The Tony Awards ceremony, often a limping also-ran in the ratings, was all but whacked this time around, scrounging up a meager 6.24 millions viewers. The usual NBA game did its damage, but the major assassin was another Tony — Tony Soprano, the fictional, supposedly deep-thinking New Jersey Mafioso who has fascinated the public so for the last several years. "The Sopranos" aired its final episode on Sunday night: 11.9 million watched.
So, what happened on the little-watched awards show? Nothing that wasn't expected, aside from Curtains's David Hyde Pierce snatching away the Tony Award form expected victor Raul Esparza of Company. The latter Sondheim revival took home the Best Revival of a Musical Tony; Journey's End took the Best Revival of a Play Tony; The Coast of Utopia won Best Play; and Spring Awakening was named Best Musical. This was all according to plan.
Curious to see those award-winning shows? You'll have a hard time. Journey's End closed the day of the Tony show. The Coast of Utopia, which won seven trophies, a record for a play, closed up shop May 13. Company is still around, but only until July 1; its closing was announced on June 12. That leaves Spring Awakening, which seized the most awards with eight. You're in luck there. It will probably run for a good long time. By the end of Monday, the show had raked in "between $1.2 and $1.3 million." Later in the week, producers announced that the national tour will launch at San Francisco's Curran Theatre in fall 2008.
Also posting a post-Tonys closing notice was August Wilson's final play Radio Golf. The 2007 nominee for the Best Play Tony Award will close on July 1, having played 64 performances and 17 previews at the Cort — the shortest Broadway premiere run of any of Wilson's plays.
*** Speaking of closings, the first new show of the 2007-08 Broadway season almost folded before it opened. James Carpinello, the star of the new musical Xanadu, fell and broke his foot while roller-skating (as part of the show, not for fun) during a June 12 rehearsal of the show, which is currently in previews at the Helen Hayes Theatre. The opening was then postponed indefinitely, but producers worked fast. Cheyenne Jackson was announced as his replacement June 14. He will begin performances on June 22, only a week away. Guess he knows how to skate.
Annette Bening is coming back to Broadway after nearly 20 years away. She will star next spring in a new play by the Australian writer Joanna Murray-Smith called The Female of the Species, "about a feminist author with an extreme case of writer's block." It will begin performances on April 11 and open on April 28. Michael Mayer will direct. While she hasn't done any New York stage work while her film career has blossomed, Bening has kept in practice, performing in plays in Los Angeles every few years.
Producer Bob Boyett knows what he likes. And two of those things are London plays and deals with London theatres. The man has cut a big profile for himself bringing National Theatre plays to New York City through an exclusive deal with the British theatre. Now he has signed another agreement with a London company, this time the Menier Chocolate Factory. The three-year deal will allow him to transfer any show at the young, Off-West End theatre.