Friday, June 29, 2007

It was a pleasure to be beaten by you

Just when you thought we were finished gabbing about the Tonys...
  • Confessions of a Paparazzi reveals her secrets to star-spotting outside of Radio City Music Hall before, during, and after the Tonys ceremony. It is pretty impressive (and by impressive I mean a little scary!) She also posts the photos she took, including one of Martha Plimpton. The caption reads:
    On the side of RCMH there is a "Stage Door" (Martha Plimpton in green dress smoking a cigarette after losing to her costar in Coast of Utopia). The stage door is exactly across the street from an entrance to Rockefeller Headquarters.
    She also caught "Tom Stoppard and his Tony make[ing] their way to the press room."
  • Janice posts a belated Tonys fashion report. Under the category "Better in Person?" she says, "I think this gown on Jennifer Ehle (looking not at all like her appearance in Pride and Prejudice) is flattering but a necklace would be good and the top seems a little too tailored for the Tonys." In the "Don't Believe Live Would Save It" category she opines, "This dress on Martha Plimpton reminds me of occasions when I've had trouble with metallic wrapping paper." Ouch.
  • Christopher Rawson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reviews his Tony predictions:
    If you play the predictions game, you have to 'fess up. So I went back to look at my Tony Awards predictions and discovered I scored just 18 out of 25. I did worst on actors in a play, missing three out of four: With Jennifer Ehle, I guess I underestimated the impact of her nude scene, and with Billy Crudup, I was misled by my rooting for Anthony Chisholm. That's the reverse of how I missed David Hyde Pierce, who was my rooting preference for best actor in a musical.
  • The Star-Ledger has a cute article about The Coast of Utopia's Erika Rolfsrud, in which she discusses her latest project. She also reminisces about her days as a serf:
    [...] That was a good choice, for she eventually worked at the city's Old Globe Theater with such high-powered directors as Dan ("Proof") Sullivan and Jack ("Hairspray") O'Brien, who respectively directed her as Imogen in "Cymbeline" and Masha in "The Sea Gull." O'Brien later cast her in the nine-hour trilogy "The Coast of Utopia," the centerpiece of the 2006-07 Broadway season. "I was a lowly serf," she says. "Amy Irving got to beat me. Off stage, she was lovely though, and I'll always treasure her note that said, 'It was a pleasure beating you every night.' I just had to write back and say, 'And it was such a pleasure to be beaten by you.'" [...]
  • The Coast of Utopia is among the ten plays selected to be in "The Best Plays Yearbook" of 2006-07. The book will include an essay about Utopia by Charles Wright. See BroadwayWorld and Playbill for more details.
  • Bearcat of All That Chat asks what many of us are wondering: When will the Lincoln Center version of The Coast of Utopia become available in print? I don't believe it has been announced as yet.

In other news:

  • Jenna posts a video preview of the upcoming film about Jane Austen called Becoming Jane and suggests that none other than Jennifer Ehle should have been cast as Jane. (Good idea, but I have to say that there are more compelling arguments than "She's not that old!")
  • The Janites on the James blog recently held a "Battle of the Darcys" and it seems that Colin Firth has won the title. No surprises here! Click here to view the results.
  • In Variety's "Summertime Oscar Talk," Pride and Glory had been included in the "preliminary awards-contender" list and Colin Farrell had been listed as a potential Best Actor. Alas, since the movie's release date has been pushed back to March 14, 2008 (post-Oscar eligibility), it has been stricken from the lists.
  • And lastly, has a video of Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi joshing each other on the set of Spider-Man 2. Rosemary Harris is shown briefly, commenting on their relationship.

Monday, June 25, 2007

To Russia With Love

After the glorious finale to Utopiadom in New York, attention is now being shifted to the country from which it all came. The Guardian interviews Tom Stoppard in Moscow amid the arduous but seemingly fascinating Russian rehearsals (which according to Mr. Butler Harner have been going on since November 2005!) Although in some respects the transition seems to be proceeding well, there does appear to have been the odd hiccup:

When rehearsing the second act on stage, the cast immediately runs into difficulties. Herzen, his wife Natalie and their friend George are discussing Marx:

H: But Marx is a bourgeois from the anus up.
N: Alexander! I won't have that word . . .
H: Sorry, middle class.

"I don't understand when you're having fun and when you're being sincere," Stoppard interjects. Ilya is baffled: "Is it a joke?" "I find it really interesting that you have to ask that!" says Stoppard. "Really interesting." The Russians explain that the joke doesn't work in Russian. "Because we don't really have this word 'bourgeois', meaning middle class." Until recently, Russians have not even used the word "middle class". "Well, what is that word?" asks Stoppard. "It must be equivalent to 'bourgeois'." Ilya explains that when Herzen says "Sorry, middle class", it sounds as if he's saying "Sorry, I said that rude word because I'm middle class". "Look," Stoppard says, "what about 'Sorry, I mean middle class'?" This works. And he realises that this discussion has opened a door.

Jason Butler Harner, meanwhile has written a lovely piece for the Theatre Communications Group. The ex-Mr Turgenev gives another wonderful insight into the memorable episodes of the gargantuan ride, such as Marathon curtain call number one:

On the walk downstage, I had a split second of crystallization. Time stopped. White noise. I inhaled. A profoundly calm, communal moment happened in a hair's breadth…the moment so sought after by the creative spirit and so frequently avoided. The unwavering fervor of the audience pulled me back. And then came the real gift of staring into the eyes of specific strangers and thanking them. The reciprocal strength demanded and garnered in locking eyes and sharing a silent "thank you" and "we made it" leaves one speechless. I will never experience anything like it my lifetime again. The Utopians then celebrated into the wee hours singing rounds of "The Tsar is dead!" in a Midtown bar.

To coincide with Sir Tom's 70th birthday on July 3rd, BBC radio are running a special celebration of his work from June 29-July 15, including the broadcast debut of Rock'n'Roll on Radio 3, July 8. Fellow Guardian-er Michael Billington adds Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead to the schedule, and is finding it hard to believe Mr Stoppard's age after finding him 'as youthfully effervescent as ever'. The only other plays on the BBC Radio 4 schedule yet are Albert's Bridge, Arcadia and 15-minute Hamlet. Fingers crossed for Utopia! All will be available online post-broadcast.

Sticking with the radio theme, Tony Award winner and Utopia costume designer extraordinaire Catherine Zuber is among the next batch of interviewees for Downstage Center. We'll post the link when it's up.

There is also a post-Tonys piece by the Telegraph which seems to have swum past our fishing rod. Again, I apologize on behalf of my country for the uncalled for first sentence. And clearly some Brits need a lesson as to what 'Broadway' means. (Please correct me if I am wrong here). It is also interesting that the aforementioned Michael Billington is one of those who seems to have doubted the ability of a revival! In the comments section meanwhile, reader Simon Coulter asked a question that I think is on all of our minds:

I do though wonder what you do with lots of Tonys and all those other awards - are they dust gatherers or can you keep them on a (rather large) mantelpiece?

Happy thought indeed! The best first sentence award goes to Times Online's Benedict Nightingale, who says that 'there are no dramatists for whom I'd rather risk deep-vein thrombosis than Tom Stoppard' even if the other half of the sentence is 'but his nine-hour flight through mid-19th-century Russian history isn't the easiest ride'.

Elsewhere on the web, theatre-insider Emma spied Ms Ehle through the crowds at the aforementioned Romeo and Juliet performance in Central Park, and describes her as 'the most angelic other-worldly presence I have ever seen'. On a more jovial note, thefridayfive are keen to remake Gone with the Wind with Ms Ehle as Scarlett. Funding, anyone?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Surviving le deluge

Apparently Jennifer Ehle took some time away from her zinnia watching and returned to the Delacorte Theater to attend the gala performance of Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare in the Park. New York Magazine says:
[...] Some of the celebs who’d stuck it out through the first batch of rain — Janney, Josh Hamilton, Liev Schreiber — bolted. Idina Menzel, in a poncho, pushed past us on her way out. Marcia Gay Harden was seen running for a cab, dress hiked up to her waist. But Tony winner Jennifer Ehle proved herself to be totally cool, running around in a white tunic dress. [...]

BroadwayWorld has photo coverage, and although I can't find any pictures of Jennifer Ehle, there is one of Josh Hamilton. The New York Times also has a video featurette documenting the event, which is kind of fun.

An anonymous tipster commented on a previous post that there is a picture of Jennifer Ehle in the June issue of Vogue. Apparently they called called her glorious and the "best reason to believe in the existence of God." If anyone has a copy and would like to scan it and send it to us, that would be awesome!

The Hindu has another article about Jennifer Ehle's Before the Rains co-star Rahul Bose. Here is the relevant quotage:

[...] Next in the kitty is Before the Rains, a film set in 1937. It explores the relationship be tween an English planter and a Malayali villager. “This is the most eclectic film by Santosh Sivan that I am waiting for. It is about divided loyalties, betrayals, fondness and patriotism. Most probably, it will be premiered in the Toronto Film Festival this year.” [...]

There hasn't been much news lately, so here are a few marginally related items:

  • has another review of The Coast of Utopia CD.
  • This week the American Theatre Wing's Tony Committee announced that they are adding two new categories to the Tony Awards: 1) Best Sound Design of a Play and 2) Best Sound Design of a Musical. The Envelope speculates that this is Tom Stoppard's doing:
    [...] When four-time Tony champ Tom Stoppard talks, the theater award administrators listen. Backstage on Tony night, I asked for his thoughts about his play trilogy "The Coast of Utopia" winning a record seven awards this year. The celebrated author bemoaned the fact that the achievement of Mark Bennett, who composed the music and sounds that underscored so many scenes, was not eligible for consideration. On Tuesday, the Tonys announced the creation of two new categories — sound design for both a play and a musical — bringing the total Tony tally to 27 (the Oscars have 25 by comparison). [...]
  • The New York Social Diary has a picture of Rosemary Harris at the American Theatre Wing's Annual Spring Gala, which "honored Carol Channing, James Earl Jones and Tommy Tune for their innovative and artistic accomplishments to the theatre." Martha Plimpton and David Pittu were also photographed at the gala.
  • Josh Hamilton will be taking part in a free reading of Wirehead on June 25th. See BroadwayWorld for the details. And, according to Playbill, Utopians Jason Butler Harner and Mia Barron have been cast in a production of A Wake on Chappaquiddick at the Cape Cod Theater Project in Massachusetts.
  • Finally, the Gothamist tells us that Lincoln Center now has free WiFi!
    On opening day of this season's Midsummer Night Swing, Lincoln Center has become a free WiFi hot spot. So if you're at Josie Robertson Plaza, in Damrosch Park, or on the North Plaza by the Reflecting Pool, your laptop, phone or PDA will be wired. Lincoln Center president Reynold Levy said, “One of the goals of Lincoln Center’s transformation projects is to encourage visitors to our campus to come earlier and linger longer, both before and after performances." We wonder if this will encourage people to blog about performances during intermissions. [...]

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A new and improved acceptance speech video!!

Thank you for the video Pinky!!

A few stragglers

There are still a few straggling bits of news and quotes from the Tonys Awards.

  • Greensboro's News-Record reports that North Carolinians are happy to bask in Jennifer Ehle's reflected glory:
    The region got to bask in a bit of reflected glory last week when Jennifer Ehle, who was born in Winston-Salem and attended the School of the Arts, won her second Tony award, this one for best performance by a featured actress in "The Coast of Utopia." Bravo!
  • New York Magazine has a short Tonys slideshow featuring a picture of Billy Crudup. The caption reads:
    Billy Crudup communes with his Tony for The Coast of Utopia, which closed in May. Is he having withdrawal? “It’s depressing! Totally and utterly depressing. You give up this thing that you’ve devoted all your time and creative energy to, and it’s gone. For theater, it’s even worse because it’s in the ether. There’s nothing left anywhere but your experience.”
    Also, the caption under Liev Schreiber's photo informs us that he was given first dibs on doing The Coast of Utopia:
    “I love these awards,” he says. “They’re better than the Oscars. At least these people know how to put on a show.” Schreiber, who was up for his performance in Talk Radio, says he was the first person Jack O’Brien approached for Utopia. “I said no. I don’t have the balls those guys do.” Next up, fatherhood and writing a screenplay. “I don’t want to talk about it, because then I can’t change my mind. They’ll be like, ‘Ah, he didn’t win the Tony. And now he’s failed again.’”
    There is also some speculation as to which part Liev Schreiber was asked to play at All That Chat.
  • Variety was backstage at the Tony Awards to interview the winners. Here are the relevant bits - From Tom Stoppard:
    [...] "I did tell Jack O'Brien that if he wanted to a do a musical of this, I think 'Serfs Up' would be a good title," Tom Stoppard cracked after his win for "The Coast of Utopia," his saga about Russian intellectuals in the 19th century. The play, produced in Gotham by Lincoln Center Theater, is gearing up for a Russian production, and there's interest in a French incarnation as well, Stoppard said. "Coast" was more of a sweeping success Stateside than it was in its U.K. preem at the National. "Well, I had four years to think about it," Stoppard explained. "I made the thing clearer, and I made the narrative swifter." Stoppard's next Rialto project is a transfer of his play "Rock 'n' Roll." His next writing project? "I don't write at all until I get bitten by something, and then I only write," he said. "I was hoping to write something this summer, but I haven't got any ideas. Do you have any?" [...] [Oh, Tooom?]
    From Jack O'Brien:
    [...] "The Coast of Utopia" helmer Jack O'Brien recalled the months spent rehearsing and rolling out the three plays one by one over the course of six months. "We were never out of rehearsal," he said. "I said to the actors, 'You're gonna be so sick of the sound of my voice.'" Added the three-time Tony winner, "No one's ever going to do anything like this again. The awards are just frosting on the cake. But I have to tell you, the cake was pretty delicious." [...]
    From Billy Crudup:
    [...] Crudup, like fellow nominee Ethan Hawke, gave up many months of film opportunities to appear in the multiplay epic. "I don't have such a high cost of living that I can't be paid an actor's wage for working on a stage," he said. "I just have the one apartment." [...]
    And from Jennifer Ehle:
    [...] Jennifer Ehle, who won her second Tony when she nabbed featured actress in a play for "The Coast of Utopia," won the honors for a variety of characters she played over the course of Tom Stoppard's three-play epic. "I didn't have a favorite; I loved all three," she said of the roles. Does she miss performing the show, which ended its long but limited run May 13? Not so much. But she keeps up to date on her castmates. "We email obsessively," she said. "There's never been a cast that's stayed in touch so much." [...]
  • Jeff provides us with a BBC press release reporting that several of Tom Stoppard's works will be broadcast on BBC radio stations this summer.
    Sir Tom Stoppard is to be celebrated across BBC Radio with a season of his work on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4 and BBC 7. This includes the radio debut of his most recent play, Rock 'N' Roll, which has been specially adapted by Stoppard with a new final scene. The season also features new Stoppard adaptations of Arcadia, The Fifteen Minute Hamlet and Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead, and listeners are given another chance to hear some of the acclaimed playwright's best radio productions. [more]
  • What are the Utopians up to this summer? Well, at least three of them are sticking together. TheaterMania informs us that Jason Butler Harner, Amanda Leigh Cobb, and Robert Stanton will be performing in The Front Page at the Williamstown Theatre Festival this July.
  • No news about about any upcoming projects for Jennifer Ehle, but an interview with actor Rahul Bose at Express India gives us hope that Before the Rains (aka Road to the Sky) will debut at the Toronto Film Festival.
    [...] The actor is also excited about Before The Rains. Directed by Santosh Sivan and set in 1937, it explores the relationship between a British tea planter and a young Malayali villager who constructs roads. “It’s about infidelity, divided loyalties and betrayals. The film is ready and will hopefully premier at Toronto.” [..]
  • Finally, TheaterMania has a review of The Coast of Utopia CD, which was released last week.
    [...] Another praiseworthy aspect of the Lincoln Center production was Mark Bennett's music, over-amplified in the theater but enjoyable as heard in a new recording on the Ghostlight label. This is the sort of lush, lovingly orchestrated score you'd expect to hear on the soundtrack of an epic film. There are 38 music cues in all, each of them quite short; the CD contains only 35 minutes of material in total. Among the most compelling pieces are "Trilogy Prologue: 500 Souls," "The Telescope," "Birch Trees," and "Curtain Call." Note that the CD isn't completely instrumental; five of the tracks feature vocals by cast members Felicity LaFortune and/or David Pittu. In a brief appreciation in the booklet accompanying the CD, Utopia director Jack O'Brien hails Bennett's score for, among other things, its simplicity. Would that the work it accompanied had exhibited the same virtue. [...]

Friday, June 15, 2007

"My dress won a Tony!"

Well, I think the Tonys craziness is subsiding, and I believe we've covered all of the photos and videos out there. Still, here are a few more Tony tidbits and random finds (and discussion of fashion, which seems inevitable post-awards!)

  • At Day Life, you can see a neato slideshow of pictures of Jennifer Ehle at the Tonys. (The photos, which have already been posted, are from getty images).
  • Woot! named Jennifer Ehle a "Tony Trendsetter" in fashion and gave her the award for Best Neckline: "Her plunging Carolina Herrera showed the perfect amount of skin." Martha Plimpton placed fifth in the Best Dressed category, and Billy Crudup was applauded for bringing back the classic tuxedo. Way to go Utopians!
  • Livejournaler shigella also loved Ms Ehle's corseted dress, calling her "Tony Awards Eye Candy." The discussion that follows her post is somewhat, umm, entertaining as well.
  • On the other hand, bakerloo called her dress "horrendous" and theparkbencher concluded that she had the most "misguided dress:
    [...] Now this is a difficult category, but I’m going to have to go with Jennifer Ehle, who won Best Featured Actress in a Play for The Coast of Utopia. I decided on her instead of Cynthia Nixon’s Unfortunate Neckline Styling 2007, only because I expected more from Elizabeth Bennett. I love Jennifer Ehle and I want her to always be lovely. And she was, but the dress was terribly misguided. [...]
    To each his own!
  • Panekattack talks about watching the Tonys ceremony on television and gives a very interesting tidbit about Jennifer Ehle's dress:
    [...] On the other hand, our utter rapture was unmeasurable when Jennifer Ehle won Best Supporting Actress in a Play: Moises' close friend designed Ms. Ehle's dress upon his recommendation. "My dress won a Tony!" he proclaimed. [...]
  • Also on the fashion front, Zoe commends Jennifer Ehle's choice of jewelry:
    [...] Jennifer Ehle who won best actress for The Coast of Utopia wore a simple diamond bracelet...Sometimes, as these classy ladies have shown, it is more impressive to pick one or two amazing pieces of jewelry that accentuate your image than to pick one that overwhelms it. Take a note from their book. [...]
  • Robert Osborn of the Hollywood Reporter had this to declare: "The most elegant ladies onstage [were] the classy Angela Lansbury and best featured actress winner Jennifer Ehle." He also made mention of the new edition of "Forbidden Broadway," which began on Wednesday:
    [...] All those Tony wins for "The Coast of Utopia" definitely add oomph to "Forbidden Broadway: The Roast of Utopia," the special summer retrospective edition of the "Forbidden Broadway" franchise that debuts Wednesday and runs through August 22 at the 47th Street Theatre. Not only will Tom Stoppard's nine-hour marathon be royally spoofed, but so will Sunday's other big Tony champ, "Spring Awakening," as well as "Mary Poppins" and other current shows, mixed in with encores of the most popular "Forbidden" parodies from the past 25 years. [...]
  • FOXNews gives Jennifer Ehle some Tonys kudos and provides us with a quote:
    [...] And congrats, too, to Jennifer Ehle, who picked up her second Tony, this time for "The Coast of Utopia." Ehle is the daughter of famed actress Rosemary Harris, but she told me she still hasn't had a chance to see her mom in "Spider-Man 3" as Aunt May." I hear she's great, but I've been in the play," she said. [...]
  • Lonecub of MySpace was a fan of Ms Ehle's acceptance speech: "I also refuse to talk about how endearing Julie White's speech was or for that matter Jennifer Ehle's speech." I cannot imagine how anyone could think otherwise!
  • Times Online has an article about Tom Stoppard beating the record for most Tony wins by a play.
    [...] “I would be more than happy to have equalled the playwright of Death of a Salesman and a contemporary of mine, Alan Bennett,” Stoppard said after the awards ceremony on Sunday night. [...]
  • There is a also quote by Jack O'Brien at the Associated Press:
    [...] "It's betrayal, marriage, families, the DNA of social change," said "Coast" director Jack O'Brien. "I never imagined that the city, the community would ever embrace this." [...]
  • Speaking of Jack O'Brien, Playbill tells us that the production of Puccini's Il trittico that he directed will be airing on PBS this week as part of the Great Performances at the Met series. (This is his other triology.) There is some discussion of this at All That Chat as well.
  • Also on Playbill are some photos from the Outer Critics Circle Awards. (They are a little behind!) There are none of Jennifer Ehle, but Martha Plimpton and Jack O'Brien are shown.
  • Remember that the Tonys telecast was up against the finale of The Sopranos? Well, Slate has noted further coincidences and connections between the two Tonys.
  • Smore2 of All That Chat has some gripes about the Tony Awards and feels that The Coast of Utopia had an unfair advantage over the other plays. Pffttttt.
  • Oy! Apparently Pride and Glory's release date has been pushed back to March 14, 2008.

For my own amusement: Many viewers of this year's Tony Awards were surprised to discover that "Lizzy Bennet" is in fact a blonde American.

  • Freyalorelei said, "In between I watched a bit of the Tony awards, and apparently Jennifer Ehle has an American accent. It was like finding out that Santa Claus isn't real. :)"
  • More bewilderment from CaptainOz: "(eww...Jennifer Ehle has blond hair. She looks so *not* like Liz Bennett. Holy crap! She's not even British!! Good God, I've been totally bamboozled. I'm watching the Tony Awards, btw...and Jennifer Ehle just won for whatever show she's in. Hmm. I'm just weirded out."
  • Isabel79 was similarly bamboozled: "What the phage!?! Jennifer Ehle (best know as Lizzie Bennet in P&P 1995) isn't British!?! "
  • And, Persephone33 explains, "I did NOT predict Jennifer Ehle winning best supporting actress. I'm so glad she did, and was flabbergasted to hear that her natural accent is decidedly not British. (It gives us non-Brit actresses with passable accents hope.) She's my Lizzie. Love her."

(I don't know why I get such a kick out of these!)

Finally, go to YouTube to see Triumph the Insult Comic Dog interview Martha Plimpton (and other celebrities) on the Tonys red carpet. It is well worth it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Words stagger after

  • Quotage at NY1:
    [...] Jennifer Ehle also won for Best Featured Actress for an acting triple play that stood out in an already distinguished ensemble.

    "To be nominated for a Tony is already phenomenal and to have actually won – I don't know, I think I'm at a loss for words," said Ehle of her win. [...]
  • BroadwayWorldTV has the full version of their video backstage coverage! Can't see Ms Ehle yet but.....ahhhhh YES! And Jack O'Brien as well! Her bit is about 40% into the video.
  • BroadwayWorlders rate the best of the past five years' Tony winners. Some picks there for you know who. And some scroogery about her acceptance speech - but at least one person is defending her honour, bless 'em.
    [...] The fact that Jennifer Ehle seemed unprepared didn't bother me at all. I was unprepared for her to win, too, so I welcomed her honest, genuine demeanor. She's fab. At least it seemed impromptu and real rather than similar to a Rashad monolgue. [...]
  • The Vancouver Sun echoes the same sentiment, even if their facts are a little wobbly (although what she says is true of both Mr Easton and Stoppard!):
    [...] The Coast of Utopia also won two awards early in the evening for best featured actor and actress in a play: Billy Crudup and Jennifer Ehle, who delivered one of the night's most emotionally heartfelt acceptance speeches, calling Stoppard a British "national institution." [...]
  • Jennifer Ehle wins "Best Plea" at
    [...] Jennifer Ehle, kind of a surprise winner for Featured Actress in a Play for her sterling three roles in Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia, hoping that the play's success will allow theatres to consider the idea of repertory again. Hear, hear! [...]
    Newsday says amen to that:
    [...] The nonprofit Lincoln Center Theater had the courage to devote its entire season to a rethinking and restaging of the Stoppard trilogy, which had had its unremarkable world premiere in London. The achievement is extraordinary of itself, but also for suggesting that theatergoers and major actors would embrace the long-promised ideal of a resident repertory company. How gratifying to hear Jennifer Ehle, in her featured-actress acceptance speech, declare, "We all do want a repertory company at Lincoln Center." Maybe the Tonys will push that decades-old dream along. [...]
  • Metro, Hello Mag and the Daily Mail (with gorge photos) are claiming her for England, whereas the News Observer and Winston-Salem Journal insist she's a tar heel. For example:
    [...] Jennifer Ehle’s win of a second Tony Award Sunday night was certainly a coup for her. But it was also a win for Winston-Salem, The City of the Arts. [...]
    The Guardian chooses the middle way, "Anglo-American". Though of course, being half American and half British, at heart she is Australian!
  • Another couple photos of her and Ethan Hawke is up at TheaterMania's and USA Todays' photo features, and the Beeb have her above the fold. #29 on's coverage has her and Mr Hawke joshing with Sir Tom, and she and Mr Hawke are in their "Classy Couples" feature, "bringing their movie star glamour to Tony's red carpet".
  • Reuters love:
    [...] Most charmingly enthusiastic speechmaker: Julie White, best actress for "The Little Dog Laughed." The most elegant ladies onstage: the classy Angela Lansbury and best featured actress winner Jennifer Ehle. [...]
  • Another wee mention at Fox:
    [...] There were also not a lot of stars for the show. By the time of the after party, there was no sign of people like Ethan Hawke, Zach Braff or Billy Crudup. Ann Heche made a brief appearance; Fantasia was nowhere to be found. Many shows have their own parties following the Tony dinner at Rockefeller Center.

    Only "Talk Radio" star Liev Schreiber and pregnant girlfriend Naomi Watts stuck around for a bit, as did "LoveMusic" star Donna Murphy, who carried her own plate of food. Others who fended for themselves included new Tony winner Jennifer Ehle and presenter Marcia Gay Harden, who couldn't find a seat near the buffet. [...]

  • has pics from the Winners' Ball, none of Ms Ehle but some of the Utopian creative team were there. Bob Crowley, one of the geniuses behind Utopia's much-lauded design, scored two awards for play and musical.
  • Check out Playbill's cute pic of Jennifer Ehle and Martha Plimpton at "Stars in the Alley".
  • Ack with all the excitement we forgot to remind you about the Coast of Utopia CD release yesterday - there was an event at Barnes & Noble with Mark Bennett and some cast members, reports BroadwayWorld. Have a listen to a few clips and order the CD at Ghostlight Records. Barnes & Noble have heaps of clips too.
  • One more thing - first person to find or post a video of the acceptance speech wins...a lot of love!
  • Nope, still more. Videos of part of Tom Stoppard's acceptance speech at KUTV, and a bit on ITN, photo of Billy Crudup, Ms Ehle and JackO'Brien at CBS, an acceptance speech one at the NY Times, and a couple at Talkin' Broadway, Playbill and ABC News.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Two. Time. Tony. Award. WINNER!!!!

Congratulations on your Tony win for your amazing performances in The Coast of Utopia Jennifer Ehle!

I will try to post photos and whatnot as soon as possible, but here are a couple of things to tide you over:
[Edit: I have been adding things as I go. I apologize in advance for the disorganization.]
  • Visit our forum to read a complete transcript of Ms Ehle's beautiful, beautiful, beautiful speech. (Courtesy of the lovely Kerry!) You can also read a bit of our own squeeeeing at the live chat while you're at the forum. Brace yourself!
  • From's "Live from the winners' circle:"
    9:15pm Jennifer Ehle sweeped in looking gorgeous in a fitted navy satin gown. She declared that she couldn't choose a favorite of the three characters she played in Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia: "I loved them all. They were different characters who lived such different lives; I can't imagine removing one from the equation. It was like stringing beads, we brought them on one at a time." Ehle felt comfortable with the long journey of mounting Stoppard's three-part epic, she added, after having done rep for a year at the Royal Shakespeare Company. On winning her second Tony, Ehle declared, "This form of competitiveness is not natural among actors, but I hope if I'm nominated again, I'm not up against my mother [Rosemary Harris, whom Ehle famously beat for the Best Actress in a Play Tony Award in 2000 ] or one of my co-stars [Martha Plimpton]." Her first Tony, for The Real Thing, was followed by a period of concentrating on her personal life. "I met my husband two weeks after I won, and that's when my life really began. I gave up acting for four years, got married and had a baby." I asked what she would do next, Ehle replied, "I've planted about 70 zinnias, and I'm going to watch them grow." MIA in the press room, by the way is Ehle's co-star, Billy Crudup, the first winner of the evening. Where's Billy?!
  • BroadwayWorld has photo coverage of the red carpet arrivals. But, where is Jennifer Ehle?!
  • There are a few Tony arrival pictures at Playbill, including one of the Utopians.
  • Playbill also had live updates from the press room:
    9:09 PM A very glamorous Jennifer Ehle — Tony winner for Best Featured Actress in a Play — was just escorted onto the small stage of the press room. About the show's limited run ending, Ehle says, "I haven't been sad the way I thought I would. I thought I'd be devastated. We e-mail obsessively. There's never been a cast that's stayed in touch so much."......9:13 PM "Yay!!!" That was Ehle's response when told her Utopia director, Jack O'Brien, won the Tony for Best Director of a Play. "I'm so happy he won," she added. "It was not very suspenseful, but it's wonderful." As for her own future projects, she said, "I just planted about 70 zinnias, and I'm going to watch them grow."
  • There is similar quotage from Jennifer Ehle at TheaterMania:
    Jennifer Ehle, winner of Best Featured Actress in a Play for Coast of Utopia, says, "I haven't been sad the way I thought since we closed. I haven't been devastated. We email among ourselves incessantly." Asked about competing against her co-star Martha Plimpton, and about having bested her mother, Rosemary Harris, for her first Tony Award for The Real Thing, she says: "This form of competition is not natural among actors. If I am blessed to be nominated again, I hope it's not against my mother."
  •'s red carpet photo coverage is now online, and there is a cute picture of Jennifer Ehle with Ethan Hawke. The same site has pictures from the winner's circle and a few more of the arrivals.
  • There are wonderful photos of Ms Ehle on the red carpet and giving her acceptance speech at getty images. (Search for "Jennifer Ehle").
  • WireImage also has tons and tons of Tonys photos!
  • More fabulous pictures of the winners can be found at BroadwayWorld. Also at BroadwayWorld are photos from the Tony Awards cocktail party, which took place the evening before the awards ceremony.
  • Oy! Jennifer Ehle made BwayBaby18 of BroadwayWorld's worst dressed list.
  • There is more quotage from Jennifer Ehle at the Tony website's press room blog:
    [...] Now here's Jennifer Ehle, who just won her second Tony, this time for her performance in The Coast of Utopia. She said she loved all three characters she played in Tom Stoppard's epic play, and that she's performed in different plays at different times in repertory and hopes to again. That is, she said, "A theatre actor's natural habitat." [...]
  • BroadwayWorld has posted a "video teaser" of backstage interviews, which includes a short interview with Jack O'Brien. They will be posting their full coverage tomorrow night.
  • has video footage of the red carpet arrivals, but none of Jennifer Ehle unfortunately.
  • SCORE! The Tonys website has now posted their interviews with the winners! Jennifer Ehle, Tom Stoppard, and Jack O'Brien are among them. The Tonys website also has a few pictures from inside the winnner's circle, not excepting Ms Ehle, and they have posted transcripts of the acceptance speeches. (Note: Kerry's previously mentioned transcript gives more of the lovely details!) Ahh, this same wonderful site now has video footage of the red carpet interviews. Jennifer Ehle, Martha Plimpton, and Ethan Hawke are all interviewed together!

You can see a complete list of this year's winners and nominees at Playbill (or just the winners at The Coast of Utopia won a total of seven awards, which is the most that any non-musical has ever won in the history of the Tony Awards. Go Utopia!

Here is a list of the awards that went to The Coast of Utopia:

  • Best Play
  • Best Director of a Play: Jack O'Brien
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play: Billy Crudup
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play: Jennifer Ehle
  • Best Scenic Design of a Play: Bob Crowley and Scott Pask
  • Best Costume Design of a Play: Catherine Zuber
  • Best Lighting Design of a Play: Brian MacDevitt, Kenneth Posner, and Natasha Katz

The 61st Annual Tony Awards!

Before we get going, have a look at the Tonys site to see pictures of Jennifer Ehle last evening at the pre-Tony champagne reception.

Go to the Tonys website now to see all of the pre-Tonys and Tonys coverage!

Please join us at the Live Chat!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Two words: Tony. Awards.

First things first. Don't forget to join us at the Tonys live chat! It's less than 24 hours away and it's going to be a lot of fun!

  • In their 4th video poll, asked the Tony nominees, "How Will You Get Red Carpet Ready?" Watch to hear Jennifer Ehle's response. (Note: It's towards the end of the video).
  • To see some photo coverage of the "Stars in the Alley" concert, including a couple of pictures of Ms Ehle and Ms Plimpton, visit BroadwayWorld. has more photos from the same event. Also, Jennifer Naimo of Jersey Boys talks about performing in "Stars in the Alley" on her official website, and she mentions seeing the Utopian women there.
  • More photos of Jennifer Ehle and Rosemary Harris at the Theatre World Awards can be found at both and Playbill.
  • BroadwayWorld has video coverage of the Outer Critics Awards ceremony and there is an interview with cool cat Martha Plimpton, who won the award for Best Featured Actress in a Play.
  • At the Tonys website, there are a couple of things that might be of interest. Show Business: The Road to Broadway (Parts 1 & 2) are available online as is an interview with the executive producers of the Tonys telecast.
  • The results of the BroadwayWorld Fans' Choice Awards are now in. Sadly, Jennifer Ehle lost the award for Best Featured Actress to her cast mate by a mere percentage point, but The Coast of Utopia proved to be quite popular as a whole. You can click here to see the final percentages in each of the categories.
  • Paul Wontorek, the Editor-in-Chief of, gives his Tony predictions, including some notes on what he sees as the really competitive categories and the possible spoilers.
  • Our faithful friend has also put together a nice tally of what the Broadway journalists have predicted. 90% of the pundits have slated The Coast of Utopia for a win, and 75% have predicted that Martha Plimpton will go home with a Tony. (Jennifer Ehle came in 2nd with 20% of the votes.) Matt Windman of AM New York, has put together a similar tally of predictions. Have a look if you can bear it.
  • Josh R provides a rationale as to why Martha Plimpton may have the edge over Ms Ehle:
    [...] Forget about that annoying little girl from The Goonies – in The Coast of Utopia, Martha Plimpton confirmed her status as a stage actress of remarkable presence and charisma. For as much praise as I’ve lavished on her co-star Jennifer Ehle, who excels in three very different roles, this is actually a close call from my perspective. While Ehle dominated the trilogy’s middle passage, "Shipwreck," it was Plimpton who really shone in "Salvage," the concluding installment – consequently, the latter’s achievement is probably fresher in the minds of Tony voters. As the emotionally volatile Natasha, whose vivacious, impetuous nature hardens into a mass of vacillating feelings fueled by self-recrimination, she was nothing less than a revelation – something her inevitable victory will reflect. SHOULD WIN: Jennifer Ehle (The Coast of Utopia) WILL WIN: Martha Plimpton (The Coast of Utopia) [...]
  • The New York Post gives us some predictions as well as something to keep in mind while watching the Tonys (even if it is a little disheartening):
    [...] In a nutshell: Quite a few of the 740 Tony voters don't bother to see all the nominated productions yet still vote in all the categories. It's a big no-no, but pretty much everybody does it...A Broadway publicist estimates that even the hit shows draw only about 70 percent of Tony voters...But, as one cynic says, "The purpose of the Tonys is to sell tickets, though it's in the guise of being an artistic award. So there's no urgency to change the system." [...]
  • Okay, that's the end of the predictions. Phew! Be sure to watch the 61st Annual Tony Awards Ceremony tonight, June 10th, at 8:00pm US EST on CBS! Squeeeeee!!!!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Sing Out Louise!

  • At BroadwayWorld you can find several cute pictures of Jennifer Ehle and Rosemary Harris at the Theater World Awards, which took place yesterday, June 5th. SarahB was lucky enough to attend the event, and she has posted some of her own photos on her blog.
  • You can also see a photo of Jennifer Ehle at this afternoon's "Stars in the Alley" concert at the Tonys website. There is a thread at BroadwayWorld where people have been discussing the concert. Apparently, someone recorded it and has been kind enough to post some of the video footage at YouTube. Corine's Corner also has some information about today's "Stars in the Alley," including a complete cast list.
  • "Meet the Nominees on Video: Part 5" has now been posted on the Tonys website.
  • New Yorkers, set your Tivo. According to Playbill, WCBS-TV will be airing a one-hour "Tony Awards Preview Special" on June 10th at 11:00am. Supposedly, there will be interviews with some of this year's nominees. Cross your fingers!
  • Playbill also informs us that there will be a Tonys-themed episode of "Theater Talk" on June 10th on CUNY-TV. There will be interviews with many of the nominees, but unfortunately Jennifer Ehle is not included in the line-up. The show starts at 8:00pm, so if you'd like to watch it, be sure to set your Tivo because you will be watching the Tony Awards at that time!
  • Are you dying to attend the Tonys ceremony but were not able to get tickets? Well, Playbill says you can "Sing for Your Tonys Tickets" on June 8th by entering a talent competition in Herald's Square. The judges will be Orfeh, Mo Rocca, and Tommy Tune and the prize: two tickets to the Tonys. See Playbill for more details.
  • Finally, no post would be complete without a few Tony predictions. Entertainment Weekly has added its picks to the fold, and Howard and Shubow of BroadwayWorld have published their thoughts as well. The New York Observer and Idol Thoughts of blogland also get in on the prediction-making. If you find all the predicting of the past few weeks a bit confusing, the Envelope has put together a "scorecard" to keep track of what the bigwigs have said.

Only 4 days until the Tonys!!!!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Heroic Spirit of Actors

The Tonys are less than one week away. Let the countdown begin!

  • BroadwayWorld announces that Jennifer Ehle, along with many other actors, will be making a special appearance at the free outdoor concert "Stars in the Alley." This event will take place in Shubert Alley (West 44th St., West of 7th Ave) on Wednesday June 6th at 11:00am. According to the Stars in the Alley website, this concert "features performances and special appearances by cast members from Broadway's most popular musicals and plays." For those of us who cannot attend, a video montage of the event will be available on the website after June 10th. For those of you who are planning to go, there is a thread at All That Chat where people have been offering advice as per the best time to arrive, etc.
  • At New York Magazine there is a short article about the nominated actors from The Coast of Utopia, which includes a few pictures and quotes:
    [...] Ehle, who took a new role in each segment, sounds almost wistful, adding that “everybody feels like they’re all a part of the nominations. It’s a blessing that we get to keep celebrating it and each other.” [...]

  • offers a "Salute to the Tonys" and points out that "[t]he great thing about this year's Tony nominations — in the acting categories especially — is how stiff the competition is." The article also includes a profile of all 40 Tony nominated actors. Here's what they have to say about our favorite:
    [...] Jennifer Ehle, who seven years ago lit up Broadway with her Tony-winning performance in the revival of another Stoppard play, The Real Thing, did the virtually impossible in The Coast of Utopia: In the first part, Voyage, she played Liubov, one of the four sisters of Ethan Hawke's Michael Bakunin, an aristocrat turned anarchist; in the second part, Shipwreck, she was Natalie, wife of BrĂ­an F. O'Byrne's philosopher Alexander Herzen; and in the final part, Salvage, she was Malwida von Meysenbug, the German governess supervising Herzen's growing brood. Each of the characters, from their bearing to their voices to the reactions on their faces as Stoppard's sprawling drama plays out, seemed distinct and, improbably enough, distinguished as a portrait of a 19th-century woman. Ehle remains one of our best young actors, and here's a toast to her return. [...]
  • There is a cute "Cue & A" with funny girl Martha Plimpton at Playbill. (Note: She can rewire a lamp in under five minutes!) Ms. Plimpton has also added a new blog entry to her MySpace page, which is viewable to everyone.
  • The Connecticut Post has an interview with David Pittu, and there is an article at the New York Times about all five nominees for Best Actor in a Play, including Brian F. O'Byrne.
  • "The Road to the Tonys: Episode 3" has now been posted on the Tonys website along with a video guide for the week leading up to the Tonys (eg. THIS week!). Some things that might be of interest are 1) an interview with the executive producers of this year's Tony Awards telecast, who will give us some insight into how the Tonys are broadcast and 2) "some never-before seen cut footage from Show Business: The Road to Broadway. See exclusive Tony-related footage shot for this feature film, which opens in cinemas across the US this spring."
  • Just in case anyone is interested, there will be performances by many of the Tony nominated musicals on various talk shows this week. Playbill has published a list of shows that will be featured on "Live with Regis and Kelly" as well as a more general "Talk Show Watch." There is also a thread on All That Chat where other upcoming television performances are mentioned.
  • At BroadwayWorld, being.jeremiah has posted the New York Times "Critics' Picks" for the Tonys. (Unfortunately, they did not make any picks in the featured acting categories). The New York Daily News offers their Tony predictions as well.
  • Jacques Le Sourd of Journal News 'wraps up' the Broadway season and provides a list of all of the shows that opened, along with a review of each. Here is some of what he has to say about The Coast of Utopia: (Warning: it's a bit of a backhanded compliment.)
    [...] The man who saved the whole absurd project from terminal boredom was director Jack O'Brien, who kept the illusion of movement alive with the great ebb and flow of a huge, gorgeously dressed cast on a beautiful mirrored set. The best part, every night, was the elaborate curtain call (to soaring music by Mark Bennett) at the end. It signaled more than the end of torture. It said something about the foolhardy but heroic spirit of actors, if not playwrights. [...]
  • Well, life goes on. Playbill tells us that a production of Shakespeare's Cymbeline, directed by Mark Lamos, will succeed The Coast of Utopia at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.
  • And, in other new, the Citizen-Times reports that John Ehle will be taking part in a celebration honoring the recently deceased Asheville writer, Wilma Dykeman, on June 13th.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Multimedia Galore!

Okay maybe not galore, but there are some exciting finds:
  • First off, BroadwayWorld has some great video interviews with many of the Tony nominees, including Jennifer Ehle. (And it's more than 2 seconds long!)
  • has created a page for each one of this year's nominees, complete with factoids, Tony odds, and video clips. They have this to say about Jennifer Ehle's chances for winning:
    In what may be one of the most wide open Tony races of all, Ehle is perhaps the frontrunner—because of her integrity and her meaty roles in all three plays of the trilogy.
    Be sure to check out the pages for Martha Plimpton, Billy Crudup, Ethan Hawke, and Brian F. O'Byrne to see more video clips from all three parts of The Coast of Utopia. (5 acting nominees + 1 Best Play nominee = a lot of video clipage!)
  • "Meet the Nominees on Video: Part 4" is available at the Tonys site.
  • The Tonys site also announces that on June 9th, the evening before the Tonys, there will be "a champagne reception hosted by Hilton Hotels, honoring the 2007 Tony Award nominees. Past winners, presenters, Tony Awards marketing partners, and other VIPs will get one final chance to wish the nominees luck before their big day."
  • For those of you who live in NYC, a panel discussion about the Tonys will be held on June 5th at Ars Nova. Michael Riedel, a columnist for the New York Post, will be the moderator. See Playbill for more details.
  • There is yet another thread of Tony predictions at BroadwayWorld. Note that there are quite a few picks for both women of Utopia.
  • According to TheaterMania, "Broadway set a new record for ticket grosses - $939 million - during the 2006-2007 season." Supposedly, The Coast of Utopia brought in $11.2 million, the most of all the non-musicals. (See Platinum Broadway.)
  • There is some exciting news about the soon-to-be-released Coast of Utopia CD. Playbill announces:
    [...] To celebrate the release of the CD, composer Bennett and Utopia cast members Martha Plimpton, David Pittu and Felicity LaFortune will make an appearance at the Barnes & Noble Lincoln Square that day. The June 12 event will begin at 5:30 PM. [...]
  • And, BroadwayWorld has a list of other theater-related events that will take place at the Barnes & Noble Lincoln Center during the next couple of weeks.
  • Remember that "Uncharted: Dan Lipton" will take place this Sunday, June 3rd, at Ars Nova. Martha Plimpton will also be taking part in this concert, which features the original music of Dan Lipton.
  • Playbill informs us that the latest edition of Forbidden Broadway, the long running off-Broadway show, has been titled The Roast of Utopia. ItsCalledHistory at All That Chat found a description from Gold Star Events:
    THE ROAST OF UTOPIA Special Summer Edition is the brand new installment of the hilarious musical comedy that has been skewering Broadway's biggest shows and brightest stars for more than 25 years. The latest version of this 2006 TONY Honor recipient grills everything from Legally Blonde to Spring Awakening, Grey Gardens to Hairspray - even Annie, The Lion King, & Mary Poppins get burned! Nothing is sacred, and no one is off-limits. If you missed The Coast, see "The Roast!"
  • John Longenbaugh of Seattle Weekly gets philosophical and asks, "How long should a play be?" He mentions that, "In the '90s, epics like Angels in America caught the zeitgeist, but the most common critical reaction to the current nine-hour Stoppard epic, The Coast of Utopia, is that, while it's good, even split across three evenings it's a butt numb-er."
  • Finally, the Douglas Henshall Blog alerts us to some notable updates at the Douglas Henshall Website. A new page for The Painter of Dishonour has been created and The Relapse page has been updated. Visit these sites to see some production photos of Jennifer Ehle and to read the reviews.