By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
Finally, Broadway star wars made for some free food at the Tony nominees' brunch at the Marriott, which prompted my usual unasked-for thoughts on the theater season. If I recall properly, there were three too many revues, 100 too many slide projections, and way more overrated imports than we needed. (As The Weir finally seemed to be ending, my heart sank when the female character turned to the old man and said, "Tell us one more story!") And there were too many revivals, like Annie Get Your Gungas maskwhich is performed in such a distanced way, they might as well put it on in the next room. Thank goddess for the boffo Death of a Salesmanyeah, a revivalwith Elizabeth Franz giving one of the most moving performances I've ever seen as an iron-willed enabler and Brian Dennehy not so shabby either as her salesman guy.
At the brunch, the likably crabby Dennehy told me, "I'd love to go home this goddamned minute." He kept working the room anyway, as his stage son Kevin Anderson told me, "Pushing Brian around every night is like running into a concrete wall." (He rightfully considers it an honor.) I pushed through the media circus and ran into You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown's sprightly Snoopy, Roger Bart, who looked like he wanted to go home, but proceeded to tell me how he found out about his nomination. "After tossing and turning," said Bart, "and having bizarre dreams of rejection, I did my morning ablutions, made a rich cup of java, turned on NY1, and watched Swoosie Kurtz's mouth to see if she'd form the letter R. She did, and after that, I didn't hear any of the other nominees." (Swoosie made an L sound too, but for Lez Brotherston, not Lea DeLaria.)
And suddenly I found myself forming some dumb words to The Civil War's nominated composer Frank Wildhorn.I nobly told Wildhorn he devises great hooks and should branch out into the pop charts someday, only to have him inform me that he already wrote the wildly popular "Where Do Broken Hearts Go?" for Whitney Houston. I crawled away in badly informed horror.
While crawling, I nabbed a couple of award-caliber news flashes: JFK Jr. is camera-shy and has no interest in doing that cable TV spinoff of George that's been hinted at. But that other sociopolitical force, Britney Spears, is all too willingly on the tube with her new "Sometimes" videoand it's bizarrely billed as "a dickfilm." I guess those breast implants are working.