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72nd Tony Awards: De Niro Gets Bleeped, Garfield’s Speech, The Band’s Visit Tops & Parkland Students’ Emotional Performance

Courtesy/CBS

Sunday night on CBS, the 72nd Annual Tony Awards were presented at Radio City Music Hall in New York City,  Hosted by Josh Groban and Sarah Bareilles, there were several notable moments in the show.

The evening’s big winner took home 10 Tonys, and that was the Best Musical recipient, The Band’s Visit. Of the nominees in the category, The Band’s Visit was the critical darling with its social and political message.  The musical is based on a 2007 Israeli film of the same name.  It centers on members of an Egyptian police orchestra booked to play a concert at the Israeli city of Petah Tikvah, who mistakenly wind up in the wrong town. Over the next few hours, the townspeople and the musicians learn about each other and themselves.

Photo: Ahron R. Foster.

Tony Shalhoub took home Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his work in The Band’s Visit.  In his acceptance speech, he spoke to immigrants building a life in the United States:  “I want to connect this moment to a moment that occurred nearly a century ago in 1920 when my father arrived on a boat from Lebanon and first set foot here on Ellis Island. He was then just a boy of 8. Disembarked on Ellis Island just a few short miles from this very spot. So tonight I celebrate him and all of those whose family journeyed before him and with him and after him.”

The most talked about moment that will be remembered, when all is said and done, was Robert De Niro coming to the stage to introduce a performance by Bruce Springsteen.  When De Niro got to the mic, he shocked all and said: “First, I wanna say, ‘f**k Trump,'”  He then added: “It’s no longer ‘Down with Trump,’ it’s ‘f**k Trump.'”   U.S. viewers at home heard dead silence, though in other regions the f-bombs reportedly weren’t censored. The expletives sparked a huge reaction from the audience, with many of the celebrities standing up.

Courtesy/CBS

However, the acceptance speech of the night belonged to Andrew Garfield, who took home the Tony for Best Leading Actor in a Play for his turn as Prior Walter in the revival of Angels In America.

Garfield expressed: “At a moment in time, where maybe the most important thing we remember right now is the sanctity of the human spirit, it is the profound privilege of my life to play Prior Walter in Angels in America, because he represents the purest spirit of humanity and especially that of the LGBTQ community. It is a spirit that says ‘no’ to oppression, it is a spirit that says ‘no’ to bigotry, ‘no’ to shame, ‘no’ to exclusion. It is a spirit that says we are all made perfectly and we all belong.  So, I dedicate this award to the countless LGBTQ people who have fought and died to protect that spirit, to protect that message, for the right to live and love as we are created to.”

Then the actor closed his acceptance speech with this message based off the recent Supreme Court ruling where a gay couple was denied a custom wedding cake to be made for their nuptials, because of the religious beliefs of a Colorado baker.  The court ruled to absolve the baker of discrimination. Garfield shared: “We are all sacred and we all belong, so let’s just bake a cake for everyone who wants a cake to be baked.  Thank you so much”

Courtesy/CBS

In a surprise appearance at the Tony Awards, 16 students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School drama department took to the stage. What happened next was the most touching moment of the evening.  With the iconic melody of “Seasons of Love” beginning to play, a chorus of voices began their rendition of the hit song from Rent.   The performance brought the audience to its feet.  Almost four month ago, the high school located in Parkland, Florida was the scene of a mass shooting leaving 17 dead and 17 injured.

Check out the complete list of Tony Winners here.

So, what was your favorite highlight of the 72nd Annual Tony Awards? Comment below.  In case you missed it, watch: Robert De Niro’s f-bombs, Andrew Garfield’s acceptance speech, and the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school’s performance.

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I dont care what he thinks of Trump…his disrespect with his dirty mouth is unacceptable…no class in Hollywood anymore…stars no longer shine over Hollywierd!!!…there is a time and a place for political views and not something families are wastching!!!!

Just another once-venerable event that I have crossed off my must-viewing list….so glad I did!!! This year’s show sounded particularly nasty….no sense of what was appropriate for the actual occasion, simply more one-sided, filthy-mouthed, political drivel more befitting a sewer than a Broadway venue.

From a talented actor who made so many great movies, what will kids know him from now, a grumpy old man who drops the F bomb at a major event that honored the best in theater and paid tribute to the kids at Parkland. Yeah, those scum bag actors applauded those brilliant kids but the same losers stood up for Grandpa De Niro! My list gets longer and longer of actors, musicians and sports stars!

PS: Any positive point that was expressed by Andrew Garfield and his cake comment was and will be buried because of De Niro stealing the moment for his own agenda!

Micheal, thank you for the recap of the Tony Awards on your site. It’s nice to see you recognize the New York theatre community. Especially since so many stage actors used to appear on our daytime dramas. Just some that come to mind: Eileen Fulton, ATWT, was in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf”. The same production also starred Shepperd Strudwick, the second Victor Lord On OLTL. When I was a teenager I saw the original production of “A Little Night Music” with Pat Elliot, Renee OLTL and Victoria Mallory, Y&R. So many of these fine actors would work on the soaps during the day and were on the live stage in the evenings. The golden age of daytime drama!

I soooo – wanted – David Morse to WIN ” best featured actor in a play ” @ THE ICEMAN COMETH. he lost out to Nathan Lane. does any one remember David MORse in “The Green Mile”

AT HIS BESTEST

Free speech (as of now!) is still alive (but not so “well”) apparently!

So happy the brilliant Glenda Jackson won her first Tony. She was a major force in 1970s cinema, winning two Best Actress Oscars in 1970 and 1973. I always hated that she’s been largely forgotten since joining British politics in the 80s. But she’s back with a vengeance. Maybe this win will remind fans to watch her classic performances in WOMEN IN LOVE, A TOUCH OF CLASS, HOUSE CALLS, STEVIE, and MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS, among others.

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‘The Talk’ Renewed For 15th and Final Season to End in December; Does Its Cancellation Make Room for ‘The Gates’?

Things just got very interesting over at CBS daytime with the announcement today that The Talk is going to end its run on the network after its 15th season, and that season looks to be shortened as the series will come to its conclusion in December of 2024.

In a joint statement, Amy Reisenbach, President, CBS Entertainment and David Stapf, President, CBS Studio, shared, “The Talk broke new ground when it launched 14 years ago by returning daytime talk to CBS with a refreshing and award-winning format. Throughout the years, it has been a key program on CBS’ top rated daytime line-up as it brought timely, important and entertaining topics and discussions into living rooms around the globe.”

Reisenback and Stapf added, “It goes without saying that hosting and producing a year-round talk show is no easy task, and we express our sincere gratitude to our amazing hosts Akbar Gbajabiamila, Amanda Kloots, Natalie Morales, Jerry O’Connell and Sheryl Underwood, our Executive Producer/Showrunner Rob Crabbe and the hardworking producing team and crew.

Photo: CBS

Giving props to those who co-hosted or worked on the show through the years including: Sara Gilbert, Julie Chen Moonves, Carrie Ann Inaba Leah Ramimi, Marissa Janet Winokur, Holly Robinson Peete, Eve, Aisha Tyler, and Sharon Osbourne, the joint statement added, “We also want to acknowledge our former show hosts and colleagues who contributed throughout the seasons. We truly appreciate the skill, creativity, and dedication everyone involved brought to the show every day.  And of course, we thank the numerous guests who appeared, and the millions of viewers who tuned in daily. For the final season, we plan to celebrate the show and give it the proper sendoff it deserves when it concludes in December 2024.”

While no firm decision or announcement has been given at this time, it seems most likely that The Talk’s time slot could be given to the new soap opera in development The Gates from CBS Studio Ventures and from longtime soap opera writer. Michele Val Jean.  As previously reported, The Gates features the lives of a wealthy Black family who reside in a posh, gated community.

Photo: JPI

The Talk was originally the brainchild of Sara Gilbert, who had developed the show when it launched back 2010 and it replaced the beloved As the World Turns which went off the air after 54 years when CBS canceled it.

So, what do you think of The Talk being canceled? Will this make room for The Gates to begin to air in its spot beginning in 2025? Share your reactions to the news via the comment section.

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O. J. Simpson Dead at 76: Real-Life Murder Trial in Which He Was Acquitted, Changed the Trajectory of Soap Operas

Former Pro Football superstar, O. J. Simpson, who became infamous for being on trial for the murders of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, has passed away at the age of 76 of cancer.

Simpson’s family put out a statement sharing, “Our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren. During this time of transition, his family asks that you please respect their wishes for privacy and grace.”

It was the murder trial that overtook the airwaves back in late 1994 and through most of 1995 that changed the landscape of daytime television forever, and in particular soap operas that many will recall.

Photo: AP

On June 12, 1994, Nicole Simpson, O.J.’s former wife, and her friend, Ron Goldman, were brutally murdered. When O.J. became the prime suspect, a wild pursuant of him by the police while in his white Ford Bronco was viewed on every network by some 95 million viewers. This June marks 30-years since the incident.

Ultimately, Simpson was charged with Brown Simpson and Goldman’s murders, though he was acquitted in what was dubbed The Trial of the Century.

The trial permeated the airwaves of every network and any time of day. Networks consistently interrupted soap operas while covering the day in and day out of the spectacle that was this star athlete and TV and film star’s trial.

With many of the soaps pre-empted on a regular basis, the public fascination of Simpson’s trial was to many better than a soap opera as it has all the ingredients. Writer Dominic Dunne noted the themes via an article in Vanity Fair of “interracial marriage, love, lust, lies, hate, fame, wealth, beauty, obsession, spousal abuse, stalking, brokenhearted children, the bloodiest of bloody knife-slashing homicides, and all the justice that money can buy.”

Because of the trial, soap operas lost a significant amount of their audiences. The murder trial went on for 11 months from November 9, 1994, to October 3, 1995.  They never were able to fully rebound as reality television became the next big thing.

O.J. Simpson is survived by four children: Arnelle and Jason, from his first marriage, and Sydney and Justin, from his marriage to Nicole Brown Simpson.

So, do you remember being frustrated that your favorite soaps could not air during the O.J. trial, or did you find the murder trial more intriuing than the soaps themselves? Comment below.

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‘Melrose Place’ Reboot in the Works with Heather Locklear, Daphne Zuniga and Laura Leighton

Looks like some of former residents of Melrose Place will be getting back together in a revival of the popular Fox primetime soap opera of the 90s.

Now comes word that original series stars, Heather Locklear, Daphne Zuniga and Laura Leighton are set to reprise their signature roles of Amanda Woodward, Jo Reynolds, and Sydney Andrews.

The project is currently being shopped and looking for a TV or streaming home and coming from CBS Studios. The new offering is written by Lauren Gussis, and in story, Melrose Place picks up years after the original series and would provide an update on the characters, one of whom may no longer be with us.

Photo: Fox

In the premise, former residents will reunite “when one of their dearest friends dies suddenly.” However, things don’t go smoothly when old traumas, the reigniting of old romances and old resentments, and new secrets are revealed. Thus, throwing our characters into chaotic drama that’s reminiscent of the past, but with a much more modern perspective.

The original Melrose Place debuted on Fox back in 1992 and aired for seven seasons till 1999, and followed the young residents of a Los Angeles apartment complex. Locklear’s Amanda was a ruthless advertising executive. Leighton played Jane’s sister Sydney and Zuniga played photographer Jo. The cast also included: Marcia Cross, Josie Bissett, Andrew Shue, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Grant Show, Thomas Calabro, Doug Savant, Rob Estes, Brooke Langton, Lisa Rinna, Kristin Davis and Alyssa Milano.

According to Deadline, more original cast member will sign on if the show gets the green light. This is not the first time a Melrose Place reboot has made its way to television.  The CW revived the series in 2009 with a new cast which lasted only one season. However, Locklear, Zuniga and Leighton all made guest appearances.

So, do you hope a Melrose Place reboot with several of its original cast makes its way back on network TV or a streaming platform? Comment below.

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