Ben Platt Wins First Tony For ‘Dear Evan Hansen’

In 2012, Ben Platt stole every scene he was in during his movie debut in Pitch Perfect. While movie audiences were being introduced to Platt and the world of a capella through the voice of Anna Kendrick though, Platt was busy working on the stage in The Book of Mormon, which made its move to Broadway, taking him with it, in 2014. Just three years later, Platt has earned his first Tony Award for his work in his second Broadway show, Dear Evan Hansen.

Dear Evan Hansen follows Platt as a high school student with social anxiety who accidentally makes himself popular after the tragic loss of another student. Evan’s therapy assignment accidentally becomes another student’s suicide not, propelling him into the spotlight and prompting him to spin a story of friendship that never was. The play has received tons of critical acclaim and award nominations, and for Platt, who has loved the theater since he was a young boy, the recognition is all the sweeter.

Nominated for nine Tony Awards at this year’s ceremony, the musical won six of them, including Best Actor in a Musical for Platt, Best Score, and Best Musical. Platt had previously won the Drama League’s Distinguished Performance Award for his role, and at 23, he was the youngest to ever get it, but during Sunday’s Tony Awards, the live audience got to see just what the show means to Platt as he attended the Awards with his mother, mouthing, “Oh my God,” to her before coming on stage to accept his award.

At a rapid pace where he fought back tears, Platt thanked the team behind the show and his family but also detailed falling in love with musical theater at the age of six when he played the prince in Cinderella. He closed his acceptance speech by reminding everyone watching, “not to change a thing about yourself because the things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful.”

Platt will continue his run in Dear Evan Hansen at the Music Box Theater on Broadway. A touring cast will begin a US tour in 2018.

Cher Will Produce an Autobiographical Broadway Musical

Cher has had an amazing career that has spanned more than 50 years. She has been a success in music and in acting. She even won the Oscar for Best Actress. There is really nothing she has not accomplished. However, she is not ready to fade away into the sunset at age 71. In fact, there will be a Broadway musical about Cher’s life that will debut in 2018. She recently made the official announcement. However, she did not reveal any other substantial details about the show. It will feature many of Cher’s most famous songs. The show will be directed by Jason Moore and written by Rick Elice.

 

The musical will be unique because it will not simply have one actress portraying Cher. There will be three actresses playing Cher at different ages. The casting process is currently underway. Cher did not reveal any info regarding any of the actresses who might be playing her. She also did not say if any casting decisions were final as of yet. There was also no official announcement about the theater on Broadway where the show will be performed. That detail is most likely still be booked at the present time.

 

Cher has talked on several occasions about producing a musical about her life. However, it has never come to fruition until now. She said that she was too busy earlier in her life to commit the time that was needed to personally oversee the project from start to finish. She has said that she wanted to be directly involved because the show is about her life story. Therefore, there is nobody better to tell it than her. Now she is older and she does not have as many irons in the fire. She has the time to sit through auditions and rehearsals for the show and give her input. She said that she can’t wait for opening night so an audience can see all the hard work that has gone into the show.

 

Broadway Casting Directors Want to Form a Union

Broadway casting directors have been involved in a fight to form a union for quite some time. They want to formally be recognized as a member of Local 817. Now their fight is getting some support from some very powerful people in the show business industry. Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro and Liam Neeson have all voiced support publicly for the Broadway casting directors. Having such powerful people in their corner should go a long way to helping their attempt to unionize become a success. However, the fight is far from over. The casting directors hope to get a lot more publicity for their cause leading up to the Tony Awards. This is the biggest day of the year for Broadway. Therefore, it is the perfect time for the casting directors to let as many people as possible know about their attempt to create a union.

 

There are around 40 casting directors that work on Broadway shows. The reason they want to form a union and become a part of Teamsters Local 817 is because they are one of the very few professions in show business that does not have a union representing them. They must work without the benefit of wage protection. They also do not have any sort of medical or retirement benefits. Unionizing will make their working conditions much better. There is no question that things will have to change. Otherwise, nobody will want to become a casting director for a profession. It is a very critical job when it comes to Broadway and show business in general. Production companies rely on casting directors to spot talented actors and place them in the right roles.

 

There is a group of directors that is known as the Broadway League. These are the people who will need to be convinced to recognize the casting directors as a union. They believe that the casting directors are independent contractors of the shows they work for, not employees.