This blog is going to be covering a few things. First of all, we are in award season and two Broadway organizations have announced their nominations and Priscilla has, indeed been in the mix. The first was the Drama League nominations: DISTINGUISHED PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL; DISTINGUISHED PERFORMANCE: Tony Sheldon, Will Swenson. Awards to be given out on May 20. I’ll keep you posted.
The second organization is the Outer Critic’s Circle. The nominations included: OUTSTANDING NEW MUSICAL; OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHER: Ross Coleman; OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN: Tim Chappel and Lizzie Gardiner; and OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: Tony Sheldon.
I feel I have to say here that Andy, our choreographer, has been the most generous of human beings and allowed Ross Coleman (who was his mentor)’s name to stay at the forefront as the choreographer. Even though Mr. Coleman passed away before we even started rehearsals and because of how much of the music changed in the show, Andy had to re-choreograph most of the show himself. I could not have more respect for him for that but I still feel he is being robbed of, at the very least, a co-nomination. So since it’s my blog and I can do whatever I want, I am saying here that we have a nomination for OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHER: Ross Coleman and Andy Hallsworth. Winners will be announced on May 16. Very exciting.
There are several others to be heard yet. Not the least of which will be the Tony nominations which will be announced on May 3 – only 6 days away. Woohoo.
Now speaking of generosity, I went to see the Easter Bonnet competition at the Theater that the Lion King is in, on Sunday. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s a charity event that started 25 years ago by the original La Cage Aux Folles company in ’87 to support Equity fights AIDS. It was when everyone was getting sick and dying and the company decided it needed an event to spread awareness instead of fear and to raise money to help the many men and women who we were losing to this horrible disease. It was such a fun show. Any Broadway show that wants to creates a bonnet that represents their show and then a number that introduces their bonnet.
What it made me realize is the power of the theatre community and of generosity. Generosity of money, time, energy, and love. And how much we take that for granted. It has also made me realize how frustrated and angry I become when a performing artist – actor, singer, dancer – is ungenerous with the “holy” trinity of time, energy and love. We have the ability to change the world with what we do. When we perform and share the live experience with an audience, they leave enlightened, enlivened, inspired, happy, giddy, mentally healthier. Not every person and not every time but most of the people and most of the time. And they carry that energy with them. And pay it forward.
So when a performer or performers are ungenerous, either because of personality or youth , it makes me crazy. We have a gift that can literally keep on giving but when performers make it just about being ‘seen’ and/or adored and/or worshipped for their looks, it’s cheap and ugly and gross and it makes me sad and a little pissed off. So many people would love to do what we’re doing and would be so grateful. There is always someone who sings louder, higher, prettier, sweeter; who dances better, kicks higher, is a better, stronger, simpler actor. But humanity lifts all talent to a magical place. Being wonderful to work with and talented and generous becomes legendary (for the good reasons). So whoever is reading this, whether you’re a performer or not, please, please, PLEASE . . . reach higher.
P.S. ADDENDUM TO THIS POST:
Since I wrote this post – but before I had the chance to post it, The Drama Desk nominations and the Tony nominations came out. For the Drama Desk, the show was nominated for Best Musical, Tony Sheldon was nominated for BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL and Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner for BEST COSTUMES. We didn’t get a nod for Best Musical but we did get a nod for Tony Sheldon as BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL and for Tim and Lizzy for BEST COSTUMES IN A MUSICAL. Woohoo.