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Category: Book of Mormon

Are Trey Parker and Matt Stone en route to EGOT?

Mormon
After sweeping the Tonys last month with "The Book of Mormon," Trey Parker and Matt Stone may be on their way to getting the elusive EGOT. That's the grand slam of showbiz peer-group awards: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

With four Emmys under their belts for animated program for "South Park" (2005, 2007-2009) and four Tonys for "Mormon," these partners and best friends are only missing the Oscar and the Grammy.

At first glance, it may seem premature to call these guys EGOT front-runners, but when next year's Grammys are taken into consideration, things get more interesting. "Book of Mormon" is a shoo-in to win the next Grammy for musical cast album.

That means all they'll need next is the Oscar. Back in 2000, Parker was nominated for an Academy Award for the original song "Blame Canada" from the "South Park" movie. Stone was left off the ballot because he didn't contribute to the lyrics. Now that they're on a hiatus between seasons of "South Park," one wonders if they're eyeing their next movie project. No plans have been announced yet for "Book of Mormon" to be adapted to the big screen, but that's certainly a future possibility.

If Parker and Stone are lucky enough to win the EGOT, they'll join 10 other artists who've won all four industry awards in competitive categories: Mel Brooks, John Gielgud, Marvin Hamlisch, Helen Hayes, Audrey Hepburn, Rita Moreno, Mike Nichols, Richard Rodgers, Jonathan Tunick and the most recent EGOT winner in 2002, Whoopi Goldberg.

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Tony Awards: Backstage with 'Book of Mormon' winners

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Trey Parker, left, and Matt Stone backstage at the Tony Awards in June. Credit: Charles Sykes / Associated Press


Tony Awards: Back stage with 'Book of Mormon' winners

"When you die and you find out that God is a Mormon, what will you say to get off the hook?" I asked the creators of "Book of Mormon" moments after the musical swept the Tony Awards.

"Look at the box office," Trey Parker replied. "Scoreboard!"

Parker suddenly got serious and didn't have a snarky reply when he was informed that he had just tied a Tony record set by Josh Logan, who bagged four awards in one year for the original production of "South Pacific" (1950). Parker's four wins: best book, score, director and musical.

"We riffed on people getting awards enough that we have to walk that line carefully," said Trey Parker, grinning.

When he was asked, "Will there be a 'South Park' episode making fun of 'Book of Mormon'?" he replied, "No, because that wouldn't be cool."

-- Tom O'Neil

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Tony Awards: Back stage with Sutton Foster and Norbert Leo Butz


Tony Awards: Tom O'Neil's fearless, 100% perfect predictions

When comparing my Tony Award predictions with those of my L.A. Times colleague Charles McNulty, it's clear that we disagree on very few categories. We concur that Sunday night's kudofest will be a lovefest for "The Book of Mormon" and "War Horse" among original productions, and "Anything Goes" and "The Normal Heart" among revivals.

Book of MormonHowever, McNulty isn't clear which "Book of Mormon" star he believes will win lead actor in a musical. He says merely that "one of the doorbell ringers should bring home the prize." That means he's covering his bets if either Josh Gad or Andrew Rannells prevails.

However, I -– ever the fearless daredevil -– am prepared to be much more bold, and so I forecast a win by roly-poly scene stealer Gad.

Most Tony pundits agree with McNulty that Laura Benanti ("Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown") will win best featured (or supporting) actress in a musical, but I'm scooting out on a limb for Victoria Clark ("Sister Act"). Yeah, because I'm such a swashbuckling daredevil.

I'm absolutely sure that McNulty is dead wrong about who'll prevail as best director of a play. He picks Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe ("The Normal Heart"). I say Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, ("War Horse").

McNulty doesn't make predictions beyond the main categories, but I square off against 13 other Broadway experts, including the editors of Entertainment Weekly, Playbill and Back Stage, over at Gold Derby. You can see all of us rank nominees in each category according to their likelihood of winning. Even better: You can make your own predictions and see how you fare on Monday morning, when you'll receive an email tallying your score. Can you beat the experts? That's a dare!

Below, my predix, category by category:


BEST MUSICAL
"The Book of Mormon"

BEST PLAY
"War Horse"

BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
"Anything Goes"

BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
"The Normal Heart"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY
Mark Rylance, "Jerusalem"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY
Frances McDormand, "Good People"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Josh Gad, "The Book of Mormon"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Sutton Foster, "Anything Goes"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY
John Benjamin Hickey, "The Normal Heart"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY
Ellen Barkin, "The Normal Heart"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL
John Larroquette, "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Victoria Clark, "Sister Act"

BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY
Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, "War Horse"

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker, "The Book of Mormon"

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Rob Ashford, "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying"

BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL
"The Book of Mormon" (Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (MUSIC AND/OR LYRICS) WRITTEN FOR THE THEATER
"The Book of Mormon" (music and lyrics: Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone)

BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A PLAY
Rae Smith, "War Horse"

BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Scott Pask, "The Book of Mormon"

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A PLAY
Mark Thompson, "La Bête"

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Tim Chappel & Lizzy Gardiner, "Priscilla Queen of the Desert"

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY
Paule Constable, "War Horse"

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Brian MacDevitt, "The Book of Mormon"

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A PLAY
Christopher Shutt, "War Horse"

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Brian Ronan, "The Book of Mormon"

BEST ORCHESTRATIONS
Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus, "The Book of Mormon"

RELATED:

Charles McNulty's Tony picks

Play-at-Home Tonys Ballot

Photo: Andrew Rannels and Josh Gad in "The Book of Mormon." Credit: Eugene O'Neill Theatre


Drama Desk Awards slap Off-Broadway -- again

Drama Desk Award newsThe unfairness of the Drama Desk Awards was apparent again when trophies were doled out Monday at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan Center. Even though Off-Broadway shows accounted for 40% of the nominees, they won only two of the 26 awards. Both victories were in the crafts categories: best musical book ("See Rock City and Other Destinations") and best play music ("Peter and the Starcatcher").

Glam Broadway shows claimed all other top kudos. "The Book of Mormon" nabbed five: best musical, lyrics, music, director and orchestrations. "Anything Goes" won best musical revival and lead actress (Sutton Foster). The trophies for best play and revival went to "War Horse" and "The Normal Heart," respectively, as widely expected. See the full list of winners.

This year's bias against Off-Broadway is consistent with the history of the Drama Desk Awards. Last year, 44% of the nominees were Off-Broadway shows, but they won only three of the 26 prizes. The reason for the lopsided vote result is the balloting process. A small jury of journalists chooses nominees while the full membership picks winners. The list of Drama Desk members is kept secret, but Awards Tracker has seen the rundown in years past. Quite a few members are from obscure media outlets, including personal websites, and many admit that they don't see the Off-Broadway nominees. Many also admit that they belong to the Drama Desk just to get free VIP tickets to prestigious Broadway shows.

It's bad enough that Off-Broadway contenders are consistently snubbed on awards night, but they pay a high price for the insult. Nominees are given free seats, but their friends, family and colleagues pay for tickets costing $375 and $475 and tables priced around $10,000. The expense might be easier to justify if they had a realistic chance of winning, but they don't.

-- Tom O'Neil

RELATED:

Turn it off: How Rory O'Malley deals with that devilish gay urge in 'Book of Mormon' [Video]

'Book of Mormon,' 'War Horse' win Outer Critics Circle Awards

'Book of Mormon' stars Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells clash over Tony Award [Video]

Tony Award predictions: Top eight races

Photo: Drama Desk


'Book of Mormon' and 'War Horse' win Drama League Awards

Morm"Book of Mormon" and "War Horse" were hailed as best musical and best play, respectively, by the 77th annual Drama League Awards, which were doled out Friday at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York, emceed by Kathleen Turner. "Anything Goes" and "The Normal Heart" were voted best musical and play revivals, respectively.

Mark Rylance ("Jerusalem," "La Bete") was the recipient of the league's sole acting prize. The organization is unique among groups giving theater kudos because it hands out only one award for distinguished performance and an individual can be so recognized only once in his or her career. Last year, Alfred Molina ("Red") won. Geoffrey Rush ("Exit the King") prevailed two years ago.

This year, Rylance competed against 62 rivals for the prize first given to Katharine Cornell in 1935. Among the losers were Al Pacino ("The Merchant of Venice"), Daniel Radcliffe ("How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying"), Vanessa Redgrave ("Driving Miss Daisy") and Josh Gad ("Book of Mormon").

''My 92-year-old grandfather really put this in perspective for me,'' Gad said at the ceremony. "He asked me, 'How many people are nominated?' And I said, 'Sixty-plus,' and he said, 'Well, you can kiss that one goodbye!'"

See more info at the league's website.

RELATED:

'Book of Mormon,' 'War Horse' win Outer Critics Circle Awards

Turn it off: How Rory O'Malley deals with that devilish gay urge in 'Book of Mormon' [Video]

'Book of Mormon' stars Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells clash over Tony Award [video]

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: "Book of Mormon." Credit: Eugene O'Neill Theatre


Turn it off: How Rory O'Malley deals with that devilish gay urge in 'Book of Mormon' [Video]

Morm2Most Tony Award pundits believe the race for best featured actor in a musical is a tight one between Rory O'Malley ("The Book of Mormon") and John Larroquette ("How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying").

Of the five gurus polled by Gold Derby, Melissa Bernardo of Entertainment Weekly, picks O'Malley to win, but most of the others rank Larroquette first then O'Malley as a close second.

If the Tonys follow their voting trend of last year, they'll favor Hollywood celebs again, thus giving the win to Larroquette. However, O'Malley could benefit from the massive buzz surrounding "Book of Mormon," which has 14 nominations and will win many. If it pulls off a bona-fide sweep, O'Malley can go along for the ride.

O'Malley portrays a closeted gay Mormon missionary who has a big, show-stopping number. "He has a little song called 'Turn It Off,' where he talks about turning off that feeling," he says in our video chat. "Any time you have any bad feelings, just turn them off! It's that easy. It deals with being closeted, something that can be very sad, in a very humorous and funny way."

RELATED:

L.A. Times review: 'The Book of Mormon'

Tony Award predictions: Top eight races

'Book of Mormon' stars Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells clash over Tony Award [Video]

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Rory O'Malley in "Book of Mormon." Credit: Eugene O'Neill Theatre


'Book of Mormon,' 'War Horse' win Outer Critics Circle Awards

Tony Award predictions news

"The Book of Mormon" won in four of the six Outer Critics Circle Awards categories it received nominations in,  including best musical, best actor (Josh Gad), direction (Casey Nicholaw, Trey Parker) and music score.

"War Horse" won best play over two of its rivals for the Tony Award -- "Good People" and "The Mother... with the Hat" -- plus two other OCC prizes: best direction (Marianne Elliott, Tom Morris) and lighting design. "War Horse" also received a special achievement award for its puppetry.

The Outer Critics Circle Awards are bestowed by 90 journalists at newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and other media outlets situated beyond New York City. Historically, they've proven to be shrewd harbingers of what will win Tonys.

"Sister Act" led with the most nominations -- nine -- but won nothing. Also skunked: "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," which lost all five of its bouts.

Other winners:

Best Play Revival: "The Normal Heart"
Best Actor in a Play: Mark Rylance, "Jerusalem"
Best Actress in a Play (tie): Frances McDormand, "Good People"; Nina Aridana ("Born Yesterday")
Best Featured Actor in a Play: Brian Bedford, "The Importance of Being Earnest"
Best Featured Actress in a Play: Elizabeth Rodriguez, "The Mother… with the Hat"

Best Musical Revival: "Anything Goes"
Best Actress in a Musical: Sutton Foster, "Anything Goes"
Best Featured Actor in a Musical: Adam Godley, "Anything Goes"
Best Featured Actress in a Musical: Laura Benanti, "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown"
Best Choreography: "Anything Goes"
Best Costumes: "Priscilla Queen of the Desert"

-- Tom O'Neil

Photos: "Book of Mormon" (Eugene O'Neill Theatre), "War Horse" (Vivian Beaumont)


'Book of Mormon' stars Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells clash over Tony Award [Video]

MormLet's pray they behave in a Christian manner, those two rascally stars of "Book of Mormon" who are nominated against each other at the Tony Awards for lead actor. Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells are cheeky fellows, as is evident in our video chat below. It's hard to say which one may outfox the other to win.

Of the five experts polled by Gold Derby, one (Harry Haun, Playbill) picked Gad to prevail. The others backed Tony Sheldon ("Priscilla Queen of the Desert"), but most gurus believe it's really a very close neck-and-neck-and-neck race.

Unlike best musical; every Tonys pundit on the planet is betting on "Book of Mormon" to sweep that contest. But there's much suspense over whether or not any of its stars will get to go along for the ride. Over the last 10 years, the lead stars of a winning musical also claimed a Tony Award for their performance 50% of the time: the three little leapers in "Billy Elliot" (2009), John Lloyd Young in "Jersey Boys" (2006), Harvey Fierstein and Marissa Jaret Winokur in "Hairspray" (2003), Sutton Foster in "Thoroughly Modern Millie" (2002) and Nathan Lane in "The Producers" (2001). The other five best musicals all had lead performers nominated, but they lost.

Having two costars in one category does not result in automatic loss because they split the vote. That's a common awards myth. Nathan Lane beat "The Producers" costar Matthew Broderick. Last year, Douglas Hodge won best musical actor over "La Cage aux Folles" costar Kelsey Grammer and Scarlett Johansson won best featured actress in a play over "A View from the Bridge" costar Jessica Hecht.

Of the "Mormon" costars, Gad has the more cartoonish, funny role as an inept, buffoonish missionary trying to convert tribal folk in Uganda to the Church of Latter Day Saints. His role gets all the laughs and moves the story. But Rannells has a much more emotionally etched part as Gad's upright, uptight missionary sidekick. He's got the most lines and most songs, particularly the big anthems that stir the heart. As Tony candidates, they both have strong, equal plusses.

RELATED:

L.A. Times review: 'The Book of Mormon'

Tony Award predictions: Top eight races

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: "Book of Mormon." Credit: Eugene O'Neill Theatre


Tony Award predictions: Top eight races

War Horse Book of Mormon NewsBelow are my Tonys predix for the top categories. See more here -– plus how they all stack up against the predix of four other experts.

-- Tom O'Neil

BEST MUSICAL
X - "The Book of Mormon"
"Catch Me if You Can"
"The Scottsboro Boys"
"Sister Act"

Not even divine intervention can stop "Mormon" from winning. It's Broadway's hottest show -– both critically and commercially -– and it deserves to win by a mile.

BEST PLAY
"Good People"
"Jerusalem"
"The Mother ... With the Hat"
X - "War Horse"

"War Horse" is favored because of its impressive stagecraft. Its horse puppets are amazing, but, granted, the play itself is a bit thin as a literary property. Thus, some pundits say "Good People" can pull off an upset, but I don't agree.

BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
X - "Anything Goes"
"How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying"

"Succeed" is charming and lots of fun, but "Anything Goes" has more critical cachet.

BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
"Arcadia"
"The Importance of Being Earnest"
"The Merchant of Venice"
X - "The Normal Heart"

No contest. The long-overdue arrival on Broadway of the trailblazing AIDS drama "Normal Heart" makes it a major theater event, all the more so because of its cast, which includes Joe Mantello and Jim Parsons.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY
Brian Bedford, "The Importance of Being Earnest"
Bobby Cannavale, "The Mother ... With the Hat"
X - Joe Mantello, "The Normal Heart"
Al Pacino, "The Merchant of Venice"
Mark Rylance, "Jerusalem"

Rylance won all of the critics' laurels in London for this role and he wowed Broadway audiences earlier this year with his comedic chops when he starred in "La Bete," but I think Tony voters will opt for a Yankee star. Mantello is Broadway royalty as a director and performer and this is his hour.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY
Nina Arianda, "Born Yesterday"
X - Frances McDormand, "Good People"
Lily Rabe, "The Merchant of Venice"
Vanessa Redgrave, "Driving Miss Daisy"
Hannah Yelland, "Brief Encounter"

It's a three-way toss-up between Arianda, McDormand and Rabe. I'm betting on McDormand because of her Oscar pedigree. Furthermore, if voters go for "War Horse" for best play, as I think they will, they'll want to give "Good People" a consolation prize.

Continue reading »

Broadway shockers: Complete list of Tony Award snubs

Tonys red NEWBelow is a full list of every contender eligible in the top Tony Awards races that did not get a nomination. Compare to a list of Tony nominees  and a rundown of predictions by experts.

Not nominated for best play
"Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo"
"Brief Encounter"
"Colin Quinn Long Story Short"
"Elling"
"A Free Man of Color"
"Ghetto Klown"
"High"
"Lombardi"
"The Pee-wee Herman Show"
"The Pitmen Painters"
 
Not nominated for best musical
"Baby It's You!"
"Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson"
"Elf"
"The People in the Picture"
"Priscilla Queen of the Desert"
"Rain"
"Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown"
"Wonderland"

Not nominated for best play revival
"Born Yesterday"
"Driving Miss Daisy"
"The House of Blue Leaves"
"La Bête"
"A Life in the Theatre"
"Mrs. Warren's Profession"
"That Championship Season"

Not nominated for best actor in a play
Jim Belushi, "Born Yesterday"
Brian Cox, "That Championship Season"
Santino Fontana, "The Importance of Being Earnest"
Brendan Fraser, "Elling"
David Furr, "The Importance of Being Earnest"
James Earl Jones, "Driving Miss Daisy"
Dan Lauria, "Lombardi"
John Leguizamo, "Ghetto Klown"
Seth Numrich, "War Horse"
Denis O'Hare, "Elling"
David Hyde Pierce, "La Bête"
Colin Quinn, "Colin Quinn Long Story Short
Paul Reubens, "The Pee-wee Herman Show"
Mark Rylance, "La Bête"
Patrick Stewart, "A Life in the Theatre"
Ben Stiller, "The House of Blue Leaves"
Tristan Sturrock, "Brief Encounter"
Robin Williams, "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo"
Jeffrey Wright, "A Free Man of Color"

Continue reading »


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