'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for December 21st, 2011
THE LATEST IN UNAUTHORIZED GOSSIP AND BUZZ
FROM THE HEART OF CHICAGO'S SHOWTUNE VIDEO BARS,
AND MUSICAL THEATER NEWS FROM CHICAGO TO BROADWAY
by Paul W. Thompson
Overheard last weekend under the showtune
video screens at Sidetrack and The Call:
As you may very well know by now, the results are in for the 2011 BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards! And we’re having a party to celebrate! Or is that a Celebration to party! Either way, it’s been an exciting week around BroadwayWorld Chicago, online and in person, as the winners and their fans have been finding out the news, congratulating and thanking each other and making their plans to attend the BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards Celebration at The Call Bar in Andersonville (1547 W. Bryn Mawr) on Wednesday, December 28, 2011, beginning at 9:00 pm. Nominees (individual nominees and company members of nominated shows) will receive yellow ribbons to wear, and winners or their representatives will receive certificates created by the BroadwayWorld design team in New York. There will be food, drink for a price (21 and older at the event, I’m afraid), short speeches by many local theater practitioners, and a year-end holiday feel to the whole affair. The Call’s hostess, Ashley Morgan, will be on hand, as will BroadwayWorld Chicago contributors M. William Panek and Misha Davenport. I’ll be hosting, and I do hope I see you there! It’s Showtune night. No cover!
Four Broadie Awards are going to Gary Griffin’s noted and acclaimed production of “Follies,” which ran this fall at Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier. I think these are the first awards the production has received (it surely won’t be the last), but it has been at the top of every theater critic’s year-end list. Other prominent productions that you, the voters, are honoring through your participation in the voting process are “Pussy On The House” from Hell In A Handbag Productions, “Cats” at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf” at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and “Violet” at Bailiwick Chicago. And let’s not forgot “The Madness Of George III,” “Old Times,” “Putting It Together,” “Sweeney Todd” and “Alien Queen.” But it is the victory of “Starship” in the Best New Work/New Adaptation category that has really set the internet ablaze. First off, the show’s authors (five members of StarKid Productions, including “Glee” and “How To Succeed…” star Darren Criss) defeated David Henry Hwang and Mary Zimmerman (among others), and did so by garnering 70 percent of the votes cast in the category, far more than the winner in any other category. And as of this writing, there are 25 comments attached to the original BroadwayWorld article about all the winners, and 24 of them are about “Starship.” The fact that the show won this award is already mentioned on Wikipedia. I’m just saying that there is something going on here!
Past Articles by This Author:
Paul W. Thompson, a contributor to BroadwayWorld.com since 2007, is a Chicago-based singer, actor, musical director, pianist, vocal coach, composer and commentator. His career as a performer, teacher and writer is centered at Paul W. Thompson Music, located in Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building, where he teaches the great songs of Broadway to the next generation of musical theater performers. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Paul was raised in a family of professional musicians and teachers, steeped in classical, gospel, country, pop, sacred and show music. Dubbed a “thin, winsome lad” at the age of 13 by a critic for the Nashville Banner, he earned two degrees in musical theater (a B.F.A. with Honors from Baylor University and an M.M. from the University of Miami, Florida), plus an M.B.A. with Distinction from DePaul University. Paul’s memberships include Actors’ Equity Association, the American Guild of Musical Artists, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (proud voter for the Grammy Awards!), the National Association of Teachers of Singing and New York’s Drama League.|
Moving easily between the worlds of classical music, religious music, classic pop and musical theater, Paul has appeared onstage or in the orchestra pit in concerts, musicals, operettas and operas in 30 states and in Europe, in a career spanning more than 35 years. His Chicagoland stage credits include “Forever Plaid” at the Royal George Theater and twenty mainstage productions at Light Opera Works. Paul joined the Chicago Symphony Chorus in 1995 (he was Tenor I Section Leader for four years and sings on two Grammy-winning recordings), and is one of Chicago’s foremost liturgical singers, marking 20 years as a member of the choir at St. James Cathedral (Episcopal) in 2011.He has composed and arranged a number of anthems, hymns and songs for worship and concert use, and collaborates on the creation of new works of musical theater. Paul can be found on Monday nights watching showtune videos at the world-famous Sidetrack nightclub, the inspiration for his weekly column, “The Showtune Mosh Pit.” His proudest achievement is that he has seen the original Broadway production of every Tony Award-winning Best Musical since “Cats.” No, really. Since “Cats!”
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