Looking At Danny’s Tony Performances

Yesterday was the birthday of my old pal Danny Burstein, so Playbill decided to go through his performances over the years. Later this month, he begins previews in “Moulin Rouge!” I’m hoping this will yield him the Tony he so richly deserves.

Your Weekend: A Selective Guide

Movies: “Men in Black: International” looks like a retread and so does the new “Shaft.” Best bet is “Late Night,” with Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling. TV/Streaming: Catch up with the new season of “Pose” on FX…This Sunday on PBS brings a new season of my favorite TV drama: “Endeavour.” Music: I love how Julie London always sounds slightly drunk in most of her recordings…The media are going on — and on and on — about Bob Dylan in the ’70s again. Books: My friend Rich Cohen is a terrific nonfiction writer, and his latest is “The Last Pirate of New York.” Sports: I’m happily watching the women’s World Cup, even though the talent-rich USA team has quickly established itself as The One The World Loves To Hate. Finally: “I like New York in June — how about you?”

Who Is/Was Sylvia?

Sylvia Miles died yesterday. I knew her a bit over the years — she would accost me at parties and ask me to get her a drink. She was frugal — she used to go into NYC restaurants, eat a meal, complain there was a hair in the main course, and ask to be comped — and she was blowsy. But she was a reminder of the days when New York was full of unique individuals — “characters,” we used to call them. Those days are long gone — “characters” can’t afford to live in the city anymore. It’s a pity.

Strand Owner Fumes About Landmarking

NY Post: ‘The de Blasio administration tagged the iconic Strand Bookstore’s building with a dreaded landmark designation Tuesday — a move the owner says was a concession to locals so the mayor can build a tech hub in the area.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted 8-0 to make the bookseller’s home at 828 Broadway a landmark — triggering onerous maintenance requirements that could send the 92-year-old shop’s ledgers into the red, according to owner Nancy Bass-Wyden (pictured).
“The thing that started it was Mayor Bill de Blasio,” she told The Post. “We just don’t want any more expenses. We don’t need it. It’s a brutal retail environment, and now we’re under siege.”’

Tonys Ratings: Five-Year Low

There’s nothing surprising about that headline. The broadcast, hosted by James Corden (pictured), tried too hard and too loudly for TV-isn’t-social-media laughs and substituted silly bits (like Corden talking to his dad) for features that would have pleased the veteran watchers. (The broadcast will never attract the eyeballs of non-theater-geek kids, so it should stop trying.) Such features would have included more spotlight on people like Rosemary Harris and Carol Channing and Neil Simon, true legends who barely got more than a flicker’s notice.

Tony Awards: What I Thought

The only big surprise was that there was no big surprise. Among the winners, that is. Not a single upset. I was slightly surprised by how many awards “Hadestown” won (eight) — all my close theatergoer friends admire it much more than they love it — but otherwise the evening was strictly by the book. Ali Stroker (pictured) deservedly won her category. My favorite acceptance speeches all came from older people: Elaine May, Andre de Shields, and Mart Crowley. The broadcast’s producers, however, didn’t think much of the seniors: legend Rosemary Harris (honorary award) got scant screen time, and the late Carol Channing, the last of the old-school Broadway divas, got only a brief image in the In Memoriam section. I’m sure some of the producers thought: we can’t focus on old women because it will turn off older viewers! News flash: except for high-school-theater nerds, kids don’t watch the Tonys.

Your Weekend: A Selective Guide

Movies: The latest “X Men,” called “Dark Phoenix,” is apparently lousy — bring back Hugh Jackman! “The Secret Life of Pets” is harmless if the kids need an outing. TV/Streaming: The Tony Awards are on Sunday and the only award I care about is Best Actress/Play: will Elaine May show up to collect it? Music: Amazon’s top-selling albums are Springsteen, Dylan, Queen, and Elton: further proof that only baby boomers spend money on music. Books: I’m re-reading Tanizaki’s 1945 novel “The Makioka Sisters” and marveling at the economy of the storytelling. Sports: The best thing about the NBA playoffs is that a Boston team can’t take the crown! Finally: “I like New York in June — how about you?”