Tag Archives: Tony Awards

Tony Awards: Best Choreography

Gotta dance! Here are the choreographers who inspired fancy footwork and marvelous movement on Broadway stages.


Best Choreography (Clockwise, L to R)

Susan Stroman – Bullets Over Broadway

Kelly Devine & Steven Hoggett – Rocky

Warren Carlyle – After Midnight

Casey Nicholaw – Aladdin

DID YOU KNOW? Talk about the student becoming the master! Warren Carlyle was the assistant choreographer under fellow nominee director Susan Stroman on The Producers, and now he’s garnered his first Tony nominations for choreography AND directing.

Steven Hoggett is currently here in Chicago choreographing The Last Ship!

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Tony Awards: Best Scenic Design

We’re also taking the time today to recognize the Best Scenic Design nominees!


Best Scenic Design (Play) (Clockwise, L to R)

Beowulf Boritt – Act One

Bob Crowley – The Glass Menagerie

Es Devlin – Machinal

Christopher Oram – The Cripple of Inishmaan

DID YOU KNOW? Christopher Oram has also won an Olivier Award for Costume Design, in addition to his previous Tony Award for scenic design for John Logan’s “Red”

Es Devlin designed the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympics and has worked for artists such as Miley Cyrus, Pet Shop Boys, Kanye West and Lenny Kravitz to design their live stage shows.


Best Scenic Design (Musical) (Clockwise, L to R)

Julian Crouch – Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Santo Loquasto – Bullets Over Broadway

Alexander Dodge – A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

Christopher Barreca – Rocky

DID YOU KNOW? Alexander Dodge was born in Switzerland and grew up in Arizona. After moving to New York, he became the resident designer for Ethan Hawke’s Malaparte Theatre Company.


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Tony Awards: Best Sound Design

We hope you haven’t forgotten about the Tonys after the holiday weekend, because there’s less than two weeks left until the big night! Today we’re going to look at the nominees for Best Sound Design.


Best Sound Design (Play) (Clockwise, L to R)

Alex Baranowski – The Cripple of Inishmaan

Matt Tierney – Machinal

Dan Moses Schrier – Act One

Steve Canyon Kennedy – Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill

Alex Baranowski has posted examples of his work from “The Cripple of Inishmaan” on his SoundCloud account.


Best Sound Design (Musical) (Clockwise, L to R)

Tim O’Heir – Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Brian Ronan – Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Mick Potter – Les Miserables

Peter Hylenski – After Midnight

DID YOU KNOW? Brian Ronan was originally a lighting designer who got into sound design thinking it would be easier to find work. He is now a five-time Tony nominee.

Peter Hylenski was the sound designer for Motown the Musical, currently playing at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago through August 9th!

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BIG FISH Composer Andrew Lippa Helps Emerging Chicago Writers Refine Their Work

Andrew Lippa and John August

Andrew Lippa and John August

There is nothing more exciting (or daunting) then the traditional out-of-town tryout.  Creative teams get the opportunity to revise, reimagine, and refine their work before it hits the Great White Way and we’re honored whenever Chicago gets chosen to be the city that gets a show’s tryout. The new musical Big Fish currently has the slot, held last season by Kinky Boots (which earned 13 Tony Award nominations on Tuesday, the most of any show this season). Big Fish composer Andrew Lippa is no stranger to Chicago, having worked on the pre-Broadway tryout of his musical adaptation of The Addams Family here in 2009. Even with Big Fish entering the final week of its out-of-town tryout and the revisions that that entails, Lippa still found time to lead a master class for emerging composers at Chicago Dramatists on Monday, April 29.

Working with emerging writers and composers “is one of my favorite things to do,” Lippa told Broadway in Chicago between takes of a behind-the-scenes video filmed at a recent matinee. “I was telling [Big Fish book writer] John August today how I was working with these fantastic writers on Monday night. And of course every time I do that, it’s really selfish because I get better. I listen to what we talk about and what they’re aiming for and not quite getting to and it reminds me of how to do my work.  It’s really the old saying ‘by your pupils you shall be taught.’  Teaching for me is a real opportunity to learn myself.”

When asked to describe the night of the recent master class, Lippa said, “I loved working with Chicago Dramatists, it was really great.” He went on to describe the experience: “It’s like going to church: it’s so incredibly spiritual for me to be around who love making things, in particular music and lyrics.“

It is a rare opportunity for an emerging writer to have the opportunity to have get direct feedback on their work with a writer as successful and acclaimed as Lippa, and he recapped the master class with warmth and fondness, “Look, I’m just one guy who happens to write musicals myself and I was only sharing with them what I’ve learned over time. The beautiful thing was that a couple of them wrote to [Chicago Dramatists Director of New Musical Development] Cheryl Coons and she forwarded some of these messages to me about how the things I said helped them and they started rewriting that very night. That’s just gratifying to know that I can be of help to some emerging writers and make their shows better.” A process we’re sure he can empathize with as he enters the closing weekend of the pre-Broadway tryout of Big Fish.

The show that enters a city for its pre-Broadway tryout is never exactly the same show that heads on to Broadway. Scenes and songs get added and cut, characters are more clearly defined, and both the cast and creative team get to make bold choices and take big risks to make the best show possible for its Broadway run. Those who live in a city lucky enough to get an out-of-town try have the fortunate opportunity to see the show evolve from what it was to what it can be. So even if you saw Big Fish at the beginning of its run here in Chicago, know that the creative team and cast have been passionately revising it each week to make it the best show it can be. Take advantage of the opportunity to see true artistry at work and see how the show has evolved since you first saw it. And if you still haven’t seen it yet, get yourself to the Cadillac Palace Theatre this weekend for the final performances. You definitely want to be able to say “ I saw it when…” before it takes Broadway by storm!

Danny Bernardo, Broadway In Chicago Marketing Team

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Filed under Big Fish, Broadway In Chicago, Kinky Boots, The Addams Family, Tony Awards

Tony Tuesday

Billy Porter, Annaleigh Ashford and Stark Sands in Kinky Boots  (Photo by Sean Williams)

Billy Porter, Annaleigh Ashford and Stark Sands in Kinky Boots
(Photo by Sean Williams)

Nominations for the 2013 Tony Awards were announced this morning! Kinky Boots, which had its pre-Broadway World Premiere here in Chicago last fall, led the way with 13 nominations! Matilda was close behind with 12 nominations and the revival of Stephen Schwartz’s Pippin with 10.

Other nominated shows that played here before Broadway include Bring It On (Best Musical and Best Choreography) and Holland Taylor earning a Leading Actress in a Play nomination for Ann, the story of Texas Governor  Ann Richards. The Broadway transfer of Steppenwolf Theatre Company‘s production of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? earned five nominations, while ensemble member Laurie Metcalf was also recognized for her work in The Other Place.

For the complete list of nominations, click here. Are you surprised by any of the nominations? Were there any shows you feel were snubbed? And most importantly, what shows are you hoping come here to Chicago? (\I’ll start — a return engagement of Kinky Boots!.

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