And the Tony Award goes to…

LMMIt was a somber night to be presenting entertainment awards but the Tonys managed to pull it off, with a respectful opening invocation and with speeches peppered throughout that called for unity, diversity, tolerance and even sanity in light of the horrific massacre in Orlando. And as if guided by providence, the big winner of the night, as expected, was a testament to scrappy American wherewithal — the hip-hop historical tour de force Hamilton, which took 11 total awards, including best musical.

It was unlikely the show would break the record for wins — 12, held by The Producers — even with its record-setting 16 nominations, in part because it was so often in competition for itself. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show’s creator, had to make due with two wins (score and book of a musical) out of three nominations — he lost best leading actor to Leslie Odom Jr. … for Hamilton. The show also took home trophies for best featured actor (Daveed Diggs), featured actress (Renee Elise Goldsberry), director of a musical, orchestrations, choreography, costume design for a musical and lighting design for a musical. It only outright lost in two categories — scenic design of a musical (which won She Loves Me its only Tony) and best actress in a musical, which went to Cynthia Erivo as Celie in the new production of The Color Purple, which also best best musical revival.

In the play category, the night’s big winner was out producer Scott Rudin, who was lead producer on both best play winner The Humans (which also won for best featured actor Reed Birney, best featured actress Jayne Houdyshell, and best scenic design of a play ) and best revival of a play winner A View from the Bridge, which also took best director of a play honors. Leading actress in a play went to Jessica Lange for Long Day’s Journey into Night, which also won for lighting design of a play. Best actor in a play was four-timer Frank Langella in The Father, and Eclipsed won its only award for best costume design for a play.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Great Scott! Dallas Street Choir taps opera heavyweights for concert of show tunes

Jonathan Palant

Jonathan Palant

Among his musical projects, maestro Jonathan Palant (formerly artistic director of the Turtle Creek Chorale) proudly leads the Dallas Street Choir, a chorus made up of homeless and disadvantaged people. The singers are all volunteers, and most have little if any musical training. But Palant gets them to make some beautiful music.

So you can understand why some serious singers would be jealous Friday night, when the choir takes to the stage of Hamon Hall (inside the Winspear Opera House) to appear with some of the best-trained voices in the world. Cast members from the recently-acclaimed world premiere opera Great Scott — Frederica von Stade, Joyce DiDonato, Ailyn Perez, Rodell Rosel and Anthony Roth Constanzo — will join Palant and Great Scott composer (and pianist) Jake Heggie for a concert benefiting the Street Choir called The Opera Lovers’ Broadway: Great Voices Sing Broadway’s Favorite Hits.

If you haven’t seen Great Scott, this is a chance to see some of what you’re missing; if you have, it’s an opportunity to revisit these voices and do something great for Dallas’ homeless community.

General admission is $60, and limited VIP seats (which include a signed program) are available for $100. The concert is Friday, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. 214-871-5000.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

BREAKING: ATTPAC’s 2015-16 B’way season: ‘Beautiful,’ ‘Matilda’

Matilda Ripley Sobo

The AT&T Performing Arts Center announced its full line-up of five shows in its 2015-16 Broadway Series tonight, including the dates for the already-announced Matilda and another huge show set to play the following season.

Matilda (pictured), based on the children’s book by Roald Dahl and featuring a female character played by a man in drag, will kick off the season as expected, opening Sept. 23 and playing through Oct. 4, 2015. It will be followed by the return of Jersey Boys (Dec. 16-27), then the non-musical Love Letters (March 22–April 3, 2016), the return of the enduring hit Cabaret (May 25–June 7) and concluding with the current Tony-winning hit Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (June 7–19). Love Letters will feature the stunt-casting (typical of this show) of former Love Story Oscar nominees Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal in the epistolary romance.

In addition, last year’s Tony winner for best musical, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, will open in 2016-17 but, as with Matilda last year (and War Horse before that), we won’t know the dates until later.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Conservatives blast ‘Kinky Boots’ performance in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Unknown-1Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade’s inclusion of a musical number from the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Kinky Boots angered conservatives, Back 2 Stonewall reported, and they took to Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media to attack Macy’s.

“Macy’s worst decision ever with your cross dresser show on Thanksgiving, you’ve completely removed the family part of thanksgiving,” Adam Cervas wrote. “Absolutely disgusting, whoever made that decision should be fired.”

Rebecca King fired off a lengthier rant. “Boycotting Macy’s immediately,” she wrote. “My entire family and I were altogether disgusted. Changed the channel within seconds of the ‘Kinky Boots’ act, before my young children were exposed to the highly sexualized explicit adult material. Disappointed is an understatement. As a business, you know that Word Of Mouth (WOM) communication is a huge part of marketing. You should also know that negative WOM spreads faster than positive. Be assured, I will never say another positive word about your company, but will make sure those who missed out on the debacle of your parade this year are aware of your grand entrance into the push of sexuality onto young children. A public apology is owed. Americans deserve better than this.”

Kinky Boots, the story of a struggling shoe factory owner who teams up with a drag queen to save his business, is infused with a delightful message of acceptance and celebration of diversity. However, the meaning behind the performance the cast of the musical delivered during the parade seemed to be lost on many who left a flurry of furious posts on Macy’s Facebook page.

You can watch the performance that ignited the conservatives’ outrage below. Anyone wishing to counter the assault can go to Macy’s Facebook page and leave a message.

—  Steve Ramos

It’s official: ‘Magic Mike: The Musical’ will be headed to Broadway

Mike

It’s become depressing how many Broadway musicals aren’t truly original, but start off as movies first, from The Lion King to Kinky Boots. But we can’t say we’re upset to learn that last year’s hit male stripper movie, Magic Mike, will be headed to Broadway as Magic Mike: The Musical, Deadline is reporting.

Talk of a stage musical has been around for a while now, but this week the film’s producer and star, Channing Tatum, officially confirmed that Next to Normal composers Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey will write the songs. And now-omnipresent gay scribe Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Glee, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the upcoming Carrie remake) will write the book to the show.

That last bit of news gives us hope. Even the film’s director, Steven Soderbergh, acknowledged that gay men really turned out to make the film a hit. Aguirre-Sacasa could well add a gay subplot to the script. And we can wait to see how they do the penis-pumping scene.

No word yet on whether any cast members from the film will be in the show, or even when the production will make it to the Great White Way, but trust us: We’ll be in line at TKTS as soon as it is.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Queer Music News: George Michael video stills, Mould’s new album, Lauper’s LGBT outreach

In marking the 30th anniversary of Wham’s first release “Wham Rap,” George Michael announced a new single to be released this Friday. That’s last week’s news, actually. But starting yesterday, he’s been posting stills from his upcoming video for “White Light.” The above image was released today on his website (and far better than the darker one from yesterday). From GeorgeMichael.com.

—  Rich Lopez

DTC screens “Joseph” sing-along Tuesday

The Dallas Theater Center’s summer musical is, as usual, a family friendly show, and this time, it’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It doesn’t open until June 22, but you can get a preview of DTC’s version, followed by a screening, tomorrow evening. For the second year, DTC has paired up with Studio Movie Grill on 75 and Royal for a meet-and-greet Q&A session, where you can visit with the cast of DTC’s production (including recent B’way veteran Liz Mikel, pictured) and then watch the filmed version of the show, starring Donny Osmond, in a sing-along. And all of it is free. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. on June 5 to meet the players, with seating at 7:10, Q&A at 7:30 and the movie at 7:45.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Teen love in Texas

Don't-Let-Me-GoDon’t Let Me Go
by J.H. Trumble (2012, Kensington). $15; 352 pp.

Nate Schaper was in love with Adam Jefferies from the moment Adam had rushed over to Nate’s locker to help another student who’d been bullied. Adam was like that: compassionate and smart, gentle and caring — not to mention so beautiful, Nate could barely stand it. They were an “us” not long after that morning by the lockers, and within weeks, they’d decided to come out together.

Adam was a senior then — a budding actor, a lover of the stage, and about to graduate. Nate was a junior and he never wanted to let Adam go.

But the following summer, he had to do it: Houston and New York City are 1,600 miles apart, and Adam had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to appear off-off-Broadway. Nate wasn’t about to hold him back.

Once in New York, though, Adam seemed not to miss Nate as much as the other way around. Adam had a new life complete with hottie roommate. He never seemed to have time for Nate anymore. Things had changed.

But Nate had changed, too. Angry with the way his life was going, he’d become a silent activist at school. He made a new friend, a straight guy who wouldn’t take any trouble from bullies. And when it seemed like Adam was so yesterday, Nate found another boyfriend.

But can you truly forget the love you lost?  Stuffing aside memories of Adam and the things they shared, Nate wondered when he ever would…

Looking to spend some time with a wonderfully satisfying love story?  You can stop your search right here, because Don’t Let Me Go will do just right.

With some not-quite-chaste bedroom scenes and a host of characters to embrace, author J.H. Trumble adds sass and spice to a tale of romance found and lost.

But love isn’t the only focus of this story: teenage Nate encounters homophobia in various forms and though it lends a certain squirmy realism, those parts of this book aren’t easy to read. Fortunately, Trumble’s supporting (and supportive) cast offsets the hate, which gives this novel meaning.

This is a great book for teens and adults alike, and it has an ending that … well, I don’t want to ruin it for you, so let’s just say it works. If you’re up for a nice boy-meets-boy story, Don’t Let Me Go is a book to get lost in.

— Terri Schlichenmeyer

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 3, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Sing along at Show Tunes Night at Woody’s

You know the words

Woody’s goes from macho to musical on Tuesdays with its long running Show Tunes Night. Sing along because you know will to all the classics from MGM up to today’s Broadway shows and likely a few surprises in between. It’s best with a group because then you can prove who the biggest theater queen is of the night.

DEETS: Woody’s, 4011 Cedar Springs Road. 9 p.m. DallasWoodys.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Kristen Chenoweth comes to N. Tex. for CD signing — and you’ll need a wristband for it

A few months ago, we wrote about Broadway and TV star Kristen Chenoweth‘s new album of country songs, Some Lessons Learned — a left-turn for the opera-trained singer of pop standards and showtunes. But Chenoweth is just an Oklahoma gal at heart, who grew up on country and church music (but has remained open-hearted and gay-friendly for years).

Well, she’s bringing that music to Frisco for a CD signing at Barnes & Noble at Stonebriar Center on Dec. 9. Chenoweth won’t be appearing until 6:30 p.m. that evening, but you can get a wristband starting at 9 a.m. — they are available on a first come, first served basis. You have to buy the CD at that location, and can only get it — and not other Wicked or Glee memorabilia — signed, though you can buy as many CDs as you want.

Of course, Chenoweth has another strong tie to North Texas — her upcoming ABS series, Good Christian Belles, is set in Dallas.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones