Archive for The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Robert Cuccioli and Laila Robins announced the nominees for the Outer Critics Circle Awards today at The Friars Club. Pippin received the most nominations (11), with Kinky Boots (9), Chaplin: The Musical (8) and Cinderella (8) not too far behind. The winners will be announced on May 13 with a ceremony to follow on the 23rd at Sardi’s.
Without further ado, here are the 2013 Outer Critics Circle Nominees:
OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL
OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY
The Testament of Mary
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY
My Name is Asher Lev
OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL
Here Lies Love
OUTSTANDING BOOK OF A MUSICAL (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
OUTSTANDING NEW SCORE (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Here Lies Love
OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
The Piano Lesson
The Trip to Bountiful
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY
Pam MacKinnon, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Nicholas Martin, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Jack O’Brien, The Nance
Bartlett Sher, Golden Boy
Michael Wilson, The Trip to Bountiful
OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
Warren Carlyle, Chaplin: The Musical
Scott Ellis, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots
Diane Paulus, Pippin
Alex Timbers, Here Lies Love
Warren Carlyle, Chaplin: The Musical
Peter Darling, Matilda the Musical
Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots
Josh Rhodes, Cinderella
Chet Walker, Pippin
OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN (Play or Musical)
John Lee Beatty, The Nance
Rob Howell, Matilda the Musical
David Korins, Here Lies Love
Scott Pask, Pippin
Michael Yeargan, Golden Boy
OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN (Play or Musical)
Amy Clark & Martin Pakledinaz, Chaplin: The Musical
Gregg Barnes, Kinky Boots
Dominique Lemieux, Pippin
William Ivey Long, Cinderella
William Ivey Long, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN (Play or Musical)
Ken Billington, Chaplin: The Musical
Paul Gallo, Dogfight
Donald Holder, Golden Boy
Kenneth Posner, Cinderella
Kenneth Posner, Pippin
OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY
Tom Hanks, Lucky Guy
Shuler Hensley, The Whale
Nathan Lane, The Nance
Tracy Letts, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
David Hyde Pierce, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Tracee Chimo, Bad Jews
Amy Morton, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Vanessa Redgrave, The Revisionist
Joely Richardson, Ivanov
Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful
OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Bertie Carvel, Matilda the Musical
Santino Fontana, Cinderella
Rob McClure, Chaplin: The Musical
Billy Porter, Kinky Boots
Matthew James Thomas, Pippin
OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Lilla Crawford, Annie
Valisia LeKae, Motown: The Musical
Lindsay Mendez, Dogfight
Patina Miller, Pippin
Laura Osnes, Cinderella
OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
Danny Burstein, Golden Boy
Richard Kind, The Big Knife
Jonny Orsini, The Nance
Tony Shalhoub, Golden Boy
Tom Sturridge, Orphans
OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Cady Huffman, The Nance
Judith Ivey, The Heiress
Judith Light, The Assembled Parties
Kristine Nielsen, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Vanessa Williams, The Trip to Bountiful
OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Will Chase, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Dan Lauria, A Christmas Story
Raymond Luke, Motown: The Musical
Terrence Mann, Pippin
Daniel Stewart Sherman, Kinky Boots
OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Annaleigh Ashford, Kinky Boots
Victoria Clark, Cinderella
Charlotte d’Amboise, Pippin
Andrea Martin, Pippin
Keala Settle, Hands on a Hardbody
OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE
Bette Midler, I’ll Eat You Last
Martin Moran, All the Rage
Fiona Shaw, The Testament of Mary
Holland Taylor, Ann
Michael Urie, Buyer & Cellar
JOHN GASSNER AWARD
(Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)
Ayad Akhtar, Disgraced
Paul Downs Colaizzo, Really Really
Joshua Harmon, Bad Jews
Samuel D. Hunter, The Whale
Aaron Posner, My Name is Asher Lev
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Irish Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Charlotte Moore and Producing Director Ciarán O’Reilly in recognition of 25 years of producing outstanding theater.
It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year — nominations will soon be out with the whole country buzzing about Broadway.
You can check out our 2013 Broadway theater awards calendar to see when and who will be making the announcements and when all the pretty prizes will be handed out.
In the meantime, we wanted to do a rundown of the shows eligible for this year’s big categories:
Shows Eligible for Best Musical
Shows Eligible for Best Revival of a Musical
Who do you think is gonna take home this year’s biggest prizes?
The word is out — The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a raucous good time, even if it does exchange sincerity for camp. The production features fully committed and highly entertaining performances from most of the cast, most notably Chita Rivera as Princess Puffer and Jim Norton as the MC. Most known for letting its nightly audience indict the story’s bad guy, this revival of the 1985 production boasts energy and hilarity, focusing more on fun than on the actual mystery. The critics seem to enjoy it, especially those expecting more silliness and less sophistication.
NEW YORK TIMES
“With the explosion of social media inspiring a taste for talking back, the time seems especially ripe for the Roundabout Theater Company’s boisterous revival of “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” the 1985 Broadway musical that allows audiences to savor the satisfactions of impersonating Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot, pointing an accusatory finger at a cowering culprit….The pleasure of fingering a killer is not the only one afforded by Scott Ellis’s exuberant production, which opened on Tuesday night at Studio 54. In an era when Broadway revivals of beloved musicals can seem dispiritingly skimpy, this handsome production offers a generous feast for the eyes, trimmed in holiday cheer for an added spritz of currency….And the evening’s performers — including a bona fide Broadway grande dame, Chita Rivera; a host of plush-voiced singers; and the jovial imp Jim Norton as the evening’s M.C. — throw themselves into the winking spirit of the show….Despite its varied charms, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” remains a musical that ultimately adds up to less than the sum of its hard-working parts….The musical “Edwin Drood” at least leaves behind moments of shimmering musical pleasure to savor, long after the miscreant of the night has been booed off the stage.”
“Perhaps the best part is watching the first-rate cast have so much fun — Stephanie J. Block shows real comedic power, Jim Norton is having a ball, Chita Rivera is giggly, Gregg Edelman is just silly and Will Chase is over-acting perfectly….Scott Ellis’ direction is tight — there’s almost 20 songs, more than 20 actors and multiple identities being juggled — and yet he’s allowed pockets of genuine mirth to open for the veterans on stage to goof around….The jokes are hoary, the songs are ditties (”Off to the Races” is the best known) and the mystery not so mysterious — “You might like to add that line to your list of suspicious statements!” says one character to the audience — but the fun is infectious, even if it seems that the folks on stage might be having more of it than the paying guests….Other highlights include an opium dream beautifully realized by choreographer Warren Carlyle and Anna Louizos’ sets that includes a terrific steam-puffing train. William Ivey Long seems to have had as much fun making the lush costumes…Although “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” won Tony Awards for best musical, best book and best score in 1985, this is the first time it has returned to Broadway. The reason may be simple: In the wrong hands, it can sit awkwardly in a Broadway house — too zany, too arch. But these are the right hands: There are veterans at every turn.”
“Regardless of the accomplished cast and sparkling design and direction in Roundabout’s Broadway revival, nothing great can come of mediocre material. The show’s biggest selling point is the novelty of having the audience vote to decide the murderer’s identity at every performance. But the charms of this rollicking pastiche are otherwise intermittent….Holmes’ show scores points for ingenuity, but it often feels like being stuck for too long in front of an olde-worlde department-store window display. A vehicle running 2½ hours needs more memorable songs than these mostly interchangeable parlor ditties, and more engaging characters than this bunch, which by design, are cardboard cutouts enlivened by melodramatic flourishes. A genuinely intriguing mystery rather than a half-baked whodunit devoid of psychological complexity wouldn’t hurt either….Director Scott Ellis, set designer Anna Louizos and costumer William Ivey Long all do fine work conjuring London’s Music Hall Royale in 1895…And the cast appears to be having a ball. They double as characters within the evening’s presentation and the ensemble of second-rate resident players and guests hired to impersonate them, ranging from self-adoring stars to ambitious upstarts to shameless hams. Chief among them is the wonderful Irish actor Jim Norton…With his hoary double entendres, Norton makes an effortless master of ceremonies, as at ease with the stage business as he is with the winking innuendo of lining up companionship for single gents in the audience. Ad-libbing occasionally, he strikes the ideal jaunty tone to resuscitate this very British popular entertainment of a bygone era…But all the affectionately antiquated whimsy never quite adds up to robust entertainment.”
AM NEW YORK
“The Mystery of Edwin Drood, inspired by an unfinished Charles Dickens novel, is one of the most inventive, inspired and rousing musicals ever devised. And it is a pleasure to report that the Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival is thoroughly well-cast and extremely enjoyable….As atmospherically staged by Scott Ellis, with sprightly choreography by Warren Carlyle and excellent music direction by Paul Gemignani, this production is a reminder that well-known musicals do not need to be reconstructed or darkened for their revivals. If the show is strong, have faith in it and all will fall into place.”
“This is a novelty item, tricked-up with cutesy tangents as a play-within-a-play at a provincial English music hall. Everyone in director Scott Ellis’ wonderful-looking production works very hard at jollying up the audience at the start, rallying a sing-a-long and, ultimately, conducting the voting. Then, the murderer confesses in song. The show does have some jaunty, quasi-operetta music with beautiful harmonic blends and a ravishing cast — including Chita Rivera as Princess Puffer, madam of the opium den, and Jessie Mueller as the slinky-to-her-eyebrows Helena Landless, who, with her brother (Andy Karl) brings a bit of Colonial commentary as the exotics from Ceylon. Jim Norton maneuvers around the fast-patter songs with aplomb as the emcee; Stephanie J. Block is authoritative as Drood, the young gentleman who disappears. His beloved (Betsy Wolfe) is coveted by the opium fiend-music teacher (Will Chase)….Instead of trusting the characters and the mystery to build the suspense, however, Holmes aims for the campy, tiresome and childish. To vote, one presumably cares about who does what to whom. Considering Dickens’ storytelling genius, the real mystery is why this isn’t fun.”
Now that this season is officially over, we thought it worth taking a look at the shows who have announced Broadway runs for the 2012-13 season.
First up is an adaptation of Bring It On with music by Tom Kit of Next to Normal and Lin-Manuel Miranda of In the Heights. This show has been touring the country after opening to so-so reviews in Los Angeles, making changes in preparation for its Broadway run. Likened to Lysistrata Jones, which only enjoyed a limited run on Broadway and Legally Blonde, a film adaptation that lived a much longer Broadway life, the show is hoping to avoid the pitfalls other recent film adaptations, like Leap of Faith, have seen. Can the stage version find more depth than the silly film it was based on? We’ll just have to wait and see…
And then we have Ever After, another film adaptation with book and lyrics by Marcy Heisler and music by Zina Goldrich, who you might know because of the songs “Taylor the Latte Boy,” made famous by Kristin Chenoweth, and “Alto’s Lament,” a song about an alto who longs to sing the melody. The musical was first set to open in San Francisco in 2009, but was indefinitely postponed for undisclosed reasons. It’s now set to hit Broadway in the 2012-13 season, directed by Kathleen Marshall, who’s got three Tony Awards and two Drama Desk Awards in her den and nominations for direction and choreography for this season’s Nice Work if You Can Get It. Think the talent be enough to turn the movie into a solid musical? And will it be too similar to another show eyeing a Broadway run…
Cinderella, by Rodgers and Hammerstein, which was originally telecast in 1957 starring Julie Andrews, but never enjoyed a Broadway run, is getting a rewrite by Douglas Carter Beane of Xanadu and headed to Broadway next spring. Starring Laura Osnes, nominated for her portrayal of Bonnie in this season’s Bonnie & Clyde, the show has blockbuster promise. Will it play as well on stage as it did on television? We can only hope.
And then there’s a brand new musical – Chaplin – based on the silent film star adored and emulated by so many. Directed by Warren Carlyle, who was nominated for Drama Desk Awards for his direction of Finian’s Rainbow in 2009 and written by Christopher Curtis, a pianist who wrote the theme song to the film “The Break,” and Thomas Meehan, the Tony Award-winner who penned The Producers, Annie and Hairspray, many are excited to see something new on the menu of offerings.
One of Meehan’s best known hits, Annie, is also headed back to the Great White Way. The show’s original run in 1997 enjoyed an incredible 2,377 performances, will the new revival, directed by James Lapine of Into the Woods, Passion and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, do even better?
Another revival of a big hit is headed to Broadway. The Mystery of Edwin Drood, whose original run won five Tony Awards and had a cast starring Betty Buckley and featuring George Rose, Cleo Laine, John Herrera, Howard McGillin, Patti Cohenour, Jana Schneider, who were all nominated for 1986 Tony Awards for their performances, as well as Donna Murphy, Judy Kuhn and Rob Marshall who would all go on to celebrated careers in the theatre. This will be the show’s first Broadway revival and fans couldn’t be more thrilled to see if return. Chita Rivera is set to star and Scott Ellis to direct.
The final musical on the docket as of this writing is an international transfer of Rebecca, which premiered in Vienna, Austria in 2006 and ran for three years and has since been mounted in Finland, Japan and elsewhere. Set to hit Broadway in the fall of 2012 starring Karen Mason, Howard McGillin, James Barbour, Donna English, Nick Wyman, Henry Stram and co-directed by Michael Blakemore and Francesca Zambello, the story made famous by Alfred Hitchcock’s film has played very well to audiences elsewhere. What will Americans make of it?
An exciting mix of revivals, new works and adaptations await us in 2012-13 and more shows will be announced soon. What are you most excited about seeing next season?