier Bardem at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Credit: Reuters

Bottom photo: Tony Awards logo. Credit: American Theater Wing

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Sean Hayes rallies from controversy to host Tony Awards

May 24, 2010 | 10:58 am

Promises Promises The Tony Awards have tapped current nominee Sean Hayes to host the 64th edition of the annual theater kudos. By choosing this Broadway newcomer, the producers are sending a clear message of support for Hayes. The recently out actor found himself at the center of a controversy when Newsweek columnist Ramin Setoodeh slammed him for playing straight in the rialto revival of the 1968 tuner "Promises, Promises."

Hayes had impressed theater critics as the hapless Chuck Baxter, who longs for a co-worker -- the unlucky-in-love Fran Kubelik (Kristin Chenoweth). Although Setoodeh dismissed his efforts, the theater community rewarded him with a Tony nomination for lead actor in a musical. Hayes' costar --the Emmy-winning Chenoweth ("Pushing Daisies") -- leapt to his defense with an impassioned plea to Setoodeh for tolerance. Although this past Tony champ ("You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown") was snubbed by the nominating committee, expect Chenoweth to be in the audience at Radio City Music Hall on June 13 to cheer on Hayes.

Another Tony winner, Katie Finneran ("Noises Off") -- who stole that show from theatrical royalty Patti LuPone -- did the same in "Promises, Promises" as a barfly on the prowl who sets her sights on Chuck. Marian Mercer took home the featured actress award for creating this role, and Finneran could well do the same this year, thereby besting two Broadway veterans -- five-time champ Angela Lansbury, nominated for the revival of "A Little Night Music," and one-time winner Barbara Cook, up for the new revue "Sondheim on Sondheim."

"Promises, Promises" -- the musical version of 1960 best picture Oscar champ "The Apartment" -- has quite the pedigree. Neil Simon adapted the Oscar-winning screenplay by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond, and Hal David and Burt Bacharach provided the words and music. For the original production, Jerry Orbach landed a lead actor Tony for bringing to the stage the part first played on film by Jack Lemmon and now reprised by Hayes.

Hayes is not the first Tony Awards host to have the added pressure of being a nominee. In 2004, Hugh Jackman won the same award Hayes is vying for -- lead actor in a musical -- for "The Boy From Oz" while emceeing his second Tony telecast. The following year, he won an Emmy Award in the now defunct individual performance in a variety special category for his work as Tonys host.

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Experts predict Tony Award nominations

April 29, 2010 |  9:57 am

There's a lot of drama surrounding the Tony Award nominations, which will be unveiled Tuesday. Take, for example, the battle over best musical. The pundits cited below are split over eight contenders to take those four category slots. "American Idiot" is the favorite to win, but an upset is possible. The biggest drama of all is over best drama — there's no clear front-runner.

We've recruited predix from a team of savvy prognosticators: Melissa Bernardo (Entertainment Weekly), Martin Denton (NYTheatre), Thom Geier (Entertainment Weekly), Andy Humm (Gay City News, Gay USA), Kenneth Jones (Playbill.com), Brian Lipton (Theater Mania), Patrick Pacheco (L.A. Times, NY1), Paul Sheehan (TheEnvelope.com), David Sheward (Back Stage), Matt Windman (amNY) and me.

American Idiot Broadway Tonys Tony Awards nominations news 2

BEST PLAY
"A Behanding in Spokane" — Geier, Humm
"Enron" — Bernardo, Denton, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward
"In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play" — Humm, Windman
"Next Fall" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Race" — Denton, Jones, O'Neil, Sheward
"Red" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Time Stands Still" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, Pacheco, Sheehan, Windman

BEST MUSICAL
"The Addams Family" — Jones, Sheward
"American Idiot" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Come Fly Away" — Bernardo, Geier, Windman
"Everyday Rapture" — Lipton, Pacheco
"Fela!" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Memphis" — Denton, Geier, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Million Dollar Quartet" — Bernardo, Denton, Humm, Sheehan
"Sondheim on Sondheim" — O'Neil, Humm

BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
"A View from the Bridge" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Collected Stories" -- Humm
"Fences" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Hamlet" — Bernardo, Humm
"Lend Me a Tenor" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"The Royal Family" — Denton, Geier, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman

BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
"A Little Night Music" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Finian’s Rainbow" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"La Cage Aux Folles" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier,Humm,  Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
"Ragtime" — Bernardo, Humm
"Promises, Promises" — Denton, Geier, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
John Gallagher Jr., "American Idiot" — Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, O'Neil, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
Kelsey Grammer, "La Cage aux Folles" — Denton, Jones
Sean Hayes, "Promises, Promises" — Bernardo, Geier, Lipton, Pacheco, Sheehan, Windman
Douglas Hodge, "La Cage Aux Folles" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
Chad Kimball, "Memphis" — Bernardo, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
Nathan Lane, "The Addams Family" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheward
Sahr Nguajah, "Fela!" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Kate Baldwin, "Finian’s Rainbow" — Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
Kristin Chenoweth, "Promises, Promises" — Bernardo, Humm, O'Neil
Montego Glover, "Memphis" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
Bebe Neuwirth, "The Addams Family" — Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheward, Windman
Christine Noll, "Ragtime" -- Bernardo, Denton
Sherie Rene Scott, "Everyday Rapture" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman
Catherine Zeta-Jones, "A Little Night Music" — Bernardo, Denton, Geier, Humm, Jones, Lipton, O'Neil, Pacheco, Sheehan, Sheward, Windman

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Will 'Promises, Promises' be fulfilled at Tony Awards?

April 26, 2010 |  8:52 am

Promises Promises The first rialto revival of the 1969 musical "Promises, Promises" opened Sunday night to decidedly mixed reviews. This tuneful version of 1960 best picture Oscar champ "The Apartment" has quite the pedigree. Neil Simon adapted the Oscar-winning screenplay by Billy Wilder and I.A.L Diamond while Hal David and Burt Bacharach provided the words and music.

Critics cheered Emmy champ Sean Hayes ("Will & Grace") making his Broadway debut as the hapless Chuck Baxter, who longs for a co-worker -- unlucky-in-love Fran Kubelik. Jerry Orbach landed a lead actor Tony in 1969 for bringing to the stage this part first played on film by Jack Lemmon.

Awards darling Kristin Chenoweth fared less well, with most reviewers making note of her ill-fitting role as a melancholy mistress. This Tony ("You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown") and Emmy winner ("Pushing Daisies") needn't make room on her mantle for another award. In her case, the nomination, if it comes, will be her only reward, just as it was for Shirley MacLaine in the movie and Jill O'Hara in the first Broadway run.

However, another Tony winner Katie Finneran ("Noises Off") -- who stole that show from theatrical royalty Patti LuPone -- does the same here as a barfly on the prowl who sets her sights on Chuck. Marian Mercer took home the featured actress award for this role in 1969 and Finneran could well do the same.

The original "Promises, Promises" was the first show directed by one-time actor Robert Moore and he earned a Tony nomination. While he directed only seven more Broadway shows before dying in 1984, Moore was nominated for four of them. Michael Bennett did not win the Tony in 1969 for his sensational choreography of the show; Joe Layton picked up a second Tony for "George M" to join the one he won for "No Strings" in 1962. However, Bennett went on to win seven Tonys, including five for choreographing such innovative shows as "A Chorus Line" and "Dreamgirls."

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