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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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MAY
8
3 MOS

Tonys: 'A Raisin in the Sun' and the Curious Case of Its Missing Nomination

Tonys: 'A Raisin in the Sun' and the Curious Case of Its Missing Nomination

NEW YORK – Last night, I attended a performance of A Raisin in the Sun, the critically acclaimed revival of Lorraine Hansberry's 1959 Broadway play turned 1961 movie, at the 1,058-seat Ethel Barrymore Theatre on 47th Street, which was packed to the gills with excited folks who came to see Denzel Washington's take on a role that Sidney Poitier made famous in the same venue more than a half-century ago.

This is what a Broadway show is supposed to look and feel like, I thought to myself as the curtain came up on the veritable hit (last week it grossed more than any other production first mounted in 2014), which President Barack Obama and his wife swung by to see a few weeks ago, and which was nominated last week for best revival of a play, best actress in a play (LaTanya Richardson Jackson) and best featured actress in a play (both Anika Noni Rose and Sophie Okonedo).

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MAY
5
3 MOS

FEINBERG FORECAST: First Post-Nominations Look at the Tony Awards Landscape

FEINBERG FORECAST: First Post-Nominations Look at the Tony Awards Landscape

The following projections and commentary are based on THR awards analyst Scott Feinberg's viewings of contenders, which will continue through the coming weeks; 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
4
3 MOS

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

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

NEW YORK -- It's one thing when a good show comes and goes before the Tony Award nominations announcement, as happened with several productions this season -- among them, eventual best play nominee Outside Mullingar (1/23-3/16); best revival of a play nominees The Glass Menagerie (9/26-2/23) and Twelfth Night (11/10-2/16); and A Night with Janis Joplin (10/10-2/9), which starred eventual best actress in a musical nominee Mary Bridget Davies. (The first three were always intended to be limited engagements; the fourth struggled at the box-office.)

But it's quite another when, less than a week after the Tony Award nominations announcement, it is announced that a good show that scored major nominations -- which usually reflect a certain level of quality and lead to a boost at the box office -- will be closing.

That, however, is precisely what is happening to two shows that have been running at neighboring 45th Street venues for the past several weeks, the play The Velocity of Autumn (4/21-5/4) and the musical The Bridges of Madison County (2/20-5/18), both of which landed best actress noms en route to being axed.

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APR
29
3 MOS

Tony Awards Nominations: Fun Facts and Shocking Stats

Tony Awards Nominations: Fun Facts and Shocking Stats

The nominations for the 68th annual Tony Awards were announced on Tuesday morning, and The Hollywood Reporter's awards analyst dug through the Tony record books to see how this year's nominees stack up against the nominees of yesteryear. The results are fascinating.

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APR
28
3 MOS

FEINBERG FORECAST: Projections for the Tony Award Nominations

FEINBERG FORECAST: Projections for the Tony Award Nominations

As a longtime fan and student of Broadway, I am very happy to share that the theater awards season -- like the awards seasons for film and television -- will now be a part of my portfolio at The Hollywood Reporter, and that I will be based in New York during the month leading up to the 68th Tony Awards ceremony on June 8 at Radio City Music Hall.

This year's Tony nominations will be announced Tuesday morning, after which you will notice a surge in Tony-related posts on this blog. I have already seen a number of the likely nominees -- All the Way, If/Then, etc. -- and intend to see the rest as quickly as possible so that I can write about them and the people responsible for them in a variety of ways. As with the other two awards seasons, you can expect analysis, interviews and, yes, forecasts, the first of which appears below.

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APR
28
3 MOS

'Locke' Star Tom Hardy Makes Early Case for Oscar (Exclusive Video)

'Locke' Star Tom Hardy Makes Early Case for Oscar (Exclusive Video)

Was the first legitimate acting awards contender of 2014 unveiled this past weekend? According to a considerable number of respected pundits, the answer is yes: Tom Hardy in Locke, Steven Knight's 80-minute experimental film that features just one actor -- the 36-year-old Brit best known for Warrior (2011) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012) -- and takes place entirely in a car as his character tries to extinguish numerous professional and personal crises via his phone while racing in the other direction to be with the person who caused them in the first place.

PHOTOS: 11 British Actors Invading Hollywood's 'It List'

If that reads like a bit of a tough sell, you can imagine that cutting an appealing trailer of it can't have been easy, either. For that reason, perhaps, distributor A24 has exclusively provided The Hollywood Reporter with this making-of featurette, which gives some context to the production and its aims. (Knight, who also wrote the film's script, previously scribed two other dark but estimable films, Dirty Pretty Things and Eastern Promises.)

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APR
19
3 MOS

Richard Dreyfuss Returns to Hollywood for a Visit, But Not to Stay

Richard Dreyfuss Returns to Hollywood for a Visit, But Not to Stay

Richard Dreyfuss hasn't given many interviews over the last few years. Perhaps that's because the legendary 66-year-old actor, who is best known for a string of instant-classics from the 1970s -- American Graffiti (1973), The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1974), Jaws (1975), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and The Goodbye Girl (1977) -- has, of late, been primarily focused on things other than acting, including and especially his nonprofit organization The Dreyfuss Initiative, which promotes civic education. But last week, Dreyfuss, who now lives in San Diego, came back to Hollywood to revisit his glory days at the fifth annual TCM Classic Film Festival. And, after the first of his two appearances there -- one a conversation with Ileana Douglas, the other a Q&A with Robert Osborne -- he found about 30 minutes to chat about his moviemaking memories with The Hollywood Reporter.

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APR
14
4 MOS

Shirley Jones Revisits 'Oklahoma!' and a Spectacular Career

Shirley Jones Revisits 'Oklahoma!' and a Spectacular Career

As the fifth TCM Classic Film Festival comes to a close today, I want to share my interview with the belle of its opening-night ball -- last Thursday's kickoff screening of the 1955 film Oklahoma! at the TCL Chinese Theatre -- the great actress-singer Shirley Jones.

I met up with Jones and her entourage -- Marty Ingels, her irrepressible second husband, to whom she has been married since 1977, plus her manager and publicist -- across the street from the theater at the Grill restaurant shortly after she introduced the screening of the beloved musical that she shot 60 years ago.

Can Jones, who turned 80 two weeks ago, fathom that it has been so many years since her work opposite Gordon MacRae and Rod Steiger in Fred Zinnemann's film made her a star? "I can't believe it. I was a little girl. The years just seem to have flown by," she says.

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APR
13
4 MOS

Lynn Stalmaster, Pioneering Casting Director, Now in Spotlight at 86

Lynn Stalmaster, Pioneering Casting Director, Now in Spotlight at 86

The recent documentary Casting By, which celebrated the career of the late casting director Marion Dougherty, helped call widespread attention to the impact of practitioners of her profession and led to the Academy's creation of a casting directors branch, a major step in the direction of perhaps one day having a best casting director Oscar -- which seems only fair, considering that every other profession that receives an opening credit mention has one.

But while Dougherty, who was based in New York, was undeniably one of the greats, so, too, was -- and is -- her West Coast counterpart who was the first casting director to receive an opening credit mention (on 1968's The Thomas Crown Affair) and who helped bring to light many of the finest talents in film history. His name, which you'll see a lot if you pay attention to the credits of great movies, is Lynn Stalmaster.

A few days ago I met up with Stalmaster at his Century City apartment to look back on his remarkable life and career in advance of his numerous appearances throughout this long weekend at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, which will celebrate movie legends known the world over -- such as Jerry Lewis and Kim Novak -- but also often-overlooked people who arguably shaped the movies just as much, like this warm, sharp 86-year-old who seems much younger than his years, save for a whistling hearing aid.

PHOTOS: TCM Classic Film Festival's Opening Night Gala

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APR
9
4 MOS

A Star Is Burned: Mickey Rooney's Final Days Marred by Bizarre Family Feud

A Star Is Burned: Mickey Rooney's Final Days Marred by Bizarre Family Feud

An abbreviated version of this story first appeared in the April 18 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

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APR
5
4 MOS

One of TV Academy's Youngest Members Pays Tribute to Lucy Hood

One of TV Academy's Youngest Members Pays Tribute to Lucy Hood

My name is Jason Cozier and, at 23, I am one of the youngest members -- possibly the youngest -- of the TV Academy, which represents a very big and important part of my life. If you've ever attended one of the TV Academy’s functions, mixers or panel presentations, chances are we've met. I first met Lucy Hood, our president and COO, at the breakfast that followed the announcement of the Emmy nominees last July. I introduced myself to Ms. Hood, who had been appointed to her position just a month before, and she immediately posed a question to me, with deep and genuine interest in my answer: "How can we get more young people involved in the Academy?"

STORY: NATAS Chair on Just Exactly Who Votes on the Awards 

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