Lillian Hellman - News Poster


Bww TV: Condola Rashad & Company Get Ready for Opening Night of Saint Joan

Currently in previews at at Mtc's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre is Manhattan Theatre Club's new Broadway production of Saint Joan, written by Nobel Prize in Literature and Academy Award winner Bernard Shaw and directed by Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, Proof. Starring three-time Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad A Doll's House, Part 2 'Billions', Saint Joan will open on Wednesday, April 25, 2018.
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Cynthia Nixon Is Running for New York State Governor

Nixon in “Hannibal”: NBC

Cynthia Nixon is looking to make the jump from the screen to political office. The “Sex and the City” alumna has thrown her hat in the race for New York Governor, and will face off against incumbent Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary this fall. Nixon made the announcement on Twitter.

I love New York, and today I'm announcing my candidacy for governor. Join us:

— @CynthiaNixon

This is Nixon’s first go at elected office, although she has been a vocal education activist for many years. Per her website, Nixon will focus heavily on income inequality in her campaign. She’s also emphasizing reform for immigration, criminal justice, finance, education, and healthcare.

If elected, Nixon would be New York’s first female and first openly gay governor.

“Together, we could show the entire country and
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Oscars flashback: Vanessa Redgrave’s controversial win for ‘Julia’ was 40 years ago

Oscars flashback: Vanessa Redgrave’s controversial win for ‘Julia’ was 40 years ago
The Oscar ceremonies have had their share of controversial moments over the years, from Marlon Brando sending a Native American surrogate to refuse his Best Actor Oscar for “The Godfather” to Michael Moore being booed off the stage when he tried to get political while accepting the Best Documentary trophy for “Bowling for Columbine.” No controversy was as big and dramatic though as the Best Supporting Actress category at the 1978 Oscar ceremony, which was awarded to Vanessa Redgrave for “Julia” (1977). On this the 40th anniversary of her win Gold Derby takes a look back at an incredibly memorable Oscar night.

Vanessa Redgrave was a popular and frequent nominee with academy members in her early years in film. She received three Best Actress nominations in quick succession for “Morgan” (1966), “Isadora” (1968) and “Mary, Queen of Scotts” (1971). For 1977 she received her first Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in “Julia.” That film
See full article at Gold Derby »

Breaking: Adam Chanler-Berat, Jack Davenport, Daniel Sunjata, Patrick Page & More Join Condola Rashad in Saint Joan

Lynne Meadow Artistic Director and Barry Grove Executive Producer in association with Eddie MarksOstar have just announced the principal cast for Manhattan Theatre Club's new Broadway production of Saint Joan written by Nobel Prize in Literature and Academy Award winnerBernard Shaw and directed by Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, Proof, starring three-time Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad A Doll's House, Part 2 'Billions'.
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Desert Hearts

By 1985 Hollywood had still only dabbled in movies about the ‘shame that cannot speak its name,’ and in every case the verdict for the transgressors was regret and misery, if not death. Donna Deitch’s brilliant drama achieves exactly what she wanted, to do make a movie about a lesbian relationship that doesn’t end in a tragedy.

Desert Hearts


The Criterion Collection 902

1985 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 96 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date November 14, 2017 / 39.95

Starring: Helen Shaver, Patricia Charbonneau, Audra Lindley, Andra Akers, Gwen Welles, Dean Butler, James Staley, Katie La Bourdette, Alex McArthur, Tyler Tyhurst, Denise Crosby, Antony Ponzini, Brenda Beck, Jeffrey Tambor.

Cinematography: Robert Elswit

Film Editor: Robert Estrin

Production Design: Jeannine Oppewall

Written by Natalie Cooper from the novel by Jane Rule

Produced and Directed by Donna Deitch

Desert Hearts is a fine movie that’s also one of the first features ever about a lesbian romance,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Other stories: why now is the time for a new movie canon – chosen by women

  • The Guardian - Film News
From film schools to DVD shelves, movies considered to be classics are largely made by men. Now, with Hollywood in turmoil, we asked women in film to nominate the movies that should be hailed alongside Scorsese and Spielberg

For as long as most of us have been around, the canon – those books, plays, films and TV series anointed as the most important of their kind – has been defined by a singular commonality: most of it was created by white men. When I entered graduate school in theatre management and producing in the 1990s, we were required to read a series of books entitled Famous American Plays of the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s etc. Everything I was assigned, except for two plays – Carson McCullersThe Member of the Wedding and Lillian Hellman’s The Autumn Garden – was by men.

Sadly, it hasn’t changed over the last couple of decades. When I
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Pre-Sale Starts Tomorrow for Condola Rashad-Led Saint Joan at Mtc

Lynne Meadow Artistic Director and Barry Grove Executive Producer have announced on-sale dates for Manhattan Theatre Club's new Broadway production of Saint Joan, written by Nobel Prize in Literature and Academy Award winner Bernard Shaw and directed by Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, Proof, starring three-time Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad A Doll's House, Part 2, 'Billions'.
See full article at »

The Chase (UK)

A big welcome to UK disc purveyors Indicator, or Powerhouse, or how does Powerhouse Indicator sound? Savant’s first review from the new label is a favorite from the Columbia library. The extras are the lure: they company has snagged long-form, in-depth interviews with James Fox and director Arthur Penn. Everybody’s written about The Chase but here Penn tells his side of the story.

The Chase (1966)

Blu-ray + DVD

Powerhouse: Indicator

1966 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 134 min. / Street Date September 25, 2017 / Available from Amazon UK / £14.99

Starring: Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, E.G. Marshall,

Angie Dickinson, Janice Rule, Miriam Hopkins, Martha Hyer, Richard Bradford,

Robert Duvall, James Fox, Diana Hyland, Henry Hull, Jocelyn Brando, Clifton James, Steve Ihnat

Cinematography: Joseph Lashelle

Production Designer: Richard Day

Art Direction: Robert Luthardt

Film Editor: Gene Milford

Original Music: John Barry

Written by Lillian Hellman from the novel by Horton Foote

Produced by Sam Spiegel

Directed by Arthur Penn

See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Saint Joan, Starring Condola Rashad, Will Bring Religious Icon to Broadway This Spring

Manhattan Theatre Club will produce a new Broadway production of Saint Joan, written by Nobel Prize in Literature and Academy Award winner Bernard Shaw and directed by Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, Proof, starring three-time Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad A Doll's House, Part 2, 'Billions'.
See full article at »

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

Cynthia Nixon on Why Her Broadway Revival Is ‘Unbelievably Trumpian’ (Exclusive Video)
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,
See full article at The Wrap »

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

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

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.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

The avenger by Anne-Katrin Titze

Emmanuelle Devos on Frédéric Mermoud's Moka based on the novel by Tatiana de Rosnay: "The landscape does have an effect on your acting." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Moka star Emmanuelle Devos at the start of our conversation at the French Institute Alliance Française, mentioned seeing Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon in Lillian Hellman's Little Foxes and Laurie Metcalf and Chris Cooper in Lucas Hnath's A Doll's House, Part 2 on Broadway. She has a long history with her first director, Arnaud Desplechin (My Sex Life... Or How I Got Into An Argument, Esther Kahn, A Christmas Tale, Kings & Queen), who also directed her son Raphaël Cohen in My Golden Days. Desplechin and Mathieu Amalric regular Grégoire Hetzel is Moka's co-composer. Emmanuelle and I had spoken at the Tribeca Film Festival with Jérôme Bonnell for his Le Temps De L'Aventure (Just A Sigh).

Marlène (Nathalie Baye) with Diane (Emmanuelle Devos
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Tony Awards 2017 Highlights: Bette Midler, Rebecca Taichman, Cynthia Nixon, & More

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

“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.”

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.”

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.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

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

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

Didn't Watch the 2017 Tony Awards? Here's Everything You Missed
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.
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Laurie Metcalf Wins Best Actress in a Play at the 2017 Tony Awards

Laurie Metcalf Wins Best Actress in a Play at the 2017 Tony Awards
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
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‘Come From Away,’ Bette Midler, and Andy Karl Win at 2017 Drama Desk Awards

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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Julie Taymor, Denée Benton, and More to Be Honored at 2017 Lilly Awards

Julie Taymor: Ted/YouTube

The honorees of the eighth annual Lilly Awards have been announced. Director Julie Taymor and Broadway star and “UnREAL” actress Denée Benton are among the 2017 recipients, BroadwayWorld reports.

Named after playwright Lillian Hellman, the Lillys recognize the achievements of women in American Theater. This year’s ceremony “will also be awarding grants to a select few women making an impact on American Theater.” These prizes, which will be presented at the event, include the New York Women’s Foundation Directing Apprenticeship Award, the Leah Ryan Prize, the Harper Lee Award, the Stacey Mindich “Go Write a Play” Award, and the Daryl Roth Creative Spirit Award.

Taymor is the Tony-winning stage director of “The Lion King” and “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.” Her film credits include “Frida,” “Across the Universe,” and “The Tempest.”

Benton is an actress and singer who received a Tony nod in 2016 for her work in “Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812.” She portrayed Black Lives Matter activist Ruby Carter on season 2 of Lifetime’s “UnREAL.”

The other 2017 Lilly honorees are actress, singer, writer, and composer Micki Grant (“Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope”), Tony-nominated costume designer Toni-Leslie James (“August Wilson’s Jitney”), producer and Williamstown Theater Festival artistic director Mandy Greenfield, and actresses Madison Ferris (“The Glass Menagerie”) and Beanie Feldstein (“Hello, Dolly!”).

Among the past Lilly Award winners are Lupita Nyong’o, Gloria Steinem, Kristin Chenoweth, Susan Stroman (“The Producers”), Jessie Mueller (“Waitress”), Danai Gurira (“The Walking Dead”), Kathy Najimy (“Veep”), Nina Arianda (“Venus in Fur”), Katori Hall (“The Mountaintop”), and Lois Smith (“The Americans”).

The Lilly Awards will be held this Monday, May 22 at Playwrights Horizons in NY. “Bridge and Tunnel” playwright Sarah Jones is set to host the festivities. Check out the Lilly Awards website for more information.

Julie Taymor, Denée Benton, and More to Be Honored at 2017 Lilly Awards was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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Stage Door: "The Little Foxes" doubles The Lovely Laura Linney

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

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