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In case you missed it last night… The winning song from the winning musical:

Here’s Andrew Rannells as Elder Price singing “I Believe” from The Book of Mormon on last night’s Tony Awards.

It wasn’t the song I thought they’d do … I thought they’d do a big production number like the opening “Hello” or one of the other “clean” songs in the score…  But this was pulled off nicely.

Enjoy.

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The Tonys are tomorrow night and I’m curious…

… about which of the songs in “The Book of Mormon are safe enough to present as the sample from the best nominated Musicals. Mormon is up for 14 Tonys, and although it probably won’t win them all, as the Drama Desk Awards showed last week, it is sure to take SOMETHING home.

I’ve been playing the album over and over on my iPhone and I think the piece that stands the best chance is the opening number “Hello,” yet that doesn’t show the experience in Uganda which makes up the body of the work. The songs in Uganda pose the biggest problems for television which cannot easily take “fuck you, God” or any and all the messages about the clitoris, or even the closing scene, which is a variation on “Hello” also full of the F word.

I must sat, I love the score and the story, however. I wish I was in New York so I could go see it (where apparently, it is frequently sold out.) It’s going to be a long time, if ever, before this gets to the Community Theatre market.

Drama Desk Awards Announced…

From Stage Directions magazine:

2010/2011 DRAMA DESK AWARD WINNERS
Outstanding Play: War Horse by Nick Stafford
Outstanding Musical: The Book of Mormon
Outstanding Revival of a Play: The Normal Heart
Outstanding Revival of a Musical:    Anything Goes
Outstanding Actor in a Play Bobby Cannavale (The Motherf**ker With the Hat)
Outstanding Actress in a Play: Frances McDormand (Good People)
Outstanding Actor in a Musical: Norbert Leo Butz  (Catch Me If You Can)
Outstanding Actress in a Musical: Sutton Foster (Anything Goes)
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play: Brian Bedford (The Importance of Being Earnest)
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play: Edie Falco (The House of Blue Leaves)
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical: John Larroquette (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying)
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical: Laura Benanti (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown)
Outstanding Director of a Play: Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe (The Normal Heart)
Outstanding Director of a Musical: Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker (The Book of Mormon)
Outstanding Choreography: Kathleen Marshall (Anything Goes)
Outstanding Music: Trey Parker, Robert Lopez & Matt Stone (The Book of Mormon)
Outstanding Lyrics: Trey Parker, Robert Lopez & Matt Stone (The Book of Mormon)
Outstanding Book of a Musical Adam Mathias (See Rock City & Other Destinations)
Outstanding Orchestrations: Larry Hochman & Stephen Oremus (The Book of Mormon)
Outstanding Musical Revue: Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles on Broadway
Outstanding Music in a Play: Wayne Barker (Peter and the Starcatcher)
Outstanding Set Design: Derek McLane  (Anything Goes)
Outstanding Costume Design: Tim Chappel & Lizzy Gardiner (Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical)
Outstanding Lighting Design: David Lander (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo)
Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical: Brian Ronan (Anything Goes)
Outstanding Sound Design in a Play: Acme Sound Partners and Cricket S. Myers (Bengal Tiger at Baghdad Zoo)
Outstanding Solo Performance: John Leguizamo (Ghetto Klown)
Unique Theatrical Experience: Sleep No More

The Drama Desk (www.dramadesk.org) was founded in 1949 to explore key issues in the theatre and to bring together critics and writers in an organization to support the ongoing development of theatre in New York. The organization began presenting its awards in 1955 and it is the only critics organization to honor achievement in the theatre with competition between Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions in the same categories.

Playwright Lanford Wilson Dies at 73…

Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lanford Wilson has died of pneumonia complications at the Kindred St. Joseph Hospital in Wayne, N.J. Wilson lived in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

Wilson was one of the founders of the Circle Repertory Company, an off-Broadway repertory group where he premiered his plays. Known for such works as “The Hot l Baltimore” and Talley’s Folly“, he explored such themes as contemporary gay identity, youthful angst and the  modern lack of the usual social or ethical standards.

A number of Wilson’s plays reached Broadway, and he received three Tony nominations for best play. But today he is most closely associated with the off-off-Broadway scene. He won the Pulitzer for “Talley’s Folly.”

A revival production of “Burn This,” directed by Nicholas Martin, is set to open at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles on April 3.

Theoni V. Aldredge, one of the greatest Costume Designers of the 20th Century, Dies at 88

It is always a landmark for me when a theatre great passes on, and reading in this morning’s NY Times that costume designer Theoni V. Aldredge had died in Connecticut three days ago. struck me as one such landmark.

Aldredge won three Tony Awards for Costuming: Annie in 1977,  Barnum in 1980 and La Cage aux Folles in 1987. She was nominated for Tonys 12 other times, most recently in 2006 for the revival of Follies.

Aldredge was born Theoni Athanasiou Vashlioti in 1932 in Salonika, Greece (which, oddly enough, is where my relatives on my Father’s side come from). She acquired her last name in 1953 when she married actor Tom Aldredge, who she remained with for the rest of her life.

She often worked for Joe Papp at the Public Theater and, when Papp brought his big pieces to Broadway, like Two Gentlemen Of Verona in the 1970s, it was Theoni Aldredge who costumed the huge cast. Aldredge was known for beautiful designs that took large budgets to create… surprising since she did so much non-profit work for Papp.

In films, she won three Oscars and had five other nominations. Her films included Ghostbusters, Network, Moonstruck and Addams Family Values – indicative of the range of styles she commanded.

In 1985 she designed both costumes and environment for Akyvernites politeis, a television series in Greece.

Tom Bosley has died at age 83.

I am sorry to see that Tom Bosley, an actor whose work I have been watching since I was a very young man, has died at age 83 of heart failure that may have been related to his lung cancer.

While everyone I know immediately thinks of Bosley as Ritchie Cunningham’s father on Happy Days, my first exposure to him was as the Mayor of New York, Fiorello H. LaGuardia in the musical Fiorello, the role which won him a Tony Award (1959). I saw Fiorello when he had it on a summer tour a year after he had left the Broadway cast (and after which the B’way show closed…without Bosley there was no Fiorello) at the Springfield, Massachusetts tent theatre on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition. He took the Bock/Harnick Musical all around the country where he was heartily received everywhere.

He spent most of his career on Television, however… Happy Days, a long-running role on Murder, She Wrote as Sheriff Amos Tupper, and guest spots on other shows.

I will remember him and his performances.