Casey Nicholaw, a San Diego native and Mission Bay High School grad who went on to become one of Broadway's top directors and choreographers, and Athol Fugard, a Rancho Santa Fe resident and renowned playwright whose works center on racial and social injustice, retraced their steps on Sunday, June 12—and both are a mantle piece richer for their trouble.
The Book of Mormon, the Nicholaw-directed satire on the Latter-Day Saints dubbed by its promoters as “God's favorite musical,” snagged nine statuettes at the 65th annual Tony Awards, including those for Best Musical Direction and Best Choreography (both of which Nicholaw won) and Best Musical. The show was nominated for 14 awards, second only to The Producers from 2001 and 2008's Billy Elliott: The Musical (each had been singled out for 15; The Producers won 12, the record).
Fugard, a native South African who celebrated his 79th birthday the day before, received a Lifetime Achievement Tony for his pieces, mostly inspired by his vehement anti-apartheid views. He's received six Tony nominations, including four for Best Play.
It should be noted that the votes were tallied differently this year. Only 720 voters weighed in, down from the usual 800, as the awards management committee determined 80 members of the press were ineligible to cast ballots. The group cited a conflict of interest, saying that journalists get to vote on Tony nominees and talk up other shows at the same time. I cite cronyism. I say the absence of the press provides greater clout among voters who have vested interests in a particular show.
Our Town: George Gibbs and Emily Webb's everyday lives reveal humanity's deeper aspects in early 20th-century New England. Produced by Cygnet Theatre Company, it's in previews now and opens June 18 at The Old Town Theatre. $34-$49. cygnettheatre.com
Amadeus: Composer Antonio Salieri throws up a series of roadblocks to sidetrack the career of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, his supposed archrival. Now in previews, it opens June 24 at The Old Globe Theatre's Lowell Davies Festival Theatre in Balboa Park. $29-$67. oldglobe.org
The Tempest: Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan, conjures up a storm to help restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place. Now in previews, it opens June 19 at The Old Globe Theatre's Lowell Davies Festival Theatre in Balboa Park. $29-$67. oldglobe.org
Much Ado about Nothing: While Beatrice and Benedick hide their infatuation beneath witty barbs, young love blossoms as Hero and Claudio race to the altar, with the wicked Don John conspiring to break up the wedding. Now in previews, it opens June 29 at The Old Globe Theatre's Lowell Davies Festival Theatre in Balboa Park. $29-$67. oldglobe.org
Foggerty's Fairy: A man gets a chance to obliterate any misdeed in his life he chooses, only to find himself dredging up more bad judgment. Produced by Talent to aMuse, it runs through June 18 at Swedenborg Hall in University Heights. $18. talenttoamuse.com
Chela: A Mexican woman, kept illiterate and horrifically abused by her husband, finds the strength to reclaim her life and her sexual identity. June 19 at BLK BOX @ 6th & Penn in Hillcrest. $12-$15. iontheatre.com
Rounding Third: Coaches Don and Michael have very different views on their Little League team—Donald wants the kids to win, while Michael wants them to enjoy the game. Produced by Scripps Ranch Theatre, it runs through June 25 at the Legler-Benbough Theatre in Scripps Ranch. $10-$22. scrippsranchtheatre.org
Swingtime Canteen: This show looks at the films and personalities that defined the American consciousness during World War II. Through June 25 at OnStage Playhouse in Chula Vista. $10-$20.
Humble Boy: Felix Humble confronts his mental and emotional deficiencies as he tries to fulfill his familial and professional responsibilities. Through June 26 at Patio Playhouse in Escondido. $7-$15. patioplayhouse.com
Life Cycles: Such topics as generational friction, internet dating, psychoanalysis, friendship, marriage, divorce and grief are under review here. Through June 26 at Poway Performing Arts Center, 13250 Poway Road. $12-$15. powpac.org
My Name Is Asher Lev: A young Hasidic Jewish artist is torn between following his heart and following his faith. Through June 26 at North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach. northcoastrep.org
Swimming in the Shallows: Barb learns that Thai monks own only eight things—and she wonders if that's all she wants, even as her husband lavishes her with new clothes. Produced by InnerMission Productions, it runs through June 26 at Diversionary Theatre in University Heights. $15-$20. innermissionproductions.org
Ten Cent Night: Country music star Hewitt Finley just put a bullet in his brain—now it's up to his family to soldier on. Produced by MOXIE Theatre, it runs through June 26 at The Rolando Theatre, 6663 El Cajon Blvd. in the College Area. $22-$40. 858-598-7620, moxietheatre.com
Death of a Salesman: Willy Loman is smiling on the outside, but his emotional bankruptcy is killing his career and dividing his family. Through July 3 at New Village Arts Theatre, 2787 State St. in Carlsbad. $20-$40. newvillagearts.org
The Music Man: Conman Harold Hill comes to River City with a scam involving a boys marching band, but things don't go according to plan. Produced by Lamb's Players Theatre, it runs through July 24 at the Ione and Paul Harter Stage in Coronado. $22-$58. lambsplayers.org
* miXtape: Generation X was torn between disillusionment and hope in this cavalcade of music from the 1980s. Produced by Lamb's Players Theatre, it runs through Sept. 4 at the Horton Grand Theatre, Downtown. $28-$58. lambsplayers.org