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Cynthia Nixon on Why Her Broadway Revival Is ‘Unbelievably Trumpian’ (Exclusive Video)

29 June 2017 12:31 PM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Cynthia Nixon said her Tony-winning role in Broadway’s “The Little Foxes” represents the era of President Donald Trump because it offers a “very brutal examination of American capitalism” — despite the fact that Lillian Hellman wrote it back in 1939. “It’s a classic America play… it’s unbelievably Trumpian in just every way,” Nixon told TheWrap CEO and founder Sharon Waxman at the site’s Power Women Breakfast in New York on Thursday. Nixon, the Emmy-winning “Sex and the City Star,” earned her second Tony Award earlier this month for her role in a play that she called “gorgeous” and an indictment of “greed, »

- Brian Flood

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Watch Cynthia Nixon Speak at Power Women Breakfast on Facebook Live (Video)

29 June 2017 6:39 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Cynthia Nixon, the Emmy-winning “Sex and the City Star” who this month earned her second Tony Award for her role in Broadway’s “The Little Foxes,” is a featured speaker at TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast New York on Thursday that is now underway. Nixon is joined by Beautycon Media CEO Moj Mahdara and Ibtihaj Muhammad, the U.S. sabre fencer who became the first Muslim American to compete at the Olympics while wearing a hijab. The event also includes panel featuring attorney Lisa Bloom, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James and Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras. The June 29 breakfast is hosted by TheWrap. »

- Thom Geier

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Cross-Post: Lillian Hellman’s Regina Giddens: The Theatre’s Original “Nasty Woman”

20 June 2017 2:01 PM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Cynthia Nixon as Regina Giddens in Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes”: Joan Marcus/littlefoxesbroadway.com

The following has been reposted from The Interval with the author’s permission.

When I set out to write a piece on “The Little Foxes,” I headed right to the Drama Book Shop in New York City, to browse and research all things Lillian Hellman. Shockingly, there were no biographies of her in stock or on order. She was not even included in the Drama Book Shop’s most basic book series outlining the lives of accomplished American playwrights. I perused Barnes and Noble and independent bookstores with large theatre sections, but all to no avail. The most recent Hellman biography (less than five years old and provocatively titled “A Difficult Woman”) was even hard to obtain on Amazon; I had to purchase it through a third party seller. Not only are Hellman biographies in short supply, so too are Hellman revivals. Her plays have only been brought back to Broadway six times total, as opposed to the 25 Broadway revivals for Arthur Miller, or the 31 Broadway revivals for Tennessee Williams. To this day, she has never won a Best Play or Best Revival of a Play Tony Award. The sixth and current Hellman revival is of her most acclaimed play, “The Little Foxes,” which is about the unconventional Southern matriarch Regina Giddens, who manipulates her brothers’ moneymaking scheme with grit, ambition, and business acumen.

Of course, Hellman was a fairly unconventional woman herself. Born into a Southern Jewish family, Hellman was, as a woman and a Jew, automatically placed in the periphery of society, twice over. Nevertheless, she grew up to become a popular playwright, spinning successful stories depicting strong women. Independent and outspoken, at the time of her first Broadway hit she was a divorcée engaged in a fairly public love affair with a married man. Hellman was even blacklisted in the McCarthy Era for refusing to cooperate with the Huac [House Un-American Activities Committee], instead famously claiming, “I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions.” But these things were part of her notoriety and celebrity appeal, not the cause of her downfall. Despite her apparently unladylike lifestyle, Hellman was adored throughout the middle of the 20th Century. Her reputation only became irreversibly tarnished in the 1970s, when a fellow female writer accused her of plagiarism. By the time of her death in 1984, this once celebrated woman had fallen into a state of semi-obscurity in comparison to her contemporaries.

A recent New York Times article by Jason Zinoman (in response to an article by Washington Post critic Peter Marks) questioned whether Hellman actually belonged in “the same elite club of 20th-century masters” as Miller and Williams. Zinoman concluded that Manhattan Theatre Club’s current revival of “Foxes” would be an opportunity for the piece to prove itself. (He neglected to mention that this Mtc production is the only revival of a play on Broadway this season that was written by a woman. Furthermore, it is the first time a woman has produced this play on Broadway; a woman has still never directed it.) It is absurd to think that nearly 80 years after “Foxes” debuted, the play is still fighting to prove its worth. For the record, reviews of the Mtc revival from The Washington Post, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter described “Foxes” as “worthy of exalted rank in the American canon,” “astonishingly well-constructed,” and “too seldom revived on Broadway,” respectively. Even The New York Times review — albeit not by Zinoman — conceded that “Foxes” certainly “comes pretty close” to deserving “a place in the first rank of American theater.”

Curious to know how earlier productions of “Foxes” had been received by theatrical critics, I downloaded some reviews from The New York Times archives. Three Broadway revivals ago, a 1981 article by Frank Rich described Regina, the tour-de-force protagonist of “Foxes,” as a “malignant southern bitch-goddess.” The same paper that refused to print the full title of the play “The Motherfucker with the Hat” in 2011 had no problem printing the word “bitch” 30 years earlier. These days, the word “bitch” is used fairly casually (and it is certainly not likely to be considered as potentially offensive as “motherfucker”), but it is still a derogative, gendered word for which there is no male equivalent. “Motherfucker” might well be the next closest thing.

A 2014 article by Justin Peters on the Times’ “profanity policy” quoted Standards Editor Philip B. Corbett, who explained that Times writers “are prepared to make exceptions if the use of a vulgarity is newsworthy or essential to the story, or if avoiding it would deprive readers of crucial information.” The position of standards editor had not yet been created at the Times when Frank Rich published his 1981 review, but the profanity policy was based on rules from the paper’s style guide at the time. Was it “essential” to refer to Regina as a “bitch”? Would readers have been “deprived crucial information” if another word had been used instead? Not likely, considering that Brooks Atkinson managed to review the original production for the Times back in 1939 without resorting to profanity (although the character of Regina was described there as “heartless,” “ambitious,” “avaricious,” “malevolent,” “calculating,” “hateful,” “rapacious,” “cunning,” and “odious.” Synonyms for bitch, perhaps?).

Just as there is no male equivalent for “bitch,” there seems to have historically been no real equivalent critical response to similarly strong, complex female characters in plays by the men who made up Zinoman’s “elite club of 20th-century masters.” In the Times’ 1945 review of the original “Glass Menagerie,” critic Lewis Nichols is almost an apologist for Amanda, to whom he frequently refers not by name but as “The Mother.” He sympathetically describes her as “a blowsy, impoverished woman living on memories,” and “trying to do the best she can for her children.” Brooks Atkinson’s Times review of the original 1947 “A Streetcar Named Desire” is similarly apologetic. He glosses over the darker sides of Blanche’s personality, tactfully considering her to be “one of the dispossessed whose experience has unfitted her for reality.” Both Amanda and Blanche, creations of the male imagination, are given far more credit and understanding than Regina. Granted, these women do not appear to be quite as greedy as Regina; Amanda wants security for herself, through her children, while Blanche wants to return to her glorified past. But it’s worth keeping in mind that Regina wants to make money in order to go to Chicago, where she envisions leading a freer, more cosmopolitan life.

Perhaps a more fitting comparison would be to “The Crucible,” which features the selfish, destructive Abigail (though even she can be viewed empathetically if one believes that she acted out of desperate love for John Proctor). However, there is barely any mention of the character Abigail — and none at all by name — in the original 1953 New York Times review of “The Crucible,” written, once again, by Brooks Atkinson. The actress who played her is only briefly referenced, as “the malicious town hussy,” one in a long list of supporting performers. In contrast, Ben Brantley observed how the “frustrated lust in [Abigail’s] condemnation of her fellow townspeople [turned] self-serving duplicity into self-deluding mania,” and devoted multiple paragraphs to that character in his review of the 2002 Broadway revival.

“Malicious” and “hussy” are certainly words that fit right in with the sexist criticism of Regina Giddens, but they are a far cry from the litany of negative barbs ascribed by Brooks Atkinson to Regina. It’s as though it were easier in this case for Atkinson to take the strong, rebellious woman out of the equation, erasing the love triangle at the play’s core. Isn’t that “depriving readers of crucial information,” more so than profanity? Ought we give Atkinson credit for not altogether excluding Regina from his “Foxes” review, or should we criticize his seemingly limited ability to recognize when unladylike women are central to the plot of a play (and only when the playwright is female too)? Either way, the bar seems pretty low.

It was only when I left off scouring mid-20th century theatrical reviews of plays by men and went further back in time, to Scandinavia in the late 19th century, that I discovered a true equivalent to the critical response to Regina. The playwright was Henrik Ibsen and the central character in question was Nora Helmer (ironically, there is a new sequel to “A Doll’s House” on Broadway this season; it was far better received by critics than was the original source material). When “A Doll’s House” first premiered in Denmark in December of 1879, critics attacked Nora’s moral character. As archived and translated by the National Library of Norway, the Danish newspaper Illustreret Tidende wrote that “her faults were many; she was used to making herself guilty of many small untruths, she taught the children falsehood, she was imprudent and wasteful; her ideal nature she kept hidden, almost willfully.” Such intense scrutiny of a woman’s behavior feels more suited to the muckraking journalists of the early 20th Century, or of 21st century Republican political ads targeting opponents, than theatrical criticism.

In contrast, a century later, “A Dolls House” had become an established classic and Liv Ullmann was described as giving “a rich, many-layered performance that has about it the quality of a moral force,” in Clive Barnes’ review of the 1975 Broadway production. Critics in 20th century America didn’t judge Nora as harshly as they had when the play originally debuted, and yet they seemed to apply those 19th century standards to Regina Giddens in “The Little Foxes.” It would seem that the harsh response to Regina’s character was more in line with the critical response to Nora in 1879 than it was to reviews of Nora, or Blanche DuBois, or Amanda Wingfield, or any other strong female character in a mid- to late-20th century production of a play written by a male playwright.

But it is not my intention to throw shade at 19th century Danish critics, nor at The New York Times. They aren’t the only ones fond of derogative words when it comes to Regina. Elizabeth Hardwick of The New York Review of Books called her a “greedy bitch” in reference to the 1967 “Foxes” revival. While she acknowledged that Regina and her brothers (her fellow co-conspirators in the financial scheme) were “the very spirit of ruthless Capitalism,” Hardwick used the far weaker word “coarse” to describe the brothers, in parallel sentence structure to Regina’s “bitch” adjectives. It is as though she is implying that ruthlessly capitalistic men are coarse while ruthlessly capitalistic women are greedy bitches. It seems Regina’s unladylike behavior has historically perturbed some female theatre critics as well as male. And lest any readers think that the current “Foxes” revival has escaped the clutches of such language, Deadline’s Jeremy Gerard used the phrase “queen bitch” to describe Regina (while simply referring to her brothers as “greedy”) in his review from April 2017.

To be fair, 21st century critics have spent more time pondering Regina’s psychology and motivations than in the past, when most of the character’s (limited) praise had to do solely with how great actresses played her. In 1939, Atkinson grudgingly admitted Regina “has to be respected for the keenness of her mind and the force of her character,” but attributed all the credit to Tallulah Bankhead’s superior acting skills. In 1981, Rich praised Hellman for “throw[ing] her actors the prime red meat of bristling language,” and appreciated Elizabeth Taylor’s ability to find the humor in Regina. In the 1990s, Ben Brantley proclaimed that despite her horrific behavior, “[f]ew heroines of American theater are half as much fun as Regina Giddens.”

By 2010, critics seemed slightly more aware of the depths yet to be discussed in Regina’s character. Brantley briefly noted “a bottomless hunger that goes beyond her articulated desires,” in Elizabeth Marvel’s 2010 interpretation of Regina, and compared her to a Wall Street executive, though the majority of his review focused on an interpretation that infantilized Marvel’s Regina, depicting her as a “presexual, premoral 2-year-old, a squalling, grabby little girl.” New Yorker critic and 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner Hilton Als wrote an analysis of Regina that had sarcasm practically dripping off the page like wet ink: “Life can be hard on a privileged white woman. Just look at Regina Giddens and all the drama that Lillian Hellman forces her to cope with,” he wrote. Perhaps despite himself, however, Als revealed he occasionally sympathized with Regina, stating that “one feels a pang, every once in a while, for Regina’s dark hopes. How far could she — or any woman — really go in a small Southern town in 1900?” He even suggested that a successful revival, unlike the one he was reviewing, might “marr[y] contemporary feminist politics to Hellman’s insight into the ways in which class and race and need can eat away at an ambitious woman.”

It wasn’t until 2016, when Peter Marks detected “a humanizing rationale” in that “gorgeous enigma,” proclaiming Regina to be “less than a hero but more than a villain,” that the character really found nuanced understanding. For the most part, the reviewers this spring seemed to agree. There were, of course, a fair amount of articles trying to heighten the competition between Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon, who alternate nightly in the lead role of Regina and the supporting role of her sister-in-law Birdie. For reference, I refer you to headlines such as the oddly worded “Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon Are Doing What ‘Men Do All the Time’ in ‘The Little Foxes’” or the erroneous “Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon were both up for the lead role Broadway’s ‘The Little Foxes.’ They both got it.” In truth, Linney was offered the role and she suggested that her friend Nixon come on board to share it with her. It would’ve been nice to see more headlines focusing on and commending their friendship, as opposed to the supposed drama, between these two respected actresses.

Regina, at least, seems to be getting her due in this revival, despite Deadline’s “queen bitch” name calling. Variety’s Marilyn Stasio described Regina as “one of the strongest female characters in all of American drama,” and, “a spirited modern woman cruelly restrained by the social conventions of her time.” Entertainment Weekly’s Isabella Biedenharn praised Laura Linney as Regina for “allow[ing] the audience to feel the pain of knowing what she could have accomplished, the deals she could have closed, if she were born a man.” These depths and dichotomies were explored even further in Alexis Soloski’s insightful New York Times review of the current revival. She wittily opened her piece with the observation that “Regina Giddens is a flower of Southern womanhood. That flower is a Venus flytrap.” Soloski went on to call Regina “one of the stage’s great antiheroines,” noting how her behavior stems from the fact that she is a woman with “greater ambition and less opportunity to satisfy it than any of her kin.” Soloski did not gloss over Regina’s questionable behavior, but she urged readers to “admire her flair and her grit,” even while “loath[ing] her politics and her methods.”

When I saw “Foxes” back in April, I was struck by an exchange between Regina and her brother Ben, in which Ben tells her she’d “get farther with a smile.” How could that line not stand out, given all of the memes, tweets, late night comedy sketches, and articles all over the world devoted to discussions of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s smile through the 2016 presidential campaign? The New York Times must have been intrigued by this exchange as well. They created a video feature titled “How Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon Smile at Their Enemies.” In the video, Nixon says she considers the ensuing smile that Regina gives her brother Ben to be “almost a perversion of a smile. It’s a smile of hate.”

Times critic Soloski called Regina’s smile “weaponized” and considered her ultimately victorious. Unlike similarly formidable theatrical antiheroines Clytemnestra and Lady Macbeth, who were also willing “to sacrifice some essential femininity, rejecting wifely and maternal instincts” in order to pursue their desires, Regina’s “comeuppance never comes.” She actually gets what she wants. As Soloski wryly stated, the play “leaves her finally in command of her body and her fortune and her future. That’ll get her farther than a smile.”

But how far have we come since 1879, 1939, 1967, or 1981, if we are still calling ambitious female characters “bitches”? If our most revered papers still crudely and unnecessarily objectify women’s bodies in theater reviews and judge respected female directors for being “too serious”? If men are still primarily the ones writing, directing, and reviewing a majority of plays about women that make it to Broadway?

To take things outside the arguably narrow sphere of theater, how far have we come since Hellman’s Huac blacklisting America if it is still acceptable for male politicians to interrupt (#manterrupt) one of the few female senators during multiple Senate Intelligence Committee hearings, and to silence their female peers in congress because “she was warned, she was given an explanation, nevertheless she persisted”? How far have we come if we as a society call female presidential candidates “nasty women” who need to smile more and who deserve to be locked up for minor email scandals while we permit men to commit treason many times over while remaining heads of state?

Not very far indeed.

Cross-Post: Lillian Hellman’s Regina Giddens: The Theatre’s Original “Nasty Woman” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Women and Hollywood

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Interview: Emmanuelle Devos on Playing a Grieving Woman in 'Moka' and Looking Back at Two Decades of Work

13 June 2017 11:00 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

By Jose Solís.

 

Emmanuelle Devos puts her sunglasses on. We are sitting in a room surrounded by marble busts and large windows, and she finds the light too bright. There surrounded by art pieces and posters of her new film Moka, she has never looked more like a movie star. And yet, her effortless grace and warm smile make her equally earthy. She speaks in a soft voice, laughs a lot, and has bright answers to all my questions. She was in New York to celebrate the opening of Frédéric Mermoud’s Moka, in which she plays Diane, a woman trying to avenge the death of her child at the hands of a merciless driver. She comes to believe she found the culprit and it turns out to be Marlène, played by Nathalie Baye. What follows is a psychological game in which we see Diane become both appalled and attracted by this woman. »

- Jose

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Tony Awards 2017 Highlights: Bette Midler, Rebecca Taichman, Cynthia Nixon, & More

12 June 2017 9:01 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Bette Midler won Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical: CBS/YouTube

The personal overlapped with the political in last night’s Tony Awards — as is usually the case in the best award ceremonies.

“Hello, Dolly!” star Bette Midler got one step closer to Egot and, despite the wrap-up music, refused to leave the stage until she had said her piece. “Indecent” helmer Rebecca Taichman was genuinely shocked when her name was called for Best Direction of a Play — and acknowledged how few women have won the prize before her. And both Midler and Taichman as well as Best Featured Actress in a Play winner Cynthia Nixon and presenter Sally Field used their time onstage to implicitly or directly address the current political climate.

In short, the awards were exactly what theater should be: fun, relevant, and unafraid to be controversial.

Here are the highlights from the 71st Tony Awards:

Bette Midler Finally Takes Home the Trophy

Midler has steadily acquired multiple Emmy, Golden Globe, and Grammy awards, in addition to receiving two two Oscar nominations. However, despite the special prize she won in 1974, Midler’s never received an official Tony nomination. This year, she not only received a nod but a win. She was named Best Actress in a Musical for her role in “Hello, Dolly!”

“Revival is an interesting word,” Midler observed during her acceptance speech. “It means something is near death and was brought back to life. But ‘Hello, Dolly!’ never went away. It’s in our national DNA … this is a classic, come and see it. This thing has the ability to lift your spirits in these terrible, terrible times.”

“Hello, Dolly!” may never have really left the public consciousness, but it certainly came roaring back to the front of people’s minds because of Midler. The production broke records before it even opened. In September, it had already banked $9.08 million in ticket sales, setting a new record at the Shubert Theatre and for all of Broadway first-day ticket sales. The show also earned the Shubert its biggest week ever in just seven performances

https://medium.com/media/897fa38dd5e0cd1701b074bdcde81e93/href

“Indecent’s” Rebecca Taichman Wins Best Director — and Pays Tribute to Her Predecessors

Written by Paula Vogel, “Indecent” examines the controversial 1923 play “God of Vengeance,” which was closed by police due to its depiction of lesbianism. Taichman used her moment onstage to comment on how “Indecent” resonates with audiences today. “It’s a story about love in a perilous time, and speaking out and making art when one is at great danger,” she emphasized.

Later on backstage, Taichman explained that part of her obvious surprise when accepting the award was due to the fact that very few women have won Best Director. “I was always such an unlikely candidate for it,” she said, per the La Times. “I remember with great clarity in 1998 when Julie Taymor and Garry Hynes won [for ‘The Lion King’] and I thought, ‘Wow, women can win.’”

The win “made it visible, and making it visible suddenly made it possible,” she continued. “The amazing thing is that it encourages women of every color … and viewpoint to make theater that tell stories that deeply matter to them.”

https://medium.com/media/8cbae88165eef897a30b613398800b07/href

Cynthia Nixon and Sally Field Go to Bat for the Arts

“There are people who eat the Earth and all the people on it and there are all the people who just stand around and watch them do it,” Nixon said at the podium, quoting “Little Foxes” writer Lillian Hellman during her acceptance speech.

“We have to fund artists not just in New York and California but all over the country,” the “Sex and the City” alumna emphasized backstage. “You don’t have funding tied to political points of view. You fund people because they’re good artists, not because they support your point of view.”

Sally Field, a nominee, also advocated for art as she served as presenter. Referencing the American Theater Wing, which began in Wwi, she said the organization will continue to “illuminate the darkness with the blazing truth of art.”

https://medium.com/media/9def4e43ab537ab146f677b0cee57c54/href

A full list of the female Tony winners is below. List adapted from Variety.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play:

Laurie Metcalf, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical:

Bette Midler, “Hello, Dolly!”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play:

Cynthia Nixon, “Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical:

Rachel Bay Jones, “Dear Evan Hansen”

Best Scenic Design of a Musical:

Mimi Lien, “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812”

Best Costume Design of a Play:

Jane Greenwood, “Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes

Best Direction of a Play:

Rebecca Taichman, “Indecent”

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award:

Baayork Lee

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre:

Nina Lannan (with Alan Wasser)

Tony Awards 2017 Highlights: Bette Midler, Rebecca Taichman, Cynthia Nixon, & More was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Rachel Montpelier

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Bette Midler Surprises, Wins Tony Lead Actress: See All the Winners Here!

12 June 2017 6:13 AM, PDT | TheImproper.com | See recent TheImproper.com news »

Bette Midler scored a surprise Tony as Leading Actress in a Musical for her role as Dolly Gallagher in the hit Broadway staple Hello Dolly at the 71st Tony Awards. Among other notable winners, Hollywood actor Kevin Kline won best Leading actor, play for his role in Present Laughter. Laurie Metcalf won leading Actress, Play for her role in A Doll’s House, Part 2. Former “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon won the Featured Actress, Play award for her role in The Little Foxes. ...Read More »

- Keith Girard

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‘Hello, Dolly!’ and ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Stars Win at 71st Annual Tony Awards

11 June 2017 8:30 PM, PDT | backstage.com | See recent Backstage news »

Ben Platt, Bette Midler, “Dear Evan Hansen,” and “Hello, Dolly!” were among the big winners at the 2017 Tony Awards, the biggest night of the year for Broadway—and the American theater. Hosted by a lively Kevin Spacey and aired on CBS from New York City’s Radio City Music Hall June 11, the 71st annual Tony Awards ceremony was co-presented by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. The night was a celebration of arts representation, the vibrancy of the Great White Way, and embracing individuality. “Don’t waste any time trying to be like anybody but yourself because the things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful,” said Platt in his rousing acceptance speech for leading actor in a musical. Laurie Metcalf of “A Doll’s House, Part 2” and Kevin Kline of “Present Laughter” took home the leading actor in a play awards. Cynthia Nixon »

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Didn't Watch the 2017 Tony Awards? Here's Everything You Missed

11 June 2017 8:22 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

There were major stars, multiple costume changes, chorus lines tap dancing their hearts out and a giant groundhog — and that was all just during the opening number of the 71st Annual Tony Awards.

But if you happened to miss Broadway’s biggest night on Sunday, there’s no reason you have to miss out on all of the glitz, glamour and high notes from the show. From host Kevin Spacey’s show-stopping opening number (featuring plenty of superstar cameos) until the best musical trophy was awarded to Dear Evan Hansen, here’s everything you missed from this year’s Tony Awards. »

- Julia Emmanuele

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Laurie Metcalf Wins Best Actress in a Play at the 2017 Tony Awards

11 June 2017 6:41 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Laurie Metcalf is finally a Tony winner.

The veteran stage actress was crowned the best actress in a leading role in a play at the 2017 Tony Awards on Sunday night after a revered performance in A Doll’s House, Part 2.

“This is an honor,” Metcalf said in her speech before thanking her fellow cast members and the producers of the play. “And I must thank my daughter Mae and my son Donovan for putting up with me going away for long stretches of time so I can do what I love most, which is theater.”

Metcalf won in one of »

- Ale Russian

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‘Come From Away,’ Bette Midler, and Andy Karl Win at 2017 Drama Desk Awards

5 June 2017 8:00 AM, PDT | backstage.com | See recent Backstage news »

The 62nd annual Drama Desk Awards honored Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway, or as emcee and Drama Desk Award winner Michael Urie put it, “way the F-Off-Broadway,” on Sunday, June 4. The show opened with a performance by the Off-Broadway musical “Spamilton,” which featured rapping and singing about the rules for making acceptance speeches. The cast assured that there would be no “La La Land” debacle, as with the Academy Awards. The night’s first award for outstanding featured actor in a play went to Danny DeVito for his role as Gregory Solomon in Arthur Miller’s “The Price.” His acceptance speech began with these three words: “Holy shit balls,” later followed by “I’m going to get the hell off and enjoy this.” Backstage cover star Cynthia Nixon won for outstanding featured actress in a play for “Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes.” Nixon thanked her co-star, Laura Linney, for having »

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‘Come From Away,’ Bette Midler, and Andy Karl Win at 2017 Drama Desk Awards

5 June 2017 8:00 AM, PDT | backstage.com | See recent Backstage news »

The 62nd annual Drama Desk Awards honored Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway, or as emcee and Drama Desk Award winner Michael Urie put it, “way the F-Off-Broadway,” on Sunday, June 4. The show opened with a performance by the Off-Broadway musical, “Spamilton,” rapping and singing about the rules for making acceptance speeches. The cast assured that there would be no “La La Land” debacle, as with the Academy Awards. The night’s first award for outstanding featured actor in a play went to Danny DeVito for his role as Gregory Solomon in Arthur Miller’s “The Price.” His acceptance speech began with these three words: “Holy shit balls,” later followed by “I’m going to get the hell off and enjoy this.” Backstage cover star Cynthia Nixon won for outstanding featured actress in a play for Helen Hayes’ “The Little Foxes.” Nixon thanked her co-star, Laura Linney, for having the idea that »

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Tonys 2017: The Standout Performances on Broadway

31 May 2017 7:35 AM, PDT | Entertainment Tonight | See recent Entertainment Tonight news »

Each season of Broadway brings about a slate of unexpected performances and plenty of unforgettable moments. While the 2016-2017 season didn’t see any new show rise to Hamilton-like popularity -- it’s hard for any TV show, film or stage production to reach that level of pop culture zeitgeist -- there are plenty of standout showcases of what fans have come to know and love about the New York City theater scene.

Perhaps the biggest breakout of the season is Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, the musical adaptation of a section from Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace that earned 12 Tony Award nominations, including nods for Best Musical as well as for its cast (Josh Groban, UnREAL breakout Denée Benton and Lucas Steele). “I always dreamed of playing roles like Natasha,” says Benton, a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, who plays the titular hopelessly romantic ingénue.

It certainly is the only show to exhibit »

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Exclusive: Laurie Metcalf Owns the Stage in Tony-Nominated ‘Doll’s House, Part 2’ Performance

31 May 2017 12:40 AM, PDT | Entertainment Tonight | See recent Entertainment Tonight news »

A longtime scene-stealer on TV -- thanks to her many supporting roles as Jackie on Roseanne, Carolyn Bigsby on Desperate Housewives, Dr. Jenna James on Getting On and Sarah on Horace and Pete -- Laurie Metcalf simply owns the Broadway stage. There’s no competing with the longtime actress, who was superb in The Other Place, performed maniacal laps around Bruce Willis in Misery and recently earned her fourth Tony nomination -- this time for playing Nora Helmer in A Doll’s House, Part 2.

The play -- a sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 breakdown of marriage and gender roles -- sees Metcalf leading a standout cast, including fellow nominees Chris Cooper, Jayne Houdyshell and Condola Rashad, as Nora returns to the house she once left in need of a divorce now that she’s a successful feminist writer. What follows is a humorous 90-minute debate of society and gender roles as Nora lets her thoughts fly out »

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Exclusive: Tony Nominee Michelle Wilson on How the Election Changed Audiences’ Reaction to ‘Sweat’

31 May 2017 12:15 AM, PDT | Entertainment Tonight | See recent Entertainment Tonight news »

"I just thought, I'm a nobody. I did not expect to be nominated,” Michelle Wilson tells Et.

The actress -- up for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play for her role in Sweat -- never thought her name would be read aloud when the roster of 2017 nominees was announced the morning of May 2. “It was a total and complete surprise, but it was awesome,” the actress exclaims. "I woke up at 8 and quickly fell back asleep, thinking I will press snooze.”

Tonys 2017: The Standout Performances on Broadway

The first person she called after getting multiple text messages with the news was her Sweat co-star Johanna Day, who’s also nominated in the same category with her, along with Cynthia Nixon (The Little Foxes), Jayne Houdyshell (A Doll’s House Part 2) and Condola Rashad (A Doll’s House Part 2). "Being nominated with Johanna Day feels like, 'Oh they got »

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The 2017 Tony Nominees: Actors in a Play

26 May 2017 7:30 AM, PDT | backstage.com | See recent Backstage news »

The 20 Tony-nominated actors below gave performances this Broadway season—soaring, stunning, often gut-wrenching performances—that linger in our minds. From “The Little Foxes” to “Oslo,” here are your 2017 nominees for actors in plays. Leading Actress In A Play Cate Blanchett, “The Present”It’s not every day one gets to witness film royalty onstage, dancing on a table and pouring vodka over her head. As an unhinged Russian widow on the eve of her 40th birthday in this adaptation of Chekhov’s “Platonov,” Blanchett never steps back from the ledge, making for a thrilling Broadway debut. Jennifer Ehle, “Oslo”The steely determination this two-time Tony winner emanates in J.T. Rogers’ depiction of the 1993 Oslo Accords is outmatched by her innate charm. As Norwegian emissary Mona Juul, who, with her husband, accomplished the impossible in bringing together Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Ehle proves that diplomacy is as complicated—and riveting—as brain surgery. »

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Stage Door: "Six Degrees of Separation" Revived

18 May 2017 9:00 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Stage Door bringing you intermittent theater reviews when we manage to get there. Here's Nathaniel R

It's so basic to binge plays during Tony season as opposed to a more sensible and committed once-a-month diet of live theater. Alas, just as the more familiar mainstream obsession of the Oscar circus encourages studios to backload their releases to the last quarter of the year, most of the "big" theater shows open as late as they can for Tony consideration. This makes April and May a madhouse of theater-going for those who care about such things. Because most of the musicals are too expensive, I've been catching up with the plays. We've already covered The Little Foxes (a must see) and the Pulitzer-winning economic tragedy Sweat. So let's talk Six Degrees of Separation nominated for 2 Tonys: Best Revival of a Play and Best Leading Actor (Corey Hawkins).

"Chaos, control. Chaos, control. You like, »

- NATHANIEL R

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Stage Door: "The Little Foxes" doubles The Lovely Laura Linney

9 May 2017 2:49 PM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Nathaniel R on one of the season's biggest Tony nominees and the most important for Actressexuals

Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes first debuted on the New York stage in 1939 with instantly classic characters, most notably the spiteful Regina Giddens and mousy drunk Birdie Hubbard, who Regina's brother married for her considerable fortune. The show was a hit and immediately scored a classic film version, released in 1941. In the intervening years the show seemed to disappear from the public consciousness a wee bit, despite being revived several times. It didn't help that the awesome 1941 film version was out of print for a long stretch. It's always a treat for fans of actresses since the roles are tailor made for starpower divas »

- NATHANIEL R

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Laura Linney on sharing her Tony nominated role in ‘The Little Foxes’ with Cynthia Nixon [Watch]

5 May 2017 6:00 PM, PDT | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

“It’s a wonderful play that hasn’t been done for a long time. We’re with a remarkable company,” said Laura Linney on “Today” about her Broadway play “The Little Foxes,” for which she was just nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress. This revival of Lillian Hellman‘s 1939 play is unique in that Linney and her co-star […] »

- Daniel Montgomery

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2017 Tony Nominations Revealed: Bette Midler, Cate Blanchett & More

2 May 2017 10:10 AM, PDT | Entertainment Tonight | See recent Entertainment Tonight news »

While Hamilton dominated Broadway theater in 2016, this year's Tony nominations are more evenly distributed.

The 71st annual Tony Awards nominations were unveiled on Tuesday morning live from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Announced by Jane Krakowski and Hamilton alum Christopher Jackson, the honorees were led by Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 with 12 nominations, including Best Musical and Best Leading Actor for Josh Groban's role in the War and Peace-inspired story.

Related: Kristen Bell Shares Dax Shepard's Hilarious Review of 'Hamilton' After Seeing the Musical for the First Time

Dear Evan Hansen landed nine nominations, two of which were for Best Musical and Best Leading Actor (Ben Platt of Pitch Perfect). The stage adaptation of Groundhog Day and the 9/11 musical, Come From Away, rounded out the Best Musical noms.

Bette Midler also scored a Best Leading Actress nomination for her performance in Hello, Dolly! -- her »

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Tony Awards Stats Special: We Counted, So You Don’t Have To

2 May 2017 8:01 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

“Sweat,” written by Lynn Nottage: sweatbroadway.com

Written by The Interval.

The Tony Award nominations were announced this morning and, for the third year in a row, we did some counting to see how women fared at getting nominated for theater’s most prestigious award. When we started doing these stats three years ago, we found that we had to do a lot of counting, since so few statistics about women and theater awards existed (which is kind of bonkers) and so many publications left that aspect out of their coverage. And, despite some historic moments (“Fun Home”), the statistics reflect the state of Broadway — because if work by women isn’t in eligible houses, it can’t be nominated.

So here are the statistics for 2017, or: we counted, so you don’t have to.

(Please note that these stats count nominations, not individuals.)

Since 2000, “Sweat” by Lynn Nottage and “Indecent” by Paula Vogel are the eighth and ninth women-written plays to be nominated for Best Play. Nominations have gone to plays by men 60 times.If “Sweat” wins the award for Best Play, it will only be the fourth time a solo-authored play by a woman has won, and Lynn Nottage will be the second American woman and first African-American woman to win.If “Indecent” wins the award for Best Play, it will only be the fourth time a solo-authored play by a woman has won, and Paula Vogel will be the second American woman to win.This is only the third time the Best Play category has had more than one play authored by a woman. The other two years were 2002 and 1960, which saw two plays by women nominated.Out of the nominees for Best Revival of a Play and Best Revival of a Musical, none were directed by women. Because there were no revivals directed by women this season that were eligible for the Tony Awards.Since 2000, Rebecca Taichman is the 14th woman to be nominated for for Best Director of a Play. Men have been nominated 62 times.Since 2000, Rachel Chavkin is the 16th woman to be nominated for Best Director of a Musical. Men have been nominated 58 times.Since 2010, Mimi Lien is the sixth woman to be nominated for Best Scenic Design of a Musical. Men have been nominated 26 times.

The Interval is a theater website founded to be a virtual home for female voices of the theater.

The Tony Awards are June 11. Find all the female nominees below. List adapted from Variety.

Best Book of a Musical:

“Come From Away” — Irene Sankoff (with David Hein)

Best Original Score:

“Come From Away” — Music & Lyrics: Irene Sankoff (with David Hein)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play:

Cate Blanchett, “The Present”

Jennifer Ehle, “Oslo”

Sally Field, “The Glass Menagerie

Laura Linney, “Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes

Laurie Metcalf, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical:

Denee Benton, “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812”

Christine Ebersole, “War Paint”

Patti LuPone, “War Paint”

Bette Midler, “Hello, Dolly!”

Eva Noblezada, “Miss Saigon”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play:

Johanna Day, “Sweat”

Jayne Houdyshell, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”

Cynthia Nixon, “Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes

Condola Rashad, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”

Michelle Wilson, “Sweat”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical:

Kate Baldwin, “Hello, Dolly!”

Stephanie J. Block, “Falsettos”

Jenn Colella, “Come From Away”

Rachel Bay Jones, “Dear Evan Hansen”

Mary Beth Peil, “Anastasia”

Best Scenic Design of a Musical:

Mimi Lien, “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812”

Best Costume Design of a Play:

Jane Greenwood, “Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes

Susan Hilferty, “Present Laughter”

Toni-Leslie James, “August Wilson’s Jitney”

Best Costume Design of a Musical:

Linda Cho, “Anastasia”

Paloma Young, “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812”

Catherine Zuber, “War Paint”

Best Lighting Design of a Play:

Jane Cox, “August Wilson’s Jitney”

Jennifer Tipton, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”

Best Lighting Design of a Musical:

Natasha Katz, “Hello, Dolly!”

Best Direction of a Play:

Rebecca Taichman, “Indecent”

Best Direction of a Musical:

Rachel Chavkin, “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812”

Best Choreography:

Kelly Devine, “Come From Away”

Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-Competitive Categories

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award:

Baayork Lee

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre:

Nina Lannan (with Alan Wasser)

Tony Awards Stats Special: We Counted, So You Don’t Have To was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Women and Hollywood

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