At the 72nd annual Tony Awards ceremony on June 10th, the toast of Broadway was The Band's Visit, which took home 10 of the 11 awards it was nominated for, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Book, Best Director, Best Lead Actor, Actress and Featured Actor. Based on an Israeli art-house film by the same name, the story transpires over a single night in a restaurant in a small town in the Israeli desert. The eight-man Egyptian Police Orchestra arrive at the town by mistake, having been booked elsewhere. Since the band is without available transportation or lodging, the restaurant owner offers them a place to stay. What follows is a delicate, somewhat melancholy examination of the human need to connect across differences in race, politics, and culture.
Among other winners of the night were Angels in America and Three Tall Women. Although Tina Fey's Mean Girls received 12 nominations, the show was shut out of every award.
In local theatre news, the Wichita Center for the Performing Arts has re-opened their doors as a playground and training center for aspiring young artists. Young people can choose from a creative roster of classes, including improv, stage combat, song-writing, and play-writing, as well as a class on reading and understanding Shakespeare.
And the Kechi Playhouse is raising funds to reach the 25% cash match required for a rehabilitation grant to repair the playhouse exterior. Those interested in helping to preserve this gem of a local theatre, open since 1983, should contact the playhouse.