The Tony Awards this year will be extremely interesting, as most fields are more wide open than they have been in years – the good shows this season have been an embarrassment of riches.

I will analyze all the Musical categories for the 2014 Tony Awards; I am not well-versed enough in the plays to properly predict victors. Full disclosure: I have seen all the musicals with multiple nominations this season except Beautiful and After Midnight (lack of interest), and Hedwig and the Angry Inch (lack of opportunity).

Note that predicting the Tonys is not as much of a science as the Oscars. The only preceding theater awards are the Drama Desks and Outer Critics Circle (OCC) Awards (and to a minor extent, the Drama League Awards) – all of which honor off-Broadway shows as well so the results are skewed. I have looked at these preceding awards, spoken to lots of theater-goers, and will do my best to predict who will win, along with giving my two cents about who should win.

This season has been unique in that a lot of very good shows opened, but none that appear to be the all-consuming blockbusters of years past. This has led to much more egregious snubbing by the Tonys than usual – If/Then did not get a Best Musical nomination and got snubbed all around (notably for its set and its book), Steven Pasquale was overlooked for Best Actor, and so forth. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (henceforth, “A Gentleman’s Guide”) leads the pack with ten nominations, with Hedwig and the Angry Inch in second place with eight nominations. However, this is no guarantee of triumph on Tony Night – Scottsboro Boys had twelve nominations three years ago, and walked away empty-handed. So, let’s dive in, category by category.

Best Musical
– After Midnight
– Aladdin
– Beautiful
– A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

This is the big prize, the one that every show hopes to win. All four of the nominated shows have at least four other nominations, so it’s clear why voters like them (unlike Bring It On last year, whose nomination is still the most inexplicable thing in recent Tony history).

After Midnight just seems to be a complete nonentity – it’s a glorified revue that no one’s heard anything about. Audiences certainly aren’t having it – this past week, After Midnight’s miniscule theater was only 71% full; the other three shows had more expensive tickets yet still filled their larger theaters to 100% capacity. The Tonys rarely reward shows that aren’t crowdpleasers, so I cannot see After Midnight walking away as the Best Musical.

Past that, things get murky. The Broadway community can only agree on one thing: their collective hatred for jukebox musicals. Jukebox musicals’ relentless success only increases this vitriol, as Rock of Ages has become the go-to punchline upon Spiderman’s demise. However, the community seems to be wholeheartedly embracing Beautiful, the jukebox musical for Carole King songs. The only other jukebox musical to win Best Musical in the last twenty years is Jersey Boys. As flummoxed as I am by this, Beautiful stands a decent chance come June 8th.

The Broadway community also does not seem to think much of Disney’s musicals – the only one to win Best Musical was Lion King. However, Aladdin is their best offering since the one that started it all, Beauty and the Beast. Audience response to the show has been rapturous, with standing ovations reported in the middle of the show. Unlike most of this season’s shows, which feel like they still need quite a bit of work, Disney did not bring Aladdin to Broadway until it was perfected. It would most certainly be my pick for Best Musical; it was the one I enjoyed most this past season.

That leaves A Gentleman’s Guide. The show came out of nowhere and has kept gaining steam as the season went on: it leads in Tony nominations, and it won the Drama Desk, Drama League, and OCC Award for Best Musical. With this much momentum, it may be impossible to stop it. To be frank, I don’t get the hype – it was a perfectly lovely musical, but not of Best Musical caliber. Still, I seem to be in the minority here. Certainly, of the four nominees, this one feels the freshest (compared to a revue, a jukebox musical, and a musical film adaptation). Expect A Gentleman’s Guide to complete its awards sweep come June 8th.

Will Win: A Gentleman’s Guide
Might Win: Beautiful
Should Win: Aladdin

Best Revival
– Hedwig and the Angry Inch
– Les Miserables
– Violet

This race is the closest to being locked out of all the categories; there is absolutely no way Hedwig and the Angry Inch does not win. Hedwig won the Drama Desk, Drama League, and OCC awards in this category, and it’s all anyone is talking about. The show is pretty much sold out for the remainder of its run, and about 200 people attempt the ticket lottery every day. Since I’ve not seen Hedwig, I’ll be rooting for Les Miserables, but I know that’s futile. Since Hedwig has never played Broadway before, this is its first chance to win a Tony for a Best Show category, and it most assuredly will.

Will Win: Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Best Direction

– Warren Carlyle (After Midnight) – also nominated for Best Choreography
– Michael Mayer (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) – previously won for Spring Awakening; previously nominated for Thoroughly Modern Millie and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; previously nominated for the play A View From the Bridge
– Leigh Silverman (Violet)
– Darko Tresnjak (A Gentleman’s Guide)

This category is a difficult one to predict, and will end up being a toss-up between Mayer for Hedwig and Tresnjak for A Gentleman’s Guide. Silverman does not stand a chance with Violet, since the show is one big squandering of potential. Carlyle is also nominated for his choreography for After Midnight, and might receive that as a consolation prize, but I cannot see him winning for Direction.

So it comes down to Mayer and Tresnjak. Mayer has the experience, and has a Tony already, whereas Tresnjak is making his Broadway debut. The Drama Desks and OCC Awards both gave awards to Tresnjak (who is the only director to be nominated for all three awards this season). Both Gentleman’s Guide and Hedwig have built up a lot of momentum going into the Tonys, and it’s really too close to call. I’ll pick Gentleman’s Guide to win, just because I’ve seen it and know the direction was excellent, but it’s essentially a coin flip at this point.

Will Win: Darko Tresnjak (A Gentleman’s Guide)
Might Win: Michael Mayer (Hedwig and the Angry Inch)

Best Actor
– Neil Patrick Harris (Hedwig)
– Ramin Karimloo (Les Miserables)
– Andy Karl (Rocky)
– Jefferson Mays (A Gentleman’s Guide) – previously won for I Am My Own Wife
– Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide)

This season has the most extraordinary Best Actor field in recent memory – even the actors who were snubbed (Steven Pasquale and Norbert Leo Butz, among others) would have walked away with the Tony in most other years. Of the five nominees, it is astounding that there has only been one previous nomination, considering the level of talent.

Bryce Pinkham has the least chance of winning, just because all the Gentleman’s Guide support will go towards Jefferson Mays. He is in the same position as Stark Sands was last year – playing the straight man to a showstopper like Billy Porter. It’s great that he was recognized with a Tony nomination, but he won’t get the award – probably won’t even factor in enough to split the Gentleman’s Guide vote. On the upside, this should cement Pinkham as a leading man on Broadway – previously, he’s only had a small role in Ghost the Musical, and was an understudy in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.

I do not know how Ramin Karimloo is as Valjean, since I saw an understudy in the role. However, everyone who has seen him spoke rapturously about his performance. Although this is Karimloo’s Broadway debut, he has been an awards magnet in other cities for his work in musical theater. Unfortunately, the lack of other nominations for Les Miserables (only two others, in Best Sound Design and Best Revival) bodes poorly for Ramin’s chances – there just seems to be a feeling that Les Miserables was not away long enough to necessitate a revival.

The same problem applies to Andy Karl, who is stupendous as the eponymous Rocky. Andy Karl has been working steadily on Broadway for a decade, including small parts in Legally Blonde and 9 to 5, a stint as Fiyero in Wicked, and a fantastic turn as Neville Landless in last year’s Mystery of Edwin Drood. He is long overdue for some Tony recognition, and he essentially carries Rocky the Musical on his shoulders. But Rocky only got three other nominations (Lighting, Set, and Choreography), and is generally being derided by the Broadway community. To some extent I agree – there is just a feeling that Rocky never needed to be a musical. However, Andy Karl’s performance elevates the whole production, and I wish he’d get the Tony.

That leaves the two frontrunners: Neil Patrick Harris and Jefferson Mays. Once again, the two shows with the most momentum. I thought NPH would have this in the bag, since there has been some criticism levied at Mays for rehashing the same trick from his one-man play I Am My Own Wife, where he plays seven different characters. But Mays is getting a last-minute swell of support. Mays won the OCC Award in this category. NPH won the Drama League’s Distinguished Performance Award denoting the best theatrical performance of the season (and when considering other categories in addition to this one, that’s saying something!). Further confusing the race, Mays and NPH tied at the Drama Desks! Ties are exceedingly rare at the Tonys, but there could be one here.

In the end, I give Harris a very slight edge, because his performance is legen-wait for it-dary (couldn’t resist). I wish I could see it. But in a year like this, it really is an honor just to be nominated.

Will Win: Neil Patrick Harris (Hedwig and the Angry Inch)
Might Win: Jefferson Mays (A Gentleman’s Guide)
Should Win: Andy Karl (Rocky)

Best Actress
– Mary Bridget Davies (A Night with Janis Joplin)
– Jessie Mueller (Beautiful) – previously nominated for On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
– Idina Menzel (If/Then) – previously won for Wicked; previously nominated for Rent
– Kelli O’Hara (Bridges of Madison County) – previously nominated for Nice Work If You Can Get It, South Pacific, The Pajama Game, and The Light in the Piazza
– Sutton Foster (Violet) – previously won for Thoroughly Modern Millie and Anything Goes; previously nominated for Little Women, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Shrek

In contrast to the Best Actor category, Best Actress includes some of the most decorated musical theater actresses working today – eleven previous Tony nominations, three of them wins. I’m sure Mary Bridget Davies was great as Janis Joplin – her nomination is the only one for any of the four shows that closed before nominations. But she is a nonentity in this race – from the get-go, it was a four-woman race between Jessie, Kelli, Idina, and Sutton. Each one has a stupendous starring role that got nominated for every major theater award… but only one can win.

The one that almost certainly won’t is Sutton Foster. Violet is a terrible showcase for her talent – there isn’t really any dancing, and the music could be sung by anyone with a decent voice. Besides, she already has two Tonys, one of which she won only two years ago.

Idina Menzel would be my choice, because she gives one of the most powerful performances I’ve ever seen, in one of the most demanding roles I’ve ever seen. She is almost never offstage during If/Then, and she has to portray two different characters. Everyone agrees that If/Then is essentially “Idina Menzel the Musical” – Idina carries the entire show. In fact, I’m very curious what will happen to the show when Idina leaves.

Despite all that, from what I can tell the frontrunners are Jessie Mueller and Kelli O’Hara. Mueller has been on stage almost constantly in the last few years, with roles in Mystery of Edwin Drood, Nice Work If You Can Get It (which she took over from Kelli O’Hara, ironically). Ever since she debuted as Carole King and elevated the show from a jukebox musical to a respected piece of theater, there has been Tony buzz for her. By all accounts, she is brilliant and carries the show, and she did win the Drama Desk Award. (The OCC Award went to Audra McDonald, who thankfully is not in this category at the Tonys.)

But then there is Kelli O’Hara. This is O’Hara’s fifth nomination, and she is really overdue for a win. If any role will get her a Tony, it should be this one. Bridges of Madison County was written specifically with her in mind as the lead, and then delayed until she could star in it. The role is one of the most challenging, with the score supremely difficult, and accent that has to be maintained, and a gamut of emotions that has to be conveyed. This could also be where Tony voters decide to reward the underappreciated Bridges of Madison County.

It’s incredibly close between O’Hara and Mueller, but I think in the end O’Hara will come out on top. Primarily because the common sentiment seems to be that she should really have a Tony by now, and this role is the best she’s ever performed in. Mueller will certainly have plenty of other opportunities to bring home a Tony. But this race is definitely one to watch.

Will Win: Kelli O’Hara (Bridges of Madison County)
Might Win: Jessie Mueller (Beautiful)
Should Win: Idina Menzel (If/Then)

Pages: 1 2 3

Tags: 2014, tony awards

At a time when the divide between the generations has arguably never been greater, The 100 encapsulates the struggle of millennials more than any other current show.

This article was submitted by Hypable reader Stephanie Farnsworth.

The media churns out article after article about the laziness of millennials, and then complains about how we work too hard. Millennials are branded “snowflakes” even as we struggle to pay rent and bear the consequences of the economic fall-out that we didn’t cause.

Read full article

At a time when the divide between the generations has arguably never been greater, The 100 encapsulates the struggle of millennials more than any other current show.

This article was submitted by Hypable reader Stephanie Farnsworth.

The media churns out article after article about the laziness of millennials, and then complains about how we work too hard. Millennials are branded “snowflakes” even as we struggle to pay rent and bear the consequences of the economic fall-out that we didn’t cause.

The CW drama The 100, which is entering its fourth season in February, rather bluntly captures that sense of young people paying the price of previous generations; at the beginning of the series, a council of adult politicians literally sent teenagers to a radiation-soaked earth to try to save their own society.

The 100 season 1 Jaha

The pilot episode revealed the extent of the power imbalance between the generations that reflects our society today: Chancellor Jaha presented the project of ‘the hundred’ as a way for young delinquents to fulfil their duty and gain redemption, even if it cost them their lives. They were even expected to be grateful, because they’d been judged as criminals and would have been executed anyway, even for relatively petty crimes.

And as The 100 season 4 approaches, the adults’ attitudes towards the kids haven’t changed that much from the show’s premiere.

Related: Previewing The 100 season 4: What to expect when you’re expecting an apocalypse

Generational conflict and tension has remained at the heart of the show throughout the series. The generational focus has not been diluted even as the world has expanded to reveal far more of the culture of the Grounders; in fact, this has only given rise to more conflict as the older members of Skaikru have struggled to accept not only the Grounders’ belief system, but the young age of their Commanders.

As the figurehead for all of the delinquents, lead character Clarke has been undermined and derided at every turn. In season 2, her own mother scoffed at the idea that Clarke and Lexa could lead their people to safety, mocking the Grounder Commander’s age and commenting, “They’re being led by a child.” It was up to Kane to point out that Skaikru were, too, because none of the adults had managed to think of a solution, and it was up to Clarke to save them.

Both Abby and Kane’s attitudes play into the infantilising of the millennial generation. Neither Clarke nor Lexa were children. They were young adults, and they were working towards making a better society where all of their people could survive while the adults were focused on internal power plays. Jaha was ready to leave the young adults in Mount Weather to die, but that’s no surprise; he’d made that decision before.

Abby couldn’t bear losing power to her own daughter, to the extent that it culminated in a scene where she assaulted Raven. The young mechanic was cool and composed in her response, pointing out that Clarke stopped being a child when Abby signed off on her daughter being sent to Earth to die.

Raven’s positioning was clear: Although not condemned by any crimes (even if she had committed the crime that Finn was convicted of), she chose to align herself with the hundred and was the one who chose to come to Earth simply to help. The younger generation, in short, pulled together, and when the older generation landed they brought down their old rules and oppression.

The consequences were overwhelming for the younger characters. They were tasked with saving everyone at the expense of any peace to their own souls. Clarke demonstrated this more than any other character and she ended up fleeing her people, unable to carry the burden of expectation they all had for her. It’s something she wrestled with throughout season 3, and with Earth facing a nuclear apocalypse again, Clarke will have to make peace — not with herself, but with how everyone else sees her if she is to survive.

The 100 season 4 Bellamy

Bellamy, too, will have to find his own identity. Last season, he effectively turned his back on the hundred to win the praise of Pike, and Bellamy upheld and supported his bigotry.

His part in slaughtering the Ark survivors’ 300 Grounder allies will not be easily forgotten. Bellamy wanted to be the hero. He wanted to protect people (specifically the women in his life) who never asked for that, and he wanted to be a part of the establishment.

If The 100 presents a metaphor for the real-life relationship between millennials and Gen X, Bellamy is the one wearing the rose-tinted glasses that younger people are supposed to wear when viewing an establishment that has been willing to regularly criticise later generations.

He had longed to be part of the Guard since he was a boy, and he saw a way to fulfil that old dream and become part of an order that had caused his entire family so much suffering. Bellamy was never quite the hundred: He was older, and his sole concern initially had been protecting his sister. It was easier for him to flit between the different groups within Skaikru than it was for any of the rest of the hundred.

After the events of last season, however, Bellamy now knows the pain he’s caused by his choices. And in season 4, he will have to choose exactly who to put his faith in: Clarke or the old order?

But maybe, in light of the external threat that now threatens humanity’s survival, the two generations will finally be able to pull together. There have been many hints that Clarke and Jaha will find some common ground this season due to the pressures they are facing, and Jaha knows well the cost of leading. Through Clarke, we will see whether lessons can be learned from the mistakes of the generation before.

Octavia once accused Clarke of being just like the council by deciding who was worthy of life. Clarke now must show whether she will follow that path or whether she can be better. The millennial dream of whether we can learn from the repression and conservatism of the past will be on trial in The 100 season 4, as we see just how Clarke plans to lead her friends into this new battle.

The 100‘ season 4 premieres February 1 at 9/8c on The CW

Teen Wolf season 6 will be its last — but for how long? In an age of revivals, reboots, and remakes, we really don’t know if this will be the end.

Thanks to Netflix, Gilmore Girls returned to add another chapter to its beloved story. And just this month alone, we got news that Charmed and Will & Grace will both be returning to our screens as well.

So, yes, this is the final season of Teen Wolf, but as fans, we can always hope to see more one day in the future.

Read full article

Teen Wolf season 6 will be its last — but for how long? In an age of revivals, reboots, and remakes, we really don’t know if this will be the end.

Thanks to Netflix, Gilmore Girls returned to add another chapter to its beloved story. And just this month alone, we got news that Charmed and Will & Grace will both be returning to our screens as well.

So, yes, this is the final season of Teen Wolf, but as fans, we can always hope to see more one day in the future.

And apparently Teen Wolf creator and showrunner Jeff Davis must keep that in mind as well.

Speaking to EW about how series finales have changed in the era of reboots, Davis says it’s smart to keep the series ending open enough to allow for the possibility of a revival down the line.

However, this certainly comes with some concerns as well. “One of the things it does is keep you from killing off a lot of characters,” he says. “So the series-ending episode where you blow up the entire world and kill off half your main characters isn’t the smartest thing to do anymore.”

Killing half your main characters would be a shock, but not necessarily a good one. Today’s media is consumed so intensely by its fans that a series finale like that has the potential to put an audience off the property for good.

So not only do you have to worry about the potential for a revival with half your players in the ground, but you have to worry about whether your original fans will even want to tune in for more. That could make or break the whole idea of a revival.

But what about on the other side of that? Creators want their stories to leave a lasting impression, and what better way to do that than to have one of your main characters sacrifice themselves for their friends?

“I do worry that it makes finales less impactful — you don’t want to give a half-assed ending,” Davis says of the need to keep a potential revival in mind. “You want a story to feel like it finishes.”

And that’s something fans of Teen Wolf have been worrying over since it was first announced season 6 would be the show’s last. Who will we lose in this final season, and what impact will that make on our overall feelings about the series?

We’ve come too far to lose someone we cared about from day one, but we’ve also invested too much time to see a mediocre ending. It’s a challenging balance that all fans of Teen Wolf are hoping Davis and his team are up for.

What do you think of the idea for an eventual ‘Teen Wolf‘ revival?

When the first rumors of a Charmed reboot came out a few years ago I started a mental list of what it has to have. Now that it’s officially happening here’s what I think a ’70s-era Charmed show can still pull off.

The mythology of Charmed runs deep. So deep, in fact, that they could have set this during the founding of America and we’d still be able to get a Charmed feeling thanks to the original show’s flashbacks. (But I’m happy it’s not set way back then.)

Given the show’s history, I’m not worried about it taking place in the ’70s; I’m actually excited about it. It’s an original take on how we can learn more about the Halliwell family before the Power of Three was old enough to realize they were the most powerful witches in the world, and I’m excited to see what they bring to it.

Read full article

When the first rumors of a Charmed reboot came out a few years ago I started a mental list of what it has to have. Now that it’s officially happening here’s what I think a ’70s-era Charmed show can still pull off.

The mythology of Charmed runs deep. So deep, in fact, that they could have set this during the founding of America and we’d still be able to get a Charmed feeling thanks to the original show’s flashbacks. (But I’m happy it’s not set way back then.)

Given the show’s history, I’m not worried about it taking place in the ’70s; I’m actually excited about it. It’s an original take on how we can learn more about the Halliwell family before the Power of Three was old enough to realize they were the most powerful witches in the world, and I’m excited to see what they bring to it.

With that being said, it’s hard to think of anything Charmed related happening without its important mythology and history, so there are just a few things this reboot absolutely has to have.

Whitelighters

Whitelighters are the angels in the Charmed universe, and without them we wouldn’t have Leo or Paige and we wouldn’t have the almost never-ending source of wisdom and guidance we’re so used to seeing.

It scares me to think about this happening without the Halliwell family at all, but if that is the (horrible) route they choose to go, then they’re definitely going to need a Whitelighter to guide the characters and tell them what’s up. Without the Book of Shadows, a Whitelighter is going to be the only way the new witches will have any hope of figuring out what is going on.

And I will never get sick of seeing people orb everywhere — that’s one of the best parts of the original show, tbh.

Darklighters/Demons

On the opposite end of angels there are always demons, so it’d be a missed opportunity to not include them in this reboot. Darklighters are the only thing that could kill a Whitelighter, so it makes sense to bring them into the picture as well so we could get some d-d-d-drama.

The only hesitance I have about this new reboot bringing Darklighters and demons into the mix is that today’s audience seem enthralled with demons and fighting, and I worry there’s not going to be as much character growth in the newer episodes as there was with the original series.

I don’t want a Charmed reboot to be all about the demon fighting and not enough about the sisters and their relationship, but hopefully the fact that it’s helmed by women will help prevent that from happening.

Pre-bound Charmed ones

As any well-informed Charmed fan will tell you, the main girls (Prue, Piper, and Phoebe) had their powers bound/stripped when they were children so they could grow up without the threats of demons and death. If the show is about the Halliwell family, I’m hoping it begins at least a good six months or so before their powers get taken away from them.

There are so many questions I have about the pre-bound Charmed ones: Did they have powers in the womb like Wyatt, or was that just because Wyatt was the product of a Charmed one and a Whitelighter? Did the girls having powers bring so much evil that Grandma had no choice but to take them away? What was life like for Penny and Patty with the girls as youngsters? Sure, we saw glimpses of that briefly in the main series, but there’s still so much more to know!

I’m hoping that if the show does indeed take place around the Halliwell family in the ’70s, we’ll get to see what led up to Grandma Penny binding their powers. Hopefully it might be an even bigger surprise and twist than we all thought.

Kick-ass Penny

Speaking of Penny Halliwell, the grandmother to the Charmed Ones and mother of Patty Halliwell, she is one bad-ass bitch. We know this because of the several times she’s been summoned by the sisters for help (both supernatural and remedial).

There’s no way the show could revolve around the Halliwell family in the ’70s and not include one of the most bad-ass witches in the family line. Witnessing Penny kick some ass is something we all need to see, and I’m sure it would be one of the best parts of the whole series.

I know the show is still in its beginning stages and there are absolutely no cast members involved yet, but I would die to see Jennifer Rhodes reprise her role as Penny just to see that unfiltered sass come back to my screen.

Cameos galore!

Don’t get me started on how ticked I am that this is a prequel happening in the ’70s, if it even is that. When I think Charmed, I think Phoebe, Piper, Prue, Paige, Leo, etc. So naturally, to make up for this hideous decision in setting, the show has to make up for it by coming up with some excuse to bring back the original girls.

Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs and Rose McGowan have all said they’d be totally down to return for a Charmed reunion, so it hurts that whoever decided to put this reboot in the ’70s basically took that interest and threw it out the window. I’m hoping they work in a way to get the girls to show up in this series, and not just once.

Having the main girls appear just once in this reboot would basically be blasphemy, so hopefully the main characters figure out a way to find out about the existence of the Charmed Ones and use some sort of spell to contact them occasionally for help.

Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt to see Leo, Chris, Wyatt or all the other characters every one in a while, too.

Bonus: Reference the original theme song

This is way less likely than anything else, but I’m hoping that when the show starts up they utilize the show’s original theme song, How Soon Is Now by The Smiths.

It’s a damn shame that the entire series is on Netflix but with some rip-off theme song. You can’t have Charmed without The Smiths! Well, you can as evidenced by Netflix, but you really, really shouldn’t.

The music license to use the song expired, but please, will someone contact The Smiths and politely ask them to let us hear it with Charmed again? Here’s the original theme for those of you who miss it like I do.

What do you want in the ‘Charmed’ reboot?