Friday, February 8, 2008

The Oliviers noms are in

According to Variety, Hairspray has received the most number of nominations (11) in the history of the Laurence Olivier Awards (the West End equivalent of the Tonys). I really wanted to see Macbeth, Parade and War Horse, but since I didn't, I can only talk about Hairspray, Lord of the Rings, Othello and King Lear.

Is LotR even a musical? (It depends on your definition.) I must say I had tons of fun with Hairspray (and it's won the other theatre awards in London already), but I feel for the effort put into LotR.

Actress in a Play
Not Kelly Reilly in Donmar Warehouse's Othello, sorry. Zoe Tapper was better as Desdemona at The Globe.

Actor in a Play
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Othello or Ian McKellen as King Lear? This is tough! I go for McKellen.

Newcomer in a Play
Tom Hiddleston in Othello. Yes, please! Anyway, he's already a winner of sorts, being twice nominated in this category (the other for Cymbeline). Watch out for him.

Actress in a Musical
I liked Leanne Jones as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray better than Nikki Blonsky in the movie version. That's as much as I can say.

Actor in a Musical
Michael Ball in Hairspray. It's not just the fat suit that will get him votes here. The acting was superb, though the singing doesn't show off his pipes (the category is called actor in a musical, so that's alright). Light years ahead of John Travolta's performance in the movie.

Supporting Performance in a Musical
Between the two nominees from Hairspray: Tracie Bennett, whose Velma Von Tussle is scary, (not seductive like Michelle Pfeiffer) and Elinor Collett's Penny Pingleton (who puts Amanda Bynes to eternal shame for robbing the character of any erm, character), I'd say my dime's on Penny. Not that I expect her to win.

As for Direction and Choreography, there's no way for me to tell how Hairspray measures up to the other nominees. But in the technical categories (Lighting/Set/Costume/Sound Design) where Hairspray and LotR are battling each other, I say LotR is the lord of the ring. Being a stage manager, I have so much compassion for the people who run that show.

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