Theater buffs all over the world are in a frenzy over the RCA Victor release of the Original Broadway Cast recording of Ragtime. Absolutely everyone I know just can't get enough of it. I've already proclaimed it the very best cast recording ever made. And it is. If you don't own it yet, you're truly missing out on something brilliant. Jay David Saks, the producer of the CD, should stand up and take a big cyber bow.
Ragtime, of course, is nominated for 13 Tony Awards. All would be rosy except that The Lion King is nominated for 10 Awards. And this all spells excitement. Both musicals are vying for that coveted Best Musical Tony. Which one will take that category? It could go either way. I believe that many of the categories that both shows are nominated in will be split down the middle. For instance, take Costume Designer. Santo Loquasto's work in Ragtime is utterly beautiful while Julie Taymor's designs for The Lion King are ravishing. I think "ravishing" beats out "beautiful".
Many of the award categories are fairly easy to pick. Cabaret, as Best Revival, looks like it's in the bag. Best Actor and Actress in a Musical, as well as Best Score, and the Supporting categories are completely up in the air and anything can happen, and it usually does. Some awards are just not predictable. For a little fun, Michael Reynolds in his weekly column, Broadway Bound, predicts this year's Tony Award winners. It's a great read. For a complete list of the 1998 Tony Award nominations, follow this link to the Tonys Website (http://www.Tonys.org).
The staff of Talkin' Broadway will be at the Tony Awards, but we have our webmaster who will post the awards as they are announced. We did this last year for our readers who don't get the live telecast outside of the U.S.
Radio City Music Hall will be filled with electricity this year because of both Ragtime and The Lion King. Or will it be Side Show or The Scarlet Pimpernel? All I know is in one category, I better be right, or I'm out 500 bucks! I'll let you know if I win after the Tonys.
Tidbits: Coming up this week, we'll have the Stephen Bienskie Spotlight On interview. Stephen is the brilliant actor who starred in The Last Session this past season and just completed a starring turn in The Fix in Washington, D.C. We'll also be debuting our newest section designed by Mark Bakalor of Hijinks Design called The Restaurant Revue. Then, we'll be working on more interviews and four new sections for Talkin' Broadway readers.
Broadway...Off B'way is such a success at The Debbie Reynolds Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas that beginning June 1st the musical, which features many Broadway reenactments of musicals, will play Monday through Saturdays, instead of just weekends. Showtimes are Mon. to Friday at 9:30 and Saturdays at 7:00. Highly recommended.
Well, I'm outta here for a week on a long overdue vacation. I need to chill a bit...so I'm heading to Alaska. Makes sense to me. Good friend, Jill Hobgood, of Theatricopia fame, will have our semi-annual LINKS column telling us all about interesting theater websites this Thursday, and next Sunday is the return of OLD MAN, (Jerry Howard), who I think wants to replace me permanently. ;)
Last but not least, I'd like to thank Carol Cling, entertainment reporter for the Las Vegas Review Journal, for her very flattering column on V.J. and his Broadway baby, Talkin' Broadway.
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