2016 Musical Theatre Fringe Picks

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Ahh, summer.  A time for ice cream, sunshine and artistic festivals. With Luminato wrapping up this weekend we turn our attention over to the 2016 Fringe Festival, which kicks off Wednesday June 29. Here are a few of the musical offerings at the Fringe that we are most excited to check out.

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In Conversation with Lisa Horner

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Award season is upon us in Toronto and Acting Up Stage has been nominated for eight Dora Mavor Moore Awards! One is a nod for the writers and composers behind the groundbreaking Reframed at the AGO while Grey Gardens, our winter production at the Berkeley, earned 7 including recognition in Outstanding Production, Musical Theatre Division and twice in the Outstanding Performance by a Female, Musical Theatre Division (Kira Guolin and Lisa Horner).

Lisa Horner wowed audiences portraying two roles in Grey Gardens. In Act 1 she shone as Big Edie, an eclectic songstress with a, perhaps ill-deserved, celebrity cockiness. In Act 2 she riveted with her dynamic portrayal of the tragic Little Edie. We caught up with Lisa and asked her about her Grey Gardens experience and the fantastic reception from the Toronto theatre community.

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Tony Facts

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Are you ready for the Tony Awards on June 12? Get your knowledge up to snuff and join us for our first annual Tony Awards Party

History of the Tonys:
The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards got their start in 1947 when the Wing established an awards program to celebrate excellence in the theatre.

Named for Antoinette Perry, an actress, director, producer, and the dynamic wartime leader of the American Theatre Wing who had recently passed away, the Tony Awards made their official debut at a dinner in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria hotel on Easter Sunday, April 6, 1947.

History of the Tony Award Medallion:

During the first two years of the Tonys (1947 and 1948), there was no official Tony Award. The winners were presented with a scroll and, in addition, such mementos as a gold money clip (for the men) and a compact (for the women).

In 1949 the designers’ union, United Scenic Artists, sponsored a contest for a suitable model for the award. The winning entry, a disk-shaped medallion designed by Herman Rosse, depicted the masks of comedy and tragedy on one side and the profile of Antoinette Perry on the other. The medallion was initiated that year at the third annual dinner. It continues to be the official Tony Award.

Play productions with the most Tony nominations:
Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia (2007) and August Wilson’s Fences (2010 revival) – 10

Play production that has won the most Tony Awards:
Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia (2007) – 7

Play that has won the most Tony Awards (all revivals included):

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller in 2012 became the first show (play or musical) to win as Best Production in four different years, Best Play at the 1949 awards, Best Revival at the 1984 awards (before the Best Revival award was split into two categories for Play and Musical in 1994), and Best Revival of a Play at the 1999 and 2012 awards.

Musical productions with the most Tony nominations:
Hamilton (2016) – 16

Musical production that has won the most Tonys:
The Producers, the new Mel Brooks musical (2001) – 12

Musical revival production with most Tony Awards:
South Pacific (2008) – 7

Musical revival production with most Tony nominations:
Kiss Me, Kate (2000) – 12

Musical that has won the most Tony Awards (all revivals included):

La Cage aux Folles made history as the first musical to win as Best Production in three different years, Best Musical at the 1984 awards and Best Revival of a Musical at both the 2005 awards and the 2010 awards.

Most nominated with fewest wins:
The musical The Scottsboro Boys (2011) was nominated for 12 Tony Awards but did not win any.  It also holds the record for most nominations for a closed show (having closed nearly six months before the Tony Awards).

Significant Acting Awards:
Only one production, South Pacific (1950 Awards) won all four of the acting Awards in a single year. (Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress)

Performer with most Tony nominations:
Chita Rivera – 10

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Tony Tuesday: Thoughts From Mitchell

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The Tony Awards are just a little over two weeks away!

I love Tony night. It’s my Super Bowl or Stanley Cup or whatever other kinds of sporting events make straight men slap each other on the back and yell expletives at the top of their lungs. 

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