Tuesday, January 24, 2023

B'way Update: Making 'Room' and Changes to the OCC Awards

Adrienne Warren
The 2023 Broadway spring season is getting more crowded. The latest entry is Room, Emma Donoghue's stage adaptation of her best-selling novel. She also adapted the work for the 2015 film version for which Brie Larsen won a Best Actress Oscar. Tony winner Adrienne Warren (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical) will star as the young woman who is held captive with her son in a shed by a sexual predator. The play which features songs by Scottish songwriters Kathryn Joseph and Cora Bissett and direction by Ms. Bissett, will begin preview performances at the James Earl Jones Theater on April 3, prior to an April 17 opening. Room has had previous productions in London (both in England and Canada), Dublin, Glasgow, and Toronto. Additional cast members will be announced.

Whether the show will be considered a play with music or a musical has not yet been determined, since there has been reworking after the last production when it was classified as a play with music.

“I am truly honored for the opportunity to return to Broadway in a project unlike anything I’ve done before,” Adrienne Warren commented. “There were many reasons I wanted to join this team in telling this story, but most importantly, I wanted to share this beautifully human bond between a mother and her son. This is for all the little Jack’s out there determined to hold on to their sense of joy and wonder and all the Ma’s out there doing their absolute best to live, love, and protect through it all.” 

Brie Larsen and Jacob Tremblay
in the film version of Room (2015)

Meanwhile, the Outer Critics Circle have announced their dates for their annual awards and nominations along with some changes to their acting categories. The nominations for the 2022-23 season will be announced by press release on April 25, the winners' names will released on May 16 and then the awards will be distributed in a ceremony at the Bruno Walter Auditorium of the Lincoln Center Library on May 25. 

The Outer Critics Circle board of directors has voted to remove gender specifications from acting categories as well as expand acting categories to separately include off-Broadway productions. In the previous configuration, actors in Broadway and off-Broadway productions had been nominated together in the same category. The Solo Performance category which has always been gender-neutral remains.

So the OCC acting categories will be now be Outstanding Lead and Featured Performer in a Broadway Musical, Off-Broadway Musical, Broadway Play and Off-Broadway Play.

I'm not sure how I feel about these changes. Is the OCC just being overly "woke" by eliminating gender distinctions? There will be the same number of winning actors as before (9) and it will be interesting to see if women or men will get the most recognition among nominees and awards. Maybe females will wind up getting more awards than before. There was no word on the number of nominees per category and it might expand beyond the usual 4 or 5. The changes will mean more accolades for Off-Broadway performers which is a good thing and several shows which did not receive any love at awards time will now get a bit more spotlight.

2022-23 Broadway/Off-Broadway Schedule
February--The Trees (Playwrights Horizons)
Feb. 2--Endgame (Irish Repertory Theater)
Feb. 9--Pictures from Home (Studio 54)
Feb. 16--The Wanderers (Roundabout/Laura Pels)
Feb. 23--The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window (BAM)
Feb. 27--Elyria (Atlantic Theater Company)
Feb. 28--The Seagull/Woodstock NY (The New Group/Signature Theatre)
March--Regretfully So the Birds Are (Playwrights Horizons)
March 1--the best we could (a family tragedy) (MTC/City Center Stage I)
March 8--Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Keen Company/Theater Row)
March 9--A Doll's House (Hudson)
March 13--The Coast Starlight (Lincoln Center/Mitzi Newhouse)
March 15--The Harder They Come (Public)
March 16--Parade (Bernard B. Jacobs)
March 19--Dancin' (Music Box)
March 23--Bad Cinderella (Imperial)
March 26--Sweeney Todd (Lunt-Fontanne)
March 30--Life of Pi (Schoenfeld)
April 4--Shucked (Nederlander)
April 12--Fat Ham (AA)
April 13--Camelot (Lincoln Center/Vivian Beaumont)
April 17--Room (James Earl Jones)
April 19--Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Barrymore)
April 20--The Thanksgiving Play (Second Stage/Hayes)
April 23--Prime Facie (Golden)
April 24--Good Night, Oscar (Belasco)
April 25--Summer, 1976 (MTC/Samuel J. Friedman) 
April 25--Outer Critics Circle nominations announced
April 26--New York, New York (St. James)
April 29--Fuenta Ovejuna (TFANA/Polonsky Shakespeare Center)
May 2--Tony Award Nominations Announced
May 4--Primary Trust (Roundabout/Laura Pels) (previews begin; opening TBA)
May 5-- Days of Wine and Roses (Atlantic Theatre Company) (previews begin; opening TBA)
May 16--King James (MTC/City Center Stage I)
May 16--Outer Critics Winners announced
May 19--Drama League Awards (Ziegfeld Ballroom)
May 25--Outer Critics Circle Awards (Bruno Walter Auditorium/Lincoln Center Library)
May--Wet Brain (Playwrights Horizons)
June 11--Tony Awards (United Palace)
June 22--Once Upon a One More Time (Marquis)
June 28--Hamlet (Delacorte/Shakespeare in the Park) 
July 9--Orpheus Descending (TFANA/Polonsky Shakespeare Center)
July 20--Here Lies Love (Broadway)
Aug. 3--Back to the Future (Marquis)

2022-23 (no dates or theaters yet)
Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death, Black Orpheus, Come Fall in Love--The DDLJ Musical, Pal Joey, Square One

Winter 2022-23
Dark Disabled Stories (Public)

Spring 2023 
Good Bones (Public)
Shadow/Land (Public)

Fall 2023
Merrily We Roll Along
Poor Yella Rednecks (MTC/City Center Stage II)

2023, 2024 and Beyond
Game of Thrones, The Great Gatsby, Frida, the Musical, High Noon, The Mousetrap

Future--The Devil Wears Prada; Ella: An American Miracle; Everybody's Talking About Jamie; The Griswolds' Broadway Vacation; Harmony; I Need That; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; The Karate Kid; Lempicka; Back to the Future; Our Town; The Nanny; The Normal Heart/The Destiny of Me; Sing Street; Smash; Soul Train; What a Wonderful World; The Who's Tommy; Working Girl

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