Sunday, June 28, 2009

Backstage at Sordid Lives

Me and Scarlett

BTW - Before The Wig

Gray fixin' the wig

Feelin' like Latrelle!

"I love my gay son." (I enjoyed working with Dave Wils.)

Smilin' with Sissy

Full house!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance, Opening Number

Hip hop and samba met in tonight's sexy opening number. The routine was choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon to Pit Bull's "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)". It was a muy caliente number. I absolutely loved it!

Unfortunately the YouTube video is no longer available. Dick Clark Productions is claiming copyright infringement.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Great Idea

A Proposed Job Swap To Save American Capitalism
Liz Lerman
Founding Artistic Director Liz Lerman recently climaxed a busy year of choreographing, teaching, advising and envisioning by taking part in White House Briefing: Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery on May 12. Amidst all the other demands on her schedule, Liz is finding time to write and is currently preparing the manuscript for a new book of essays to be published next year by Wesleyan Press. Venturing into the realm of the op-ed -- not such a huge stretch for someone who has choreographed dances about Reaganomics and the defense budget -- Liz recently authored this item. First published in APInews, a project of Art in the Public Interest, it has since gone viral.
Do Wall Street executives deserve big bonuses during hard times? Does increased arts funding have a place in an economic stimulus package? I'll leave it to others to debate these controversies. Meanwhile I'd like to make a modest proposal to solve some of our economic problems: Let's do a job swap. We'll put the corporate executives to work as artists while the artists run Wall Street.

Since their first task will be getting economic markets back on solid footing, I'm convinced that artists have the perfect resumes for their new jobs. Here's why:

Artists work ridiculous hours for no pay. And most of the artists I know will keep working until they get the job done right.

Artists do not need fancy offices. In fact, they usually work in the worst part of town ... until that part of town becomes fancy because the artists are there. Then they have to move because they haven't paid themselves enough to afford the new rent.

Artists throw everything they earn back into the store - which is why they haven't paid themselves enough. (I will admit that there was one time I didn't do this. When I was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship back in 2002, I decided to open my first retirement account. I put the money in "very safe" stock market investments. I would have been better off putting it into my next dance.)

Artists do not need financial incentives. Artists do the work they do because they love it. Or because they believe in it. Or because they think it is a social necessity for our communities. Or because they know when people make poems or pictures or dances, our best human spirits emerge.

Artists do not expect to get anything if they do a bad job. Except maybe a bad review.

No artist gets a bonus because there is never enough money at the end of a project.

Artists keep very tight budgets. They know how to spend the same penny over and over (not by cooking the books, but by pinching, recycling, borrowing, bartering, and plowing their economy airline frequent flyer miles back into their next project.)

Artists have a rightful reputation for fresh ideas combined with a capacity for self-evaluation that borders on recrimination.

Artists play well with others, having evolved highly efficient collaborative techniques in the service of their visions. But they are also very independent, delivering great things even when they work alone.

Meanwhile, in their new capacities as painters, poets, cellists and choreographers, our Wall Street executives might be experiencing a combination of culture shock therapy and ethical boot camp. Artistic practice may force them to discover what they really believe in, because the combination of introspection, discipline and craft that fuels an artist's work (oh, and it is work) puts people in a very demanding state of truth. Doing what artist do every day, some might find themselves in overcrowded classrooms, excited to share their practices to help young people discover that they actually can learn. Others might be sparked to help communities solve problems by bridging differences through the unique power of their art forms. Those who have been lucky enough to get funded for their work will likely be staying up nights, filling out multiple forms to prove the exact use of the money they have been granted. All will find their moral compass tested as they balance the demanding loyalties of pursuing personal vision and creating value for an audience.

The job swap I propose might have a final payoff: With artists in charge of Wall Street you might even see people donate to the cause because artists know how to inspire others to participate together, to work for something that matters, to build on the intangibles of the human experience, to make a difference.

Imagine that kind of Wall Street.

Update: Liz is going to be the keynote speaker for the K-12 Institute and on Thursday during SETC's 2010 Spring Convention in Lexington.

Monday, June 22, 2009

When Music and Movement Meet

I'm a homebody tonight, since I don't have a rehearsal. So I'm catching up on So You Think You Can Dance. The tears are just streaming down my face over this Stacey Tookey routine:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Journal Review...

TONS OF FUN: Sordid Lives delivers laughs and lots of heart
By Mary Martin Niepold
Published: June 21, 2009
Leave it to playwright Del Shores to dish up folks dealing with death, adultery, homophobia, shotguns, crossdressing, a mental institution and a funeral. The result: laughs as familiar as the tuna casserole brought to the grieving family. Sordid Lives opened Friday night at Theatre Alliance to a packed and happy house.

Laughs are inevitable in this return engagement for a wacky look at one Texas family whose members include: a gay grandson, a crossdressing son, a daughter who's a prude, another daughter who totes a pistol, and a sister who's trying to quit smoking. We meet them after the family matriarch died by hitting her head on the sink in a local motel when she tripped over the wooden legs of her lover who happens to be the husband of one of her daughter's best friends.

In the small town of Winters, Texas, the laughs are big. Sissy dispenses valium to handle just about anything. Latrelle will not let her mother be buried in her favorite mink stole in the middle of summer. "Brother Boy" has been Tammy Wynette so long we hope he never changes.

There's a lot of heart in these Texas characters. Homophobia is present, but ultimately, the story is about giving up judgment and denial for the love that was there all along.

Sordid Lives was a big hit when the Theatre Alliance presented it in 2006, and director Jamie Lawson makes sure there's no weak acting in this honky-tonk reprise. A few actors stand out.

Cheryl Roberts as the proper sister, Latrelle, may be a prude, but we love her because we feel her struggle to deny that her son is gay. She shows us how to embrace truth.

April Meacham-Linscott in her return role as Sissy is a hoot as the woman who picked the wrong week to stop smoking.

Finally, Gray Smith as "Brother Boy" has outdone his previous flamboyant, cross-dressing characters. As Tammy Wynette, he's as real as the country lyrics she made famous. More so, he's so tender that we want people to just leave him alone and bring him home for his mama's funeral.

Put it all together, and you've got laughs, and an evening that flies to a high-kicking conclusion.

■ The Winston-Salem Theatre Alliance presents Sordid Lives at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 24-27 and July 1-3 and at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 27, and at 2 p.m., Sunday, June 28 at the theater, 1047 Northwest Blvd. Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors/students. Call 336-723-7777.

Friday, June 19, 2009

They were lead to a four top table. She quickly scanned the restaurant to see if a booth was available. They had been given the best option. She chose her seat, placing her purse in the chair to her right. Instead of sitting across from her as she intended, he pulled the chair to her left. She started to protest but decided to remain silent. His chosen seat would allow her better cover from his inevitable inquiry.

The waiter introduced himself and asked if they'd been there before. She nodded in affirmation and inwardly sighed at the unintentional irony. They gave their drink orders and were left alone to review the menu. She was not in the least bit hungry. The waiter returned with alcoholic drinks (she needed the courage) and they placed their order.

Filling the silence he asked how she thought the previous hours felt. She admitted she had worked hard, and she smiled because she knew she had nailed it. She was very satisfied with her obvious improvement, and his matching smile told her he was in agreement. She could see the pride registered on his face and in his voice as he talked to the waiter who was setting down full plates.

She could not match his gusto as he dug into his food. Instead, she held her drink in her hands, thankful for the condensation of the glass. She busied herself with clearing the frost. She could hear him chewing.

The pretending she had done earlier had taken a toll on her. She could no longer be anyone but the raw core of herself. She knew he was watching her; knew his question was imminent. As he put down his fork and wiped his mouth with the thick black napkin, she could no longer contain herself. A tear grazed her cheek. Her breath stilled as his voice queried.

She reached for her own napkin as her shoulders started to quake. Cloth napkins do not absorb well, she errantly thought. She dabbed at her eyes, attempting to salvage her mascara, and finally met his gaze.

She caught his slight intake of breath at the conflict and pain marring her face. In his eyes she could see she had confirmed his fear; one he'd expressed within the first month, and again the previous summer. She started crying; burying her face in the impermeable napkin.

His one word response, a man's name, was not a question. Still, she nodded.

He finished his drink in a single gulp, and motioned for the waiter. She struggled to regain control of her frail emotions. He quickly paid the bill and reached for her hand. He did not want to provide further dinner conversation for the other patrons. They walked wordlessly to her car.

She turned to face him in the passenger's seat. She started to apologize and offer up the honesty in her head, but tears erupted again at the sight of his damp eyes. She miserably wondered if there was something seriously wrong with her that she could be the impetus for such grief. A line from a movie, something about shooting horses, flitted in her memory.

He finally spoke, a question posed to her in the present tense. She raised and dropped her shoulders in an answer befitting a teenager. He looked at her, and saw that her confusion was honest, but he knew there was more. Gently he pressed her, vowing to listen with an open heart and mind.

She softly admitted to a lack of a definitive answer. She whispered of many months spent in consistent anguish; crying, pondering, questioning and praying. She was afraid of her possible feelings; terrified she was a textbook example. She spoke of vain attempts to align her heart and her head. Defeated, she again met his eyes. Amid the flashes of anger and hurt she recognized the emotion she felt she was not worthy. Tears sprang anew.

He despised the warring inside her; hated that she was so full of doubt of herself. He wished for her to clearly see! Still, he understood he could not accompany her; this battle was hers alone to fight. There need be only one victor and he whispered his hope that it would be her.

Tears subsided, and she reached her hand toward him. He fit his palm within hers and pushed all his strength through to her. She squeezed back; a gesture that provided both with reassurance. They both knew they would be okay.
there are times when he is too much
times i cannot sense or handle
i am numb
i am torn

there are times i ask Him for remedy
times i cannot exist on my own
i need direction
i need clarity

there are times counsel is accorded
times i choose to heed
a boy's eyes
a harsh word

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rehearsal with Photographer, Sordid Lives

Last night David Joy attended rehearsal to take show pictures. Now normally that doesn't bother me. In other venues there usually is some distance between the stage and audience, so the photographer can walk around inconspicuously snapping away. Theatre Alliance is a very intimate setting, with mere inches separating the stage and audience.

So not only did I see David walking around trying to get the best shots, I also heard the click, click, click of the camera because he was so close. As a result, there were times when I lost focus and went up on some of my lines.

As if that wasn't bad enough, I actually caught myself posturing for some of the shots! I'd be "in the moment" and suddenly see David out of the corner of my eye. Twice I had to fight the inclination to pause, smile, and hold the pose while David captured the shot. One time I actually changed my blocking so I could be more in the scene. Aaargh! I am so lamenting my total disregard for theatre professionalism!!

It's not really my fault, though. I totally blame my mother and aunties for years of "Stop! Hold there and let me take your picture."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rumors and Notes, Sordid Lives

Last night I was standing in the bathroom putting on my Latrelle wig when one of my castmates appeared in the doorway asking if I wanted to hear the latest rumor about me and one of the crew. Apparently everyone was under the impression that we were living together. Everyone? I mean, that's a pretty inclusive pronoun.

So I returned to the dressing room and asked all the ladies if anyone had heard that rumor. As suspected, no one had. I received an explanation from another castmate; she said it was probably borne of jealousy.

I think she was right.

Later during notes, the director was complimenting me on a comedic bit. That same castmate butted in, and tried to give me direction on how to play that comedic bit!

Starting rumors is bad enough, but commenting on and directing someone else's note! I'm still shaking my head over the audacity.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Rehearsal, Sordid Lives

If there ever was a performance that I phoned in, it was last night's. Thank goodness it was a tech rehearsal. I'm not sure what my problem was, but I was just not feeling Latrelle. At all. I thought getting into costume would help, but it didn't.

After rehearsal as I was walking to my car, Jamie called me back. I thought he was going to talk to me about my blah performance. Actually, he did talk to me about my performance - he gave me a really nice compliment!

Have you ever had a day when your hair is crap but someone comes up and tells you your hair looks great? That's exactly what last night felt like! I didn't feel my performance at all, and yet the director ends up complimenting me.

Life, and rehearsal, are sometimes funny like that.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Trash Talk From The Heart

Theatre Alliance brings back Del Shores' Southern comedy Sordid Lives
By Mary Martin Niepold
Leave it to Texas playwright Del Shores to skewer the hilarity of Southern customs (including denial of the sexual reality of some family members) and for the Winston-Salem Theatre Alliance to tap his series of comedy hits as part of its tried-and-true programming. Come Friday, Sordid Lives, one of Shores more successful trash-talking, heart-pulling comedies will return to the company's stage.

Sordid Lives was first presented at Theatre Alliance in 2006 and was such a hit that director Jamie Lawson decided it was time to stir up summer with a repeat run.

While the original Sordid Lives didn't fare fabulously with the critics when it debuted in 1996, it went on to capture 14 Drama League awards. By 2001, the film version, which starred Olivia Newton-John, Delta Burke and Beau Bridges, became a cult classic, especially among gay and independent audiences. The TV series last year was a cult hit as well.

For Lawson, Shores' material succeeds on several levels. One, Lawson personally loves it; two, he knows that Winston-Salem audiences love it; and three, the company has never misfired with mounting any of Shores's string of Southern romps. The company showed Daddy's Dyin', Who's Got the Will in 2007, Southern Baptist Sissies in 2008, and now the double offering of Sordid Lives in 2006 and this month.

Shores' only remaining work, The Trials and Tribulations of a
Trailer Trash Housewife, will be presented in April 2010.

"That means we will have done them all," Lawson said, "and then what will we do?"

Obviously, Shores knows how to make Southern audiences, in particular, laugh their hearts out, including at themselves.

In Sordid Lives, the storyline rests on shenanigans, none of which are that unfamiliar to Southerners. Basically, two sisters and an aunt are trying to make funeral arrangements for the recently deceased Peggy Ingram. Peggy is the mother to daughters, Latrelle and LaVonda, and son, Earl "Brother Boy" Ingram. Her much younger sister is Sissy Hickey.

Peggy, unfortunately, hit her head and bled to death after tripping over her lover's wooden legs in a motel room. Latrelle, the very proper of the two sisters, does not want to bury her mother in a mink stole in the summertime in Texas, and LaVonda remains the free spirit in the family. Meanwhile, their brother, Brother Boy, has been institutionalized for the past 23 years in a mental institution because he's convinced he's really Tammy Wynette.

We actually see "Brother Boy" rehearsing for his Tammy Wynette show in the institution, along with a series of three other vignettes that happen on the day before and day of Peggy's funeral.

The play is like a family tree of misfits and misfires covering three generations of relatives and friends. Some of their names are "Bubba," "Odell," "Noleta," "Doctor Evil" and "Bumper," which says a lot, and the week of the funeral just happens to be the week that Sissy had decided to quit smoking.

Most of us would admit that funerals somehow bring out the worst in some relatives. But when that fuse is set off in a Southern town where characters happen to include being gay, a cross-dresser, the town drunk and a deranged ex-girlfriend, then, fireworks ignite and skeletons start tumbling out of the closet. Making it all the more hilarious is the fact that these folks wouldn't know reality under any circumstances, let alone at a funeral.

Lawson said that this show is actually unlike any of Theatre Alliance's other shows. He said that he doesn't personally love comedies, per se, but that there's just something about Sordid Lives that he does love. The show has adult language and themes, but all ages are welcomed.

"This is a combination of mild bathroom humor and a sitcom -- but it has heart," Lawson said.

"The show is particularly Southern in that it's over the top, and characters are in situations that at first glance appear outrageous, but are actually rooted in a lot of truth.

The Southern part is the customs such as tons of food brought to the home on the occasion of death, the dialect and the costumes.

"It's just so funny to Southerners, because you see people or situations that are so familiar," Lawson said.

And while it is true that drama and literature revolve around major life events, a Shores play taps his talent for presenting those events with over-the-top imagination in very familiar settings.

Lawson likens the heart portrayed in the play to the feeling he gets after seeing a Disney movie. "What makes me like a Disney movie is that I can identify with the characters, whether it's a singing mermaid or a flying elephant. Most people root for an underdog, and this show has that.

"At the end of show," he said, "you come away feeling there's still hope and goodness lurking in the world."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A First Grade Improvement

Yesterday was the last day of school for Mallorie and Cade. With the exception of Mallorie missing her senior friends, both are looking forward to summer vacation.

Cade came home with his bookbag full of stuff. I think every piece of paper from the 1st grade followed him home! While I sat sorting out what I wanted to keep for his scrapbook, I came across these two gems.

Here's a picture of Cade taken within the first few days of 1st grade. His teacher had them write something.

And here is the exact same assignment given last month. (Don't pay any attention to the lack of spelling. While Cade had spelling words and tests every week, they do not focus on spelling when the kids are writing. Ideas and structure are more important.)

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Tonys - Live Blogging, (Well Sorta)

Okay. I just got home from the KLT board meeting. (Don't ask.) So, thanks to my Time Warner DVR, I can rewind and watch from the beginning. So, here goes -

Opening Numbers
Billy Elliot. Who is that signing? Oh, it's Elton John. Dang, it's the Tonys for goodness sake. Can't they get the sound worked out? Where's the other Billy?

West Side Story - problems with mikes again. Come on. Oh, a West Side Story / Guys and Dolls mash up.

OMG! Is that Brett Michaels? Poison. On the Tonys. Who would ever have thought? Hahahaha Did Brett Michaels just get clocked by the set? His cowboy hat is on stage!

Oh, a Pal Joey and Next to Normal mash up. I'm just not impressed with Stockard.

Shrek! Absolutely let your Freak Flag Fly! (I loved this number in the show!)

Would you expect anything less than Dolly Parton singing 9 to 5?

Liza Minelli. Again, not impressed.

Hair. Oh, they really do have fabulous costumes. (Way to go Michael!) Excellent song to get the audience on their feet.

Okay, fast forwarding - still not "live" yet.

Shiny suit, Neil. OMG! A great joke about Brett! Mallorie and I are laughing our butts off!

First award of the night, Best Performance by a featured actor in a play. Dang. I so wanted John Glover to win! Awww, Roger thanked his 98 year old mother...

Fast forwarding through the Shrek number. (I saw on Broadway.)

I'm laughing my butt off....James Gandalofini you are too funny! That was hilarious!

Second award, Best Performance by a featured actress in a play. Yes! The 5th win for Angela Lansbury. I got that one right!

Fast forwarding through Mama Mia...through commericals....almost "live".

Smell and sniff? Mary Poppins? Eeewwww.

Best Book went to Billy Elliot and best orignal Score went to Next to Normal. I didn't get these right either. Best orchestration also went to Next to Normal. Again, I missed.

Who is this? Oh, Lin something something from In The Heights. Okay, fast forwarding...still not "live". I'm close though.

Best Direction of a Play. Oh, I am so glad his double nomination didn't hurt. Yes! I got this one right. He definitely deserved to win for God of Carnage.

Best Direction of a Musical. Excellent. Stephen also deserves this win. (And another one I got right!) Thank you so very much, Stephen for thanking the crew! Very classy sentiment.

This is exactly what you'd expect from a show called Rock of Ages. I saw all these cats in the 80's.

Liza Minelli, of course, would win. And here I thought he was gonna had her a kleenex.

Oh man, look at the dress Marcia has on. She looks absolutely beautiful!

Sound! What's up with the sound? Oh, good. They gave him a hand mike.

Okay, I'm finally live! (Crap, this now means I have to actually sit through the commercials.)

9:28 - Oh, wait. What's this? Best orchestration was a tie? Well, then I got it right with Billy Elliot. And I got best choreography right with Billy Elliot.

9:33 - Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical. Drat. I really hoped that Christopher Seiber would have won. (Wow, she really has big boobs!)

9:35 - Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical. Missed this one too.

9:37 - Yes, ladies and gentleman, that is Princess Leia!
Again with the sound problems....
Thanks again, Ben, for making a copy of the Next to Normal CD. I can't wait to listen to it!

9:44 - Oh, I almost forgot Neil was hosting. Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play. No surprise there. I knew Geoffrey would win.

9:49 - Memorials. Okay, let's remember there are folks at home who are watching. We can't see the screen when you focus on the chorus.

9:57 - Design awards. I missed Best Lighting Design of a Play and of a Musical. I did get the Best Costume Design. I love that Tim Hatley wore a green shirt and tie! I got Best Sound Design of a Play but missed the Musical.

Best Lead Actress in a Play. Frank, let's get on with it please. Yes!!!! All is right in the world! Go Marcia!

10:14 - Man, I wish I could fast forward. How many times have I seen Legally Blonde now? This number makes it one too many!

10:17 - Best Revival of a Play goes to The Norman Conquests. (I can't believe I'm actually upset Godot didn't win.)

10:19 - Best Play. Okay, I'm done with my Hooray dance. God of Carnage! I am so very glad this won, and I'm thrilled I got to see it on Broadway. (Who has culture now, huh? I picked this show to see!)

10:30 - Lifetime Acheivement. I am in a pool for how long his speech is. I said 4 minutes. Let's see if I nail it. Nope, they cut him off!

Way to go Hair for Best Revival of a Musical! Hell yes - Peace now, freedom now, Equality now!

During the commercial I checked my prediction count - 13 correct!

10:48 - I love David Hyde Pierce. Best Actress in a Musical goes to Alice Ripley. I'm not at all surprised. I did figure she's win. I was just hoping that Sutton would go home with the award. Okay, I'm already bored with Alice's acceptance speech.

10:50 - Best Actor in a Musical the Billys! 3 speechless boys...maybe if they danced? Oh, they are so cute!

10"57 - Mallorie says I perfectly timed my cough to go along with Jersey Boys music. Lol, I wish I was that good!

11:00 - Here we go. Best Musical goes to Billy Elliot. Very nice shout out, Sir Elton, to Next to Normal.

11:03 - Neil Patrick sings. What a treat! Lol. Angela and Poison! Who wrote this closing song? It's hysterical!

So I believe, if I've calculated correctly, I'm 15 out of 26. (Good, but maybe I shouldn't rush out and get a lottery ticket!)

The Tony Awards!

The Tonys are tonight! I'm alternately upset and excited.

I've got a Kernersville Little Theatre board meeting tonight, so unfortunately I'll miss some of the awards. The biggest night in theatre and theatre people are stuck in a meeting discussing the theatre organization? There is something definitely wrong with that. As soon as our meeting is over I'm headed home to my TV.

I am very excited because, a mere three weeks ago, I was in NYC and was fortunate to see 4 shows that are nominated tonight. So, with some authority (limited as it may be!) here are my Tony picks for tonight:

Best Play
Dividing the Estate
God of Carnage
Reasons to Be Pretty
33 Variations
Saw it and absolutely loved it! The cast was phenomenal!
Best Musical
Billy Elliot
Next to Normal
Rock of Ages
I saw Shrek and was thoroughly entertained, but I’ve heard (from Joe) and read nothing but great things about Billy Elliot.
Best Revival of A Play
Joe Turner's Come and Gone
Mary Stuart
The Norman Conquests
Waiting for Godot
Even after seeing the play, I still don’t like it. It’s just so boring. The outstanding performances by the cast is the only reason I'm voting for it.
Best Revival of A Musical
Guys and Dolls
Pal Joey
West Side Story
I heard Pal Joey wasn’t good, read the redesign of West Side Story wasn’t successful. I don’t particularly like Guys and Dolls, so by process of elimination, Hair gets my vote.
Best Book of A Musical
Billy Elliot - Lee Hall
Next to Normal - Brian Yorkey
Shrek - David Lindsay-Abaire
[Title of Show] - Hunter Bell
I’m going out on a limb by voting for this unique show. Next to Normal would be my second choice.
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics)
Billy Elliot - Music: Elton John, Lyrics: Lee Hall
Next to Normal - Music: Tom Kitt, Lyrics: Brian Yorkey
9 to 5 - Music and Lyrics: Dolly Parton
Shrek - Music - Jeanine Tesori, Lyrics: David Lindsay-Abaire
I’ve been singing and humming Shrek showtunes since seeing the show. And I love David Lindsay-Abaire! (Rabbit Hole, one of my very favorite scripts.)
Best Performance by A 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
I’d love to see James Gandolfini win (and rise above his Tony Soprano), I think Geoffrey’s got this one.
Best Performance by A Leading Actress in A Play
Hope Davis - God of Carnage
Jane Fonda - 33 Variations
Marcia Gay Harden - God of Carnage
Janet McTeer - Mary Stuart
Harriet Walter - Mary Stuart
OMG! Marcia Gay Harden was outstanding as Veronica! If she doesn’t win, nothing is right in the world!
Best Performance by A Leading Actor in A Musical
David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, and Kiril Kulish - Billy Elliot
Gavin Creel - Hair
Brian d'Arcy James - Shrek
Constantine Maroulis - Rock of Ages
J. Robert Spencer - Next to Normal
Based on Joe’s very positive comments, I’m going with the controversial vote here. (But I wouldn’t mind if American Idol finalist Constantine won.)
Best Performance by A Leading Actress in A Musical
Stockard Channing - Pal Joey
Sutton Foster - Shrek
Allison Janney - 9 to 5
Alice Ripley - Next to Normal
Josefina Scaglione - West Side Story
I’ve heard Stockard Channing and Allison Janney sing, and neither can. Sutton gets my enthusiastic vote – she’s such a talented actress and she's got the pipes!
Best Performance by A Featured Actor in A Play
John Glover - Waiting for Godot
Zach Grenier - 33 Variations
Stephen Mangan - The Norman Conquests
Paul Ritter - The Norman Conquests
Roger Robinson - Joe Turner's Come and Gone
He was absolutely brilliant!
Best Performance by A Featured Actress in A Play
Hallie Foote - Dividing the Estate
Jessica Hynes - The Norman Conquests
Marin Ireland - Reasons to be Pretty
Angela Lansbury - Blithe Spirit
Amanda Root - The Norman Conquests
Here’s hoping for her 5th Tony!
Best Performance by A Featured Actor in A Musical
David Bologna - Billy Elliot
Gregory Jbara - Billy Elliot
Marc Kudisch - 9 to 5
Christopher Sieber - Shrek
Will Swenson - Hair
He performed on his knees!
Best Performance by A Featured Actress in A Musical
Jennifer Damiano - Next to Normal
Haydn Gwynne - Billy Elliot
Karen Olivo - West Side Story
Martha Plimpton - Pal Joey
Carole Shelley - Billy Elliot
Again, based on Joe’s positive comments, and her interview with Jane Waldman.
Best Direction of A Play
Phyllida Lloyd - Mary Stuart
Bartlett Sher - Joe Turner's Come and Gone
Matthew Warchus - God of Carnage
Matthew Warchus - The Norman Conquests
I'm a little concerned about a split vote...
Best Direction of A Musical
Stephen Daldry - Billy Elliot
Michael Greif - Next to Normal
Kristin Hanggi - Rock of Ages
Diane Paulus - Hair

Best Choreography
Karole Armitage - Hair
Andy Blankenbuehler - 9 to 5
Peter Darling - Billy Elliot
Randy Skinner - Irving Berlin's White Christmas
I didn’t particularly like the dance numbers in 9 to 5.
Best Orchestrations
Larry Blank - Irving Berlin's White Christmas
Martin Koch - Billy Elliot
Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt - Next to Normal
Danny Troob and John Clancy – Shrek

Best Scenic Design of A Play
Dale Ferguson - Exit the King
Rob Howell - The Norman Conquests
Derek McLane - 33 Variations
Michael Yeargan - Joe Turner's Come and Gone
Out of all the nominations, I think 33 Variations had the most inventive design.
Best Scenic Design of A Musical
Robert Brill - Guys and Dolls
Ian MacNeil - Billy Elliot
Scott Pask - Pal Joey
Mark Wendland - Next to Normal
(See comments for Best Scenic Design of a Play.)
Best Costume Design of A Play
Dale Ferguson - Exit the King
Jane Greenwood - Waiting for Godot
Martin Pakledinaz - Blithe Spirit
Anthony Ward - Mary Stuart
I always vote for the period costumes!
Best Costume Design of A Musical
Gregory Gale - Rock of Ages
Nicky Gillibrand - Billy Elliot
Tim Hatley - Shrek
Michael McDonald - Hair
Michael McDonald came to see “Nebula” so I feel kinda bad not voting for him. But the fairytale costumes and Christopher Sieber’s Lord Farquaad contraption costume gets my enthusiastic vote.
Best Lighting Design of A Play
David Hersey - Equus
David Lander - 33 Variations
Brian MacDevitt - Joe Turner's Come and Gone
Hugh Vanstone - Mary Stuart
It was a toss up between Equus and 33 Variations.
Best Lighting Design of A Musical
Kevin Adams - Hair
Kevin Adams - Next to Normal
Howell Binkley - West Side Story
Rick Fisher - Billy Elliot

Best Sound Design of A Play
Paul Arditti - Mary Stuart
Gregory Clarke - Equus
Russell Goldsmith - Exit the King
Scott Lehrer and Leon Rothenberg - Joe Turner's Come and Gone

Best Sound Design of A Musical
Acme Sound Partners - Hair
Paul Arditti - Billy Elliot
Peter Hylenski - Rock of Ages
Brian Ronan - Next to Normal

Friday, June 05, 2009

First Grade Picnic

The weather was slightly threatening so the picnic was held inside the Community Center. The place was festively decorated with red, white and blue. Some of the dads grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and we had homemade ice cream for dessert. The kids had a great time and were rewarded for all their hard work during the school year.

We were entertained with a patriotic program.

Cade receives a medal for being the Most Improved Reader.

Cade is receiving another medal from the principal for Outstanding Attendance.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Emails that Made Me Smile

I received two emails today that really made my day!

The first one was from Twitter letting me know that Del Shores is now following my tweets. He's also following two other of my Sordid Lives castmates. How cool would it be if he came to see our production?

The second email was from a certain director asking me to mark a certain audition date in my calendar. A few years ago this director barely watched me during an audition. Now I'm being asked to attend!

I can't help the wide grin. Yes, it's gonna be a good day!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Interview with Eve - June skirt! Philosophy

Lilith got fed up with Adam's bossiness and left him. And then he got me and your know the rest....Adam never had much luck with women. Don't get me started on those fig leaves...guess who got stuck with the laundry from Day One? While Adam snored, the snake and I stayed up to schmooze. And believe me, he knew all the dirt in the Garden. That apple? Adam never let me live it down. No matter what went wrong, he was like, "If you hadn't eaten that apple blah blah blah..." Let me set the record straight...Adam and I have the same number of ribs. All I can say about Cain is that one day I was in Paradise and the next I was raising a rotten apple. Am I bitter? How would you like to go down in history as "the devil's gateway"? Google "Adam and Eve" and a sex toy business comes up first. We just can't catch a break in the media. Do I regret the apple? No, but your first one is always the most D e l i c i o u s !