WHAT Theater awards
THE DEAL Even before the last remaining Broadway shows of the season had officially opened, the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk announced their annual award nominations last week. The musicals “Hello, Dolly!,” “Come From Away” and “Anastasia” topped both sets of nominations. Multiple Broadway shows (including “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812”) were ineligible since they were previously considered by the organizations during their Off-Broadway premieres. This year’s Tony nominations will be announced May 2.
THE SHOW “The Secret Life of Bees”
THE DEAL The stage musical version of Sue Monk Kidd’s 2001 coming-of-age novel, “The Secret Life of Bees” (which was previously adapted into a 2008 film with Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys), will receive a developmental production this summer at Vassar College as part of its annual Powerhouse Season of works-in-progress. The season will also include new pieces by actor Josh Radnor, Lisa Kron (“Fun Home”), Stephen Trask (“Hedwig”) and Lynn Nottage (“Sweat”).
WHO Baayork Lee
THE DEAL Baayork Lee, who originated the role of Connie in “A Chorus Line” and has gone on to become a director-choreographer and leader of the Asian-American performing arts community, will receive the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award, which recognizes substantial volunteer work. “Baayork works tirelessly to break down cultural walls that often build up around what theatergoers consider ‘traditional’ musicals, and her dedication to fostering the next generation of performers and theater professionals to do the same is exemplary,” Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin and American Theatre Wing president Heather Hitchens said in a joint statement.
THE SHOW “Clarence Darrow”
THE DEAL Just days after hosting the Tony Awards, Kevin Spacey will play legendary civil rights attorney Clarence Darrow in David W. Rintels’ 1974 one-man show, “Clarence Darrow.” The show will take place June 15 and 16 on an outdoor stage at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, Queens, home of the U.S. Open tennis tournament. In a statement, Spacey said that “drama happens all the time on Ashe, but never quite like this,” and he described Darrow and Ashe as “masters of two very different courts.”