Seen on Broadway
: George Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara is getting a major revival at Broadway’s Roundabout Theatre Company. With a cast led by Cherry Jones (who was born to play the title role), Dana Ivey, David Warner, and Denis O’Hare, under the direction of Daniel Sullivan (this year’s Tony winner for Proof) Major Barbara has earned accolades from the New York press. Scanners of this website will be most interested in the work of scenic designer John Lee Beatty and costume designer Jane Greenwood. Beatty has supplied the production with three very different sets—a forbidding Victorian drawing room, done in a muted green and gold palette and stocked to the nines with period pictures and bric-a-brac; the cheerless yard attached to a Salvation Army shelter, as seen on a cold winter day; and an industrial shed in a munitions factory, a space dominated by a large cannon. Greenwood is a peerless interpreter of 19th-century and early 20th century fashions and once again she does not disappoint. There are smartly tailored dresses for Jones’ no-nonsense character, and pretty pastel gowns for Henny Russell, who plays Jones’s sister. For Ivey, who plays Jones’ supercilious mother, Greenwood has provided a full range of august outfits, including one lace-covered gown that transforms the actress into a walking antimacassar. Naturally, the wigs and hair designs by Paul Huntley go a long way toward completing the effect. The production also has typically meticulous lighting by Brian MacDevitt. No sound designer is credited although Dan Moses Schreier has supplied original music. Major Barbara runs at the Roundabout through September 2.
Heard: The 53rd Annual Emmy Award Nominations. OK, forget about the race between The Sopranos and The West Wing for Outstanding Drama Series—what Seen & Heard wants to know is, whose name is going to be in the envelope when the Emmy winner for Outstanding Multi-camera Sound Mixing for a Series or a Special is revealed? Will it be The Drew Carey Show? Everybody Loves Raymond? Frasier? One outcome seems fairly likely: the winners will not be Malcolm in the Middle's production mixer Ken Segal and re-recording mixer Todd Grace. You see, somebody screwed up, because Malcolm in the Middle, which makes distinctive use of music and sound effects in its track, is not a multi-camera series. It was submitted in the wrong category. It's the biggest scandal since some flunky forgot to submit Tim Allen's name for consideration several years ago.
There are other nail-biters to be resolved come Sept. 8, when the Creative Arts Emmys are handed out. (The CBS telecast, during which such ho-hum awards as Outstanding Miniseries and Lead Actress in a Comedy will be distributed, airs live Sept. 16.) Will The West Wing's Thomas A. Del Ruth and Ellen Totleben, last year's winning cinematographer and set decorator, respectively, make it two for two? How many of the crafts nominations for the ABC miniseries Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (including nods for cinematography, art direction, costumes, hairstyling, and some of the best fattening makeup to ever adorn a diva) will translate into statuettes? Will one of production designer Roy Christopher's two nominations (for Frasier and the 73rd Annual Academy Awards) go the distance? Is The Divine Miss M's failed CBS sitcom Bette truly a dim memory, or will an Outstanding Art Direction Emmy (for production designer Bernard Vyzga and set decorator Lynda Burbank) rescue it from oblivion?
There are too many Emmy nominees to reprint here; something like 50 categories have to be trudged through at the Creative Arts Awards, which will air on E!. For a full list, visit www.emmys.org.
Seen at the Movies: Third time's not exactly the charm in the case of Jurassic Park III, though director and former animator Joe Johnston, in for Steven Spielberg, keeps things moving along. Stan Winston and ILM's dinosaurs are as impressive as ever--especially those nasty pteranodons, who look set to star in the next sequel. And we love that 90-minute running time…But we love Hedwig and the Angry Inch much more. John Cameron Mitchell's musical about the transgendered singing star has been covered extensively in Entertainment Design, and in the August issue of Lighting Dimensions, but today is the release date. Seen & Heard's humble opinion is that this is the top movie of 2001, so far.
Heard on the Street: It’s the time of year when designers are starting to make plans for the autumn and many assignments are falling into place. First prize for busyness goes to costume designer Ann Hould-Ward. This month, she opens a new musical, The Boswell Sisters, at the Globe Theatre in San Diego. Her colleagues on that production include set designer Jim Youmans, lighting designer David F. Segal, and sound designer Paul Peterson. Next, she’s off to New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, for a new version of the Cole Porter musical, Red, Hot, and Blue!, which opens in October. Next stop is Broadway, for Judy Garland Live!, starring impressionist Jim Bailey. If that’s not enough, she’s currently designing costumes for the Ringling Bros. Circus…Set/costume designer Santo Loquasto and lighting designer Natasha Katz have signed onto Dance of Death, the August Strindberg drama, which opens on Broadway in October, with a cast that includes Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren…Katz is also attached to Sweet Smell of Success, a new musical based on the famous 50s film, which opens in March. Her colleagues include production designer Bob Crowley and sound designer Tony Meola…John Lee Beatty, of Major Barbara fame (see above) has just designed a new musical with eyes on Broadway. It’s They All Laughed, a new show with Gershwin tunes, which is currently at Goodspeed Musicals. Costume designer Jess Goldstein and lighting designer Ken Billington are also involved…William Ivey Long will be costume designing Neil Simon's new play, 45 Seconds From Broadway, which is scheduled to open in the title location in October...The anticipated Writers Guild and Screen Actors Guild strikes may have been averted, but new film production in Hollywood has come to a standstill anyway; so much gearing up was done for a shutdown that it has become a virtual reality. But international production continues apace. British director Mike Leigh (Secrets & Lies, Topsy-Turvy), for example, has undertaken a new untitled movie, working with some regular collaborators, including DP Dick Pope, production designer Eve Stewart, and actors Lesley Manville and Timothy Spall…Cinesite, the Hollywood digital and effects house, has opened a second digital film mastering suite at its facility. The company has provided digital film mastering services—such as color and contrast alteration and visual effects compositing—for such movies as Pleasantville, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and Traffic. Cinesite (Europe) Ltd. in London is currently working on the 10-hour HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, which will premiere in September.