69th Tony Awards wrap up (published on 6/9)

Tony Tony TonyThe 69th Tony Awards have been distributed. The medallions have been spun. Producers are already starting to think about their shows for the 70th ceremony in June 2016. And actors are auditioning for the next jobs.

While Little Rock’s Will Trice did not personally pick up another Tony this year, two of the Tony winners were for shows he produced.  Annaleigh Ashford won the Tony for Featured Actress in a Play for her performance in You Can’t Take It with You.  Christopher Oram won the Tony for Costume Design of a Play for Wolf Hall, Part One and Two.  Catherine Zuber, who won a Tony for her costume design of The King and I will be working with Trice next season on a production of Fiddler on the Roof.

One of the Tony Awards went to Bob Crowley and 59 Productions for Scenic Design of a Musical for An American in Paris.  Ben Pearcy is the American representative of 59 Productions.  Ben’s father grew up in Little Rock, and his grandmother Janet Pearcy was a longtime supporter of Wildwood, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and the Arkansas Rep.   One of Ben’s first Broadway projects was on the lighting design team of the Broadway revival of Chicago which earned him a mention from Ken Billington in his Tony acceptance speech.

Time will tell, but undoubtedly some of the titles nominated for Tonys will eventually be performed in Little Rock either at the Rep, on tour courtesy of Celebrity Attractions, or as part of one of the seasons of one of the volunteer theatre seasons. This month, on stage in Little Rock are 2008 Tony winning Best Play August: Osage County at the Rep, 2009 Tony nominee 9 to 5 at Community Theatre of Little Rock and 2010 Tony nominee The Addams Family.

A couple of more Little Rock connections to Sunday’s ceremony.  Nick Jonas, who appeared at the Clinton Center 10th anniversary concert, was one of the presenters at the ceremony. Darren Criss, who attended the Clinton Center 10th anniversary events, hosted a red-carpet preview program.

I went 19 for 24 in my predictions.

The ones I got right:

Play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Simon Stephens

Revival of a PlaySkylight

Revival of a Musical – The King and I

Actor, PlayAlex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Actress, Play – Helen Mirren, The Audience

Actor, MusicalMichael Cerveris, Fun Home

Featured Actress, Play – Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It with You

Direction, PlayMarianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Direction, MusicalSam Gold, Fun Home

ChoreographyChristopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

Book of a MusicalLisa Kron, Fun Home

Original ScoreJeanine Tesori & Lisa Kron, Fun Home

OrchestrationsChristopher Austin, Don Sebesky, Bill Elliott, An American in Paris

Scenic Design, PlayBunny Christie & Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Scenic Design, MusicalBob Crowley & 59 Productions, An American in Paris

Costume Design, PlayChristopher Oram, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two

Costume Design, MusicalCatherine Zuber, The King and I

Lighting Design, PlayPaule Constable, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Lighting Design, MusicalNatasha Katz, An American in Paris

 

I missed:

Musical – Fun Home (I picked An American in Paris)

Actress, Musical – Kelli O’Hara, The King and I (I picked Kristen Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century)

Featured Actor, Play – Richard McCabe, The Audience (I picked Nathaniel Parker, Wolf Hall, Parts One and Two)

Featured Actor, Musical – Christian Borle, Something Rotten! (I picked Andy Karl, On the Twentieth Century)

Featured Actress, Musical – Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I (I picked Judy Kuhn, Fun Home)

 

A Tax Day Bonus – More Riverfest Lineup revealed

logoRiverfest_bigToday is Tax Day. You can either use your tax bonus on tickets to Riverfest, or if you ended up owing money you can celebrate that Riverfest allows you to see musical acts a lot cheaper than you’d otherwise be able to be.

Either way, today Riverfest announced three more additions to the lineup.

On the Stickys Rock N’ Roll Chicken Shack Stage, the Friday headliner will be DJ Grandtheft. The Saturday headliner will be Cody Canada & The Departed. On Sunday, the headliner will be Surfer Blood.

In March, Riverfest announced Lee Brice, Buckcherry, Chicago, Easton Corbin, The Fray, CeeLo Green, Jamey Johnson, Salt-n-Pepa,  Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Three Days Grace and The Wallflowers with Jakob Dylan.

Riverfest will be May 23-25 in Riverfront Park and Clinton Park along the Arkansas River. Half-price passes ($20) go on sale April 1 at Walgreens nationwide; $35 passes and VIP packages also available now at http://www.riverfestarkansas.com/buy/tickets

Half-Price Passes for Riverfest on sale today

logoRiverfest_bigHalf-price weekend passes ($20) go on sale April 1 at Walgreens nationwide.

Times and locations will be announced closer to Riverfest, as well as many other artists who will perform.  But here is a summary of the major acts which were announced by Riverfest in March.

 

FRIDAY, MAY 23

  • Lee Brice
  • Chicago
  • Easton Corbin

 

SATURDAY, MAY 24

  • Buckcherry
  • CeeLo Green
  • Robert Randolph & the Family Band
  • Salt-N-Pepa
  • Three Days Grace

 

SUNDAY, MAY 25

  • The Fray
  • Jamey Johnson
  • The Wallflowers
  • Hank Williams Jr.

Final March announcement of Riverfest acts

logoRiverfest_bigThroughout March, Riverfest has announced three acts for 2014 on each Tuesday.  Though many more musical acts will be announced closer to the actual festival, today is the final announcement for Riverfest Tuesdays in March.

CeeLo Green, hip-hop solo star, five-time Grammy Award winner and half of the Gnarls Barkley duo well known for “Crazy”; country crooner Jamey Johnson, who won the CMA Song of the Year for “In Color”; and bluesy pedal steel guitar virtuoso Robert Randolph & the Family Band, who first wowed local crowds when they opened for Eric Clapton at Verizon Arena.

Earlier this month, Riverfest announced Lee Brice, Buckcherry, Chicago, Easton Corbin, The Fray, Salt-n-Pepa, Three Days Grace and The Wallflowers with Jakob Dylan.

Riverfest will be May 23-25 in Riverfront Park and Clinton Park along the Arkansas River. Half-price passes ($20) go on sale April 1 at Walgreens nationwide; $35 passes and VIP packages also available now at http://www.riverfestarkansas.com/buy/tickets

 

Broadway on Broadway with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

ASO_revThis weekend, the music of New York City’s Broadway will be heard along Little Rock’s Broadway as the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents the next pop concert of the season — “Best of Broadway.”

Get ready for a walk down the Great White Way in an evening of hits from Broadway’s most beloved show tunes! Join the ASO in a selection of music that crosses all genres and brings a smile to all faces.  The concerts are tonight at 8pm and tomorrow afternoon at 3pm.

The ASO musicians will be under the baton of Associate Conductor Geoffrey Robson. One number will be led by special guest conductor Dr. Richard Wheeler.

The soloists for the concerts are Mandy Gonzales and Destan Owens.

Miss Gonzales has recently completed her run as Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway.  She was awarded Broadway.com’s Favorite Female Replacement Award for this performance. She created the role of Nina in the musical In the Heights.  She has appeared in Aida, Lennon and Dance of the Vampires (in which she starred opposite Michael Crawford and Max Von Essen).  She is perhaps best known for her Obie winning performance in the Off-Broadway musical Eli’s Comin’.

Mr. Owens is an Oklahoma native with a B.A. in Musical Theater from Oklahoma City University. His stage appearances have included Rent, Chicago, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, The Who’s Tommy, Dreamgirls, Jesus Christ Superstar and Sisterella. He appeared at Arkansas Rep in 2007 in It Happened in Little Rock.  He has been a soloist with several symphony orchestras across the country.