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New York City - Theatre

Wendy R. Williams'
June 2008 Theatre Column

June 16, 2008

Paulo Szot, Patti LuPone, Deanna Dunagan and Mark Rylance
© Sylvain Gaboury / PR Photos

The Annual Tony Awards Ceremony was held last night with August Osage County winning for Best Play, In the Heights winning the award for Best Musical and South Pacific winning for Best Musical Revival. I was particularly pleased to see that Patti Lupone won for Gypsy and that Deana Dugan won for August Osage County. Congratulations to all the winners and a hearty AMEN!

Here is a list of the winners in the top categories (from the Tony Awards Website):

Best Play: August: Osage County - Author: Tracy Letts

Best Musical: In The Heights

Best Book of a Musical: Passing Strange - Author: Stew

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theater: In The Heights - Music & Lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Best Revival of a Play: Boeing-Boeing

Best Revival of a Musical: South Pacific

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play: Mark Rylance in Boeing-Boeing

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play: Deanna Dunagan in August: Osage County

Best Performance by Leading Actor in a Musical: Paulo Szot in South Pacific

Best Performance by Leading Actress in a Musical: Patti LuPone in Gypsy

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play: Jim Norton in The Seafarer

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play: Rondi Reed in August: Osage County

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical: Boyd Gaines in Gypsy

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical: Laura Benanti in Gypsy

Best Direction of a Play: Anna D. Shapiro for August: Osage County

Best Direction of a Musical: Bartlett Sher for South Pacific

See the Tony Awards Website for a more definitive list of the winners. Also, there is an excellent article in Theatermania.com by Brian Scott Lipton about last night's Tony awards ceremony.

Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg

This month I only saw one play, the wildly exhilarating Jump at the Union Square Theatre at 100 East 17th Street. Jump is one whacked-out show; it would be great fun for anyone. The only requirement to enjoy Jump is to be at least six years old; you don't even need to speak English. Jump is another entry into the genus "funus exuberanus," joining the happy club of Stomp at the Orpheum Theater (see my May 2006 Theater Column) and the touring company of Mayumana's Be (see my June 2007 Theater Column for coverage of the June 2007 New York stop of their tour). (And yes I made up the phrase “funus exuberanus.”)

Here is a quote from their press release: "Jump, the high flying, internationally acclaimed new martial arts theater event, comes to New York following wildly successful engagements in Israel, Hong Kong, Macao, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Madrid, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2005 and 2006), Tokyo, Osaka and London! The nonverbal Korean extravaganza brings the combination of slapstick comedy, acrobatics and martial arts to the stage, for the first time ever in live performance, in a highly unique theater spectacle that has been described as "Jackie Chan meets Charlie Chaplin.

Set in the interior of a traditional Korean home, the show tells the story of an anything-but-typical family. Each member of the household, from the strict Grandfather to the pretty young daughter, enjoys nothing more than challenging the rest of the family to martial arts showdowns. When two burglars break into the house occupied by three generations of highly trained martial artists, the family turns their expertise on the unexpected guests. The hyperactive sitcom that ensues is the ideal forum for this troupe to show off their extensive training in martial arts, acrobatics, gymnastics and comic acting."

Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg

So grab your couch potato kids and head on over to Jump. It made me want to take karate lessons.

Jump is playing an open run at the Union Square Theatre at 100 East 17th Street. Performances are: Wednesday at 7:00pm; Thursday at 7:00pm; Friday at 8:00pm; Saturday at 2:00pm, 5:00pm & 8:00pm; and Sunday at 3:00pm & 7:00pm. Ticket are $20.00 - $65.00 at 212-307-4100 or 1-800-Broadway (Groups) or online at ticketmaster.com


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