After a strange year on Broadway, it looks as if it could be a “Strange” night at the Tony Awards.
Our annual survey of Tony voters — well, it was annual, until the coronavirus pandemic disrupted everything — suggests that Michael R. Jackson’s meta-musical “A Strange Loop” is favored to win the all-important race for best new musical at this year’s Tony Awards, which will take place on Sunday night. If there is an upset, it will come from “MJ,” the biographical musical about Michael Jackson.
Over the past few days, I have connected with 181 of the approximately 650 Tony voters to talk about their choices in eight key categories. This is not a scientific poll — voting continues through Friday; the voting pool is distorted, and diminished, by coronavirus cancellations that left many ineligible to vote in some categories; and numerous voters have been scrambling to catch up with missed shows while hoping to vote at the last minute. To see actual statuettes handed out, you’ll have to tune in to the award show Sunday, which starts with a one-hour streaming segment on Paramount+ at 7 p.m. Eastern, and then continues at 8 p.m. with a three-hour segment broadcast on CBS and streamed on Paramount+.
But interviews with a large subset of voters make clear which races are locked up, and which are insanely close.
The race for best play is all sewn up.
The best play Tony Award seems certain to go to “The Lehman Trilogy,” a riveting history lesson that chronicles the rise and fall of the Lehman Brothers financial empire. The play was originally written by an Italian playwright, Stefano Massini, and then adapted by a British writer, Ben Power.
The survey suggests that “Lehman” will win easily — a supermajority of voters believe that it was the best play of the season, and those who do not support it are splitting their votes among the other four contenders, making any other outcome improbable.
A plurality of voters also favor one of the “Lehman” stars, the great English actor Simon Russell Beale, in the unusual seven-nominee race for best leading actor in a play. Beale’s career has been spent mostly on the British stage, and this would be his first Tony Award.
Why is “Lehman” winning? The show, with a meaty subject that both explicates and implicitly critiques New York City’s hugely important financial industry, was a showcase for its three main actors, each of whom played many roles, and it had a showpiece set, designed by Es Devlin, that contained the action within a rotating glass box.
Directed by Sam Mendes, it arrived on Broadway with a lot of buzz. After productions in Europe, it had been staged Off Broadway, at the Park Avenue Armory, in 2019, and that production was the talk of the town, becoming a best seller for the nonprofit, with some seats going for several thousand dollars.
The road to Broadway was bumpy: “The Lehman Trilogy” began previews at the Nederlander Theater less than a week before theaters shut down in March 2020; it then resumed previews 18 months later and finally opened last October. The run sold well, particularly given that much of it overlapped with the pandemic surge associated with the Omicron variant, and it ended Jan. 2 before the production moved to Los Angeles for another brief run.
The play faced some criticism from those who felt that it soft-pedaled the relationship between the Lehmans’ early business practices and slavery; the production sharpened its references to race via script revisions made during the theater shutdown.
Among new musicals, ‘A Strange Loop’ is the favorite.
“A Strange Loop” also arrived on Broadway with a big head of steam: During the pandemic, it won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, based on an Off Broadway production staged by Playwrights Horizons and Page 73 Productions in 2019.
The musical is about a young aspiring musical theater writer who is Black and gay, and who is haunted by a mostly self-critical inner dialogue that springs to life in the show.
The musical, written by Michael R. Jackson and directed by Stephen Brackett, garnered the strongest reviews of the season, and picked up 11 Tony nominations, more than any other show.
Voters praised the show’s originality and its raw honesty. As is true with every show, this one also has its skeptics — some voters find the songs unmemorable, or the explicitness off-putting — but in the Tony race, it is benefiting from the fact that there is no consensus about any of the other nominees.
Some industry veterans have suggested that Tony voters who live outside New York might be reluctant to support “A Strange Loop” because its sexual content could make it challenging to produce on tour. But that does not appear to be a decisive factor: “A Strange Loop” is favored by half of the voters I spoke with; about one-fifth are supporting “MJ,” the musical about Michael Jackson, which they uniformly praised as entertaining, and the other contenders have less support.
“Six,” the fan favorite that was all the rage in 2020, when it came within a few hours of opening before theaters shut down, seems to have lost some heat among voters who no longer think of it as a new show because its run began before the pandemic. But shed no tears for “Six”: it is proving to be hugely successful, with strong box office grosses and a thriving touring market.
Several acting races are down to the wire.
Voters are remarkably divided in the races for best leading musical performers.
In the race for lead actor in a musical, the voters are evenly split between two young actors, Myles Frost, 22, and Jaquel Spivey, 23, each of whom is making his professional stage debut this season. Frost is nominated for his convincing depiction of a driven Michael Jackson in “MJ,” and Spivey is nominated for his soul-baring performance as the self-doubting protagonist in “A Strange Loop”; both have wowed audiences, in very different ways. Each of them has support from about one-third of voters.
In the race for lead actress in a musical, the voters are torn between Sharon D Clarke, who played the pained but powerful maid at the heart of a revival of “Caroline, or Change,” and Joaquina Kalukango, who plays a determined tavern owner in the new musical “Paradise Square.”
In the race for best actress in a play, Deirdre O’Connell, who uncannily lip-synced recorded interviews with a kidnapping victim in “Dana H.,” has a modest edge among the voters I talked to. But the margin was not big enough to predict what will happen with any confidence; the other leading contenders appear to be LaChanze, for her performance as a truth-telling actress in “Trouble in Mind,” and Mary-Louise Parker, for her performance as a woman abused by her uncle in “How I Learned to Drive.”
‘Company’ leads in the musical revival category, but the best play revival is harder to predict.
The death of the composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, one of the most important writers in musical theater history, was among the biggest theater stories of the last season, and it appears that Tony voters are now inclined to honor the final Broadway production that he worked on with the prize for best musical revival.
About half of voters say they are choosing the gender-reversed revival of “Company,” which Sondheim strongly supported before his death. The show, first produced in 1970, previously centered on a man contemplating his single life as he turns 35; this version, directed by Marianne Elliott, puts a woman in the same predicament.
“Company” appears to have twice as much support as its nearest competitor, the revival of “Caroline, or Change.”
The race for best play revival, with its particularly strong field, is too close to call. Among the voters I spoke with, a plurality consisting of approximately one-quarter of those interviewed is supporting “Take Me Out,” about how a baseball team reacts when a player comes out as gay. But there is also support for each of the other four other contenders: “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf,” “How I Learned to Drive,” “Trouble in Mind” and “American Buffalo,” any one of which could still win in a tight race among a small group of voters where a handful of ballots could make a difference.
Lots of voters can’t cast ballots this year.
Worth considering: This has been a very unusual theater season, roiled by the pandemic, rich with work by Black artists, and challenged by the slow return of tourists to New York City. The voting pool is smaller this year — with nearly 200 fewer voters than in 2019 — and many of the voters nonetheless find themselves unable to fully participate in the balloting.
Why? The rules for Tony voting, set by the Broadway League and the American Theater Wing, have become increasingly strict: Voters can only cast ballots in categories for which they have seen all the nominees, and their attendance at shows is now tracked through a digital portal. That attendance is self-reported, but can be questioned by general managers of the productions.
Also, all voters this year were required to complete an unconscious bias training program before receiving a ballot.
Many voters contacted for this story said this was the most difficult year ever, especially for those who do not live in New York, because of Covid-19 complications — some voters deemed travel inadvisable at various points during the season, many shows canceled performances when too many company members were infected, and even when shows were running there were an unusual number of nights when Tony-eligible performers were out because of illness or injury. The result is that the voting pool, which is made up mostly of people who are involved with theater as producers, artists, and in other roles, will most likely be more concentrated among residents of the New York area than usual.
“It was a tough year for out-of-town voters,” said the actress Ariane Dolan, a Tony voter who is based in Chicago. “Early closings, understudies and canceled shows made it impossible for me to see everything.”
Kendra Whitlock Ingram, the president and chief executive of the Marcus Performing Arts Center in Milwaukee, had a similar experience. “I wasn’t able to see everything due to all the wackiness of this season,” she said. “In some cases, I saw the show, but the lead wasn’t there and I wasn’t able to make it back to see it again.”
For others, traveling to New York just didn’t feel right when there were crises at home.
“We had laid off 95 percent of our staff, we were broke, and I was not spending any money,” said Robyn Williams, the executive director of Portland’5 Centers for the Arts in Oregon. “There was no bandwidth to think about going to New York and seeing shows. It was this impossible situation as a voter.”
By: Michael Paulson
Title: A ‘Strange’ Wind Blowing: Tony Voters Like ‘Loop’ and ‘Lehman’
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2022/06/10/theater/tony-awards-voters-broadway.html
Published Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2022 07:00:08 +0000
5th Annual Society of Composers & Lyricists Awards Announces Nominees in Film, TV, and Visual Media
The Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) announced today the nominees for the 2024 SCL Awards. Many of the contenders reflect the Oscar shortlist that was also announced today. The nominees include songwriters Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, Lenny Kravitz, Diane Warren, and Jon Batiste who earned spots on the Oscar shortlist for Best Original Song. […]
By: Clarence Moye
Title: 5th Annual Society of Composers & Lyricists Awards Announces Nominees in Film, TV, and Visual Media
Sourced From: www.awardsdaily.com/2023/12/22/5th-annual-society-of-composers-lyricists-awards-announces-nominees-in-film-tv-and-visual-media/
Published Date: Fri, 22 Dec 2023 13:45:13 +0000
2024 Oscars: Best Original Song Predictions
With the 2024 Oscars shortlists now out, it’s clear that “Barbie” will have a significant presence in the Best Original Song category.
Title: 2024 Oscars: Best Original Song Predictions
Sourced From: www.indiewire.com/awards/predictions/2024-oscars-best-original-song-predictions-1234910982/
Published Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2023 22:30:00 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
Deontay Wilder Net Worth: Career Earnings, Biggest Fight Purse & Endorsement Deals Of ‘The Bronze Bomber’
Deontay Wilder Net Worth: Career Earnings, Biggest Fight Purse & Endorsement Deals Of ‘The Bronze Bomber’ – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Here is everything you need to know about the single hardest puncher in boxing and the former world heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder. This includes his net worth, career earnings and endorsement deals.
Deontay Wilder Net Worth
Deontay Wilder has been a professional boxer since his debut back in November 2008. He has been boxing consistently for over 15 years straight now in the pro ranks, earning more and more money as his career has progressed up to world level.
The 1985-born boxing superstar is one of the most fearsome punchers the sport of boxing has ever seen. Deontay Wilder’s boxing record consists of 43 wins – 42 of which have come via knockout. The only man to go the distance with ‘The Bronze Bomber’ was Bermane Stiverne, who Wilder then knocked out in a round in their rematch.
As of December 2023, it is reported that Deontay Wilder’s net worth is somewhere in the region of $30 million (source: Celebrity Net Worth).
Of course, given the fact the Alabama man is supremely wealthy, he likes his fair share of luxury items too. Wilder has acquired real estate, expensive jewelry, flashy cars and various other assets that have contributed to his riches.
Wilder reportedly has eight kids in total from various relationships, including one with his current girlfriend Telli Swift. Evidently a fair amount of Wilder’s earnings in the ring is used on providing for his big family and loved ones. Be sure to see Deontay Wilder’s net worth continue to grow for the remainder of his career, as long as that lasts.
Deontay Wilder Career Earnings
After 46 professional boxing fights, Deontay Wilder’s biggest fight purse is reported to have been around $28 million (source: Forbes). This was reportedly how much ‘The Bronze Bomber’ earned for his rematch bout with Tyson Fury back in February 2020.
Wilder went into the fight as the marginal favorite with the best offshore sportsbooks, given that he was still the reigning champion following his draw with Fury 14 months prior. Despite getting conclusively knocked out in Round 7 of the fight, this still remains the biggest purse of Wilder’s career to date.
Deontay Wilder has reportedly earned a total sum of around $95 million in his professional boxing career from his debut up to now. This is right up there with the likes of heavyweight rivals Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, and is more than the likes of Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis and Terence Crawford.
The 2008 Beijing Olympic Bronze Medallist has been earnings even figure purses ever since he became world heavyweight champion back in January 2015. Of his last 10 fights, just one has been less than seven figures (Washington – $900k). In fact, Wilder has earned around $80 million just from his last five fights.
See the full table below for a detailed breakdown of the purses Deontay Wilder has received for his last 10 fights. All in all, it is fair to say that the 38-year-old isn’t short of a dollar or two. His net worth, salary and fight purses will continue to rise as his career rolls on at world level.
Deontay Wilder Fight Purses (Last 10):
|Deontay Wilder vs Robert Helenius
|Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 3
|Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 2
|Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz 2
|Deontay Wilder vs Dominic Breazeale
|Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury
|Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz
|Deontay Wilder vs Bermane Stiverne 2
|Deontay Wilder vs Gerald Washington
|Deontay Wilder vs Chris Arreola
Deontay Wilder purse info per Sports Payouts & Sporting News
Deontay Wilder Endorsements & Sponsorship
Although the vast majority of Deontay Wilder’s earnings comes from prize fighting, he also earns an extremely lucrative sum of money outside of the ring. These vast endorsement deals from outside of the ring are a big player in boosting Wilder’s net worth and salary.
The 1985-born boxing phenom’s biggest endorsement deal as of today is his partnership with Everlast. Wilder has shown great loyalty to Everlast for several years during his boxing career, and still sports their boxing gear to this day. He also regularly uses Everlast boxing gloves in the ring for his world title fights, as well as during training camps.
Some of Deontay Wilder’s other endorsements include his partnerships with PureKana CBD, Raising Cane’s and IHC Crypto. There is not much else known about Wilder’s endorsements and sponsors outside of his career as a boxer.
All in all, Deontay Wilder’s various sponsorships certainly help boost his net worth. Per Forbes, he reportedly earns an estimated $500,000 per annum through endorsements. Ultimately though it is punching people in the face for a living that pays ‘The Bronze Bomber’ the most money.
Be sure to claim the various sports betting apps bonuses and boxing free bets available on the SportsLens site ahead of Deontay Wilder’s next fight.
From Sportslens.com – NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB News, Rumors & Betting Picks
By: Paul Kelly
Title: Deontay Wilder Net Worth: Career Earnings, Biggest Fight Purse & Endorsement Deals Of ‘The Bronze Bomber’
Sourced From: sportslens.com/news/deontay-wilder-net-worth-career-earnings-endorsements/
Published Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2023 10:59:17 +0000
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