Category: Awards

'Silent Night' by Kevin Puts wins Pulitzer for music

April 16, 2012 |  2:25 pm

  "Silent Night"
"Silent Night," an opera by Kevin Puts that dramatizes a miraculous ceasefire during World War I, has won the Pulitzer Prize for music. The opera, with a libretto by Mark Campbell, received its world-premiere production at Minnesota Opera in November.

Puts' opera is adapted from the 2005 movie "Joyeux Noël," which was nominated for an Academy Award for foreign-language film. Like the movie, the opera depicts an unexpected truce negotiated by Scottish, French and German officers on Christmas Eve. The movie was written and directed by Christian Carion.

"Silent Night" won the Pulitzer over finalists "Death and the Powers," an opera by Tod Machover, and "The Companion Guide to Rome," a piece for string trio by Andrew Norman that evokes nine Roman churches. Norman is an alumnus of the University of Southern California and has been named a resident composer for the L.A. Chamber Orchestra.

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Quiara Alegria Hudes' 'Water by the Spoonful' wins drama Pulitzer

April 16, 2012 |  1:13 pm

"Water by the Spoonful"
"Water by the Spoonful," a recent play by Quiara Alegría Hudes about a war veteran and four disparate lives that come together in an online chatroom, won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for drama, it was announced on Monday. The play was performed at Hartford Stage Co. in Connecticut last fall.

Hudes was a Pulitzer finalist in 2007 for "Elliot: A Soldier's Fugue." She was nominated for a Tony in 2008 for writing the book for the Broadway musical "In the Heights."

"Water by the Spoonful" beat out two finalists: "Other Desert Cities" by Jon Robin Baitz and "Sons of the Prophet" by Stephen Karam. Last year's drama winner was "Clybourne Park" by Bruce Norris, which recently ran at the Mark Taper Forum and opens this week on Broadway.

"Water by the Spoonful" is the second play in a planned trilogy by Hudes, with "Elliot" serving as the first installment. "Water" follows an Iraq war veteran who is struggling with civilan life. His story runs in parallel with those of four individuals who connect on an online chatroom dedicated to recovering drug addicts.

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'Matilda the Musical' wins big at Olivier Awards in London

April 16, 2012 |  7:15 am


"Matilda the Musical," based on the popular book by Roald Dahl, was the big winner at the Olivier Awards on Sunday, scooping up the prize for best new musical plus six other awards. The Oliviers are Britain's highest theater honor, the London equivalent of Broadway's Tony Awards.

The seven wins for "Matilda" was an Olivier record. The musical was produced by the Royal Shakespeare Co. and is playing at the Cambridge Theatre on London's West End. The production also won prizes for direction, by Matthew Warchus; lead actor, for Bertie Carvel; and lead actress, which was shared by the four young actresses who rotate in the musical's title role.

"Collaborators," by screenwriter John Hodge, won the Olivier for best new play. The drama, at the Cottesloe Theatre, tells the story of a writer who is commissioned to write a play about Josef Stalin.

PHOTOS: Olivier Awards 2012

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Can Neil Patrick Harris boost Tony Awards ratings?

April 3, 2012 |  9:56 am

Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris will host Broadway's biggest night for the third time, organizers of the Tony Awards announced on Tuesday. The award show is scheduled to take place June 10 at the Beacon Theatre in New York and will be broadcast live on CBS, with a delay for the West Coast.

Harris has proved a popular choice for the Tonys, but will the "How I Met Your Mother" actor, who hosted last year's Tonys as well as the 2009 ceremony, be able to reverse the show's declining TV viewership of the last three years?

Usually the least-watched of the major entertainment awards shows, the Tonys have struggled with falling TV ratings in recent years. Last year's show drew 6.9 million viewers, down from 7 million in 2010. That figure was down from 7.4 million viewers in 2009.

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Art critics honor Cal State Long Beach museum

March 21, 2012 |  7:13 am


The American chapter of the International Assn. of Art Critics announced its annual awards this month and among the honorees in 12 categories was one museum in Southern California. The critics also honored two installations that have been seen in Los Angeles -- Ai Weiwei's "Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads" and Christian Marclay's "The Clock."

The University Art Museum at Cal State Long Beach received a second-place award for the best show at a university gallery for its exhibition "Perpetual Motion: Michael Goldberg." The show, curated by Chris Scoates and Elizabeth Anne Hanson, ran in the fall of 2010.

"Perpetual Motion" is a survey of the late artist's paintings. The first-place winner in the category was "Fluxus and the Essential Questions of Life," which ran at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College.

The critics honored Ai's "Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads," which was displayed at Pulitzer Fountain near Central Park in New York. The installation of sculptures received the second-place award for best project in a public space. The sculptures also traveled to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2011.

Marclay's "The Clock" -- a 24-hour video consisting of clips from movies and television edited together to keep real time -- won an award for best show in a commercial gallery. The installation was shown at the Paula Cooper Gallery in New York.

"The Clock" has been screened at LACMA and will have another free, 24-hour screening on March 24.

Read the full list of honorees from the critics association.


Ai Weiwei on art, his health and life out of prison

Christian Marclay's 'The Clock' starts ticking at LACMA

Review: 'Perpetual Motion: Michael Goldberg' at Cal State Long Beach

-- David Ng

Photo: From 1993, "Bowery Days 30" by Michael Goldberg. Credit: University Art Museum / Cal State Long Beach

'Margo Veil,' 'Raisin in the Sun' top L.A. Drama Critics awards

March 19, 2012 | 11:00 pm


The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle handed out its annual awards at a ceremony Monday at A Noise Within in Pasadena. The evening's biggest winners were "Margo Veil," a new play by Len Jenkins that was performed at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, and the revival of Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun" by the Ebony Repertory Theatre, with four wins each.

"Small Engine Repair," a new play by John Pollono  staged by Rogue Machine, won three awards including the honor for the year's best production, which it shared with "Margo Veil."

The award for best revival was shared by "A Raisin in the Sun," "Cabaret" at Reprise Theatre and Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" at Theatre Banshee.

"A Raisin in the Sun" was performed at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center and later transferred to the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

Monday's ceremony honored excellence in Los Angeles and Orange County stage productions in 2011. The L.A. Drama Critics Circle includes theater critics from around Southern California, including two writers who regularly contribute to the Los Angeles Times -- F. Kathleen Foley and David C. Nichols.

Here's the full list of this year's winners.

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Jude Law, Kristin Scott Thomas among Olivier Award nominees

March 15, 2012 |  1:55 pm

Jude Law, Kristin Scott Thomas among Olivier Award nominees .
Jude Law, Kristin Scott Thomas and Paulo Szot are among the nominees for this year's Olivier Awards, the highest theater honor in Britain. The nominations were announced Thursday in London.

Leading the roster are the new musicals "Matilda" and "Ghost," with 10 and five nominations, respectively. Also scoring high are the new plays "The Ladykillers," based on the 1955 movie, and Richard Bean's "One Man, Two Guvnors," with five nominations each.

Rounding out the nominees for new musical are "Betty Blue Eyes," "London Road" and "Shrek." The nominees for new play also include "Collaborators" by John Hodge and "Jumpy" by April De Angelis.

Law received a nomination for his performance in a revival of Eugene O'Neill's "Anna Christie" at the Donmar Warehouse, while Scott Thomas was recognized for her leading role in a revival of Harold Pinter's "Betrayal" at the Comedy Theatre.

Other acting nominees include Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller for "Frankenstein," which was directed by Danny Boyle; Lesley Manville for Mike Leigh's play "Grief"; and Ruth Wilson for "Anna Christie." Szot was recognized for his role in the revival of "South Pacific," for which he won a Tony Award in 2008.

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L.A. playwright Jennifer Haley wins Blackburn prize

March 1, 2012 |  7:19 am


Jennifer Haley, a Los Angeles-based playwright, is the winner of the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, which recognizes achievements by female playwrights. The prize is for Haley's new play "The Nether," a futuristic crime story.

L.A.'s Center Theatre Group submitted the play for the Blackburn's consideration. Pier Carlo Talenti, CTG's resident dramaturge and literary manager, said that Haley had given him a copy of "The Nether" several months ago.

He described the drama as "part police procedural but also an Internet morality play." He said CTG is planning to produce the world premiere of "The Nether" next season, but no date or venue has been set.

Talenti said that Haley has participated in writer workshops at CTG, but "The Nether" wasn't written as part of those.

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Grammy Awards 2012: Gustavo Dudamel, L.A. Philharmonic win

February 12, 2012 |  3:33 pm


Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic won a Grammy Award on Sunday for their recording of Brahms' Fourth Symphony. It marked the first Grammy win in Dudamel's career.

No single album dominated the classical categories this year, but the list of winners featured a few major names, including composer John Adams, singer Joyce DiDonato and the group Eighth Blackbird.

The classical awards were handed out Sunday afternoon as part of a pre-show ceremony at Staples Center that was broadcast online.

Full Coverage: 54th annual Grammy Awards

The L.A. Philharmonic's album of Brahms' Fourth Symphony was released last year by Deutsche Grammophon. The recording was part of the orchestra's Brahms Unbound series last season at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Dudamel and the L.A. Philharmonic are currently on a concert tour in Venezuela and were not present to accept their award.

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Grammy Awards 2012: 'Book of Mormon' wins for musical theater

February 12, 2012 |  3:22 pm


"The Book of Mormon," the hit Broadway musical from the creators of "South Park," added to its stash of awards Sunday when it won a Grammy for musical theater album. The cast recording features the original Broadway ensemble, including Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells.

"South Park's" Trey Parker was on hand to accept the award during a pre-show ceremony at Staples Center. "Wow, Mormons are having a great year," he said in reference to Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. "They have a Grammy now too."

Parker was joined on stage by Robert Lopez, a 2004 nominee in this category for "Avenue Q." They, with "South Park's" Matt Stone wrote the songs and the book for the musical.

Full Coverage: 54th annual Grammy Awards

"Mormon" beat out the albums for "Anything Goes" and "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."

In September, "Mormon" will make its L.A. debut at the Pantages Theatre as part of its national tour. The local engagement is set to run for 12 weeks from Sept. 5-Nov. 25. The musical won nine Tony Awards last year, including the prize for new musical.

Last year's Grammy winner in the musical-theater category was Green Day's "American Idiot," which is coming to the Ahmanson Theatre March 13-April 22.

[A previous version of this post incorrectly identified Trey Parker.]


Grammys: 'Book of Mormon,' 'Anything Goes' albums are nominees

Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day win musical show Grammy for 'American Idiot' album

Grammy Awards 2010: 'West Side Story' wins Grammy for musical show album

-- David Ng

Photo: A scene from "The Book of Mormon" on Broadway. Credit: Joan Marcus


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