And the 69th Annual Tony Award Nominees Are…

As you can tell, I’ve been too busy to update this blog!!!!! RAAAAAAR!

*smashes computer*

*smashes buildings*

*sits panting, admiring the wreckage, contemplating life*

But here’s why:

Fun Home

‘Fun Home’ is the greatest piece of musical theater in decades

I’m going to do a quick rundown of all the shows I’ve covered in some way for Backstage, which double as my NYC theater recommendations. If you can, do yourself a favor and check out some of this year’s extraordinary shows, many of which were just nominated for Tony Awards.

Hand to God: If you miss it, you’re committing blasphemy. Playwright Rob Askins and director Moritz von Stuelpnagel are geniuses, check out my interview with them. The show deserves all the awards.

Fun Home: I cried so much during this musical, I was dehydrated. Possibly the most affecting, cathartic, brilliant, gorgeous, and wondrously personal show anyone could see. A lot has been written about its creators Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, here’s my humble addition to that.

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Oscars 2015 Recap: The Broadcast’s Most Emotional Moment

First of all, let’s get best dressed out of the way:

Emma Stone

Emma Stone blew everybody out of the water (and got covered in seaweed?) with this chartreuse Elie Saab number

My initial reaction: “What is that, seaweed?? WTF she looks like an alien!” Second reaction: “Ohmygosh it’s like. Seaweed. Like sexy glamorous seaweed. She’s a sexy glamorous bug-eyed alien.” By the end of the night: “Wait, everybody at this year’s Oscars is dressed so conservatively and here’s Emma Stone, national treasure, resident alien supermodel, dressed in a wildly unusual and eye-catching color. Not only does nobody else on this carpet stand out like she does, nobody in all of awards season dared to wear something as bizarre and striking as this! And look at that face!! She freaking KNOWS. All hail, bitches!!!”

Anyway. Patricia Arquette’s speech was great, and Meryl and JLo’s joint reaction was even better. I’m happy for Julianne, I don’t really have words for what happened with Menzel and Travolta, and seeing Julie Andrews did my heart good. The ceremony was full of some unexpectedly cathartic moments; in defiance of #OscarsSoWhite we were treated to a rousing performance of Selma‘s “Glory” followed by an unabashedly political speech from John Legend and Common. Here’s hoping the Academy can pull their head out of their asses a bit more and open their minds to films that aren’t only biopics centering on brilliant misunderstood white dudes.

But for me, I must admit, the most emotional part of the broadcast – tears spring to my eyes just thinking about it – came somewhere in the middle….

 

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If I Ran The Oscars: 2015 Edition

All right here’s the thing I took a melatonin pill about eight minutes ago so I have until that sucker kicks in to scrawl down some thoughts on this year’s Oscars. I’m telling you right now, this shit’s not gonna be perfect. Honesty and authority: those are the values guiding my 2015 resolutions. So in the spirit of practicing honesty and authority, I’m going to describe who would win which Academy Awards if I ran the show. My verdicts will be honest and backed with real evidence (my well-informed opinions, duh) and they will be declared without apology because authority.

Selma

The 2015 Best Picture Winner (if I was running this bitch)

Some of the things I’m about to say are going to sound blasphemous or even kind of inflammatory but that’s kind of the point – we all have different perceptions and tastes and come tomorrow morning, we’ll all have plenty of snubs to bitch about. With the surfeit of awards shows plaguing red carpets everywhere (am I complaining no I am not) the Oscars at this point don’t hold a lot of surprises (Keaton, Moore, Simmons, Arquette, Linklater & Boyhood, let’s just call it right now) but there’s still something fun about an award that signals the very top of an industry’s craft, even if it’s just because some dude says it’s so. And as long as we all acknowledge this months-long process of back-patting is little more than a sham, in an echo chamber, dressed in a very pretty gown, we can bitch about snubs all we want. Because it’s about culture, people. And taste. I have it, you don’t. Let the rabble-rousing begin!

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Some Random Pre-Tony Nominations Announcement Predictions

The Tony Nominations Announcement is tomorrow! Everybody gets free ham!!

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

‘A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder’ is a contender for the 2014 Tony Awards

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is the most original piece of musical theater I’ve seen in years. In a sea of movie adaptations and movie stars, this irresistible little musical that could is Broadway’s lifeboat. Sweeney Todd by way of Gilbert and Sullivan, the lyrics are chock-full of witticisms so charming it’s impossible not to root its deliciously wicked characters. I enjoyed the show immensely (and have admired their equally unique marketing campaign!) and dearly hope lead actor Jefferson Mays, costumer Linda Cho, and especially Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak’s frolicsome book and lyrics are recognized tomorrow. If Aladdin and Rocky dominate the Best Musical categories, all hope is lost.

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Oscars 2014 Recap: Death to Montages

2014 Oscar winners

Academy Award winners Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong’o and Jared Leto

Look, I love Pink. And I love The Wizard of Oz. But I know I’m not alone in saying Pink singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at last night’s Oscar ceremony was a complete waste of my time. We were treated to not one, not two, but THREE generic montages, all of which were tied vaguely to the evening’s gag-worthy theme, “Heroes in Film,” and all of which featured mostly white male characters. John Travolta’s painful introduction of Idina Menzel as “Adele Dazeem” – while hilarious by internet standards – was one of many instances that made me wonder, hey, couldn’t these actors maybe memorize their teleprompter lines? And I adore Ellen DeGeneres, duh, but her milling around the audience the whole time, apparently endorsing Samsung Galaxy, didn’t work as material.

The Oscars are, and probably always will be, a magical night for me and all those who love movies, fashion, and mainstream pop culture in general. But how does the award ceremony featuring some of the world’s most entertaining and beautiful people end up being so tedious? Continue reading

Smart Reads: 2014 Oscar Edition

Happy Oscar Night, everyone! Some crucial, CRUCIAL thoughts going into tonight:
Tom & Lorenzo book

Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me

  • Tom and Lorenzo have posted an excerpt from their book, Everyone Wants To Be Me Or Do Me, in preparation for tonight’s “Gay Super Bowl pre-game show,” as they put it. It’s a hysterical and all-too-accurate breakdown of red carpet culture that simultaneously exalts and mocks Hollywood as only they can. Continue reading

The Top 15 Looks of the 2014 Awards Season So Far

This is not a fashion blog. Nor will it ever be. This is a come-for-the-fizzy-pop-culture-fun-stay-for-the-theater-criticism blog and don’t you forget it. And while I could never approach the level of sharp-eyed discernment of most fashion writers, I like looking at pictures of pretty celebrities in pretty clothes as much as the next gay. The red carpet is one of the many reasons awards season is better than Christmas. So in preparation for this year’s particularly spectacular Oscars, let’s open presents and ADMIRE THESE GENETICALLY GIFTED PEOPLE FOR NO REASON.

#1) Amy Adams in Antonio Berardi at the SAG Awards

Amy Adams

Amy Adams, diva

For a while I was worried Amy Adams would become this year’s Anne Hathaway – depicted as the overly serious, unhip antithesis to Jennifer Lawrence. I myself foolishly predicted she wouldn’t make the cut at the Oscars. Continue reading