Monday, April 16, 2007

Tonys betting etc

  • Getty Images has a couple more photos of Billy Crudup, Jennifer Ehle and Brian F. O'Byrne from the Leonard Leopate interview. Search for "coast of utopia".
  • Randy Gener of the Star-Ledger interviews some of the understudies from Utopia. Much interesting quotage, such as this from Scott Parkinson who went on for Billy Crudup:
    [...] "Understudying is licensed stealing," says Parkinson. "It's one of the positions in the arts where you're expected to copy someone else's work. The job is to faithfully and truthfully recreate the performance of the actors you're covering. It's a meta-version of acting. ... It's almost a purer kind of acting, one step removed from yourself." [...]
  • Tom O'Neil of the LA Times says that Coast of Utopia is the front-runner in the Best Play race, although there are some contenders that haven't opened yet.
  • Marathon runner timaroosky hearts the play:
    [...] This show was the most brilliant thing that I have EVER seen on stage. The production values were the highest I have ever seen, the effects, scene changes, lighting and sound design were flawless. The acting was brilliant and the play(s) were both interesting and informative. [...]
  • Helen Lawson has more of a mixed reaction, agreeing with some of Charles Isherwood's criticisms, but nevertheless dug the production and most of the acting.
    [...] I thrilled to Jack O'Brien's brilliant stage pictures and fluid direction, keeping everything moving and crackling with all the wit and panache at his command. [...]
    And look, a convert:
    [...] I thought there was a lot of sensational acting -- Jennifer Ehle (not a favorite of mine ere now) in three sharply differentiated roles... [...]
  • Michael gives a nice account of the Beaumont experience (squashy seats and all) at Voyage. Plus he gives this reassurance:
    [...] I wasn't expecting the play to be as funny as it was and the jokes ran the gamut from the esoteric to the near-vulgar, the wordplay was involved and entertaining, the whole audience laughed outloud quite a few times . . . the offputting notion in the beginning that the whole play is going to be about Russian politics and philosophy is misguided, I know absolutely nothing about either beyond the scantest basics and I was able to follow the action and discussions with little trouble, Stoppard keeps it fairly accessible, although the notes they give you in the beginning do help. [...]
  • Lucy Komisar goes against the tide of "Stoppard is all head no heart" critique by complaining of the opposite. On the womenfolk:
    [...] And what about the women? Amy Irving, Jennifer Ehle, and Martha Plimpton in multiple roles, especially Irving as Maria Ogarev, estranged wife of Herzen’s hard-drinking friend Nicholas; Ehle as Herzen’s wife Natalie and then as his children’s governess; and Martha Plimpton as Natalie’s friend, the intense Natasha Tuchkov, offer excellent portrayals as the action turns to revolve around them.

    They play a major role, but not for the reasons one might expect in a political play. The female characters are mostly reasonably bright women who spend their free moments thinking about husbands. Bakunin argues for the education of women and for love matches. Did none of the women in that radical milieu ever challenge women’s role? Even the one woman who attends political meetings seems more interested in men than ideas. [...]

  • At All That Chat, there's discussion about Jennifer Ehle's Tony category and more tipping that Utopia will win Best Play.
  • Meanwhile, BroadwayWorld is talking about whether Utopia will be on Live from Lincoln Center (if only!) and there's advice on past-dating Utopia tickets and such. In another thread, one guy is batting hard for Ms Ehle in the Featured Actress category, though there's some debate. Potential competitors mentioned include Susan Lynch in Translations, Dana Ivey in Butley, Jan Maxwell in Coram Boy and Tonya Pinkins in Radio Golf.
  • More star-spotting: Warren Beatty and Annette Bening were in the audience at a performance of Utopia. Just thought of something - given that there is a minute chance some audience members have discovered our humble blog, and given that Utopia audiences seems to be teeming with VIPs...hands up if you've won a Tony, Oscar, Pulitzer? Anyone? Ex-presidents?
  • Sanford Marcus at Queersighted interviews Scott Pask, one of the genius designers on Utopia.
  • Jason Grote reminds us that Utopia dramaturg Anne Cattaneo is going to be on CUNY's Women in Theatre program on April 27 and 29.
  • One fan wrote to the LCT asking about when and where the Utopian Dozen calendar is being sold. Here's the reply she got. "This week" was a while ago, so it should be available now; also, note that while signed calendars are $50, plain unsigned ones are only $20.
    "The calendars will be sold as part of the Broadway Cares fundraising drive which will begin for us this week. We anticipate beginning fundraising following this Wednesday's performance and will sell signed COAST OF UTOPIA posters as well as signed and unsigned copies of the Utopia calendars. All proceeds from the sale of these items will go to Broadway Cares and are completely separate from the items regularly sold in the Beaumont lobby gift shop. As you mentioned, the calendars are also available for purchase from the Broadway Cares website."

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