View Comments The American Theatre Wing and The Village Voice have announced winners of the 63rd Annual Obie Awards. Rajiv Joseph’s Describe the Night received the Obie for Best New American Play, which is accompanied by a $1,000 prize. Performance wins included Will Swenson for Jerry Springer — The Opera, Chukwudi Iwuji for The Low Road, Carrie Coon for Mary Jane, Billy Crudup for Harry Clarke and current Angels in America star Denise Gough for her turn in People, Places & Things. As previously announced, Kathleen Chalfant was honored with a special Obie for Lifetime Achievement. Obie winner and 2018 Tony winner John Leguizamo hosted this year’s ceremony, which was held at Terminal 5. A complete list of Obie winners is below.Best New American Play ($1,000 prize)Rajiv Joseph, Describe the Night (Atlantic Theater Company)PlaywritingAleshea Harris, Is God Is (Soho Rep)Amy Herzog, Mary Jane (New York Theatre Workshop)Abe Koogler, Fulfillment Center (Manhattan Theatre Club)Dominique Morisseau, Pipeline (Lincoln Center Theater)DirectingJesse Berger, The Government Inspector (Red Bull Theater)Anne Kauffman, Mary Jane (New York Theatre Workshop)Taibi Magar, Is God Is (Soho Rep)PerformanceSean Carvajal and Edi Gathegi, Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train (Signature Theatre Company)Carrie Coon, Mary Jane (New York Theatre Workshop)Alfie Fuller and Dame-Jasmine Hughes, Is God Is (Soho Rep)Denise Gough, People, Places & Things (National Theatre/Headlong/St. Ann’s Warehouse)Will Swenson, Jerry Springer — The Opera (The New Group)Chukwudi Iwuji, The Low Road (The Public Theater)Robert Sean Leonard, At Home at the Zoo (Signature Theatre Company)Jessica Hecht, Admissions (Lincoln Center Theater)Ben Edelman, Admissions (Lincoln Center Theater)Billy Crudup, Harry Clarke (Vineyard Theatre/Minetta Lane Theatre)DesignLap Chi Chu, Sustained Excellence of Lighting DesignSarah Laux, Costume Design, Jerry Springer — The Opera (The New Group)The design team of He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box (Theatre for a New Audience): Christopher Barreca (set design), Justin Ellington (sound design), Donald Holder (lighting design), Montana Levi Blanco (costume design) and Austin Switser (video design)Special CitationsAriane Mnouchkine and Theatre du Soleil, A Room in India (Park Avenue Armory)The cast and creative team of Yerma (Park Avenue Armory): Simon Stone (director), Lizzie Clachan (set design), Alice Babidge (costume design), James Farncombe (lighting design), Stefan Gregory (sound design); Maureen Beattie, Brendan Cowell, John MacMillan, Billie Piper, Charlotte Randle and Thalissa Teixeira (cast)David Greenspan, Jack Cummings III and Transport Group, Strange InterludeThe Ross Wetzsteon Award ($3,000 prize)Ma-Yi Theater CompanyObie Grants ($6,000 prize each)Pan-Asian Repertory TheatreYork Theatre Company, for its Musicals in Mufti seriesLifetime Achievement AwardKathleen ChalfantThe Obie Award judges panel for this season was chaired by longtime Village Voice critic Michael Feingold.
Alice Ripley, Aaron Tveit & J. Robert Spencer in “Next to Normal” on Broadway in 2009(Photo: Joan Marcus) Star Files It’s gonna be good! We’ve just learned that the original Broadway cast will appear in the previously announced concert staging of the Pulitzer-winning musical Next to Normal, set to play Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theater tonight, March 25, at 7:00pm. The sold-out concert will be directed by Anthony Rapp, who appeared in an early version of the musical, with original assistant conductor Rick Bertone as musical director.The full company will include Tony-winning star Alice Ripley, with Tony-nominated originals J. Robert Spencer and Jennifer Damiano, and fellow cast members Aaron Tveit, Adam Chanler-Berat and Louis Hobson. They will be joined by Lawrence Clayton, Tamika Lawrence, Isaac Powell, Amy Spanger and Pearl Sun.With a Tony-winning score by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, Next to Normal explores how one suburban household copes with crisis. The musical shows how far two parents will go to keep themselves sane and their family’s world intact.Look back at the musical’s Tony Awards performance below. View Comments Alice Ripley
Tina Turner(Photo: Robert Vos/Getty Images) Here’s a quick roundup of stories you might have missed today.In Advance of Broadway Bio-Musical, Tina Turner Named to Memphis Music Hall of FameAs if we couldn’t be more excited about the Broadway premiere of Tina—The Tina Turner Musical, we just word that the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll herself, Tina Turner, has been named to the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. Turner will be officially inducted the night after the Olivier-nominated musical opens on Broadway. In addition to this latest honor, Turner’s many accolades include 11 Grammy Award wins and the sale of 180 million records worldwide. In the Broadway musical based on her life, Turner will be played by Tony-nominated actress Adrienne Warren, who earned an Olivier nomination for the show’s West End premiere. Broadway previews kick off on October 12 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.Oklahoma! Visionary Daniel Fish to Direct Acquanetta at BardDaniel Fish is going back to his roots. The Tony-nominated director of the 2019 Tony-winning Oklahoma! revival will lend his talent to the new work Acquanetta this summer from July 11-21 as part of Bard SummerScape, the series which housed the original staging of Fish’s innovative Oklahoma! Written by Michael Gordon and Deborah Artman, the show is inspired by the obituary of Mildred Davenport (aka Acquanetta), who headlined a series of 1940s horror films. The catalyst for Acquanetta is a scene from the 1943 cult classic Captive Wild Woman in which a mad doctor conducts a doomed experiment to create a woman by transplanting a human female’s brain and glands into a gorilla. The cast of Acquanetta will be led by Rebecca L. Hargrove in the title role, with Amelia Watkins, Christopher Burchett, Eliza Bagg and Timur.Kristine Nielsen, Rosdely Ciprian & Thursday Williams Set for Reading of One Giant Leap, 50 Years OnTwo-time Tony nominee Kristine Nielsen (Gary) is teaming up with Rosdely Ciprian and Thursday Williams, the two young stars of What the Constitution Means to Me, for an upcoming reading of the newly commissioned play One Giant Leap, 50 Years On by J.T. Rogers (Oslo), based on original New York Times coverage of the moon mission. Directed by Tony winner Bartlett Sher (who helmed Oslo), the public reading will be held at New York City’s Town Hall on July 21 at 7:00pm. The cast will also include Tony nominees Lauren Ambrose, Jeff Daniels, Danai Gurira, LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Arian Moayed, along with Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson and Drama Desk winner Dakin Matthews. Before the reading and a discussion, attendees can experience an interactive VR module, created with photographs taken by Apollo 11 astronauts, which will transport them into a simulated re-creation of the moon’s surface. View Comments
View Comments Meera Syal in “Noises Off” at London’s Lyric Hammersmith(Photo: Helen Maybanks) Director Jeremy Herrin’s acclaimed staging of Michael Frayn’s Noises Off is West End-bound. Following a 2016 Tony-nominated Broadway revival, which is currently playing a sold-out run at London’s Lyric Hammersmith, the hit production will now move to the West End’s Garrick Theatre for a limited engagement from September 27, 2019 through January 4, 2020.Reprising their roles from the Lyric Hammersmith staging will be Meera Syal (Beautiful Thing) as Dotty Otley, Lloyd Owen (Cleaning Up) as Lloyd Dallas, Daniel Rigby (Eric & Ernie) as Garry Lejeune and Simon Rouse (Hangmen) as Selsdon Mowbray.Noises Off follows a director and his group of actors just hours before the opening-night performance of the farce Nothing On. Lines are forgotten, love triangles are unraveling and sardines are flying everywhere.Further casting for the West End transfer will be announced at a later date.
View Comments The Actors Fund, the national human services organization for everyone in performing arts and entertainment, has announced the launch of The Actors Fund Flu Shot Program for Touring Companies, a partnership with the John Gore Organization. The program is designed to provide flu shots to the cast, crew and traveling family members of all Actors’ Equity national touring companies, as well as theatrical venue staff, while also educating them about the programs and services available to them through The Actors Fund.The John Gore Organization and The Actors Fund established The Actors Fund Flu Shot Program for Touring Companies to provide everyone on an Actors’ Equity national tour, or working in a tour venue, with access to the flu vaccination without having to locate a local doctor or pharmacy. Flu shots are made available at theater venues by trained pharmacists from CVS Pharmacy as scheduled by The Actors Fund. If patients are insured, the flu shots are billed to the insurer. For anyone uninsured, the John Gore Organization will cover the cost of the vaccine.”This spirit of collaboration is what The Fund is all about,” said Brian Stokes Mitchell, chairman of The Actors Fund. “Thanks to the John Gore Organization, we’re able to offer flu shots to hundreds in our community across the country. This builds on the health insurance guidance, enrollment and support we offer nationally—including care we offer at The Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts, our medical office in New York City run in partnership with Mount Sinai Doctors. It’s a real win for the health of our community.””We’re sensitive to the challenges faced by the cast and crew of touring companies moving from city to city with lack of access to their regular healthcare providers,” said John Gore, owner of the John Gore Organization. “We are thrilled to partner with The Actors Fund to provide a free and convenient way for the casts and crews to get their flu shots on the road this season.”The program began on September 19, 2019, and has already administered nearly 300 flu shots to the following companies (and is anticipated to provide hundreds more shots by mid-December): Les Misérables in Tulsa, OK; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in Atlanta, GA; Hamilton—Angelica tour in Philadelphia, PA; Come From Away in Cincinnati, OH; Miss Saigon in Costa Mesa, CA; Beautiful: The Carole King Musical in Portland, ME; Wicked in New Orleans, LA; Hamilton—Philip tour in Appleton, WI; Hello, Dolly! in St. Louis, MO; Aladdin in Durham, NC and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in San Francisco, CA. Upcoming flu shot clinics include The Lion King in Boston, MA.For more information or inquiries about The Actors Fund Flu Shot Program for Touring Companies, email Project Manager Stephanie Pearl at email@example.com. For more on the programs and services of The Actors Fund, visit www.actorsfund.org.
Michael Urie in Grand Horizons(Photo by Joan Marcus) View Comments You can’t deny that Michael Urie is dedicated to his craft. This past December, he was pulling double duty: While performing in Tony Kushner’s A Bright Room Called Day off-Broadway at the Public Theater, Urie was also in rehearsals for Grand Horizons by Bess Wohl, which opens on Broadway January 23. “For three weeks, I would rehearse all day in Midtown and then hop on my bike and go down to The Public. I didn’t trust the subway,” he told Paul Wontorek on Broadway.com’s #LiveatFive. “I got so good at doing double duty that I could take a nap during Bright Room Called Day—while I was offstage!” Grand Horizons Urie also found his love of theater while in high school. He originally wanted to be a director. “We did Fiddler on the Roof, and my teacher cast everyone that auditioned. I didn’t want to be onstage. I was the assistant director,” he recalled. “Of course, we didn’t have enough boys, so I ended up onstage. I was Sasha, the Russian. You know, at the end of the first act when they come in and trash the wedding? That was all me.”He’s been acting ever since. Though he did not become a drama teacher, Urie doesn’t hesitate to offer sound advice for students and other aspiring theater makers: “There are many, many ways of being a part of theater that are fulfilling and just as important—if not more important—than being onstage or being the director,” he said. “My advice would be try everything. Do everything until you’re busy enough that you can’t.”Watch the rest of Urie’s #LiveAtFive interview below, and see him at Grand Horizons at the Helen Hayes Theater through March 1.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 29:48Loaded: 0.56%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -29:48 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions offEnglish, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Star Files Show Closed This production ended its run on March 1, 2020 Michael Urie(Photo: Caitlin McNaney for Broadway.com) Michael Urie Related Shows Broadway fans may remember Urie from Torch Song and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. He also earned acclaim in the off-Broadway one-man show Buyer & Cellar, about an actor who gets a job working for Barbra Streisand. Like those other works, Grand Horizons balances comedy and drama. It’s about a husband and wife who, after 50 years of marriage, suddenly decide to divorce. Urie and Ben McKenzie (of television’s The O.C. and Gotham) play their sons. “Ben and I swoop in and try to stop it,” he explained. “It becomes about communicating in a family that has never really communicated before.” The play also marks playwright Bess Wohl’s Broadway debut.Urie feels particularly close to his character Brian French, a high school drama teacher who is so dedicated to his job that he mounts a production of The Crucible where “he has triple cast every role. There’s over 200 kids in the show,” said Urie. Before deciding to pursue performing professionally, the actor actually thought about becoming a drama teacher: “I do think if I had followed that path, I would have ended up quite a bit like [Brian]. I would have been proud to be like that.”
André De Shields Billy Porter performs at the Broadway Inspirational Voices Gala(Photo: SubUrban Photography) Star Files Producer Brian Moreland and Phylicia Rashad. (Photo: Valerie Terranova) Kristin Chenoweth performing at the gala. (Photo: SubUrban Photography) View All (5) View Comments The stars were singing out on March 2, as they gathered to celebrate the Broadway Inspirational Voices choir at its annual gala and live auction at the Edison Ballroom. Among those in attendence were Tony winners Billy Porter, Kelli O’Hara, André de Shields, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Phylicia Rashad and Kristin Chenoweth. The honoree of the night was Disney Theatrical Productions for their commitment to diversity and inclusion; Disney Theatrical’s president Thomas Schumacher was there to accept the Inspiration Award. See photos from the red carpet and the gala concert below. Kristin Chenoweth Billy Porter Broadway Inspirational Voices’ board vice-chair Cynthia Vance, founder Michael McElroy, board chair Schele Williams and Disney Theatricals’ Thomas Schumacher. (Photo: Valerie Terranova) Kelli O’Hara Renée Elise Goldsberry Norm Lewis and Renee Elise Goldsberry introduce a performance (Photo: SubUrban photography)
Mrs. Doubtfire View Comments Rob McClure Broadway’s Mrs. Doubtfire musical might be on hold, but that’s not stopping the show’s talented cast from sharing its original score. The production has offered up a heartwarming new video featuring Tony-nominated actor Rob McClure and his co-stars singing the musical’s final number, “As Long as There Is Love,” penned by Tony-nommed Something Rotten! collaborators Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick. Watch the video below and gear up to see Mrs. Doubtfire back on stage at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre soon. Related Shows Rob McClure Star Files from $59.00
Tony Award winner Ruthie Ann Miles took to social media on May 9 to announce the birth of her daughter, Hope Elizabeth. Miles and her husband, Jonathan Blumenstein, announced they were expecting a child in March.”Welcome to the world, Baby Hope Elizabeth,” she shared, written over a photo of baby’s feet. Although the date of birth was not revealed, Miles captioned the Instagam post, “3 generations of April Babies.” (Miles’ birthday is April 21.)Miles won a Tony in 2015 for her turn as Lady Thaing in Lincoln Center Theater’s production of The King and I. She later appeared on Broadway as Frieda/Betty in the 2017 revival of Sunday in the Park with George. In March 2018, Miles was injured when a driver struck her and her daughter on a crosswalk in Brooklyn. The collision killed Miles’ four-year-old daughter, Abigail, as well as one-year-old Joshua Lew, the son of Miles’ friend Lauren. Seven months’ pregnant, Miles lost her unborn child from complications of the accident two months later.No stranger to resilience, Miles returned to the stage in London less than six months later, reprising her Tony-winning performance in the West End transfer of The King and I and earning an Olivier Award nomination.Broadway.com sends love and congrats to Miles and Blumenstein on their new addition! View Comments Ruthie Ann Miles (right) and husband Jonathan Blumenstein (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
Leave it to Billy Porter to bring his signature flair to causes he cares about. The Tony and Emmy winner is also a founding member of Black Theatre United (BTU), the coalition that aims to combat systemic racism within the theater industry. BTU has joined forces with Fair Count, the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded by former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams that intends to engage, educate and mobilize around the 2020 United States Census. The two organizations have launched #Only1ofme, a new campaign featuring iconic artists of color, to inspire completion of the Census amongst hard-to-count populations. The campaign is spearheaded by Porter and ballet dancer Misty Copeland.What are “hard-to-count” populations? Often, these populations are composed of immigrants, people of color, small children, renters, low-income people, undocumented persons or people who move around often.They may be hard to locate, contact, persuade or interview. The 2020 Census will direct the allocation of more than $1.5 trillion annually to more than 300 federal programs for healthcare, education and more. Nevertheless, the coronavirus crisis has made Census collection efforts amongst hard-to-count communities even more challenging.If these populations do not respond, many of whom have been the hardest hit by the pandemic due to systemic healthcare disparities and economic inequities, cities, counties and states could lose out on billions of dollars that fund services needed before, during and after the pandemic, including hospitals, Medicaid, Head Start programs, school lunch programs, food stamps and more. With the Census Bureau announcing it will be ending the Census on September 30—a month ahead of the October 31 recommendation—there is increased urgency for these populations to respond. This is where BTU and Fair Count come in. Billy Porter Star Files View Comments “When Fair Count reached out about the census being shortened, I thought about something Sherrilyn Ifill said to us in our town hall: ‘We have to use the tools we have.’ We began by asking the question, ‘How can we harness our power as artists to amplify the urgency of this message?’ What we have come up with is a campaign that is about each and every one of us,” said BTU founding member Audra McDonald in a statement.Check out Porter’s message below, and find out more about being counted for the census here.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:30Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:30 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Billy Porter(Photo: Julia Gorbach) Audra McDonald (Photo by Emilio Madrid for Broadway.com)