Broadway Buddies

The hit of the Broadway season is the off-Broadway transfer of Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, with a talented trio at the center.  And therein could lie a problem.  You have one woman (Lindsay Mendez) and two men (Daniel Radcliffe and Jonathan Groff).  In a straight porn, that might be a great situation – especially if you throw in a cup!  But when it comes to the Tony Awards, it’s awkward.  Two guys competing against each other?  In a gay porn, that might be a great situation – cup or no cup!  In the film industry, producers determine what category they want people nominated in.  But on Broadway, the Tony Committee makes those decisions.  Being a revival, you’d think there might be a precedent.  However, the original production of Merrily only got one Tony nomination (for Sondheim’s score).  So this was new territory.  The Tony Committee has ruled that Radcliffe and Groff will not be competing against each other.  While both men are ostensibly leads, tradition dictates that the show is more about Groff’s character (Franklin Shepard) than Radcliffe’s (Charley Kringas).  As a result, Radcliffe will be submitted in the “featured” category – think “supporting actor”.  Tragedy averted.


This leads beautifully into our latest installment of Billy’s Holiday Gift Giving Suggestions.  This week’s suggestion comes as a surprise not only to you, but to me, too.  This package was delivered to my home!  Yes, my actual home.  And NOBODY gets that address without a recent nude selfie!  In the box was Stephanie J. Block’s holiday collection, Merry Christmas, Darling.  It also included an allegedly “hand-signed” note, an ornament, a mini candy cane, and lots of that filling that everybody hates because once it’s out of the box, it’s all over your house!  I’m a fan of the lovely multi-award-winning Miss Block (and her hunky hubby, Sebastian Arcelus), so I promptly listened.  The collection has the expected traditional songs, a few holy selections, some unfamiliar tunes, all arranged with great style and taste.  And if she re-releases it next year, she could include her own rendition of Cher’s “DJ Play a Christmas Song”!  What might sound like a curious compliment about a singer is how impressed I am at how Block uses words.  She seems to always think as an actress first – creating a mood, an atmosphere, a connection with the story she’s trying to tell.  In a world of disposable holiday ditties, I consider Merry Christmas, Darling indispensable.


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