Presenting the two directing prizes on Sunday night’s Tony Awards, Clint Eastwood, who was on the show because he has directed the film version of the Tony winning Broadway musical Jersey Boys (6/20), summed it all up for me. “It seems like producers and directors from the stage and from movies are always looking for good new material, and sometimes they don’t find it. Sometimes they have to take it from one another with The Bridges Of Madison Country (Eastwood starred in and directed the film) or Bullets Over Broadway going to musical plays, and I’m proud to say that we’re bringing Jersey Boys to the movies and that will be after nine successful years on Broadway,” he said in introductory remarks. It was an understatement as most of the evening’s winners, spread among a larger number of shows than usual, have deep ties to Hollywood and that included Bridges which picked up a couple of key Tonys for its composer Jason Robert Brown, despite closing last month. There’s also Rocky (Best Scenic Design of a Musical), Aladdin (Best Featured Actor in a Musical), as well as the two big musical winners of the evening (each with four victories), A Gentlemen’s Guide To Love And Murder (winner of Best Musical and which is derived from the 1949 Alec Guiness film Kind Hearts And Coronets), and …
Tony Awards Show Sings Hollywood’s Praises While Oscar Producers Return The Favor At PGA’s Produced By Conference
Tony Tally: ‘Gentleman’s Guide’ Kills With Four Wins Including Best Musical; ‘Raisin’ Revival Shines On Three More
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Update, 11:20: And here are the tallies: Most Tony Awards for a musical: A Gentleman’s Guide To Love & Murder (four, including best musical) and Hedwig And The Angry Inch (including best musical revival). For a play: A Raisin in The Sun (including best revival of a play). The night’s biggest losers: Bullets Over Broadway (six nominations, no awards); The Cripple of Inishmaan (six nominations, no awards) Les Miserables (three nominations, no awards).
Update, 10:54: Jessie Mueller wins for Best Actress in a Musical for Beautiful, and we’re in the home stretch, folks.
Update, 10:43: Another non-suprise: The Tony for Best Musical Revival goes to Hedwig And The Angry Inch.
Update, 10:31: The real Carole King does an emotional pitch for Beautiful and Jessie Mueller performs Will You Love Me Tomorrow – the best number and the best moment from that show. Then CK joins her for a bluesy I Feel The Earth Move. And, no surprise, Neil Patrick Harris wins for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical, for Hedwig.
Update, 10:00: Here’s Sting singing a number from his upcoming show, The Last Ship. A little earlier: Tony has always had trouble making the non-musicals look good on TV. This …
EXCLUSIVE: Harvey Weinstein has some choice words for the whiners who used the New York Post and the Daily News in recent days to complain about Jennifer Hudson‘s appearance on tonight’s Tony Awards broadcast. Unfortunately, he didn’t use any of them when he called me. Instead, he was downright diplomatic. “We are passionate about being involved on Broadway and being a part of tonight,” he said.
On the other hand, he was also passionate in his defense of Hudson’s appearance, responding to the anonymous assertions that he had “muscled” his way onto the CBS telecast to promote Finding Neverland, the musical he has been developing for Broadway next spring and in which Hudson will not appear. One story had him calling CBS chief Les Moonves and demanding a slot on the Hugh Jackman-hosted show. Another quoted Broadway sources complaining that the appearance of a star on the Tonys who isn’t connected to a show is “unprecedented.” Which is, of course, a lotta Tony baloney.
“I never called Les, and he never called me,” Weinstein said. Tony broadcast co-producer Ricky Kirshner attended a recent workshop of the show with music stars Alicia Keyes and Taylor Swift present. Weinstein says that the idea of a star doing a number from the show on the Tonys came out of that performance. Hudson, you may recall, played one of Broadway’s ultimate diva roles in the …
About midway through CBS‘ live telecast of the 68th Tony Awards on Sunday night, host Hugh Jackman told the audience at Radio City Music Hall that the first show he’d ever been cast in was Meredith Willson’s The Music Man. To prepare, in fact, he’d learned all eight parts to “Rock Island,” the opening number of that signature piece of syncopated Americana, and to prove it, he performed a minute or so, sprecht-singing all eight parts. The first words are: Cash for the merchandise/Cash for the buttonhooks, which sounds like the beginning of an ode to Broadway, 2014. Then he ushered out LL Cool J and TI, and all three of them rapped “Rock Island,” which sounded a lot like Sesame Street, 1995. It was funny and toothless. Much the same can be said for the most breathlessly upbeat Tony broadcast in memory. Almost nothing memorable happened over the course of just over three hours of good cheer.
Jackman looked somewhat raffish and ragged of beard, as though he was coming from an audition for a revival of Sunday In The Park With George. He bunny-hopped bizarrely from the street to the backstage of Radio City Music Hall, high-fiving cast members from shows and stars preparing for their numbers, hopped into the audience and up onto the stage as if he didn’t have a care in the world. Even the edgiest nominee of the evening, Hedwig And The Angry Inch and its star, Neil Patrick Harris, seemed more intent on nuzzling the audience than, perish the thought, shocking it.
Hugh Jackman will host the 68th annual Tony Awards tomorrow, much to the delight of CBS, which has broadcast the event since 1978. There’s no better superstar than Jackman to entice viewers to the telecast with his crossover, triple-threat appeal.
If the Tonys have retained their stature as the class act of televised awards events—since 1967, the show has won 27 Emmy awards—much of the credit of late goes to three-time host Jackman and his ability to convey the specialness of live theater to an audience whose actual experience of Broadway is bound to be limited.
The Belmont Stakes and the Tony Awards take place this weekend and in both cases there are significant amounts of prestige and money at stake. There’s even a chance that Broadway will have its own version of a Triple Crown winner, if Mark Rylance takes home both of the Tonys for which he’s nominated (OK, double crown).
Despite strict rules about campaigning for Tonys, producers pulled out all the stops at their disposal to plug their shows, and who could blame them? Even in a season that’s still reeling from the many film and TV stars passed over for nominations, the competition in the acting categories is more compelling than usual, while the Best Musical category is a toss-up among less-than-thrilling shows.
Stop by Deadline.com on Sunday night at 8 PM New York time, when we begin live-blogging the CBS telecast hosted by Hugh Jackman. The producers promise more Hollywood firepower than you can shake a stick at. Here’s a preview of what to expect, with no promises at all:
Best Play: Harvey Fierstein’s Casa Valentina should win, but the Tony will go to Robert Schenkkan’s All The Way, a revisionist history of the Johnson presidency.
Director, Play: The frontrunner is Tim Carroll for Twelfth Night, but I’d call it a tie between Kenny Leon (A Raisin In The Sun) and John Tiffany (The Glass Menagerie).
Best Musical: None of this year’s nominated musicals will stand the test of time, but with Aladdin, Disney delivered the goods with a sparkling, de trop extravaganza. Watch out, though, for a spoiler, A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder, which has waged a great come-from-behind campaign.
Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Kate Mara, Will Ferrell, Carole King Sign On For Tony Awards Telecast
Wolverine will get plenty of star-power backup during the Tony Awards telecast by CBS on June 8. The 68th ceremony will include appearances by Carole King, subject of Best Musical contender Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Tony nominee Audra McDonald (Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill), Zachary Quinto, the only cast member of Best Revival nominee The Glass Menagerie to have been overlooked by the nominators, and Clint Eastwood, whose film adaptation of Broadway superhit Jersey Boys is about to hit screens. Other top-tier talent signed for the show: Bradley Cooper, Kevin Bacon, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Will Ferrell, Liev Schreiber, Emmy Rossum, Kate Mara, Zachary Levi, Lucy Liu, Patricia Clarkson, Leighton Meester, Ethan Hawke, Zach Braff, Matt Bomer, Anna Gunn, Gloria Estefan, Fran Drescher, Wayne Brady, Emilio Estefan, Kenneth Branagh (about to open off-Broadway in the title role of the Scottish play), Tony Goldwyn, Vera Farmiga and Alessandro Nivola. Hosted by Hugh Jackman, the Tony Awards will be broadcast in a live three-hour ceremony from Radio City Music Hall, on the CBS television network on Sunday, June 8.
Wolverine will begin performances on Halloween, with an official opening November 16 at Gotham’s Circle in the Square Theatre, in a limited run through January 25, 2015. The cast includes Laura Donnelly and Cush Jumbo. Ian Rickson, a longtime collaborator with the writer, directs. Butterworth, author of the acclaimed Mark Rylance vehicle Jerusalem, sets The River in a remote cabin on a cliff somewhere. The play was unveiled in 2012 at London’s Royal Court Theatre and comes to New York under the wing of Sonia Friedman Productions. Jackman‘s most recent Broadway show was his sold-out Hugh Jackman — Back On Broadway in 2011.
CBS scored a big one this morning when Bryan Cranston was announced as being among the nominees for a Tony Award this year. The Breaking Bad star received his first Tony nomination, for best actor in a play, for his performance in All The Way, which CBS hopes will drive some Cranston/non-theater fans to the traditionally low-ish-rated trophy show broadcast. But a slew of celebrity snubs at the Tony noms unveiling made it a somewhat disappointing morning for the network, which could have been looking at possible record ratings for the awards show had this morning’s list turned out otherwise. Among the network’s bigger disappointments: Denzel Washington, for instance, was considered a front-runner to snag a nom for A Raisin In The Sun. Also among the impressive list of Those Snubbed: Daniel Radcliffe, Daniel Craig, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, James Franco, Michael C. Hall, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz.
The 2014 Tony Award for outstanding regional theater will be presented to off-Broadway’s game-changing Signature Theatre Company, which recently moved into a new three-stage complex on West 42nd Street. The group is best known for presenting full seasons of work by selected playwrights-in-residence such as Edward Albee and Horton Foote and for its $25 across-the-board ticket price. The award was announced this morning by the Tony Awards Administration Committee, which takes its cue on the prize from the American Theatre Critics Association. The nominees in the competitive awards will be announced tomorrow morning.
Broadway’s two most acclaimed new musicals — the gritty Neil Patrick Harris starrer Hedwig And The Angry Inch and the Sutton Foster bus vehicleViolet – will not be eligible for Tony Award nominations in the all-important Best New Musical category. Instead, they’ll be eligible in the category of Best Revival of a Musical. The decisions were announced today after the final meeting of the Tony Awards Administration Committee, which determines eligibility in all of the Tony categories. Nominations – and, ultimately, wins — in the Best Musical and Best Play categories typically carry the most weight at the box office.
Both Hedwig and Violet were mounted previously off-Broadway, the reason cited for declaring them no-goes in the top categories. Widely considered the best new musicals in a season short on critical and customer consensus, the result is likely to mean a slew of less popular shows will float to the top of the Best-dressed list when nominations are announced Tuesday.
Fox is pulling out all the stops for the global launch of X-Men: Days Of Future Past, with stars Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy stepping up to bat for a week’s worldwide premiere tour billed as the “X-Men X-Perience.” The trio — who respectively play Wolverine, young Magneto and young Dr. Charles Xavier in the film — made a web video announcement today (see below). After the New York premiere, they will be joined by castmembers Jennifer Lawrence, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Peter Dinklage, Ellen Page, Fan Bingbing, Omar Sy and Nicholas Hoult for tour stops including London, Moscow, Singapore, Melbourne, Beijing and Sao Paulo — though who will wind up where is still a secret. The X-Men franchise has morphed into a cash cow overseas, with the most recent titles — last year’s The Wolverine and 2011′s X-Men: First Class – pulling in well over 60% of their global box office haul from territories outside the U.S. and Canada. This is a marketing move typical of 20th Century Fox’s prowess in foreign markets, and since the days of Titanic and Braveheart it has always globetrotted talent in an effort to raise a film’s profile and maximize moolah. X-Men: Days Of Future Past opens day and date worldwide May 25.
Don’t let the title fool you: This ain’t no night in white satin with the Moody Blues. (It’s even spelled differently.) But if it’s action you crave, well, it’s got that. Here’s the final trailer for Fox/Marvel’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past, wherein Hugh Jackman‘s Wolverine goes back in time 50 years to alter history and prevent some really rotten stuff from happening. Butt-kicking ensues. The cast also includes James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Michael Fassbender, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Fan Bingbing, Omar Sy, Nicholas Hoult and plenty of others. Bryan Singer is back to direct his first film in the franchise since 2003′s X-Men 2, working from a script by Simon Kinberg. It opens May 23 — until then, enjoy:
EXCLUSIVE: Fox has hired David James Kelly to script the next installment of The Wolverine, the X-Men franchise spinoff that James Mangold will direct with Hugh Jackman reprising his signature role. The studio is eyeing a March 3, 2017, release. Kelly also is next set to adapt the Dark Horse graphic novel Mind Mgmt for Scott Free Productions and the original pitch Sentinel for Appian Way and Fox. Kelly is repped by WME, LBI and Hansen, Jacobson.
Three-time Tony host Hugh Jackman will be back on emcee duty for the 68th Tony Awards on June 8 on CBS after a five-year break. Jackman served as host from 2003-2005, earning an Emmy Award for his 2004 stint at the 58th annual ceremony and another Emmy nomination for his 2005 appearance. Jackman and Neil Patrick Harris, who presided over the show in four of the past five years, have been the most popular Tony hosts. Both have branched out, with Jackman making a well-received turn as Oscar host and Harris getting strong reviews for his two stints as host of the Primetime Emmys. “Hugh is the ultimate performer — actor, singer and dancer — he does it all, second to none,” said CBS’ Jack Sussman. Added Charlotte St. Martin of The Broadway League and Heather Hitchens of the American Theatre Wing: “Hugh is an extraordinary talent and loyal supporter of the Broadway community – whether he is onstage or in the audience.” Jackman and Harris will now have both hosted the Broadway awards show four times — so they’re probably due for another sing-off (see the video of their 2011 co-appearance below):
Warner Bros is getting its Peter Pan movie in ship-shape. It has just announced it has set Hugh Jackman to play Blackbeard in Pan, the Joe Wright-directed update of JM Barrie’s Peter Pan tale. He joins Garrett Hedlund, who we scooped this week landed the role of Captain Hook after being in the mix with Boardwalk Empire‘s Jack Huston and Perks Of Being A Wallflower‘s Ezra Miller. The script is by Jason Fuchs, and Greg Berlanti is producing under his Berlanti Productions banner with Paul Webster. Sarah Schechter is overseeing for the studio.
In Fuchs’ script, an orphan is taken to the magical world of Neverland, where he becomes the savior of the natives and leads a rebellion against the evil pirates led by Blackbeard. Javier Bardem at one time was offered this part, but Jackman was later rumored to be in the mix, and now it is final. For the record, that makes a pretty formidable acting duo playing the same historical figure: John Malkovich is set as Blackbeard in NBC’s upcoming pirate drama series Crossbones from Neil Cross.
The studio said today that the pic remains untitled, though it does have a July 17, 2015 release date after it was shifted last week to take the slot previously held by the studio’s Superman Vs. Batman movie. The move keeps Pan from being sandwiched between Fox’s Fantastic Four and Paramount’s Terminator reboot and took the pic off the the same date as Ted 2 from Universal.
Jackman, repped by WME, just wrapped shooting on Fox’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past, and his most recent pic in theaters was the Warner Bros’ thriller Prisoners.
EXCLUSIVE: Garrett Hedlund has come away with the offer to play the lead role of Hook in Pan, the new take on the J.M. Barrie classic that Joe Wright is directing for Warner Bros. This was a coveted role and it came down to Hedlund and Boardwalk Empire‘s Jack Huston (currently in American Hustle), with Ezra Miller from The Perks Of Being A Wallflower also in the mix. The script is by Jason Fuchs, and Greg Berlanti is producing under his Berlanti Productions banner, and Sarah Schechter is overseeing for Warners. In Fuchs’ script, an orphan is taken to the magical world of Neverland, where he becomes the savior of the natives and leads a rebellion against evil pirates. Hugh Jackman reportedly will play Blackbeard, the captain of the bad guys, and Javier Bardem has also been mentioned for that role. Warner Bros has set a July 17, 2015, release date for the 3D-shot film.
Hedlund starred in Tron Legacy, and more recently in Inside Llewyn Davis and plays a big role in the Angelina Jolie-directed Unbroken for Universal Pictures. He’s repped by WME and Brillstein.
The actor apparently has too much on his agenda to take on a starring role in a stage musical. For starters, Paramount is developing the Harlan Coben novel Six Years as a potential star vehicle for Hugh Jackman, and Fox is eyeing another installment of his X-Men spinoff The Wolverine. “I have greatly enjoyed the collaborative process on Houdini,” Jackman said in a statement. “Ultimately, though, I wasn’t able to commit to the time this role will require. I have tremendous respect and admiration for the creative team and I wish everyone the best. I know they’re well on their way to making something extraordinary.” It’s the second high-profile departure from Houdini this year. Back in January, Aaron Sorkin pulled an escape act from the upcoming show in which he was to make his debut as a librettist. He also had to pull out because of scheduling difficulties, less than a month after Jackman boarded the project from composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Godspell).