My fair readers -- it is a week before the Tony Awards. What does that mean? It's time for The Drama Desk Awards. There are a good amount of awards that honor theater, but the Drama Desk is certainly the largest award to honor both off-Broadway and Broadway. It's our version of the Golden Globes. I wish people sat at tables. Sadly, they do not. Also, I'm upset John Ellison Conlee did not receive a nomination for his performance in The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence, for which he recently won an Obie. This all said, please watch the live stream on Theatermania. Other than the Tony Awards, this is the one big theater award show you can watch from the comfort of your own home. Do that. Support.
What else is on my mind today?
M&M's. I have written a lot about eating in the theater. Starting in 2007 with this Times story and continuing on as more and more theaters began to allow/even encourage seat snacks. But I don't think I've ever been quite as distracted by this trend as I was Wednesday night. On Wednesday, I completed my Tony season by seeing, All The Way. First, let me say, I had previously written about how excited I was to see such a huge cast in a straight play on Broadway. The show didn't disappoint. I am not an American history person at all. I can maybe name a dozen presidents, if that. But I found the play very engrossing and well directed by Bill Rauch; it is about more than Bryan Cranston's (future Tony-winning) performance. I was so glad I went. However my enjoyment was threatened at the start of the second act when everyone around me seemed to be eating M&M's. The noise created by the bag wrinkling and the snack pouring, coupled with clanking ice (because you need your beverage with your M&Ms), created more noise than the actors on the stage. Theater owners -- I beg of you -- stop selling M&M's. I know I'll never win on the snack front in general, but, please, think about the noise created by the snacks that you do sell. A Snickers bar, for example, is chocolate, and a lot less noisy than M&M's. Ice cream is common in the West End and at some regional theaters, including Yale Rep.. People love ice cream, and it is quiet. Jordan Roth, I'll promote a related campaign for you. (I'm only picking Mr. Roth because he is an identifiable head of an organization that owns many Broadway theaters, not because I believe Jujamcyn Theaters are particularly bad on this front. I swear.)
I am not a cabaret person. There are a whole host of differences between Adam Feldman and me (actually I'm sure no one would think of us in the same sentence even) and this is one of them. I read Adam's cabaret reviews, the only cabaret reviews I read. Every once and a while if he loves a show and it is still playing, or it is coming back, I'll go. There are also occasions where I love the performer so much I attend. Mostly though, I like my theater-style shows to have strong librettos. Therefore I'm not a huge Broadway concert person either, as those have even less book than cabaret shows. Nevertheless, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for certain benefits and other concerts. Each time I have attended Broadway by the Year, I have found it interesting. I really wanted to go see the May 12 installment, but I missed it. Over half of the next installment will be songs from shows I have seen, but I still might head over to Town Hall on June 23. I encourage my readers who are just getting into musical theater to buy a ticket -- $55 for orchestra -- and attend. Other journalists (not me) talk about how the Broadway musical is dead, but I think you'll realize that there have been some pretty good songs created in the last 24 years.
I never thought Broadway 4D would ever actually happen. I am shocked that they even filmed one number. But a very small part of me held out hope that it would because I was looking forward to being inside the Times Square Theater. Maybe, now that it is in the news again, someone will take it over. Mr. Roth? Disney? It seems like it could be a good The Hunchback of Notre Dame location.
This is the final week to see Carly Rae Jepsen and Fran Drescher together in Cinderella. They have the oddest performing schedule I've ever seen and sadly there is no great video to show you of them (just this one acting scene), but I thought they were really entertaining together. Jepsen sings and acts the part well. If you haven't seen the show, now is a good time to go.