amBroadway | Actor protests gender-based Tony categories, ‘Into the Woods’ cast wins Grammy

Credit Matthew Murphy
Philippe Arroyo and Justin David Sullivan in ‘& Juliet.
Photo by Matthew Murphy

‘& Juliet’ actor protests gender-based Tony Awards categories

Justin David Sullivan, a trans non-binary actor who plays May in the new Broadway musical “& Juliet,” has withdrawn from consideration for this year’s Tony Awards because its acting awards are offered in gendered categories. “Because I was told I had no other option but to choose between one of the two gendered categories in which I would be eligible, I felt that I had no choice but to abstain from being considered for a nomination this season,” Sullivan wrote on social media. In response, the Tony Awards advised that it is currently considering how it can adjust the acting categories to make them more inclusive in the future. The Outer Critics Circle, another theater awards organization, recently announced that it will remove gender specifications from its acting categories.

‘Into the Woods’ cast album wins Grammy Award

The acclaimed Broadway revival of “Into the Woods,” which recently wrapped up its extended limited run and is now on tour, won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album on Sunday night. Other musicals with nominated cast albums included “Six,” “MJ,” “Mr. Saturday Night,” “Caroline, or Change,” and “A Strange Loop.”

‘Girl from the North Country’ film adaptation in the works

While it is unclear when the pro-shot version of the Conor McPherson-Bob Dylan musical “Girl from the North Country” (which was filmed when the show briefly returned to Broadway last spring) will be publicly released, a separate film adaptation of the musical, written and directed by McPherson, is moving forward with a cast that includes Woody Harrelson, Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”) and singer-songwriter Chlöe Bailey, as per Variety. Set in Duluth, Minnesota (Dylan’s hometown) during the Depression, “Girl from the North Country” is a haunting and mysterious piece that combines kitchen sink drama with approximately 20 Dylan songs.

Dramatists Guild protests show cancellations by schools

Stories about high school productions getting canceled for allegedly being inappropriate keep popping up nowadays on social media. On Monday, the Dramatists Guild of America (the trade organization representing professional theater writers) released a statement in response to the cancellation of Paula Vogel’s “Indecent” at Douglas Anderson School of Performing Arts in Jacksonville, FL (linking the decision with censorship, homophobia and antisemitism) and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at Cardinal High School in Middlefield, Ohio.

“Both schools have shirked their responsibility to educate and foster the free exchange of ideas,” the Guild wrote. “They are also allowing the most vulnerable kids in their care to be marginalized…They are normalizing censorship, modeling it for their students as acceptable, and demonstrating to the oppressive factions in their communities that these pressure tactics work.”

In a sign that show censorship is not abating, on Monday, Playbill.com reported that the Lansing Board of Education in Kansas had removed “The Laramie Project” from an English class curriculum following protests by a parent that the 2000 docudrama espoused critical race theory. In response, the Tectonic Theater Project, which created the play, has made the text available for free to the affected students.

Royo to lead Off-Broadway revival of ‘Drinking in America’

Andre Royo (best remembered as Bubbles on the HBO series “The Wire”) will lead an Off-Broadway revival of Eric Bogosian’s 1986 one-man comedy “Drinking in America,” a collection of monologues depicting an assortment of men in various states of inebriation, which was originally performed by Bogosian himself. It will be produced by Audible at the Minetta Lane Theatre, with performances beginning March 10, and later released as an audio play.