Posted in Theatre

Two Minutes with…SPECIAL EDITION

So tomorrow, Nikki M. James and Andrew Rannells (in a weird Book of Mormon reunion) will announce the nominations for this year’s Tony Awards at 8:30am. At that time, I’ll very likely be riding a bus to work…but that’s why we have Google!


In any case, this year’s ceremony will be a little different. Instead of being “which shows will win what,” it’s gonna be “how many awards can Hamilton garner.” Of course I’m saying this facetiously, but we could witness a record-breaking amount of wins for the monster musical (this record is currently held by Mel Brooks’ The Producers). In this special TWO MINUTES  post, a dear friend of mine (and aficionado in her own right) exchanges words with me about what can go down. We’ll call her “Eyar.”

Eyar: With multiple actors being nominated in the leading actor category (2–Lin Manuel Miranda & Leslie Odom Junior) and featured actor category (3–Daveed Diggs, Jonathan Groff, & Christopher Jackson) along with single nominations in leading actress and featured actress, Hamilton could reach 16 nominations, the most any show has ever received. Cynthia Erivo is going to win for The Color Purple and Spring Awakening is my front runner for Best Musical Revival.

DeLalla: Personally, I think Groff could be left out in the cold. Leading Actor will probably be a tight contest between Odom and Danny Burstein (which could result in the O’Hara/Mueller result of yesteryear but I’m not sure). The only one who’ll give Erivo serious competition is Carmen Cusack from Bright Star. People are saying nothing but outstanding things about her, too.

Eyar: Erivo is going to take it. And Miranda will also be in Leading Actor which he’ll probably win too.

DeLalla: Also, Spring Awakening could theoretically sneak in for a Best Revival nod, but it’ll be hard (remember what happened to Side Show).

Eyar: Also Cusack is in a mixed review show; they rarely let someone in a so-so show win an award. And Spring Awakening was successful and an original limited engagement that extended. Side Show closed early due to bad sales.

DeLalla: I think Miranda’s wins will be for the show’s writing. Odom has a better chance of getting the acting prize.

Eyar: Miranda could win actor, book, score, and musical. I can see that happening.

DeLallaIn a way, it’s sad. This could have been a REALLY interesting year- Waitress, School of Rock, Bright Star, and American Psycho have all been praised for at least one element of their show. It would’ve been cool to see them all duke it out. Don’t get me wrong, GREAT for Hamilton, but they just kind of threw a wrench in a lot of the fun.

Pictured above is Carmen Cusack in-character. Watch the nominations announcement in real-time here.

Posted in Theatre

Two Minutes with…Valerie Ferris

She’s danced for the robe, been thrown into an oven, and donned a mustache as a member of the “Barnabaes.” No, it’s not Jefferson Mays as Salome D’Ysquith- it’s Valerie Ferris, one of the most well-known teen dancers on Staten Island. She’s currently enrolled at the University of Rhode Island and fast approaching triple threat status, having played Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd and a principal dancer in both Aida and Hello, Dolly! This weekend, Miss Ferris and I conversed on Facebook. Our Puccini thanks go out to her for being this week’s TWO MINUTES subject.

~Your birthday: April 4th

~Coffee or tea: Coffee

~Favorite Sondheim showSweeney Todd

~Favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein showCinderella

~Favorite Lady Gaga song: “You and I”

~Favorite operaAida

~Favorite playwright: Arthur Miller

~An underrated showOn the Town

~The dream role to end them all: Veronica Sawyer from Heathers

~Last movie you sawInside Out

~Was it any good: Yes (and she cried)

~The best ice cream flavor: Mint chocolate chip

Posted in Theatre

Two Minutes with…Jay Montgomery

“Good times and bum times, I’ve seen them all and my dear, I’m still here.” This lyric from Stephen Sondheim’s Follies can sum up any thespian’s career- but it seems particularly apropos for Jay Montgomery. This Georgia-born gentleman has been in the biz for quite a while and worn many different shoes- a dancer, an actor, a singer, a director, and now an Artistic Director for Harbor Lights, an Equity theatre company on Staten Island, NY. In this sophomore segment of TWO MINUTES, we asked Jay about everything from directing to beverage preferences to dogs. Many thanks go out to him!

~Your birthday: March 27th

~Coffee or tea: Coffee

~The best roles you’ve ever played: Marvin in Falsettos, Bobby in Company, and Anatoly in Chess

~Favorite Stephen Sondheim musical: Sweeney Todd

~Favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein musical: Oklahoma!

~Favorite Opera: La traviata (Verdi)

~That show you wish you could direct1776

~An underrated composer or lyricist: Andrew Lippa

~Favorite playwright: Harold Pinter

~Last movie you saw: BIRDMAN

~Was it any good: Yes

~Favorite breed of dog: Boxer

Posted in Theatre

Two Minutes with…Seth Christenfeld

At the York Theatre in NYC, Seth Christenfeld is the literary coordinator; his job is to review script submissions and offer creative input when it comes to the off-Broadway house’s productions. He’s also got an incredibly vast well of knowledge when it comes to the performing arts. You want the year that Mary Beth Peil did The King and I and in which theatre it played? Seth is your guy. Today, I’m pleased to announce the new Puccini’s Chronicles column TWO MINUTES, in which we ask some rapid-fire questions to some of the arts scene’s best and brightest.

~Your birthday: September 1st

~Coffee or tea: Coffee

~Number of cast recordings you own: Uncountable

~Favorite Stephen Sondheim musical: Sweeney Todd

~Favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein musical: South Pacific

~Favorite Opera: Little Women (Adamo)

~An overrated classical composer: (Subject opted to pass on this question.)

~That show you’d see multiple times: Good revivals of Sweeney Todd

~Favorite playwright: Arthur Miller

~Last movie you saw: A MOST VIOLENT YEAR

~Was it any good: Yes

~Favorite Wife of Henry VIII: The one who sings “As Once I Loved You” in the musical Rex