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Rousuck on Theater: 2020 Tony Nominees & Best New Streams

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Photo by Matthew Murphy
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Midday theater critic J. Wynn  Rousuck joins Tom again today with updates on the nation's pandemic-era theater community, leading off with the 74th Annual Tony Award nominations announced Oct. 15th. Judy talks about some of the major contenders for theater's most prestigious honor, including the musical Jagged Little Pill, which garnered the most Tony nominations this season -- 15 - including Best Musical; and  Slave Play, which was nominated for 12 Tony Awards, including Best Play -- a record-breaking number for a non-musical.  The awards will be presented in a virtual ceremony later this year.

And as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep the nation's theaters dark, Judy spotlights some of the continuing efforts by local and national companies to present inspiring performances in filmed and live online streaming productions...

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Credit Photo by Matthew Murphy
David Byrne, center front, and the company of AMERICAN UTOPIA.

Among these is the new film production of musician David Byrne's American Utopiaa cinematic rendition of the currently suspended hit Broadway musical (recorded during its late 2019 to early 2020 run at Broadway’s Hudson Theatre) that was, in turn, based on Byrne's album and concert concepts.  The Scottish-born Byrne, a former Baltimorean and Talking Heads band leader, teamed with director Spike Lee on the new film, which is now streaming on HBO

Judy also describes Baltimore Center Stage's announcement that it's partnering on an hour-long streaming production next Thursday designed to encourage voter engagement in the crucial November 3rd elections.  An evening of spoken word, song and dance that's been written, directed, and performed by some of the most important voices in the American theatre, Act Out: Vote 2020 will be available to stream on You Tube on October 29 at 9:00pm ET.

Here are links to all the productions Judy and Tom discussed today:

American Utopia   https://www.hbo.com/specials/american-utopia
 
 
Act Out: Vote 2020   www.ActOutVote2020.com
 
 
The Discourse Project  https://www.quarrytheatre.com/the-discourse-project
 
 
Cabaret Macabre  https://www.theatreproject.org/upcoming-shows/
 
 
Death of a Salesman   https://playbill.com/playbillplayback/salesman

J. Wynn Rousuck has been reviewing theater for WYPR's Midday (and previously, Maryland Morning) since 2007. Prior to that, she was the theater critic of The Baltimore Sun, where she reviewed more than 3,000 plays over the course of 23 years. Her feature coverage for The Sun included a comprehensive series chronicling the development of the Tony Award-winning musical, “Hairspray.” Judy got her start at The Cleveland Press and at Cleveland’s fine arts radio station, WCLV. Her broadcasting experience also includes a year as an on-air theater critic for Maryland Public Television.
Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Rob is Midday's senior producer.