Brett Michaels Hurt at the Tony Awards

The Tony Awards were last night and in addition to the excitement of the awards there was also unexpected excitement involving “Rock of Love Star” and Poison band mate, Brett Michaels. He was performing with the cast of “Rock of Ages”, when he missed his mark, and he was hit in the head while some scenery was being moved down from the ceiling area. At first it was thought the hit may have broken his nose but that was not the case. He did make a trip to the ER just to make sure he was fine and thankfully he was; now that was reality TV. It was a big night though for many of the great shows and plays. “Billy Elliot” came out on top as a true shining star winning 10 awards for the night which included, Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor, Best Choreography, Best Scenic Design of a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, plus Best Lighting Design of a Musical and a few other categories. “Hair” won Best Revival of a Musical and “God of Carnage” won Best Play.  Marcia Gay Harden won Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for her performance in “God of Carnage “and Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush won Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for “Exit the King”. “Shrek the Musical” won for Best Costume Design of a Musical. The amazing Angela Lansbury, who is 83 years old, won a Tony for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for “Blithe Spirit”. This was her 5th Tony Award. It was a fun show with some great musical performances and host Neil Patrick Harris from the show “How I Met Your Mother” did a fine job.

There was some frightening news for the sister of Lisa Ling and her friend who were arrested in N. Korea back in March for illegally crossing the border. The two women, Laura Ling and Euna Lee were sentenced to 12 years hard labor “for the grave crime they committed against the Korean nation.” The US government is working hard to get these 2 woman released but with the very poor relations we have with N. Korea it is very difficult. The families are gravely worried, Euna has a 4 year old daughter and husband in the states and Laura may be suffering from an ulcer that has most likely worsened since these events have occurred.
Exciting news for “American Idol” winner Kris Allen – the 23 year old has signed a record deal with Jive records and you can plan to pick that up sometime this fall. Kris currently has his Idol winning song “No Boundaries” at #23 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles. Not bad Kris! The American Idol summer tour starts in Portland on July 15th and Kris will be there.

NBC is not happy about the allegations that they tortured contestants from the show I’m A Celebrity Get Me out of Here”. Yes, I am referring yet again to Heidi and Spencer who have plans to sue NBC for all that they have been put through. ITV studio, which produces the show, had this to say about the torture allegations, “ITV has been producing this format around the world for many years and the health of the celeb participants are of the utmost importance. A medic and a doctor are present at the location at all times for all participants. All allegations of the celebrities being deprived of food and water are completely untrue”.  Come on people, of course they are untrue. Although perhaps what Speidi maybe have deserved for all their crazy antics…it’s NBC, they would never do anything so inhumane, even for rating. Where does this stuff come from? Crazy, but all the hoopla does make me want to tune in tonight for a good laugh. Forget reality TV I think this one has turned into a good old fashion comedy!    

Tony Nominations Announced

Elton John is smiling this morning…his musical “Billy Elliot” was nominated for 15 Tony awards, one of which includes Best Musical. Also up for the top award are “Rock of Ages”, “Shrek the Musical” and “Next to Normal”. The Tony Awards will air on CBS on June 7th at Radio City Music Hall. And in other breaking news…the controversial 4th American Idol judge, Kara DioGuardi, will be back next season. Simon Cowell actually shared the news with Ellen DeGeneres and you can watch it today, Tuesday, on her show.

Eminem has a candid new interview out in the June/ July issue of “Vibe Magazine”. Eminem shares details about his most recent battle with drug addiction. Although he has been clean for about a year he had been “downing as many as 20 Vicodin, Ambien, and Valium a day. He tells the magazine that “the numbers got so high, I don’t even know what I was taking.” Eminem, who is 36, has a new album coming out on May 19th, fittingly called, “Relapse”. He says he has taken care of himself and is ready to get back into the spotlight. He feels if he has his Rap music he won’t’ need the other stuff. Good luck Eminem, I love your new song, “We Made You” and I hope you’re right that Rap is all you need.  Revlon has a new spokeswoman…Jessica Biel is the latest beauty to represent the cosmetic giant. She will be in all the new 2010 advertising campaigns. She is in good company…past beauties include Jessica Alba, Halle Berry and Jennifer Connelly. Just like her busy beau, Justin Timberlake, she is branching out from acting as well.

The octo mom just cannot catch a break. I swear everyday it is something else with her. The latest and greatest issue for the mother of 14 is that Gloria Allred, an attorney, has filed a petition with the Superior Court of Orange County, California requesting that a guardian be appointed to protect the babies if they are filmed for the reality show that their mom is hoping to get. Allred feels that the babies are being exploited and that even child labor laws are being broken because the babies have been filmed late at night and without the presence of a “studio teacher”. In addition to this guardian watching out for the children, she also wants to make sure that any money earned through the show would not be wasted by the mother. Wow, I have never been a big fan of the octo mom because, well maybe she hasn’t  always made the best decisions, but wow, can strangers just get involved in her life and tell her how to spend and how not to spend her hard earned money? Last time I checked this was still America. I think people just need to back off a bit and let her settle in with her kids and let’s see what happens before we try and take away every freedom she has. The hearing is scheduled for June 22, so we will see what the courts have to say, but maybe for now Ms. Allred needs to mind her own business.  

Mad Men might become Broadway Men selling Theater Tickets instead of Advertising

The wonderful world of entertainment continues to cross pollinate. Ideas and stories flow freely from one form to another, from the printed word to stage or the screen, from a stage to television, from any place where an audience can be found to another. This almost incestuous process has its critics, but it cannot be denied. Recently one of the rarest paths of this creative transference has been announced.

The world of Don Draper may be coming to the stage as musical theater. Mad Men already experimented with this on October with a benefit musical revue at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles. The word, according to Playbill, is that Liongate is trying to book dates for this compilation of songs that creator and executive producer Matthew Weiner has chosen for the show.

Actors and actresses from the show, a cast that includes veteran Broadway men Bryant Batt and Robert Morse, would perform the songs, which are often taken from the Kennedy era in which the show is set. Dubbed “A Night on the Town with ‘Mad Men,’” the show would be one of the few to make the transition from television to the stage.

This is not counting the Sesame Street, Wiggles, and Blues Clues shows that force parents to spend hundreds of dollars to see their kids’ favorite educational shows in person. Most of the time, stage shows move from the written word to a live production to a filmed version.

Wicked is an example of this. It moved from the Gregory Maguire novel to the stage (and there is a movie rumored in the works to complete the journey). People purchasing South Pacific tickets are watching Rodgers and Hammerstein’s adaptation of James A. Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific.

This paradigm runs true for most plays and musicals. A few, like Hairspray and Billy Elliot, run as a counter to that tradition. Those productions were taken from movies though. The realm of television, in part to its eternal struggle to provide quality entertainment while drawing a broad audience, has a harder time.

The shows have a difficult time shedding the established thought that television is the new low-brow end of entertainment, which is ironic considering that theater once held that mantle a few hundred years ago. Mad Men is a different situation though.

This production, which is apparently in the very early stages of formative conjecture, is only a musical revue and not a full-blown adaptation. Also, Mad Men is held in high esteem for its tempered story telling that lets the brewing conflicts simmer beneath the surface. This respect so many have for the show is such excess that Mad Men transcends that thought. The show almost carries weight simply because of its title, regardless of the names associated and the songs associated with the revue.

While some might go as far as to say that the paradigm is being blurred even more by this Emmy winning show, it will take much more than the acceptance of a show like Mad Men to make the lines of entertainment completely open. I would wait to pass that kind of judgment until after the success or failure of the rumored Ugly Betty musical adaptation.