Monday, June 9, 2014
Ballots Over Broadway
UPDATE #2 Major Variety piece today on the show and its dash to favorite status at the Tonys--and two mentions the writers and director are next doing musical based on my book (see below).
UPDATE #1: No shocker, Gentleman's Guide won four major awards, including Best Musical, from the Outer Critics (press) yesterday. Both of the NYT top critics said on Sunday it should win Best Musical at the Tonys shortly. This past Sunday, the creators, plus director and four cast members, held a wonderful speak-and-sing at the 92Y in NYC, and at the end talked excitedly about their next--based on my "Campaign of the Century" book. Then co-composer Steve Lutvak grandly performed one song from that, in which Upton Sinclair's wife, worried about his health and possible assassination, declares, "I"m Not Going to Vote for You" for governor, and good huge applause from sold-out crowd. Then the other composer, Robert Freedman, touted my book. Great night all around.
Earlier: The NYT has a preview of wide-open races for Tony Award nominations, coming April 29, for the best of Broadway, and glad to see that the favorite to grab a Best Musical nod (and no doubt other nominations) is "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder." This is the play by the two talented guys--Robert L. Freedman and Steve Lutvak--whose next musical is (believe it or not) based on my book about Upton Sinclair's race for governor of California, The Campaign of the Century. It's had stagings of one sort or another in San Jose, Chicago, L.A. and New York.
What, a witty musical about a leftwing grassroots campaign that almost put a socialist in control of California during the depths of the Depression? Well, it does (as did the book) feature Hollywood's first all-plunge into politics, not to mention FDR and Eleanor and W.R. Hearst, Aimee Semple McPherson and more, and the wild race did inspire a change in how all top campaigns would be run ever after.
is author of a dozen books (click on covers at right), including the new "THE TUNNELS: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill." He was the longtime editor of Editor & Publisher. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @GregMitch