Neil Patrick Harris has been set as host of the 67th Tony Awards, a development that could be called anticlimactic given it feels like he hosted it the other 66 times. This is actually the fourth Tony turn for Harris, whose versatility in song and dance and comedy makes him as well-suited for the gig as anybody — unless Hugh Jackman wanted another go at it. The Tonys will be held at Radio City and air on CBS on Sunday, June 9.
Sutton Foster and Jesse Tyler Ferguson unveiled the nominations for the 2013 Tony Awards this morning. Here are the nominees in the categories Deadline readers might care about. BTW, nothing for Bette Midler as Sue Mengers, and Al Pacino and Jessica Chastain were among those also snubbed:
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
The Testament of Mary
The Assembled Parties
Bring It On: The Musical
A Christmas Story, The Musical
Matilda The Musical
Arthur Miller’s Death Of A Salesman added to Mike Nichols and Scott Rudin‘s previous Tony hauls, taking nods for best direction of a play for Nichols and best revival of a play for Rudin. Nichols and Rudin, who most recently won for last year’s best musical The Book of Mormon, now have won nine Tonys each. For his movie work Nichols was nominated five times for Oscars, winning best director for 1967′s The Graduate. Rudin has also been nominated for five Oscars, winning Best Picture for 2007′s No Country For Old Men. Once, a musical based on a 2006 Irish movie, took the award for best musical plus seven others out of 11 nominations. Newsies, based on the 1992 Disney movie musical of the same name, won awards for choreography and best original score written for the theatre.
Complete list of winners follows:
It’s a big day for the musical Once, but not for Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, in the Tony Award nominations out this morning. Once — a romantic comedy involving a flower seller, a street musician, and a vacuum cleaner repairman — received 11 nominations including Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical, and Best Actress in a Musical. The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess also fared well with 10 nominations, including Best Musical. But the troubled Spider-Man production is only a candidate for two awards, for scenic design and costume design. The awards will be broadcast June 10 on CBS. Here are the nominations:
Not sure how many Broadway fans will get the hockey reference, but Neil Patrick Harris has made it a hat trick and agreed to host the upcoming Tony Awards for the third time in four years. NPH is good at it, and it is nice that Broadway has stability on the hosting front. I’m already wondering what will happen late this year when AMPAS starts looking around again for an Oscar host. Billy Crystal certainly stopped the bleeding by stepping in after Eddie Murphy dropped out along with producer Brett Ratner, but Crystal’s usual schtick felt dated to me.
The horse is out of the bag. Steven Spielberg’s much-awaited epic War Horse began its industry screenings in earnest this afternoon, Thanksgiving Day, in both New York and Los Angeles by inviting members (via trade ads and website Monday) of most guilds , critics groups, and, of course, the Academy to special holiday weekend screenings that will continue through Sunday in both cities as well as San Francisco (Fri-Sun). In addition , as previously announced , there will be public sneaks in NYC and nine other cities on Sunday afteroon (10:30AM in LA at AMC Century City) followed by a Q&A with Spielberg in NY that will be satellited to the other cities as well as streamed live on MSN.com. It is an innovative “one-stop shopping” tactic on the part of Dreamworks (and Disney who distributes) since Spielberg is on the east coast currently shooting Lincoln and not available for the usual round of campaign activities. Its “World Premiere” will take place December 4th at Avery Fisher Hall in NYC.
The big launch is on now even though the film was completed for all intents and purposes in September. At the Labor Day weekend Telluride Film Festival producer Kathleen Kennedy told me they only had the D.I. to complete at that time, but even though it was ready the film, which opens on December 25, has skipped the festival circuit in favor of its own circuitous route to release. That included the unusual strategy of employing surprise “pop up” screenings Nov 1-10 in small towns like Bellvue Wa, Leawood and Olathe Ks, Cleveland Heights Oh, Beaverton Or, Bethesda MD and Plymouth Meeting, PA indicating a “heartland” strategy in order to get word of mouth moving . That same week Dreamworks started quietly showing the film to select media (including Deadline) on the big screen at the Disney lot’s main theatre. A strict embargo existed until today right after the first Thanksgiving screening when most media and industry types would have had at least the opportunity to begin seeing it. So expect a lot of industry and media twittering, facebooking and reviews to start almost immediately with still a solid month to go before its Christmas day wide opening.
What Spielberg has wrought is a stunning looking and highly emotional epic that is Hollywood moviemaking at its best, and seems likely to be the filmmaker’s most Academy- friendly work since his Oscar winners, Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan. Is it old-fashioned? You bet , but in this fast-moving techno culture that may be a welcome thing. Spielberg is known to be a great admirer of David Lean and with its sweeping vistas, deliberate pacing and epic story of one horse’s remarkable journey through the front lines of World War I, the film could almost be a tribute to the great director of such classics as Lawrence of Arabia and The Bridge on the River Kwai. Just for the craft alone Oscar nominations would seem to be assured for Best Picture and Director, John Williams’ score, Rick Carter’s production design,Michael Kahn’s editing, the sound work and Janusz Kaminski’s striking cinematography. Although there hasn’t been much buzz about the cast which includes Jeremy Irvine, David Thewlis, Emily Watson, Benedict Cumberbatch and Peter Mullan, they don’t strike any false notes delivering fine performances, and Tom Hiddleston’s Captain Nichols could even merit some Best Supporting Actor talk though that category is almost impossibly tough this year. As for the horses there should be some kind of separate Academy Award. They are suprisingly expressive (one of them came from Seabiscuit). The film , in look and execution is easily the best of its genre since Carroll Ballard’s The Black Stallion in 1979, a movie that earned a handful of Oscar nods but shamefully didn’t even get a Cinematography nomination for Caleb Deschanel’s landmark cinematography.
War Horse is probably too emotional and traditional to earn much love on the hardcore unsentimental critics awards circuit, but I imagine it will fare very well at the CCMA’s, Golden Globes, and Oscars, even though some of the Academy’s more recent Best Picture choices, notably No Country For Old Men, Slumdog Millionaire and The Hurt Locker among others indicate a different sensibility than the kind of once-traditional “bigger”, more craft-laden film the Academy once favored, and a category into which War Horse definitely falls. Although The King’s Speech triumph last year over the more trendy critics choice of The Social Network might indicate there is still room for less edgy, more “traditional” films in the heart of the Academy voter. We’ll have to wait to see, but the sheer scope of War Horse certainly gives it its own niche against smaller favored Best Pic hopefuls (seen so far) like The Descendants, The Artist, Midnight In Paris and Moneyball.
On the other hand voters might think Spielberg has had enough accolades (3 Oscars, a Thalberg award, AFI Life Achievement and Kennedy Center Honors), plus
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