Live Tweeting the 67th Annual Tony Awards

See July 11, 2013 update at the bottom

OK! Blog break over, and as a way back into the blogging groove let’s take a break from social media and get to one of the real treats of living in the New York city area – Broadway. And what better way to write about NY Theater than by live tweeting the 67th Annual Tony Awards.

NPH Tony OpenLast night, the annual award party that celebrates the actors, producers, directors and others behind the scenes on Broadway took place at Radio City Music Hall  with host extraordinaire Neil Patrick Harris, or just NPH as we call him. Some may know him from “Doogie Howser, MD” and others from the current  CBS hit ‘How I Met Your Mother“. But I first realized his musical theater talent when I saw him sing “What You Own” from ‘RENT’ when he was in the L.A. production. Since then I’ve seen him as the MC in ‘Cabaret’ and as Lee Harvey Oswald in ‘Assassins’. But he really shines as host of the Toy Awards. This year was his fourth time hosting– do let’s get to it.

Jun 09, 8:07pm @ActuallyNPH killed the #tonyawards opening – as usual! Bravo!

Jun 09, 8:10pm Featured Actor in a Play up first include the ones I saw: Billy Magnussen and Courtney B Vance #tonyawards

Jun 09, 8:11pm And the winner Courtney B. Vance! Loved him in “Lucky Guy”  #tonyawards

Jun 09, 8:14pm “Matilda” has four young actresses who rotate playing the lead role. Had to get a waiver to be nominated as a group  #tonyawards

Jun 09, 8:15pm ‘Matilda’ reminds me of ‘Spring Awakening’ for the grammar school set  #tonyawards  Read more of this post

New Broadway Hotline – 1-855-SEE-BWAY

Broadway producer Ken Davenport

Broadway impresario Ken Davenport

Bravo to Broadway producer Ken Davenport (“Godspell” and others) and team for staffing the free Broadway hotline 1-855-SEE-BWAY. Want to know what’s opening or closing? Need to see what shows have performances on Mondays, or curtain times as early as 7:00PM? Curious as to who the leads currently are in a long-running show, or how long a TV or movie star will be in a current show?

Just ask Ken and his team from Davenport Productions who are staffing the line as a service for Broadway lovers (and more importantly, potential Broadway lovers).

Kudos, Ken.

Here’s a link to Ken’s blog entry: http://ow.ly/8OWYq

TwitReviews: Broadway

Father Duffy SquareSaw lots of shows off and on #Broadway in last 6 mos. With Tony Award noms pending I took the time to post my TwitReviews® on each. Below are the tweets, in reverse chronological order

  • TwitReview: ‘Next to Normal‘ Bi-polar Musical? It works! Alice Ripley & show Tony nom bound. Great cast, no dead weight (heh)
  • TwitReview: ‘Hair‘ Must see! Best musical on Broadway Unknown stars shine. Had front row (not for the modest!) Danced onstage during finale
  • TwitReview: ‘Rock of Ages‘ Forget plot, enjoy the performances. Love 80′s tunes, love this show. Jarvis shines, Maroulis not bad.
  • TwitReview: ‘Blithe Spirit‘ Lansbury iconic, up close stage makeup scary. Everett OK. Ebersole good. Not full price worthy TKTS OK
  • TwitReview: ‘All My Sons‘ Best drama this year. Powerful performances Lithgow amazing, Katie Holmes surprisingly good
  • TwitReview: ‘Pal Joey‘ OK in a Roundabout sort of way. ‘Joey’ not strong enough. Should’ve been called “Gal Pals of Joey”
  • TwitReview: ‘Equus‘ Powerful, dated production. Radcliffe fine in all aspects. Griffiths weary. Unsung star: Anna Camp

All the World’s a Stage (My New York #2)

I don’t think the bard was thinking about New York City when he wrote those words, but if not he should’ve been. Certainly, working in New York City gives me front row seats to see actors and audience mingling together on the streets by day, and theater at night. L.A. can have its movies, New York, where one of my favorite T-Shirts reads, “So you’re an actor… What restaurant?”, is the home of the Great White Way — Broadway, where there’s a light for every broken heart who tried to make it here.

OK, enough of the Jerry Orbach impression. Here’s some things about NY theater in general and some theater festivals in particular.

When it comes to theater, there’s Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off Broadway. Now, here’s the skinny — those categories have nothing to do with geography. You can have an Off-Broadway theater on Broadway; a Broadway theater not on Broadway; and so on.

What determines the difference? Say it with me, ladies, “size matters.”

Broadway theaters have 500 or more seats, Off-Broadway 100-499 and Off-Off Broadway under 100. I am lucky enough to have seen many Broadway shows — more on them at another time — but this is the time of year I overdose on Off-Off Broadway shows.  They’re ususally fun, sometimes odd, generally well staged and acted — and cheap!

It’s festival time here in the Big Apple, and so far this year I’ve seen:

Bad Musicals Festival ’08 Jul-Aug Went to three, I liked these two:

  • Stranded — three men stranded on a deserted island find a genie bottle; guy #3′s wish really pisses off Guy 1 and Guy 2. I thought it was amusing.
  • The Plastic Surgeon of Oz – Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Crab Louse (yes, crab louse) seek the talents of the Plastic Surgeon of Oz in order to get into a career in porn (yes, porn). Always funny, this was, at times, LOL hilarious.

Fringe NYC Festival: Aug-Sep The odd, the irreverant, and occasionally the breeding ground for future Broadway shows (“Urinetown’)

  • Becoming Britney – Britney’s last few years as set in Promises-Promises, a rehab center for the marginally talented but Very Beautiful. Saw this last night. Molly Bell is great as the pop tart.
  • Tim Gunn’s Podcast (a reality chamber opera) – Using Tim Gunn’s words from ‘Project Runway’ to describe the behind the scenes battles. Seeing this Sunday.
  • The Deciders – Haven’t seen this yet but I’m betting they don’t have kind words fro the current president.

New York Musical Festival: Sept-Oct Fun, lyrical, and also occasionally the breeding ground for Broadway shows (‘[title of show]‘ <– yes, that’s the name) Here’s what I am scheduled to see (with official descriptions plus my notes):

  • The Bubble: A Musical Dot-Comedy The rise and fall of the dotcom decade — in a single day.
  • College:The Musical They sing. They dance. They sometimes go to class. (Or, why wasn’t my college years filled with spontaneous dance and song?)
  • Wood A sexy musical romp that will have you tapping your toes all the way to the public restroom stall!  (Based upon a Mid-summer night’s dream
  • Bedbugs!!! A hell-bent exterminator must save NYC from killer mutant bedbug Hair Metal Rock Gods… of her own creation. (Sci-fi musicals — gotta love ‘em)

And the best thing about all of these? Typical ticket price – $15!

So, the next time you think NY Theater is aloof or too expensive, get yourself off — Off-Off Broadway, that is.

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