Tonys will feature many famous faces

GOOD MORNING: They weren’t nominated for Tonys Monday but Whoopi Goldberg, Roseanne, Julie Andrews, Lauren Bacall and Mary Tyler Moore are among those set to appear (as presenters and — ?) on the awards show June 1, from 8-9 p.m. on PBS, and 9-11 p.m. on CBS from Radio City Music Hall. You recall, Andrews last year renounced her nomination for “Victor/Victoria” when the show was snubbed in the nomination for best musical. (Donna Murphy won for “The King and I”). Goldberg and Roseanne are currently in for short musical legit stands in “Forum” and “Wizard of Oz” and Bacall and Moore are B’way alumnae. … Gary Smith, exec producer of the TV’er, credits Rosie O’Donnell’s agreement to host as the factor getting the show’s elongated time (three hours) via two nets — and for the larger site. “She has a passion about theater that is refreshing — she’s a one-woman press agent for it.” Smith also admits Rosie’s presence will help raise the long-suffering ratings. And with the network awards limited to 12 categories — Smith says acceptors will have a chance to say more than “thank you” — but for no more than probably one minute! Smith is no stranger to the Radio City Music Hall — he directed the “Rockette” special 15 years ago starring Ann-Margret, with a guestint by former RCMH usher Gregory Peck. Smith sees the show as exciting with seven production numbers. But the “Juan Darrien” best musical nominee will not be among ’em — it has closed. O’Donnell’s opening number will also be a tribute to six other shows still playing. Walter C. Miller will direct the TV’er again Smith had arrived in N.Y. for the nomination announcements from Israel, where he met to produce next year’s tribute for the state of Israel’s 50th anni — from the Ramat Gan Stadium outside Tel Aviv. Merv Adelson, Marvin Josephson and David Wolper are among those spearheading Smith’s live event. Before returning to N.Y. and the Tonys, Gary wings back to L.A. Wednesday to produce Saturday’s SHARE Boomtown party at CBS, where Merv Griffin receives the “Shining Spirit” award and the SHARE ladies salute 50 years of TV with a show including Steve Allen, Dick Van Dyke, Michele Lee, Peter Falk, Natalie Cole, Marion Ross, Tom Bosley and Bill Maher.

“WE HAVE GOT TO HAVE some new musicals,” admitted Hal Prince, winner of 20 Tonys himself — including one for “Candide,” for which he won as director of the original musical. And it was nominated this year for “best musical in a revival”. … Prince is now working on the new musical “Parade,” with book by Alfred Uhry (nominated as best play author for “Last Night of Ballyhoo”). The music and lyrics are by Jason Robert Brown, 26, reminds exuberant showbiz veteran Prince. Some of the names of Tony nominees were sneaked out (from unnamed Tony nominating committee members) Sunday night to guests at the wedding of Judy and Hal Prince’s actress-producer-daughter Daisy to “Spin City” costar Sandy (Alexander) Gaberman. Over 350 guests — a who’s who of Hal Prince shows — attended the musical ceremony at the Pierre. Guests included Arthur Laurents (“West Side Story”), Joel Grey, Liza Minnelli (“Cabaret”), Stephen Sondheim (who was Prince’s best man at his wedding), Bobby Fryer (for whom Prince worked as a stage manager 48 years ago), Beverly Sills, Michael J. Fox and the “Spin City” cast. And the Princes’ son Charles and wife Christina, who expect their first child in August. Also Marty Richards, a producer of 12 times nominated “The Life,” which tied a record by “The Sound of Music,” “A Chorus Line” and “Les Miserables.” “The Life” now has feature film bids from Miramax and New Line — and recorded its cast album (Sony) on Monday after receiving the happy nomination news. Richards also noted that Bobby Fryer will join his feature plans for “Chicago” as a co-producer of the pic with Goldie Hawn and Madonna signed — and Rosie O’Donnell’s deal being worked out. … Leslie Bricusse, Tony-nominated for the book of “Jekyll and Hyde,” is now off to London to work on his legit version of, as he describes it, “Our ‘Doctor Dolittle.’ ” You recall Bricusse wrote the screenplay, music and lyrics for the 1967 20th movie starring Rex Harrison and now starring Eddie Murphy. Bricusse meets with the Henson Creature Shop creators who will be a part of the London staged “Dolittle.”

CALLING STEVEN SPIELBERG: the 1934 Oscar awarded Claudette Colbert for “It Happened One Night” goes on auction at Christie’s L.A. June 7 as part of a film and TV memorabilia sale. On Dec. 15, 1996, Spielberg “anonymously” bid $607,500 for the Clark Gable Oscar from the same film, and then returned the statuette to the Academy. The movie won five Oscars. Also offered in the Christie’s June 7 auction will be another piece from the Colbert estate — a signed script from — “It Happened One Night.”

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Voices News from Variety