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4/4/13

Just a Few Thoughts About the Lucille Lortel Nominations

Reading over the Lucille Lortel Nominations, which were announced yesterday, I actually had a lot of (mostly) positive reactions. That is probably because Off-Broadway has been delivering the goods in ways that most Broadway shows dream of, a fact I'll relish in as this hit-or-miss Broadway season trudges forward.

Although, given the volume of shows I have seen, I do have to wonder...have I been seeing way too many shows? Pfft, nahhhhh

And The Flick Dishes Out More Fu** Yous - Look, I wasn't a fan of The Flick. I was in the not-so-beloved base camp that its three-hour long runtime was too much and took a potentially flawless show into one that was "okay at best." But I don't understand why people left at intermission (the final 15 minutes of Act I was the best part of the show, very striking and moving) and I find that some patrons asked for their money back to be deplorable. But all of that didn't stop The Flick from accumulating four nominations and if you ask me, I just love that they won out in the end. Considering all the buzz the show had, for better or for worse, and that Tim Sanford, the artistic director for Playwright's Horizons, having to send out an e-blast explaining himself and the creative process (something he wasn't obligated to do), they deserve all the credit in the world for sticking to their guns and riding the wave out.

Score One for New Edgy Rock Musicals - Murder Ballad's five nominations, including Outstanding Musical, was a welcome sight given those meddling awards voters can be a little old and tightly-wound at times. It's pulsating score just couldn't be overlooked and who could forget Rebecca Naomi Jones kickass performance? Girl was the sexiest thing since sex up there.

And The Other New Musical... - A part of me couldn't help but cheer that David Rossmer's and Steve Rosen's little Neil Diamond-based The Other Josh Cohen wasn't forgotten. Not my favorite show by a long-shot, but the two of them were charming on stage, emphatic about their passion project and it showed. Also, because I wasn't all that crazy about Dogfight or Giant.

Everidge, Burstein, Hensley, Oh My! - The Outstanding Lead Actor category is stockpiled with some fantastic performances, making for an interest bout. Danny Burstein's charisma was so infectious, he took Talley's Folly up a few notches on his performance alone. Shuler Hensley had a fat-suit on, yet gave one heck of a heart-wrenching, physically-committed performance in The Whale. And while Falling was a non-entity in terms of its plain-jane book, Daniel Everidge's performance as a troublesome son with autism was spot-on in accuracy, so much so it was shocking to watch.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Annie Funke - To go off of that, I was shocked that If There Is, I Haven't Found it Yet was a colossal disappointment given the traction it had overseas (isn't that how it always goes?). Thankfully, Gyllenhaal is more than just a big-name star and only when he was on stage was that misfire of a show worth perking up for. And while poor Funke had little breathing room and a lot of insipid scenes, she held her own opposite Gyllenhaal and had to perform the most harrowing, suicide attempt in an overflowing bathtub night after night. Four for you, Ms. Funke, you go Ms. Funke.

Love that Cock! - I will never pass up on an opportunity to write about Cock, that minimalist gem of a show that debuted last spring. Mike Bartlett's writing and James Macdonald's direction combine for an intense, yet subtle (if that makes any sense) boxing match between a gay man torn between his lover and another girl. I was stunned the cast was shut out of the acting categories, but I can forgive. Amanda Quaid was nominated for Luck of the Irish (which I didn't see) and Cory Michael Smith (also shut out for The Whale, harumph) is making a name for himself as being the best part about the horrendous Breakfast at Tiffanys, so I've heard.

Bow down to Ms Redgrave y'all The Revisionist, for all of its good quality, really only had one transcending aspect - Vanessa Redgrave's performance as a Polish woman hiding a deep-seated loneliness. Heart-breaking and funny, just how I like my talented septuagenarian actresses. And with all of the chatter about the show transferring to Broadway, she better ready herself for more love sent her way. But for now, enjoy that LL nomination girl!


Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

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