McDonald’s Tony speech draws controversy
A superfluous, humorous comment made by Audra McDonald during her Tony Awards acceptance speech – in which she thanked her parents for not medicating her as a “hyperactive” child and instead encouraging her to pursue theater – led to a Time Magazine editor posting an open letter to McDonald criticizing her remark as unfairly judgmental. In response, the characteristically classy McDonald penned a response apologizing for any unintended offense that was also posted on the Time website.
Tony for Sound Design to be axed
Starting next season, the Tony Awards will no longer have a category for best sound design of a play or musical. The Tony Awards Administration Committee did not give any reason for the change. The administration also made it easier for the writers of a play or musical that has not previously been on Broadway and gets nominated for best revival to receive a Tony (in addition to the revival’s producers) if it is part of the popular repertory as opposed to a “classic.”
Josh Radnor joins cast of Pulitzer-winning ‘Disgraced’
“Disgraced,” Ayad Akhtar’s drama about a Muslim-American attorney whose comfortable lifestyle and identify is unexpected attacked during a dinner conversation, will be produced on Broadway next season. The play, which received a short Off-Broadway run at Lincoln Center last season, went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. The cast will include Josh Radnor of the television series “How I Met Your Mother.” Meanwhile, “The Who & The What,” a new play by Akhtar, will open next week at Lincoln Center as part of its LCT3 series.
‘Mothers and Sons’ to close after Tony loss
Terrence McNally’s “Mothers and Sons,” which received a Tony nomination for Best Play, will end its Broadway run on June 22, its producers confirmed on Tuesday. The play, which received mixed-to-positive reviews, stars Tyne Daly as a Texan mother who treks out to New York to visit the former lover of her son, who died of AIDS. “It’s Only a Play,” a little-known comedy by McNally, will receive an all-star mounting next season with Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing and Megan Mullally.
Kreis to play preacher in ‘Violet’
Levi Kreis, who played Jerry Lee Lewis in the Broadway musical “Million Dollar Quartet” and won a Tony for his performance, will enter the cast of “Violet” on July 1, taking over the role of the televangelist that the title heroine hopes can heal her facial scar. “Violet,” a limited engagement produced by the Roundabout, plays at the American Airlines Theatre until Aug. 10.
Cerveris, Newman and Osnes set for ‘Faust’
Randy Newman’s musical “Faust,” based loosely on the classic drama by Goethe about an everyman tempted by the devil, which will receive its New York premiere on July 1 as part of the Encores! Off-Center series at City Center, will have a cast that includes Newman himself, Michael Cerveris (“Tommy”), Laura Osnes (“Cinderella”) and Tony Vincent (“American Idiot”).
Tony Danza at “A Raisin in the Sun” … Jerry Lewis at “Bullets Over Broadway” … Valerie Harper at “Mothers and Sons.”