Thursday, May 31, 2007

It was only a matter of time...

Who wouldn't want to spend some time at Hogwarts or have a cup of butter beer in Hogsmeade? Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Universal Orlando Resort exploited this desire within Harry Potter fans by announcing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2009. As much as I love all things Harry Potter, it makes me a little sad that it has come to this. It started out as a really good book series that got kids to read and use their imaginations and now it's become a multi-million dollar franchise. Still, as long as people are still reading the books I guess it's OK. Plus, this could be a fun theme park, although I'm guessing it will cost a pretty penny to get in (plus airfare to Orlando). I guess I have a few years to save up.
Read the article here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tony, Tony

The Tony nominations were announced today. There were few surprises. "Spring Awakening" leads with 11 nominations. "The Coast of Utopia" was the most nominated play with 10. Here's the complete list of winners (taken from and some early predictions (I may update these as we get closer).

Best Play
The Coast of Utopia (author: Tom Stoppard)
Frost/Nixon (author: Peter Morgan)
The Little Dog Laughed (author: Douglas Carter Beane)
Radio Golf (author: August Wilson)
Early Prediction: "The Coast of Utopia." It did get the most nominations of a play, but then you never know. I wouldn't be surprised if "Frost/Nixon" walked away with the Tony.

Best Musical
Grey Gardens
Mary Poppins
Spring Awakening
Early Prediction: Do I need to say it? Is there any way that "Spring Awakening" won't win?

Best Book of a Musical
Curtains (Rupert Holmes and Peter Stone)
Grey Gardens (Doug Wright)
Legally Blonde The Musical (Heather Halch)
Spring Awakening (Steven Sater)
Early Prediction: I'm torn between "Gardens" and "Awakening," but I'll go with "Spring Awakening" for now.

Best Original Score
Curtains (Music: John Kander, Lyrics: Fred Ebb, John Kander, and Rupert Holmes)
Grey Gardens (Music: Scott Frankel, Lyrics: Michael Korie)
Legally Blonde the Musical (Music and Lyrics: Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin)
Spring Awakening (Music: Duncan Sheik, Lyrics: Steven Sater)
Early Prediction: "Spring Awakening" has the most exciting new score I've heard in a lont time and Sheik and Sater deserve to win this category. I'm guessing that they will.

Best Revival of a Play:
Inherit the Wind
Journey's End
Talk Radio
Early Prediction: I've only seen "Inherit the Wind," which I really enjoyed, but I don't think it will win. Based on what I've read and heard, I think "Journey's End" has a good chance.

Best Revival of a Musical:
The Apple Tree
A Chorus Line
110 in the Shade
Early Prediction: This is a tough category this year. I've seen all of them and I think they all have their merits. I think the overall strongest are "Company" and "110 in the Shade." I'd like to see "110" win, but I think "Company" has the best chance.

Best Special Theatrical Event:
Jay Johnson: The Two and Only
Kiki & Herb Alive on Broadway
Early Prediction: I guess I have a 50% chance of getting it right. I'll go with "Kiki & Herb Alive on Broadway."

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play:
Boyd Gaines (Journey's End)
Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon)
Brian F. O'Byrne (The Coast of Utopia)
Christopher Plummer (Inherit the Wind)
Liev Schrieber (Talk Radio)
Early Prediction: Another tough category, considering all five of these actors already have Tony awards. I only saw Christopher Plummer's performance which is definitely Tony-worthy, but Frank Langella might edge them all out.

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play:
Eve Best (A Moon for the Misbegotten)
Swoosie Kurtz (Heartbreak House)
Angela Lansbury (Deuce)
Vanessa Redgrave (The Year of Magical Thinking)
Julie White (The Little Dog Laughed)
Early Prediction: Julie White had positive buzz for her performance in "The Little Dog Laughed," so I think she'll take it, even if she is up against Lansbury and Redgrave.

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical:
Michael Cerveris (LoveMusik)
Raul Esparza (Company)
Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening)
Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins)
David Hyde Pierce (Curtains)
Early Prediction: My favorite category. I haven't seen the performances of Pierce and Cerveris, but I loved the other three. I was happy to see that Gavin Lee was recognized, even though he doesn't have a chance. Although I haven't seen "LoveMusik" yet, Cerveris is one of the most talented actors and singers on Broadway, but it's not his year, it's Esparza's. I said it when I saw the show in November and I'm going to stick to it. As much as I would like to see it go to the talented young Groff, I think Esparza deserves it for his rendition of "Being Alive" alone.

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical:
Laura Bell Bundy (Legally Blonde The Musical)
Christine Ebersole (Grey Gardens)
Audra McDonald (110 in the Shade)
Debra Monk (Curtains)
Donna Murphy (LoveMusik)
Early Prediction: Christine Ebersole has it in the bag. It's unfortunate that Lea Michele was snubbed for "Spring Awakening" since she's been with the show from the beginning. She's young, though, and I'm sure she'll get her Tony yet.

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play:
Anthony Chisholm (Radio Golf)
Billy Crudup (The Coast of Utopia)
Ethan Hawke (The Coast of Utopia)
John Earl Jelks (Radio Golf)
Stark Sands (Journey's End)
Early Prediction: I'd like to see Crudup win, and based on what I saw in "Voyage," I think he has a good chance.

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play:
Jennifer Ehle (The Coast of Utopia)
Xanthe Elbrick (Coram Boy)
Dana Ivey (Butley)
Jan Maxwell (Coram Boy)
Martha Plimpton (The Coast of Utopia)
Early Prediction: Jennifer Ehle for same reason as above.

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical:
Brooks Ashmanskas (Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me)
Christian Borle (Legally Blonde The Musical)
John Cullum (110 in the Shade)
John Gallagher, Jr. (Spring Awakening)
David Pittu (LoveMusik)
Early Prediction: John Gallagher, Jr.! If you've seen "Spring Awakening," you'll understand why this kid deserves a Tony.

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical:
Charlotte d'Amboise (A Chorus Line)
Rebecca Luker (Mary Poppins)
Orfeh (Legally Blonde the Musical)
Mary Louise Wilson (Grey Gardens)
Karen Ziemba (Curtains)
Early Prediction: First of all, how did Charlotte d'Amboise get nominated? Her performance as Cassie was the weakest in the "A Chorus Line" revival, yet she was the only one to get nominated. At least she won't win, Mary Louise Wilson will.

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Bob Crowley & Scott Pask (The Coast of Utopia)
Jonathan Fensom (Journey's End)
David Gallo (Radio Golf)
Ti Green and Melly Still (Coram Boy)
Early Prediction: Bob Crowley and Scott Pask for "The Coast of Utopia."

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Bob Crowley (Mary Poppins)
Christine Jones (Spring Awakening)
Anna Louizos (High Fidelity)
Allen Moyer (Grey Gardens)
Early Prediction: Bob Crowley again for "Mary Poppins."

Best Costume Design of a Play
Ti Green and Melly Still (Coram Boy)
Jane Greenwood (Heartbreak House)
Santo Loquasto (Inherit the Wind)
Catherine Zuber (The Coast of Utopia)
Early Prediction: Catherine Zuber for "The Coast of Utopia."

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes (Legally Blonde The Musical)
Bob Crowley (Mary Poppins)
Susan Hilferty (Spring Awakening)
William Ivey Long (Grey Gardens)
Early Prediction: Bob Crowley for "Mary Poppins." Disney productions are always tend to be strongest in scenic, costume, and lighting design.

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Paule Constable (Coram Boy)
Brian MacDevitt (Inherit the Wind)
Brian MacDevitt, Kenneth Posner and Natasha Katz (The Coast of Utopia)
Jason Taylor (Journey's End)
Early Prediction: Brina MacDevitt, Kenneth Posner, and Natasha Katz for "The Coast of Utopia."

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Kevin Adams (Spring Awakening)
Christopher Akerlind (110 in the Shade)
Howard Harrison (Mary Poppins)
Peter Kaczorowski (Grey Gardens)
Early Prediction: Kevin Adams for "Spring Awakening."

Best Direction of a Play
Michael Grandage (Frost/Nixon)
David Grindley (Journey's End)
Jack O'Brien (The Coast of Utopia)
Melly Still (Coram Boy)
Early Prediction: I'm still thinking about this one, but probably Jack O'Brien for "The Coast of Utopia."

Best Direction of a Musical
John Doyle (Company)
Scott Ellis (Curtains)
Michael Greif (Grey Gardens)
Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening)
Early Prediction: I don't think Doyle will win again, since "Sweeney Todd" was largely considered to be stronger than "Company." It stands to reason that Michael Mayer will win, since I'm assuming his show will win best musical.

Best Choreography
Rob Ashford (Curtains)
Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear (Mary Poppins)
Bill T. Jones (Spring Awakening)
Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde The Musical)
Early Prediction: I'll go out on a limb and say Jerry Mitchell for "Legally Blonde the Musical." If that show wins anything, it will be for this category.

Best Orchestrations
Bruce Coughlin (Grey Gardens)
Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening)
Jonathan Tunick (LoveMusik)
Jonathan Tunick (110 in the Shade)
Early Prediction: Duncan Sheik for "Spring Awakening" just because I want him to win.

The 61st Tony Awards will air at 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 10 on CBS.