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.” [...]

  • Backstage.com 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.

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