Our Swiss correspondent, Claudia Kehl, has reported to the Tavern, and also on the Guestbook, that she had attended a "Nine" performance this past Easter season. I restrained myself from asking her if she took any photos of any of the players, including You-Know-Who, but Claudia not only took some pictures, but also personally met Mary Stuart Masterson, who Claudia described as "very nice" to those who stayed around the theater waiting for some of the performers to emerge. Claudia sent me a collection of these photos, and they now appear on the "Mary Stu's Photo Album" page of the Tavern. ANYONE who also has a Web site that promotes Mary Stuart Masterson's career can feel free to go ahead and download all of the images, with the exception of the one with Claudia, and post it on their site. There is one exception to this rule, and that is YUN LEONG, of Australia's MSMism, as he is another Internet friend of Claudia's, so I don't think she will mind if YUN posts these images on his site, which is one of the most artistic on the Web dedicated to following MSM's professional career. To find the photos, click the link below.
The Tony Awards began at 8:00PM EDT at Radio City Music Hall with Billy Joel, whose music was featured in the musical "Movin' Out," playing the piano and singing part of "I'm In a New York State of Mind." The action moved into the Radio City Music Hall with some of the dancers from "Movin' Out" performing an energetic dance to "Keepin' The Faith." The host for the awards ceremony was Hugh Jackman, who is most known for playing Wolverine in the "X-Men" movies.
The Tony Award controllers seemed to like to move things along. Jackman made some opening remarks, sang briefly, and got down to business introducing the first award presenters, husband and wife Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker. The duo gave out two awards, the Best Book of a Musical to Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan for "Hairspray, " and the Best Score to Marc Shairman and Scott Whitman for "Hairspray." At this point, it looked as if "Hairspray" just might sweep all the musical awards after these first two went to that musical.
Bebe Neurith and Anne Reinking presented the Choreography to Twyla Tharp for "Movin' Out." This was followed by the tumultous final dance scene by the cast of "Hairspray."
Christopher Reeve appeared next and presented the Best Director of a Play to Joe Mantello for "Take Me Out." This was followed by a musical piece from "A Year with Frog and Toad."
Julianna Margulies ("ER") and Benjamin Bratt ("Law and Order") gave a salute to Actor's Equity followed by the Tony Award for Featured Actor in a Play that went to Dennis O'Hare for "Take Me Out."
John Spencer ("West Wing") presented the Tony for Featured Actress in a Play, which went to Michele Pawk for "Hollywood Arms," which was written in part by Carol Burnette. It should be noted that the Tony Awards people were determined to move things along fast. As a result, when winners were making their "thank you" speeches, the orchestra would signal them it was time to stop thanking people by starting to play some musical piece over their speech. Ms. Pawk defied this signal, and kept right on talking over the orchestra until the conductor surrendered and stopped playing. She even thanked her dress designer.
After this, the two English guys from "The Play What I Wrote" did a comic bit of being called to the stage, but losing their way in the Radio City Music Hall. By the time they made it to the stage, Jackman announced more commercials, and there were a lot of those.
Once back, the show presented some taped comments by Antonio Banderas, about his character Guido in "Nine," followed by Mary Stuart Masterson who described her character, Luisa, as being Guido's wife and muse. Jane Krakowski made some comments about her character, Guido's mistress. This was a bumper leading up to Melanie Griffith introducing her husband, Antonio Banderas, and all the women of "Nine" in a song from the musical. MSM wore glasses and smoked a cigarette as Antonio Banderas' Guido sang of his desire to be both young and old, and everywhere at once, as all the women in his life gathered around him to sing his praises.
Rosie Perez then took the stage to present the Featured Actor in a Musical Award to Dick Latessa of "Hairspray." It was clear that what was coming next was going to be the Featured Actress in a Musical Award, for which Ms. Masterson was a nominee along with castmates Jane Krakowski and Chita Rivera.
The Featured Actress in a Musical Award was presented by Joey Fantone of N'Synch, who is also performing in a musical. As Fantone announced the nominees, the camera found Mary Stuart Masterson, Jane Krakowski, and Chita Rivera standing together as their names were read along with nominees from other musicals. The winner was JANE KRAKOWSKI. I was disappointed, of course, but still glad "Nine" took the award in this category. The nomination and great reviews MSM received are sure to garner her more musical and dramatic roles on Broadway. Jane Krakowski saluted her female co-stars as being among the best she has ever worked with on the stage.
Well, that's it. Our favorite didn't win the award, but "Nine" should provide a lot of momentum for Ms. Masterson's career on stage, in film, and on television. Besides, she walked off with a lot of other awards for her work in "Nine," as described on this page.
It was a great run.
CBS is showing the Tony Awards gala this coming Sunday night. There should be plenty of commercials about the times and stations in your local area, and be sure to check the TV Guide or newspaper TV schedules. Mary Stuart Masterson should be on hand as a nominee and as a presenter, so be sure to tune in.
It's a little early, but next month will mark another birthday anniversary for Mary Stuart Masterson. You can reach the Tavern's Birthday Greeting Card page by clicking the link below.
The Theatre World Awards, which honor performers for making theirfirst big New York splash (including, but not limited to, Broadway debuts),were announced May 19. The winners will be celebrated at a ceremony to beheld June 2.
The 2003 Theatre World Awards winners are Antonio Banderas (Nine), Thomas Jefferson Byrd (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Jonathan Cake Medea), Victoria Hamilton (A Day in the Death of Joe Egg), Clare Higgins (Vincent in Brixton), Jackie Hoffman (Hairspray), Mary Stuart Masterson (Nine), John Selya (Movin’ Out), Fiona Shaw (Medea), Jochum ten Haaf (Vincent in Brixton), Daniel Sunjata (Take Me Out) and Marissa Jaret Winokur (Hairspray).
Theatre World is an annual publication edited by John Willis. Theawards self-titled awards were first presented in the 1944-45 season.
Steve Murphy of Indianapolis, Indiana, one of the most pleasant cities I have ever visited, has a site set up on Geocities for Hart Bochner. Mr. Bochner is most noted for being in the mini-series WAR AND REMEMBRANCE in which he played one of Robert Mitchum's sons in the second part of the THE WINDS OF WAR back in early 1989 or late 1988. The first THE WINDS OF WAR was in 1983 when Ben Murphy had the role played by Hart Bochner in the second of the mini-series about World War II. In MAD AT THE MOON, Bochner was Ms. Masterson's love interest in the movie. You can take a look at Mr. Murphy's Hart Bochner site by clicking the link below.
Mary Stuart Masterson was almost as apprehensive about playing Luisa in the Broadway revival of "Nine" as her character is about sharing her husband with paparazzi and a whirlwind of adoring women. But after overcoming a brief bout of insecurity, the actress couldn't be happier about being a part of director David Leveaux's chic interpretation of the 1982 Tony Award-winning musical.
"I was terrified, of course, to do this," she says, relaxing in her dressing room at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre. "The first day of rehearsal was the scariest."
With a healthy list of credits in theater ("Three Sisters," "Lily Dale"), film ("Fried Green Tomatoes," "Benny and Joon"), and television ("Kate Brasher"), it seems incongruous that Masterson, 36, would be so frightful about the role. She explains the source of her fear:
"The last musical I did was in eighth grade," she says with muted amusement. "I played Daisy Mae in Li'l Abner.' "
But decided it was time to give musical theater another try.
"I have always wanted to sing. I love to sing. It's been a deep desire that I've been too afraid to confront for a very long time."
At times, Masterson employs a similarly self-effacing tone as the wife of needy film director Guido Contini, played by Antonio Banderas. In the ballad, "My Husband Makes Movies," she sings about the burden of having a famous and desirable husband who is constantly surrounded by elegant women - of which there is no shortage in this show.
The only male cast member in "Nine," aside from Banderas, is William Ullrich, who plays Guido as a 9-year-old (hence the title).
Masterson admires the work of young Ullrich, who is charming as Guido's alter ego - innocent and untethered by the emotional baggage that comes with age.
"He's really gifted and very poised," she says. "Sometimes I talk to him and I forget he's so young. But then he'll talk to you about his action figures. And I'll do karate-chop moves and he'll laugh. And it's like, Oh my God, he's 9!' "
Masterson's Luisa is one of 16 women who populate the stage and Guido's life. Some of the other principals are his mother (Mary Beth Peil), his lover (Jane Krakowski) and his film producer, played by the perennial show stopper Chita Rivera.
"They brought each person here to be a specific color in the palette," Masterson says of her co-stars. "Each person really is singular." But she characteristically refused the opportunity to rate her performance.
Leveaux agreed that very specific casting was crucial with such a "high voltage of women on stage." In Masterson, he sees a strength and appeal shrouded by dormancy.
"She has this particular beauty about her that is rather stealthy, which is to say you don't get a complete advertisement at the outset," he said. "And then bit by bit, it seems to grow."
It is for this reason, Leveaux said, that Masterson is effective as Luisa.
"In a world of extraordinarily glamorous women, Guido Contini's wife becomes - by the end - the most authentically beautiful woman in his life," he said. "Mary Stuart's temperament sort of slow burns until it ignites. She's an ambush.
"Nine," which is based on Federico Fellini's classic film, "8 and a half," is Masterson's first production under the direction of Leveaux.
"It's not normal musical theater," she says. "The use of metaphor and conceptual movement as opposed to straight choreography makes it different from what people might expect."
Like Fellini's film, the show has a dreamlike quality, drifting in and out of the consciousness of the self-absorbed Guido.
Leveaux said he tried to maintain the film's continuity.
"I felt very strongly that this should not be a musical that is just divided up by scenes and numbers, which I guess is the traditional way. You stop for a number and then you carry on."Leveaux is one of many directors clustered around Masterson. She is married to a director - Damon Santostefano ("Three to Tango"). Her father is director Peter Masterson ("The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas"). Even Banderas, whom she described as "the consummate artist," has logged time in the director's chair.
"It's unbelievable," she says with a laugh. "It's too omnipresent to not think of it."
Masterson tried her hand at the craft a few years ago, directing a short film, "The Other Side," that aired on the Showtime's "Directed By" series. It was a rough first run on a tiny budget but a learning experience and one she would like to try again.
Masterson, whose mother is actress Carlin Glynn, appeared in her first movie, "Stepford Wives," when she was 8. She grew up in Texas and New York and has lived full time in Los Angeles only for the past three years. She plans to move back to New York within a few years.
As for her career after "Nine," she says she's like to do more musicals. Her work on the show has her considering another direction.
"This is making me think of trying to direct something very small - try to learn the stage craft a little bit," she says.
Claudia sent the following comments by Mary Stuart Masterson concerning her TONY AWARD NOMINATION for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in "Nine," a musical that has only been on Broadway, and open to the public, since April of this year.
Along with the reaction from Ms. Masterson about this tremendous honor, given that this is her first musical role on Broadway, the tireless Swiss MSM aficionada also found a lot of links to some great photographs of MSM and her co-stars from "Nine" at the press gatherings after the nominations were announced.
Attention all of you fans of "Bad Girls" along with MSM fans in general. There was a posting on our Guestbook by someone named Gary who has a dress and a pair of stockings worn by You-Know-Who in the entertaining Western from 1994, BAD GIRLS. If anyone out there is interested, you can reach Gary at the e-mail address in his message which is reproduced below.
In the May 16th Entertainment Weekly, there is a full page spread, with a large photograph, of Mary Stuart Masterson discussing what the magazine called her "Five Year Plan." The photo, which dominated page 19, shows Ms. Masterson stepping out of a shower, wrapped in a large towel, while singing into a back brush. Basically, MSM discusses herself five years ago, now, and five years from now. It is interesting stuff. In the "Five Years Ago" part, MSM talks about preferring to sing alone, mostly in the shower, in order to rehearse for "Nine." She also talks about once writing a script about a character who sings at night by herself. In the "Now" section, there is a quote about the "rush" she gets from being in the cast of "Nine" with Antonio Banderas, Chita Rivera, and Jane Krakowski. "Five Years From Now," she is writing a book, writing poetry, producing a movie.
"I think women are multitaskers, so they can feed their young, cook the meal, protect the hearth, and be ultimately creative at the same time."
Claudia Kehl sent the good news that Mary Stuart Masterson has been nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actress In a Musical. "Nine" received a whopping 12 nominations for awards, to tie "Hairspray." Laura Benati, Jane Krakowski, and Mary Beth Peil, all MSM's co-stars in "Nine," received nominations for the same award. The critics and the public apparently love the show, which is outstanding news for Ms. Masterson and her castmates.
Claudia attended the musical "Nine," starring Mary Stuart Masterson, during the Easter Holiday. What follows are the main excerpts from her e-mail to me about how much she enjoyed the musical production, especially Ms. Masterson's singing and acting.
Mary Stuart was as amazing as ever. She sings really good and her acting was terrific. I also saw some other musicals. I just love musicals. I definitely hope to go to NYC again when MSM would do another musical or even a play there. The good thing about Broadway musicals/plays is that you will know the casting months ahead before it opens, so you can plan a trip to NYC soon enough. When I heard about MSM's musical debut last October I planned my trip at the beginning of this year and got really good tickets.
Claudia's advice about getting good tickets ahead of time is very good advice. Below is a link she provided for another article about "Nine."
The Tavern's active Swiss correspondent, Claudia Kehl, who globe-trotted her way to a good seat to see Mary Stuart Masterson live on stage in "Nine" over Easter, reported that "Nine" will run longer than previously scheduled until August 10, 2003. That only goes to show just how good the revival of "Nine" is. Below is a link to the PLAYBILL article about the extended run.
Claudia found a great photo of the "Nine" star, Mary Stuart Masterson, posted on YAHOO! I hope Yahoo!'s stock goes up a little more for providing this image.
Searching the Internet for all the latest about Mary Stuart Masterson is a passtime of Claudia Kehl that has kept the visitors of the Tavern informed about MSM's professional projects for five years now. Claudia has found an instance, below, where Ted Turner's CNN finally paid due attention to Ms. Masterson's work on their SHOWBIZ site.
Claudia Kehl was busy all through the month of April, attending a live performance of "Nine" and keeping up with MSM's activities while my laptop was getting a new cooling fan! Well, everything is back to normal and we get to catch up on all of the news. The Broadway.com Web site had a great review of "Nine," and Claudia found it on the link below. Enjoy.
The shortcut link to all the articles about "Nine" on GOOGLE, the great search engine, was e-mailed to me by Claudia, and GOOGLE'S links will undoubtedly grow as "Nine" gets more attention, and garners more awards
This photo from "Nine" could make a great Wallpaper on any MSM fan's computer, so don't hesitate to visit the link below.
On one of the links Claudia Kehl sent to me, were the following comments by ANTONIO BANDERAS, Mary Stuart Masterson's co-star in the musical "Nine." I am starting to appreciate Antonio Banderas a lot more. He sounds like a pretty smart guy.
Mary Stuart is a very grounded woman. She can be very sexy, too. She's got a spark I cannot define, something sparkling that I saw when she did "Fried Green Tomatoes." As an actress, Mary Stuart is very giving. She's experimental, too. She doesn't hold back.
Claudia found another "Nine" article in which some of the cast talk about the show and how they prepared for it. Ms. Masterson had this to say about the fact that she has never been required to sing much before in her career:
"I've always loved to sing, but I was always too chicken. I got a wonderful singing teacher in Los Angeles, and I would sneak into his studio and work on technique and sing songs and stalk out, and this was as far as I got. That was years ago, so I finally said to my agent, 'I think I need to try this singing thing.' And they're like, 'What, you sing? You've been working how many years and never told anybody this?' So, I auditioned and somehow ended up here. I don't know how it happened."
One of the few times Mary Stuart did sing was on a tape recording, namely the LA Theater Works' audio cassette of Wendy Kesselman's MERRY-GO-ROUND, in which she sang briefly with Steven Weber. It should be remembered that this was a tape recording, and not a live performance. LA Theater Works is producing these tapes in order to preserve the spirit of old-time radio theater. The tapes are available on the link below, so anyone interested in hearing Mary Stuart Masterson sing professionally, perhaps for the first time, try MERRY-GO-ROUND. There is also a link to MERRY-GO-ROUND on the BODY OF WORK page of the Tavern.
Claudia found some interesting comments that were given by the composer of the music for "Nine," Maury Yeston. Some excerpts follow, along with a link to the original article.
"Well, let's not forget her (Mary Stuart's) DNA, first of all. Her mother (Carlin Glynn) won the Tony (for "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas') and her father (Peter Masterson) wrote 'Whorehouse.' She was raised in the 46th Street Theater. This is an actress of enormous subtelty and delicacy, enormous beauty, and enormous depth...She is a fantastic singer. I've been quoted as saying it was the most overwhelming audition I've ever seen. She came in and totally blew us away. It meant a great deal to me the first time around to see all of these people become stars, and I think it is going to happen again. Mary Stuart is going to be a revelation."
The Tavern's Swiss correspondent is keeping us all posted on the build up to "Nine." There is a nice bunch of photos of the female cast of the Broadway Musical located at the link below, the official site for "Nine."
Claudia Kehl, ace Net surfer from the land of the Alps, has come across some great "Nine" sites out on the Web. There is one that includes a video where the actors say a few words about their work on the production. These videos can be downloaded for viewing. Claudia reports that MSM's video is short, but displays Ms. Masterson's sense of humor. The other link is back to a PLAYBILL article announcing the cast album to NINE. I guess the stage business calls them "cast albums" instead of "soundtracks," like in the movies. So, soon, you can have a CD of MSM singing professionally for the first time. The third link is to Broadway.com's thumbnail biography of MSM, including all of her stage credits on and off Broadway. Just click on the links below to access those sites:
Searching Google, I was able to locate the official Web site of MSM Broadway musical "Nine." The show was put on for the theater reporters and other show business VIPs, and it was a big hit with the crowd. Theater critic and journalist Frank Rich wrote a great review of the production for the NEW YORK TIMES. The article also has a listing of various ticket prices for performances of "Nine." This show may receive an extended run if the reviews are all this great.
Our Swiss correspondent, Claudia Kehl, is keeping a sharp eye out for information about the upcoming "Nine" premiere on Broadway. She found an article in the magazine PLAYBILL, published in New York and dealing with news of the Broadway theater. What follows is a segment of the article that included comments from Mary Stuart Masterson, but included comments from all the major players: Antonio Banderas, Chita Rivera, and Jane Krakowski.
The run-up to the premiere of "Nine," the biggest MSM story of the first half of 2003, includes some collections of cast portraits called "Photo Calls" in the theater business. What follows are the links to some copyrighted photos of the "Nine" cast found on Broadway.com and Playbill by Claudia and Milargar. The TAVERN is grateful for the assistance of these correspondents in keeping all visitors abreast with the news of Ms. Masterson's Broadway adventure:
Claudia, reporting from the Alpine nation of Switzerland, wishes you all to know that MR. NORTH and MARRIED TO IT are now available on DVD. Not only is DVD the wave of the future, but the DVDs last forever, provide a much richer picture, and are much easier to store. I have thought about converting from VHS, but have been procrastinating. Maybe a gradual transition would be best, but it soon will one day be the only physical media for films. Those who wish to buy a copy can go to the Web sites of Amazon.com or Reel.com.
If anyone has a copy of ON THE SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS, please contact Janelle Woodard at the e-mail address above. It should also be noted that the LIFETIME MOVIE NETWORK, an affliliate of LIFETIME TELEVISION FOR WOMEN, is going to run ON THE SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS in February. Please consult the TV schedule page with a list of MSM's films and television productions by clicking on the link below. LIFETIME, an ABC/DISNEY affiliate, produced ON THE SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS in 1997. There is no video or DVD available to my knowledge.
As we have pointed out here, with the help of Claudia Kehl, Mary Stuart Masterson is going to star in the Broadway Musical "Nine" starting on April 10th of this year. The magazine Entertainment Weekly has just published its 2003 Preview issue dated January 24/31 with Rebecca Romijin Stamos in her X-Men makeup on the cover. Anyway, Entertainment Weekly uses this issue to zero in on what the writers and editors conclude are the best offerings in film, television, video games, music, and the stage. "Nine" is highly anticipated by the magazine, and on page 32, there is a nice layout about the musical production, along with a short article that centers primarily on Mary Stuart Masterson and the producer Maury Yeston, who originally took "Nine" to a Tony Award in 1982. There is a nice publicity photo of Chita Rivera, Jane Krakowski of "Ally McBeal," Laura Benanti, and Mary Stuart perched on the edge of a tall bar stool wearing a silver evening dress.
Ms. Masterson is quoted right off in the article: "I call the show 'The Mistress, the Muse, His Wife, and His Mother." This quote is highlighting the main plot of the script, which is about a movie director reviewing his relationships with the women in his life. The writer mentions that Antonio Banderas, who plays the director, and Mary Stuart Masterson have never sung on a New York stage before. Maury Yeston says this about that: "I love the idea that some people are goingto be new to the musical theater, because that is what we did the first time around (with "Nine" in 1982). Yeston goes on to heap most of his praise on You-Know-Who:
"(Mary Stuart Masterson) gave the most overwhelming audition I have seen in my career."
Well, Mr. Yeston, anyone who visits here, especially the Guestbook signers, could have told you in advance that would happen!
Keep in mind, Yeston won a TONY in 1982, before he saw Mary Stuart audition. Uh, I think she was maybe SIXTEEN at the time.
This is looking better all the time. Maybe I could arrange to go to a training school in Manhattan about April....