Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


Arkansas Heritage Month – Tony Awards nominations with Will Trice

Trice at the 2014 Tony Awards

Trice at the 2014 Tony Awards

Trice at last year's Tony Awards (photo by Lisa Pacino)

Trice at 2013 Tony Awards (photo by Lisa Pacino)

The Tony Awards nominations were announced today.  Little Rock native Will Trice picked up his eighth nomination as a Broadway producer with year’s nod for the revival of Fiddler on the Roof.

Trice has earned previous Tony nominations for producing the plays All The Way* and Wolf Hall; play revivals The Best Man, The Glass Menagerie, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?*, and You Can’t Take It With You; and the musical revival Porgy and Bess*.  (An * indicates a Tony win.)

This season, Trice was a producer of four different shows: Sylvia with Matthew Broderick and Annaleigh Ashford; China Doll with Al Pacino; Fiddler on the Roof with Danny Burstein, Jessica Hecht and Ben Rappaport; and American Psycho with Benjamin Walker and Alice Ripley.

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Little Rock Look Back: The City responds to September 11

The Little Rock arts and culture community responded to September 11 as all sectors did.

Two of the groups in particular come to mind. When airspace was closed on September 11, several flights were grounded in Little Rock. The passengers on those planes became unexpected visitors to Little Rock.   Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey and Assistant City Manager Bruce Moore led efforts to make sure that everyone had a place to stay that evening.

The Arkansas Rep had opened its production of You Can’t Take It with You on Friday, September 7. The show was already scheduled to be dark on September 11, but on Wednesday, September 12, 2001, the performances resumed. That night the Rep offered these unexpected Little Rock guests free tickets to the performance.  Seeing a play which was both heartwarming, comic and full of Americana was the perfect balm for audiences who were weary, confused and nervous in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Most of the cast of that production was from New York City. Luckily, all of their friends and family back in New York were all safe.

Also on September 12, 2001, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presented a previously scheduled concert with Michael Bolton.  He had been traveling by bus so was able to get to Little Rock.  His concert was cathartic for the 2000 plus attendees at Robinson Center Music Hall. It offered not only a communal experience but also a welcome break from 24 hour coverage.  Three days later, on September 15, the ASO kicked off its MasterWorks series.  As has been tradition since the days of Francis McBeth as conductor, that first concert of the season began with the National Anthem.  The audience and musicians gathered and sang and played with unprecedented gusto that night.


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)

 


69th Tony Awards Tonight!

Tony Tony TonyThe 69th Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards are tonight. The telecast starts at 7pm central on CBS.

Here are my predictions for winners (in bold) and my favorites (with an asterisk).

Play

  • *The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Simon Stephens
  • Disgraced, Ayad Akhtar
  • Hand to God, Robert Askins
  • Wolf Hall Parts One & Two, Hilary Mantel and Mike Poulton

 

Musical

  • *An American in Paris
  • Fun Home
  • Something Rotten!
  • The Visit

 

Revival of a Play

  • The Elephant Man
  • Skylight
  • This Is Our Youth
  • *You Can’t Take It with You

 

Revival of a Musical

  • The King and I
  • *On the Town
  • On the Twentieth Century

 

Actor, Play

  • Steven Boyer, Hand to God
  • Bradley Cooper, The Elephant Man
  • Ben Miles, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
  • Bill Nighy, Skylight
  • *Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

 

Actress, Play

  • Geneva Carr, Hand to God
  • *Helen Mirren, The Audience
  • Elisabeth Moss, The Heidi Chronicles
  • Carey Mulligan, Skylight
  • Ruth Wilson, Constellations

 

Actor, Musical

  • Michael Cerveris, Fun Home
  • *Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris
  • Brian d’Arcy James, Something Rotten!
  • Ken Watanabe, The King and I
  • Tony Yazbeck, On the Town

 

Actress, Musical

  • Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century
  • Leanne Cope, An American in Paris
  • Beth Malone, Fun Home
  • *Kelli O’Hara, The King and I
  • Chita Rivera, The Visit

 

Featured Actor, Play

  • Matthew Beard, Skylight 
  • K. Todd Freeman, Airline Highway
  • Richard McCabe, The Audience
  • Alessandro Nivola, The Elephant Man
  • Nathaniel Parker, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
  • *Micah Stock, It’s Only a Play

 

Featured Actress, Play

  • *Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It with You
  • Patricia Clarkson, The Elephant Man
  • Lydia Leonard, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
  • Sarah Stiles, Hand to God
  • Julie White, Airline Highway

 

Featured Actor, Musical

  • Christian Borle, Something Rotten!
  • Andy Karl, On the Twentieth Century
  • Brad Oscar, Something Rotten!
  • Brandon Uranowitz, An American in Paris
  • *Max von Essen, An American in Paris

 

Featured Actress, Musical

  • Victoria Clark, Gigi
  • *Judy Kuhn, Fun Home
  • Sydney Lucas, Fun Home
  • Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I
  • Emily Skeggs, Fun Home

 

Direction, Play

  • Stephen Daldry, Skylight
  • *Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Scott Ellis, You Can’t Take It with You
  • Jeremy Herrin, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
  • Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Hand to God

 

Direction, Musical

  • Sam Gold, Fun Home
  • Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!
  • John Rando, On the Town
  • Bartlett Sher, The King and I
  • *Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

 

Choreography

  • Joshua Bergasse, On the Town
  • Christopher Gattelli, The King and I
  • Scott Graham & Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!
  • *Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

 

Book of a Musical

  • Karey Kirkpatrick & John O’Farrell, Something Rotten!
  • *Lisa Kron, Fun Home
  • Craig Lucas, An American in Paris
  • Terrence McNally, The Visit

Original Score

  • John Kander & Fred Ebb, The Visit
  • Wayne Kirkpatrick & Karey Kirkpatrick, Something Rotten!
  • Sting, The Last Ship
  • *Jeanine Tesori & Lisa Kron, Fun Home

 

Orchestrations

  • *Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky, Bill Elliott, An American in Paris
  • John Clancy, Fun Home
  • Larry Hochman, Something Rotten!
  • Rob Mathes, The Last Ship

 

Scenic Design, Play

  • *Bunny Christie & Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Bob Crowley, Skylight
  • Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
  • David Rockwell, You Can’t Take It with You

 

Scenic Design, Musical

  • *Bob Crowley & 59 Productions, An American in Paris
  • David Rockwell, On the Twentieth Century
  • Michael Yeargan, The King and I
  • David Zinn, Fun Home

 

Costume Design, Play

  • Bob Crowley, The Audience
  • *Jane Greenwood, You Can’t Take It with You
  • Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
  • David Zinn, Airline Highway

 

Costume Design, Musical

  • *Gregg Barnes, Something Rotten!
  • Bob Crowley, An American in Paris
  • William Ivey Long, On the Twentieth Century
  • Catherine Zuber, The King and I

 

Lighting Design, Play

  • Paule Constable, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Paule Constable and David Plater, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
  • Natasha Katz, Skylight
  • *Japhy Weideman, Airline Highway

 

Lighting Design, Musical

  • Donald Holder, The King and I
  • *Natasha Katz, An American in Paris
  • Ben Stanton, Fun Home
  • Japhy Weideman, The Visit


Tony Awards Week – Will Trice

Trice at the 2014 Tony Awards

Trice at the 2014 Tony Awards

Though he has been referenced in every Tony Awards Week story this week, today’s entry is devoted to three time Tony winning producer Will Trice.

It is fitting he is a young, Tony winning Broadway producer.  When his mother, Little Rock actress and teacher Judy Trice, was pregnant with him, she was directing the Hall High production of The Pajama Game.  The original Broadway production of that title was produced by another young, Tony winner – Hal Prince.

Will Trice literally grew up on stage and backstage. In addition to his mother, his late father Bill Trice and his sister Kathryn Pryor have graced every conceivable stage in Central Arkansas.  Will, himself, has been an actor and entertainer.  Most recently, he and Kathryn performed their cabaret act for patrons at the Arkansas Arts Center’s Tabriz earlier this year.

Trice’s Tony Awards came for the 2014 Best Play All the Way, 2013 Best Play Revival Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and the 2012 Best Musical Revival Porgy and Bess.  He also received a nomination for 2012 Best Play Revival for The Best Man.  At the 2014 Tonys, of the 26 awards presented, seven went to shows produced by Trice and his producing partner Jeffrey Richards.

This year Trice is nominated for producing Best Play nominee: Wolf Hall Parts One and Two and Best Play Revival nominee: You Can’t Take It with You.  Between those two productions and a revival of The Heidi Chronicles, Trice-produced projects earned fourteen Tony nominations this season.

Not ones to rest on their laurels, Richards and Trice have already announced revivals of Fiddler on the Roof and Sylvia for the 2015-2016 season.

It was fitting that Trice, a 1997 graduate of Central High, was a producer of the Tony-winning 50th anniversary revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in 2012/2013.  Ben Piazza, a 1951 graduate of then-Little Rock High School, was involved in the development of the play in 1962 and performed in the original Broadway production over 500 performances.


Arkansas connections to 2015 Tony nominations

Rock the TonysLittle Rock native Will Trice picked up his sixth and seventh Tony nominations this morning. He was nominated as a producer for Best Play nominee Wolf Hall, Parts 1 & 2. He was also nominated for being a producer of Best Revival of a Play nominee You Can’t Take It with You.

Each of the past three years, Trice has earned a Tony. On June 7, he’ll find out if there will be another silver medallion or two to add to his mantle.

Wolf Hall Parts 1 & 2 was the most nominated play picking up eight nominations.  In addition to Best Play, it was nominated for Actor in a Play (Ben Miles), Featured Actor in a Play (Nathaniel Parker), Featured Actress in a Play (Lydia Leonard), Director of a Play (Jeremy Herrin), Scenic Design of a Play (Christopher Oram), Costume Design of a Play (Christopher Oram) and Lighting Design of a Play (Paule Constable & David Plater).

You Can’t Take It with You picked up a total of five nominations.  In addition to Revival of a Play, it was recognized for Featured Actress in a Play (Annaleigh Ashford), Director of a Play (Scott Ellis), Scenic Design of a Play (David Rockwell) and Costume Design of a Play (Jane Greenwood).

A third title which Trice produced received a Tony nomination.  Elisabeth Moss was nominated for Actress in a Play for her performance in the revival of The Heidi Chronicles.

Another Arkansas connection to the Tonys is Japhy Weideman. A few seasons back, he was a lighting designer at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.  This marked the third year he received a Tony nominations for his lighting design. This year, he picked up a Tony in both Lighting Design of a Play (for the play Airline Highway) and Lighting Design of a Musical (for the musical The Visit).  Incidentally, both of these productions opened on the same night. That put Weideman in rarefied company of having two shows opening on the same night.


Opening night on Broadway for LR native Will Trice as a producer of revival of YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU

YCTIWY bwayThree time Tony winner (and Little Rock native) Will Trice is heading back to Broadway this fall as a producer of an all-star revival of the Pulitzer Prize winning comedy You Can’t Take It with You.  The show opens tonight

The cast will be led by two time Tony winner James Earl Jones.  The production will mark a reunion from the recent revival of The Best Man for Jones with actress Elizabeth Ashley and producers Jeffrey Richards and Trice.

The Little Rock Central alum has won a Tony for each of the past three seasons. This marks the first project for the Trice for the 2014-2015 season.

First performed on Broadway at the height of the Great Depression (in a Pulitzer Prize winning run), it has not been revived on Broadway since 1983.  You Can’t Take It with You, by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, celebrates the American spirit as well as spirited family life.  Others in the cast, which is to be directed by multiple Tony nominee Scott Ellis, are Tony nominee Kristine Nielsen, Tony nominee Reg Rogers, Tony nominee Annaleigh Ashford, Theatre World winner Crystal A. Dickinson and stage veterans Byron Jennings and Julie Halston.

Trice at the 2014 Tony Awards

Trice at the 2014 Tony Awards

Mark Linn-Baker, who has cut his teeth on both stage and TV, is also in the cast. Others in the show include Marc Damon Johnson and Patrick Kerr. Three time Tony winner Jason Robert Brown is composing music for the play.

Performances started at New York’s Longacre Theatre on August 26.

Trice’s Tony Awards came for the 2014 Best Play All the Way, 2013 Best Play Revival Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and the 2012 Best Musical Revival Porgy and Bess.  He also received a nomination for 2012 Best Play Revival for The Best Man.  This past year, of the 26 Tony Awards presented, seven went to shows produced by Jeffrey Richards and Will Trice.