Broadway Fast 5: April

1. A flurry of openings in time for Tony Award® eligibility
Shows must have their opening night prior to April 27 to be eligible for Tony Awards so the past few weeks have been a flurry of opening nights. Amelie, Anastasia, Hello, Dolly! (with Bette Midler), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Bandstand, War Paint and Groundhog Day opened in the musical category. Present Laughter, The Little Foxes, Six Degrees of Separation, The Play That Goes Wrong, Oslo, Indecent, and A Doll’s House Part 2 were the Broadway plays with April openings.  

2. Speaking of the Tonys®…
The Tony Awards made two major announcements this month. First, that they plan to bring back the awards for Sound Design in 2018. Second, that this year’s host is Kevin Spacey. Spacey, who is currently starring in House of Cards, won the 1991 Best Featured Actor in a Play Tony for his performance in Lost in Yonkers. He also starred on Broadway’s Long Day’s Journey into Night and in the title role in Sam Mendes’ production of Richard III.
Nominations for this year’s awards happen May 2!

3. Drama League Award and Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations announced
Speaking of awards…nominations were announced for both the Drama League Awards and the Outer Critics Circle Awards. Check out their lists for productions and performances receiving early award season buzz. Winners of the Outer Critics Circle Awards will be announced May 25; Drama League Awards are announced May 19.

4. The Pulitzer Prize in Drama goes to…
On April 10, the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama was awarded to Lynn Nottage’s new Broadway play Sweat. After a successful run at The Public Theater, the production opened on Broadway March 26 and tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets and laughs while working together on the line of a factory floor. Layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust and a hard fight begins just to stay afloat.

5. Groundhog Day proves there’s nothing like live theater
Andy Karl, the star of Broadway’s Groundhog Day (based on the film), is proving that there’s nothing quite like live theater.
It was quite a week for Karl:  On Sunday, April 9, he was awarded the Olivier Award (London’s Tony Awards®) for Best Actor in a Musical, and Groundhog Day received Best New Musical for the West End production.  On April 14, during the second act of the show, Karl injured himself forcing him to leave the stage briefly and the show to stop. He continued the show with a cane. The matinee, scheduled for the following day, was canceled with an understudy filling in for the evening performance.  The show, scheduled to open on April 17, did just that, with Karl appearing in a leg brace and some alternative staging. The New York Times said “In a poignant demonstration of the show-must-go-on ethic, he led the opening night production of Groundhog Day just 72 hours after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in full view of the audience…” Karl will be continuing with the show, but will be taking matinees off to recover.
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