Talkin' Broadway V.J.

Tony Nomination Notes

Well, it's that fun time of year again. The Tony nominations were announced this past Monday from Sardi's and now we have three weeks to debate who should win what or why this one or that one wasn't nominated.

I really think the Tony nominating committee comes under unnecessary heat each year. They're damned if they do and damned if they don't. Each year the rules are stretched a bit to include shows in certain categories, or actor's billing taking precedent over the correct categories they should be nominated in. As for those not nominated, well, that's all part of the game and there's no sense crying over spilt milk. There's always another season.

As with other years, this year has some interesting developments. Let's take Best Musical category. The nominees are Contact, The Dead, Swing, and The Wild Party. While many feel Contact has the edge, you can't dismiss The Wild Party which is the only nominee with a new score.

Michael John LaChiusa is nominated for Best Score for both Marie Christine and The Wild Party. I always shudder over the thought of a vote split when two nominees are either the same person, or from the same cast in the acting categories. Aida could walk away with it, but we all know it belongs to Marie Christine.

With Amadeus now closing that leaves A Moon for the Misbegotten as the edge for Play Revival. The Real Thing is still running, of course, but one wonders why True West is not in this category. Both plays were done in the 1980's, yet, True West is in the Best Play category.

Best revival of a musical is a split between The Music Man and Kiss Me, Kate if you ask me. Kate received 12 nominations while Music Man garnered eight. The latter may be fresher in voters minds, so this may be a tough call. One thing though is that the Best Actor in a musical for the last several seasons has gone to actors in musical revivals. Stokes and Bierko will be in a tight race, and while both are strong, the edge goes to Stokes. Besides, he's owed big time for the miss on Ragtime.

Intrigue will be in the Best Actress in a Play category. Rosemary Harris is nominated for Waiting in the Wings and Jennifer Ehle for The Real Thing. It will be interesting to see if mother or daughter walks away with it...watch out for Cherry Jones, though.

Can Audra McDonald pick up a fourth Tony Award for Marie Christine? Or will it be Marin, or Heather. This is one tight category I think I'll avoid.

One actress I'm rooting for is Karen Ziemba for Contact in the featured actress category. Karen is simply due the recognition she so rightly deserves. It's another tough category with great actresses all.

It's all in fun and in the next few weeks I'll try and lure our theatre critic, Thomas Burke, into some discussions and debates like we did last year with the dearly departed Fergus McGillicuddy. All in fun? Sure, unless you're a nominee!

Tidbits: On Sunday, May 21st, 2000, WBAI 99.5 FM will present an expanded edition of Everything Old Is New Again. Producer/Host David Kenney is planning the fund-raiser as an "Interactive Broadway Potpourri." The five hour special, beginning at 8 PM (EST), will feature interviews with Tony Award nominee Michael John LaChiusa (The Wild Party, Marie Christine), award winning composer Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party, John And Jen and the additional songs written for the revival of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown) and Bill Rosenfield, A&R Director and record producer at RCA Victor. John (V.J.) Gillespie (Hey!, that's me.), creator and website manager of TalkinBroadway.com, will also join the broadcast.

More information on other performers and authors joining the broadcast will follow. Now, for the "interactive" part - you can e-mail your questions for Michael John, Andrew, Bill, and/or V.J., along with your musical requests to: oldisnew@earthlink.net. Please include the following information: whom the question is for, the question, your name and where you are from and/or the musical selection you are requesting. Throughout the show, we will be offering special premiums to encourage you to become a listener/ supporter of Everything Old Is New Again and WBAI-FM.

You can listen to WBAI from anywhere in the world if you have Real Audio on your computer. Tune in at: www.wbai.org

See you Sunday!

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