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Author Topic:   2009 Tony Awards
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posted May 05, 2009 09:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
Billy Elliot Takes 15 Tony Award Nominations

5 May 2009 9:20 AM, PDT

Billy Elliot, The Musical is leading the way at this year's Tony Awards after scooping 15 nominations - tying with The Producers for the most nominations ever garnered by one show.

The production, based on the 2000 film about a coal miner's son who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer, will go up against Next To Normal, Shrek The Musical and Rock Of Ages in the coveted Best Musical category at the 63rd annual prizegiving, which honours the best on Broadway.

Sir Elton John, who has been nominated for the show's original score, says of the nomination: "It's been an amazing experience. It's made an incredible impact on my life."

The drama 33 Variations was nominated for Best Play, competing against God of Carnage, Dividing the Estate and Reasons to be Pretty.

Meanwhile, Hollywood actors James Gandolfini and Jeff Daniels, who both star in God Of Carnage, have been pitted against each other for the Leading Actor In A Play award.

Their co-stars Marcia Gay Harden and Hope Davis will battle it out in the Leading Actress In A Play category, which also includes veteran actress Jane Fonda for her role as a dying musicologist in 33 Variations.

The winners will be announced on 7 June at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

The main list of nominees is as follows:

Best Play:

Dividing the Estate - Horton Foote

God of Carnage - Yasmina Reza

Reasons to be Pretty - Neil Labute

33 Variations - Moises Kaufman

Best Musical:

Billy Elliot

Next to Normal

Rock of Ages

Shrek the Musical

Leading Actor in a Play:

Jeff Daniels - God of Carnage

Raul Esparza - Speed-the-Plow

James Gandolfini - God of Carnage

Geoffrey Rush - Exit the King

Thomas Sadoski - Reasons to be Pretty

Leading Actress in a Play:

Hope Davis - God of Carnage

Jane Fonda - 33 Variations

Marsha Gay Harden - God of Carnage

Janet McTeer - Mary Stuart

Harriet Walter - Mary Stuart

Leading Actor in a Musical:

David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, Kiril Kulish - Billy Elliot

Gavin Creel - Hair

Brian d’Arcy James - Shrek the Musical

Constantine Maroulis - Rock of Ages

J. Robert Spencer - Next to Normal

Leading Actress in a Musical:

Stockard Channing - Pal Joey

Sutton Foster - Shrek the Musical

Allison Janney - 9 to 5

Alice Ripley - Next to Normal

Josefina Scaglione - West Side Story


Billy Elliot

Next to Normal

9 to 5

Shrek the Musical.

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posted May 18, 2009 10:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
Billy Elliot Lands 10 Drama Desk Awards

18 May 2009 5:05 AM, PDT

Billy Elliot The Musical dominated this year's Drama Desk Awards, scooping a massive 10 honours.

The production, based on the 2000 film about a coal miner's son who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer, was named Outstanding Musical at the annual ceremony in New York on Sunday night.

Elton John was honoured with the Outstanding Music award for the show, while its stars Gregory Jbara and Haydn Gwynne walked away with the Outstanding Featured Actor and Actress in a Musical nods.

Allison Janney was handed the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical award for 9 to 5, which features the music of Dolly Parton, and Brian d’Arcy James was presented with the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical honour for Shrek The Musical.

Other winners at the prestigious event included Lynn Nottage's Ruined, which was named Outstanding Play, British star Janet McTeer, who won Outstanding Actress in a Play for Mary Stuart, and Geoffrey Rush, whose turn in Exit The King landed him the Outstanding Actor in a Play honour.

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posted June 08, 2009 05:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for a   Click Here to Email a     Edit/Delete Message
‘Billy Elliot’ dances away with 10 Tony Awards
‘God of Carnage’ wins best play; Lansbury, Rush claim acting prizes
The Associated Press
updated 9:13 p.m. PT, Sun., June 7, 2009

NEW YORK - "Billy Elliot," the big British musical about a coal miner's son who dreams to dance, bowled over Broadway on Sunday, winning 10 Tonys, including best musical and a unique best actor prize for the three young performers who share the title character.

The trio — David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish — traded off thank-yous during their acceptance speech, shyly thanking people associated with the show only by their first name. They also acknowledged siblings and parents. Finally, Kulish told the cheering crowd at Radio City Music Hall: "We want to say to all the kids out there who might want to dance, 'Never give up.'"

"Billy Elliot" collected eight other awards, including director of a musical, book of a musical and choreography, but its composer Elton John was upset for best score. That award was taken by "Next to Normal" — which seemed to stun "Normal" composer Tom Kitt and lyricist Brian Yorkey. Alice Ripley, who portrays battling mental illness in "Next to Normal," received the actress musical prize.

"God of Carnage," Yasmina Reza's savage comedy of manners about two liberal, middle-class couples whose children get into a fight, was named best play and picked up two other major awards, one for its director, Matthew Warchus, and the other for actress Marcia Gay Harden.

Reza, a French playwright who previously won a best-play Tony for "Art," said: "Maybe you missed my accent; you wanted to hear it again. I'm very grateful for all the people who gave their best for the production."

"The Norman Conquests," Alan Ayckbourn's trilogy, received the revival-play prize, while "Hair," the iconic 1960s rock extravaganza roared to a win in the musical-revival category.

The director/musical award went to Stephen Daldry of "Billy Elliot."

"I have been blessed in my life to spend the majority of last 10 years of my life working on the story of 'Billy Elliot,'" said Daldry, who called it "a long, extraordinary journey."

He said the award belonged to everyone connected to the show and especially to "three great gifts of Broadway, our three little Billys."

"Billy Elliot" is based on the popular 2000 movie about a young boy who lives in the bleak coal-mining area of Northern England. His story is set against the backdrop of a bitter miners' strike.

"Billy" also received prizes for featured actor (Gregory Jbara), sets, lighting, sound and a tie with "Next to Normal" for best orchestrations, which Kitt shared with Michael Starobin.

Geoffrey Rush's extravagant portrait of a dying monarch in "Exit the King" took the top actor prize.

"I want to thank Manhattan audiences for proving that French existential absurdist tragicomedy rocks," Rush said.

Angela Lansbury received her fifth Tony, this time for her performance as the dotty medium Madame Arcati in a revival of Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit." Her win in the featured-actress category tied the record for acting prizes held by Julie Harris, who has five plus a special lifetime achievement award given in 2002.

"Who would have thought," the 83-year-old Lansbury began, drowned out by a standing ovation. "Who knew that (at) this time in my life that I should be presented with this lovely, lovely award. I feel deeply grateful."

An emotional Liza Minnelli accepted the prize for special theatrical event for her show "Liza's at The Palace."

"This is exquisite," Minnelli said, asking for a list of people to thank because she didn't think she was going to win. "Lastly, I want to thank my parents and the greatest gift they ever gave me, Kay Thompson," her godmother. Minnelli recreated part of Thompson's club act as part of her Palace entertainment.

Roger Robinson's portrayal of a mystical shamanlike character in "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" was honored with the featured-acting prize.

"It has taken me 46 years to come from that seat, up these steps, to this microphone," said Robinson, who thanked his mother in Bellevue, Washington, "who's 98 years old ... who encouraged me and raised seven children single-handedly."

Featured actress-musical went to Karen Olivo as the spitfire Anita in the revival of "West Side Story."

"I'm completely unprepared for this. ... I just want to dedicate this to everyone who has a dream," Olivo said, thanking the production's 91-year-old director, Arthur Laurents, and then dissolving in tears.

The Tonys twittered this year, with Mark Indelicato of "Ugly Betty" as the night's uber-tweeter from backstage. He offered such timely nuggets as "NPH's (host Neil Patrick Harris) favorite beverage while warming up for the start of Tonys? RED BULL, natch!" Jane Fonda, nominated for lead actress in a play, offered: "The trick is to be Zen about it. Winning is sometimes not the prize."

Bret Michaels injured himself in the show's opening production number when he rocked it out with a number from "Rock of Ages." The extent of his injury was not immediately known.

Broadway had a surprisingly robust 2008-2009 season.

Attendance during the 2008-2009 season slipped a bit (to 12.15 million from 12.27 million the previous year) but not as much as was feared because of the recession. And grosses for plays and musicals actually were a bit higher than a year earlier, setting a record of $943.3 million.

Forty-three shows opened during the season, the highest number of new productions since 50 opened during the 1982-83 season.

"God of Carnage" was one of the big successes of the recently concluded Broadway season. The play recouped its more than $2 million in production costs in less than three months.

The awards were voted on in 27 competitive categories by more than 800 members of the theatrical community, including producers, actors and journalists. The Tonys are presented by the League and the American Theatre Wing, a nonprofit service organization. The Wing founded the Tonys in 1947.

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posted June 10, 2009 04:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message
Michaels' Managers Furious About Tony Awards Treatment

10 June 2009 3:05 PM, PDT

Tony Awards bosses have been blasted for the "inappropriate" way they dealt with an onstage accident at Sunday's ceremony, which left Poison rocker Bret Michaels with a fractured nose.

The singer was hit in the face by a moving set piece as he exited the stage after performing the night's opening number with the cast of musical Rock of Ages.

Tony Awards bosses brushed the accident aside, insisting "Bret Michaels does not have a broken nose, just a scrape from the scenery. Everything is a-okay!"

But the rock star's manager now insists Michaels was, in fact, seriously injured.

Michaels Entertainment Group officials have released a statement criticising Tony Awards bosses for failing to warn the rocker about the moving prop and refusing to stop the show after the accident.

They have also taken aim at show host Neil Patrick Harris for joking about the accident during the ceremony telecast.

The statement reads, "Sunday morning at rehearsals, Bret was never informed that the descending set piece existed let alone would be moving into position as he was exiting the stage.

"Had this incident happened to Liza Minnelli, Dolly Parton or Elton John, the Tonys would have at least issued a letter of concern.

"It is unfortunate that the show’s host made light of the situation without having any knowledge of the severity of Bret’s injuries. Comments that Mr. Harris was doing shots backstage with Mr. Michaels and that Bret was completely fine were untrue, considering Bret never saw Mr. Harris prior to, during or after the Tonys, but, in fact, was being attended to by medical personnel backstage."

A publicist for Michaels confirms that as well as fracturing his nose, the rocker required three stitches to close a wound in his lip after he headbutted the suspended prop.

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