NBC's "Hannibal" offers a world that is disturbing yet beautiful, and its arresting production design is a large part of the show's spell. From the good doctor's gorgeous kitchen and dining room, to his starkly beautiful office, to the show's dark yet visually striking murder scenes, "Hannibal" offers viewers a rich and unforgettable visual world in which Baroque excess often shares the scene with sterile modernity and clean lines. One of those responsible for casting its spell is production designer Matthew Davies, who was interviewed recently by Hollywood.com. The interview provides an insightful look into the process behind the creation of the show's visual palette and environment, with some fascinating observations from Davies about his work creating environments for characters and scenarios that are often deliberately theatrical:
Every genre has its own aesthetic vocabulary, and Hannibal's world is especially rarified. The colour palette is tightly controlled, the death tableaux are carefully designed to invoke a kind of macabre beauty, and all our sets are designed from the ground up to meet the needs of character, camera, and narrative.
The piece offers a unique perspective on one of the most beautiful shows on television (offering the secrets of the show's complex tablescapes as well!), and provides valuable insight into the teamwork required for beautiful production design, from the work of the concept illustrators for the show, to prosthetics (especially key on a dark show like "Hannibal" with its parade of artful corpses), construction, props, effects, and set decoration. It's a terrific piece on the weeks of work and imagination that can go into a single scene.
Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC
Winning the Oscar is a unique and rare thrill on its own, but this past Sunday, composer Robert Lopez didn't just win an Oscar, he joined an exclusive club. Thanks to his win during Sunday's Oscars for Best Original Song (for Frozen's "Let it Go," an award he shared with wife and co-writer Kristen Anderson-Lopez), Lopez has joined the ranks of those few who have won all four of the entertainment industry's biggest awards -- the Emmy, the Grammy, the Oscar, and the Tony.
Lopez isn't just the latest EGOT winner, he's also the youngest, at only 39 years of age. Lopez completed his EGOT after previously winning his Tony for Best Original Score, for Broadway's Avenue Q in 2004, the Emmy for Best Music Direction and Composition for "The Wonder Pets" in 2008, and the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album, for The Book of Mormon in 2012.
Other EGOT winners include Richard Rodgers, Helen Hayes, Rita Moreno, John Gielgud, Audrey Hepburn, Marvin Hamlisch, Jonathan Tunick, Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols, Whoopi Goldberg, and Scott Rudin. EGOT winners who received at least one of their awards non-competitively include James Earl Jones, Liza Minnelli and Barbra Streisand.
Poster Image Courtesy Walt Disney Pictures
Dame Angela Lansbury is a star of the timeless variety -- one who has conquered the worlds of stage, television, and film. From the classic films Gaslight and The Manchurian Candidate to Sweeney Todd and Mame on Broadway, to the timeless fun and suspense of "Murder, She Wrote," Lansbury's extraordinary career has certainly epitomized that of the ideal working actor.
To honor those achievements, The American Theatre Wing will honor Lansbury at its annual Gala on Monday, September 15, 2014 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Lansbury has served as Honorary Chairman of the American Theatre Wing Board of Trustees since 2010.
All proceeds from the evening will benefit the theatre education and artist development programs of the American Theatre Wing, which include SpringboardNYC, the Theatre Intern Group, the National Theatre Company Grants and the Jonathan Larson® Grants, and will also support free access for students, aspiring professionals, and the general public to programming on AmericanTheatreWing.org, including the long running show "Working in the Theatre." Learn more about the Gala honoring Lansbury here.
Photo © Getty Images
TED events are famous for exploring strategies and solutions for both business and life, so it's no surprise that a returning independent TEDx event is going to explore Broadway's potential as well. Asking the question, "What is the best Broadway can be?" is a third-annual one-day TEDxBroadway event that will take place on Monday, February 24, 2014.
Beginning at 11:00 a.m. at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street) will be filled with provocative presentations, intriguing discussions and new connections that forward-thinking members of the community will want to join. This year's confirmed list of guest speakers includes such notables as Tony-winning composer Robert Lopez, Tony-winning director Diane Paulus (Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater), Lea DeLaria ("Orange Is the New Black"), Dexter Upshaw (head of digital for the Apollo Theater in Harlem), and many more.
Learn more about the participants and get information on attending the event here.
Photo © Susan Lapides 2013, courtesy of American Repertory Theater
Honoring the best theatrical productions on L.A.'s smaller stages, the nominees have been announced for the 35th annual L.A. Weekly Theater Awards. The nominees are chosen each year by a committee of critics for The LA Weekly from among the best in local theatre productions during the year 2013. This year's nominees include Sacred Fools Theater Company (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), 24th Street Theatre (Walking the Tightrope), The Blank Theatre at 2nd Stage Theatre (Peter Pan: The Boy Who Hated Mothers), and more.
The awards will take place on April 7, 2014 at Zombie Joe's Underground in Los Angeles, with the ceremony beginning at 7:30 p.m. Presale tickets are on sale now for $30, and General Admission tickets can be purchased on the awards website -- learn more and get the complete list of this year's nominees in the article here.
Photo: Kimberly Atkinson as Rachael and Rosen Eric Curtis Johnson as Rick Deckard in the Sacred Fools production of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Photo by Jessica Sherman Photography, courtesy of Sacred Fools Theater Company)
Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her twenties, had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock 'n' roll. But it wasn't until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice. Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of King's remarkable rise to stardom, and by all accounts the show is thriving. In fact, it recently set a new box office record at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre (the 1034-seat theatre venue located at 124 West 43rd Street in Manhattan) with a gross for the week ending February 16, 2014 of $901,902.90 -- the highest for any eight-show week at the Sondheim Theatre. Prior to Beautiful, Anything Goes had previously held the house record ($882,827.00) set in October 2011. Learn more about the show's recent box office success here.
Poster image courtesy of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
If you're a film score enthusiast and you'll be in Los Angeles at the end of this month, you won't want to miss a rare opportunity to experience this year's most celebrated movie scores in a live symphonic performance. For the first time as part of its annual events celebrating "Oscar Week," the Academy is presenting an exciting live "Oscar Concert" celebrating this year's Oscar-nominated scores and songs on Thursday, February 27, at 8 p.m. at UCLA's Royce Hall. The program will feature an 80-piece orchestra performing suites from each of the 2014 nominated original scores, conducted by their composers, including Oscar-nominated selections from the films Her, Saving Mr. Banks, The Book Thief, Gravity, and more.
Before each piece, each of the composers will also participate in a brief onstage conversation with film critic and radio host Elvis Mitchell about their work and inspiration in composing the score. Learn more about the concert and the composers to be featured here.
The Book Thief soundtrack image, courtesy of Sony Classical
It's not unusual for a newly crowned beauty to parlay that win into a Broadway or film appearance. But perhaps no major contest winner has been quite as cute as recent 2014 Westminster Dog Show 'Best in Show' winner Sky, who delighted audience members at the hit musical Kinky Boots with a special onstage appearance. The Wire Fox Terrier was named "Best in Show" at the Westminster Dog Show recently, and made a surprise appearance in the Tony Award-winning show on February 13.
Sky and her handler Gabriel Rangel came onstage at the top of the show to thunderous applause, in a specially-written new scene from the show's book writer Harvey Fierstein, that even included a cute pooch smooch from Don, the disgruntled factory worker played by Daniel Stewart Sherman. After a center stage smooch with Don, the newly-minted Best in Show winner exited the stage. Sky returned for the show's curtain call and got a standing ovation for her Broadway debut.
Learn more about Sky's guest appearance and her other recent Broadway and NYC celebrations here.
Photo Credit: Kevin Thomas Garcia, courtesy of Kinky Boots
When it comes to theatrical lighting, technology and gear is constantly evolving, yet it's never been more important for that technology to be sustainable and environmentally conscious. With this in mind, The Broadway Green Alliance (BGA) is committed to helping the theatre industry move toward a more eco-friendly and sustainable future, from encouraging green captains on Broadway shows, to the use of found materials in set designs, and more. In its partnership with the NRDC the BGA's motto is "There is no green, only greener than the day before," and it's in this spirit that the organization has launched its "Greener Lighting Guide," a database providing access to greener alternatives for common instruments and technology.
In explaining the launch of the guide on its website, the BGA noted, "When the grant money comes into a regional theater, or when the dean decides it's time to spend money on the theater department, we believe it's that point of purchase that can make a tremendous impact on what gear is used in these institutions for years to come." The database was created with both lighting and non-lighting crew in mind, "So we organized the instruments in the guide by what type of light they produce."
Launch partners on the database include Chauvet, Robert Juliat, and GLP, who helped BGA to populate the initial database. The BGA is adding new data every week, and will be sure to announce updates on the Guide's blog. In the meantime, the group is actively soliciting feedback on the new resource -- find out more at http://www.broadwaygreen.com/announcing-the-bga-green-lighting-guide-by-james-bedell.
Photo © Angela M Brown
A current Broadway musical hit, a coproduction between two San Diego theaters, a musical staged with a local high school and two homegrown festivals were among those honored by the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Monday, February 10 at its 2013 Craig Noel Awards.
The night's winners included the Broadway hit A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, which walked away with five awards for its world premiere production at The Old Globe, including Outstanding New Musical, Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical, Male (Jefferson Mays), and Outstanding Direction of a Musical (Darko Tresnjak). San Diego Repertory Theatre won the Outstanding Resident Musical award for In the Heights, produced with staff and students from the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. The musical's choreographer Javier Velasco was also a winner.
Fourteen productions were honored with awards Monday evening -- learn more about the winners here.
Photo by Henry DiRocco, Courtesy of The Old Globe