Sunday, May 19, 2013

Freaky Friday in TheaterWorld: Voice Firings, Tempest in a Tony Teapot

Michael Feingold
Friday was a pretty overwhelming day. In addition to the fallout from the phone smashing at Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, the Drama League Awards were presented and the Village Voice further cut its staff, firing its chief theater critic, Pulitzer Prize finalist Michael Feingold and popular gossip columnist Michael Musto. I admire both writers greatly and was saddened to hear this distressing news. There was also an emergency meeting of the Tony Administration Committee because producer Jeffrey Richards allegedly violated some silly rule with the brochure he sent out to Tony voters for his production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? All material sent to voters must be approved by the Committee and Richards apparently overlooked this step. Michael Reidel wrote in the Post the meeting was prompted by producer Nelle Nugent whose The Trip to Bountiful is Woolf's biggest competition for the Best Revival of a Play Award. According to Reidel's column, producers can only send Tony voters exactly the same souvenir program theatergoers receive. Richards had a new one made up just for the Tony electorate. It's kind of a stupid rule. As a Tony voter, I received the Virginia Woolf brochure and it's not going to make me vote for it over Bountiful. (I'm deciding between Woolf and Golden Boy, but the brochure is not influencing me one way or the other.)

The Drama League Awards went to Vanya, Sonia, Masha, and Spike, Kinky Boots, Pippin, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (I guess Drama League voters got that same brochure) and to Nathan Lane of The Nance for Distinguished Performance. Earlier this week, Boots won the Outer Critics Circle Award over Matilda. The Drama League win cements Boots' status as the underdog, upset winner for Best Musical at the Tonys. It can't win at the Drama Desks tonight because it's not even nominated for Best Musical, but will probably triumph for Billy Porter's lead performance as Lola. Lane's win, along with his Outer Critics victory, designates him as the front runner for the Tonys, but I still think Tom Hanks has the edge for Lucky Guy because most of the Tony voters are industry people, not critics and they want more movie stars to come to Broadway. It will be interesting to see who wins tonight at the DDs since Lane has already won several times (The Lisbon Traviata, Guys and Dolls, Forum, Producers), they might go for Hanks.

No comments:

Post a Comment