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Congratulations Clybourne Park!

And the Tony Award for Best Play goes to…”Clybourne Park”! Wonderful news for this “little show that could”. After winning last year’s Pulitzer Prize(following a brief Playwrights Horizons run in 2010), the show STILL almost didn’t make it to Broadway. With no “big name” talent to attract the tourists(and the essential “bridge and tunnel” crowd), “Clybourne Park” managed to open in April to rapturous reviews(including this very blog!), and has now been extended through Labor Day. Nominated for 4 Tonys total, it came up empty in 3 categories—until ultimately saving its victory for one of the biggest awards of the night. Bravo to playwright Bruce Norris and the entire cast and production team!               Somewhat disappointingly, the beautiful revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies”(also reviewed here), managed just 1 Tony from a total of 8 nominations. After garnering both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for Best Revival of a Musical, it somehow lost the Tony to the controversial reimagining of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess”. I can’t discount that “Porgy and Bess” is still running, while “Follies” went dark months ago…and Broadway is certainly eager for continuing dollars. Similarly, Danny Burstein took both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, but ended up watching the Tony go to Steve Kazee and the overwhelming power of “Once”. And the incredible Jan Maxwell expectedly fell to living legend(and now FIVE time Tony winner)Audra McDonald for her work in “Porgy and Bess”. Ms. McDonald, at only 41 years of age, joins theatre titans Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris, as the only 5-time winners for performing on Broadway. Amazing. And let’s not forget “Follies” lone prize…Best Costume Design of a Musical winner, Gregg Barnes. Overall, major kudos to all of the winners and nominees…and let the new season commence!

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