Issue #153: June 15, 2005
- The Monty Python spoof Spamalot didn't quite wipe up at the Tonys as expected. However it did snatch three of the trophies including Best Musical category as well as Best Director for theatre and film legend Mike Nichols, his ninth Tony. The big winner that came from behind was The Light in the Piazza collecting six Tonys, which will no doubt give life to the box office after that haul.
- As I watched the Tony Awards on June 5, I couldn't help but feel sad that North American society is ravenous about every aspect of the Oscars each year — which always turns out to be a boring self-serving broadcast — yet the Tony Awards celebrating theatre can't score even half the Oscar viewing audience. The theatre was around long before film and quite possibly will survive the current electronic revolution. But it is the depth of talent that continues to return to the stage year after year and yet few people watch — mostly those of us who follow the theatre world. The telecast was witty, colourful, spontaneous and tightly produced as it is every year but I bet when the ratings come out there will be yet another decline in viewership. It is such a shame that one of the greatest art forms, the theatre, keeps being sidelined by bland and pedestrian product that is passed off as entertainment.
- Anne Bancroft will forever be linked to her role as Mrs. Robinson in the 1967 film The Graduate but her favourite role was as wife to Mel Brooks. Bancroft succumbed to cancer on Monday, June 6 at the age of 73. Bancroft was a celebrated stage actress winning accolades and a Tony award for her Broadway performance as Annie Sullivan in the Miracle Worker then reprising the role on film for which she won an Academy Award. It was this role she was most proud of. In 1958 she won her first Tony Award opposite Henry Fonda in Two for the Seesaw. Ms. Bancroft made her mark in film with Academy nominations for The Pumpkin Eater (1964(, The Graduate (1967), The Turning Point (1977) and Agnes of God (1985). She married comedian-director-producer Mel Brooks in 1956 and he credits her for suggesting he put his hit comedy film The Producers on stage — and now he is making a movie of the Tony Award-winning musical. full circle. Bancroft appeared in three of Brooks comedies: Silent Movie, a remake of To Be or Not to Be and Dracula: Dead and Loving it. Here's to you Mrs. Robinson..