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JUN
2
2 MOS

Tonys: Who Should Win, Who Will Win (Analysis)

Tonys: Who Should Win, Who Will Win (Analysis)

A version of this story appears in the June 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

NEW YORK — With less than a week to go until the 68th Tony Awards are dished out at Radio City Music Hall on June 8 (voting closes on June 6), The Hollywood Reporter's theater critic David Rooney and awards analyst Scott Feinberg offer up their picks for who deserves to win and who is most likely to win, respectively, in all of the major categories. 

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JUN
1
2 MOS

Tonys: In the Thick of Awards Season, a Busy Night on the Town With Harvey Fierstein

Tonys: In the Thick of Awards Season, a Busy Night on the Town With Harvey Fierstein

NEW YORK – The evening of Monday, May 19, proved to be an unusually hectic one for New York theater legend Harvey Fierstein — a man who is accustomed to having Mondays off — and therefore for me, as well, since I, being a self-professed fan of Fierstein's work, had been invited to hang with him as he jumped from an uptown affair to a downtown affair and back again. How could I pass up a chance like that?

The life of any Tony nominee is busy at this time of year, with the Tonys ceremony rapidly approaching. But for Fierstein, a tireless and irrepressible 59-year-old (he turns 60 on Friday) who has an astounding three shows currently running on Broadway -- 2012 best musical Tony nominee Newsies, 2013 best musical Tony winner Kinky Boots and 2014 best play Tony nominee Casa Valentina -- it can be even busier than for most.

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MAY
30
2 MOS

Tonys Actor Roundtable: 6 Male Broadway Stars on Crazy Auditions, Rapid Wardrobe Changes and Acting While Exhausted (Video)

Tonys Actor Roundtable: 6 Male Broadway Stars on Crazy Auditions, Rapid Wardrobe Changes and Acting While Exhausted (Video)

NEW YORK -- A week ago, The Hollywood Reporter was on Broadway -- or at least at a studio nearby -- for a momentous occasion: the taping of our first Tony Roundtables, which represent an expansion of our award-winning Roundtables franchise that was previously limited to the Oscar and Emmy seasons.

With the 68th Tony Awards rapidly approaching -- voting closes on June 6, and the ceremony itself will take place on June 8 at Radio City Music Hall -- we decided to gather six of this year's most impressive Tony-nominated actors for a photo shoot and a videotaped conversation about their lives, careers, pet peeves and the roles for which they are nominated.

PHOTOS: Tony Awards 2014 Nominees

They were best actor in a musical nominees Neil Patrick Harris (Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Andy Karl (Rocky Balboa in Rocky) and Jefferson Mays (nine members of the D'Ysquith family in A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder), best featured actor in a musical nominee James Monroe Iglehart (Genie in Aladdin) and best actor in a play nominees Chris O'Dowd (Lennie in Of Mice and Men) and Tony Shalhoub (middle-aged Moss Art, Moss Hart's father and George S. Kaufman in Act One).

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MAY
30
2 MOS

Tonys Actress Roundtable: 6 of Broadway's Leading Ladies on Their Noms, Pet Peeves and Pee Breaks (Video)

Tonys Actress Roundtable: 6 of Broadway's Leading Ladies on Their Noms, Pet Peeves and Pee Breaks (Video)

NEW YORK – A week ago, The Hollywood Reporter was on Broadway — or at least, at a studio nearby — for a momentous occasion: the taping of our first Tonys Roundtable videos, which represent an expansion of our award-winning Roundtable franchise that was previously limited to the Oscar and Emmy seasons.

PHOTOS: Denzel Washington, Daniel Craig Among 2013-14 Season's Broadway Stars

With the 68th Tony Awards rapidly approaching — voting closes on June 6 and the ceremony itself will take place on June 8 at Radio City Music Hall — we decided to gather six of this year's most impressive Tony-nominated actresses for a photo shoot and a videotaped conversation about their lives, their careers and the roles for which they are nominated.

The six were: best actress in a musical nominees Sutton Foster (Violet in Violet), Idina Menzel (Elizabeth in If/Then), Jessie Mueller (Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Story) and Kelli O'Hara (Francesca in The Bridges of Madison County) and best actress in a play nominees Tyne Daly (Katharine in Mothers and Sons) and LaTanya Richardson Jackson (Lena "Mama" Younger in A Raisin in the Sun).

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MAY
27
2 MOS

Tonys: A Moment in the Sun for 'A Raisin in the Sun' Nominee LaTanya Richardson Jackson

Tonys: A Moment in the Sun for 'A Raisin in the Sun' Nominee LaTanya Richardson Jackson

NEW YORK – Most pundits believe that A Raisin in the Sun's LaTanya Richardson Jackson faces an uphill climb in the best actress in a play Tony race, in which she is nominated alongside Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill's Audra McDonald and The Glass Menagerie's Cherry Jones, among others. But, as far as the youthful 64-year-old is concerned, she has already "won" just by getting the chance to play Lena Younger -- aka "Mama" -- opposite Denzel Washington in the latest Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking drama.

On Tuesday afternoon, Julianne Moore hosted a tea in Jackson's honor at Lady Mendl's Tea Salon, a part of The Inn at Irving Place in Gramercy Park, which was attended by many of Jackson's friends from the New York theater and cultural scene -- among them her Tony-nominated Raisin costars Sophie Okonedo and Anika Noni Rose, the play's costume designer Ann Roth, Ellen Barkin, Judith Jamison, Star Jones, Judith Light, S. Epatha Merkerson, Judge Judy Sheindlin, Pauletta Washington (Raisin star Denzel Washington's wife) and Phylicia Rashad, who won a Tony for her portrayal of Mama in the last revival of Raisin a decade ago -- and at which a letter from the first lady of the United States toasting Jackson was read aloud.

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MAY
27
2 MOS

FEINBERG FORECAST: Tonys Race Heats Up With 10 Days Until Voting Closes

FEINBERG FORECAST: Tonys Race Heats Up With 10 Days Until Voting Closes

The following projections and commentary are based on THR awards analyst Scott Feinberg's ongoing viewings of the nominees; his consultations with THR theater critic David Rooney; and careful readings of other Broadway commentators, plus Tony history books, rule books and much more. You can expect new and updated forecasts each Monday [Tuesday this week due to the holiday] through the Tonys!

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MAY
24
2 MOS

Tonys: 2014 Nominations Were Determined by Only 33 People

Tonys: 2014 Nominations Were Determined by Only 33 People

NEW YORK -- Being new to the Tonys beat this season, I have had to learn a lot, very quickly, about the minutiae of Broadway's highest honors. Among the things I have found most surprising is the fact that Tony nominations are determined by a Nominating Committee comprised of a rotating group of no more than 50 "theater professionals selected by the Tony Awards Administration Committee," each of whom serve overlapping three-year terms.

That shockingly small figure, however, often ends up being even smaller because of people's inability to see the shows and/or various conflicts of interest that arise, forcing some Nominating Committee members to recuse themselves from the process. (This year, for instance, the writer/producer Rick Elice took his name out of the hat because his husband, the actor Roger Rees, was cast in The Winslow Boy, which was eligible for consideration.)

The bottom line: only 33 people determined the 2014 Tony nominations.

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MAY
21
2 MOS

Hugh Dancy on Avoiding Typecasting, Picking Quirky Indies and 'Hannibal' (Exclusive Video)

Hugh Dancy on Avoiding Typecasting, Picking Quirky Indies and 'Hannibal' (Exclusive Video)

NEW YORK – Last week, I had the pleasure of moderating the second installment of "In Conversation," a collaboration between BAFTA New York and The Hollywood Reporter that provides an opportunity for British filmmakers to discuss their lives and careers in-depth in front of an audience of BAFTA members. Our guest for the first such hourlong conversation, which was held back in February at The Standard High Line, was Benedict Cumberbatch. This time around, we were delighted to welcome another terrific young British actor, Hugh Dancy.

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MAY
20
2 MOS

Tonys: 'Bridges of Madison County' and the Traditional Broadway Musical's Imperiled Future

Tonys: 'Bridges of Madison County' and the Traditional Broadway Musical's Imperiled Future

NEW YORK – Last Wednesday, I attended the unveiling of composer/lyricist Jason Robert Brown's caricature at Sardi's, the 44th Street restaurant that has famously displayed sketches of Broadway luminaries on its walls since the 1920s. Most events of this nature are joyous occasions. This one was bittersweet.

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MAY
17
2 MOS

Tonys: Are Multiple Acting Nominations for a Show Ever Actually a Bad Thing?

Tonys: Are Multiple Acting Nominations for a Show Ever Actually a Bad Thing?

NEW YORK -- When the 68th Tony nominations were announced late last month, several actors found themselves nominated alongside a costar -- or, in one case, two costars -- in the same category. A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder's Jefferson Mays and Bryce Pinkham were both nominated for best actor in a musical; A Raisin in the Sun's Sophie Okonedo and Anika Noni Rose were both nominated for best featured actress in a play; and, most notably of all, Twelfth Night's Paul Chahidi, Stephen Fry and Mark Rylance were all nominated for best featured actor in a play.

While this was undoubtedly received as good news by the nominees and their respective shows, it does beg the question, at least from a stats geek like myself: wouldn't those individuals have had a better chance of winning their category had they not been forced to compete against another actor -- or other actors -- from the same show? After all, doesn't the presence of multiple nominees from the same show increase the likelihood that fans of that show will break in different directions -- some voting for one of the show's nominees, others voting for another or others -- which would thereby undermine all of their vote totals and increase the likelihood of someone else sneaking in for the win?

I decided to investigate this theory to see if it is, in fact, supported by history.

FEINBERG FORECAST: A Look at the Tony Awards Field 

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MAY
13
3 MOS

Tonys: 'Rocky,' the $15 Million Musical That Was Denied a Title Bout

Tonys: 'Rocky,' the $15 Million Musical That Was Denied a Title Bout

NEW YORK -- When the Tony nominations were announced two weeks ago, the team behind the new Broadway adaptation of the classic 1976 film Rocky -- including Sylvester Stallone, the film's writer and star, who co-wrote the show's book with Thomas Meehan and is one of its producers -- must have felt deeply conflicted emotions.

PHOTOS: Tony Awards 2014: The Nominees 

On the one hand, their star, Andy Karl, was nominated for best leading actor in a musical for his portrayal of the title character, a small-time boxer who gets a big title-shot. On the other hand, the Tony Awards Nominating Committee, which was empowered for the first time to nominate as many as five titles in the best musical category (and the other three categories recognizing shows), opted instead for just four -- and Rocky was not one of them.

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MAY
12
3 MOS

FEINBERG FORECAST: A Look at the Tony Awards Field 27 Days Out

FEINBERG FORECAST: A Look at the Tony Awards Field 27 Days Out

The following projections and commentary are based on THR awards analyst Scott Feinberg's ongoing viewings of the nominees; his consultations with THR theater critic David Rooney; and careful readings of other Broadway commentators, plus Tony history books, rule books and much more. You can expect new and updated forecasts each Monday through the Tonys!

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MAY
11
3 MOS

Tonys: Harvey Fierstein's Return to the Subject of Cross-Dressing in 'Casa Valentina'

Tonys: Harvey Fierstein's Return to the Subject of Cross-Dressing in 'Casa Valentina'

NEW YORK -- At its best, one of the great powers of the theater -- like movies or television, for that matter -- is the ability to expose an audience to something of which it has only a foggy understanding, if any at all, and, within a single sitting, open minds and change hearts. The best play Tony has recognized many such shows over the years, from The Diary of Anne Frank (1956) to The Miracle Worker (1960) to Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (1993) and Angels in America: Perestroika (1994).

This year, one of the five nominees for that prize clearly follows in that vein: Harvey Fierstein's Casa Valentina, a production of the Manhattan Theatre Club that presents the history, motivations and hardships of transvestites -- or cross-dressers -- in a most humanistic and compassionate way.

STORY: A Reminder That Not Even Major Tony Nominations Can Save Some Struggling Shows 

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MAY
10
3 MOS

Tonys: 'Aladdin' and the Reluctant Acceptance of Disney on Broadway

Tonys: 'Aladdin' and the Reluctant Acceptance of Disney on Broadway

NEW YORK -- It has been exactly 20 years since Disney announced its arrival on the Broadway scene with Disney Theatrical Productions' Beauty and the Beast (1994-2007). Right from the get-go, the theater community, which can barely agree on the day of the week, seemed to agree on one thing: however entertaining the Mouse House's stage ventures might be, they represented a dark turn for the Great White Way, towards corporatization and away from originality.

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