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Broadway Alumni win big at the Academy Awards!

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

Although perhaps the biggest blunder in Oscar history is making the headlines this morning, for theatre fans around the world, our headline simply reads "Broadway wins big at the Oscars!". Although new musical La La Land didn't manage to clinch the coveted oscar for Best Picture (if you hadn't heard, Moonlight actually won it!), the tuner was able to get its hands on six Academy Awards, including the first oscar win for Broadway's hottest songwriting duo - Justin Paul and Benj Pasek. They won in the category of "Best Song" for their efforts on writing one of La La Land's popular musical numbers - "City of Stars" - and were also nominated in the same category for "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)." Congratulations guys!

The young composers are currently represented on the Great White Way by smash hit musical Dear Evan Hansen at the Music Box Theatre. Past stage credits include 'A Christmas Story,' 'Dogfight,' 'James and the Giant Peach' and 'Edges.' The pair are also working on another movie musical in development - The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman.

 

Sticking with La La Land, Broadway alum Emma Stone took home the Oscar for "Best Actress." She made her Broadway debut as Sally Bowles in the Roundabout Theatre Company's 2014 revival of Cabaret at Studio 54. "Maybe This Time I'll Win?"... You did indeed, Ms. Stone!

Congratulations also go to playwright Kenneth Lonergan, who has been represented both on and off-Broadway, picked up the oscar for "Best Screenplay" for his writing efforts on Manchester By The Sea. He made his Broadway debut in 2014 with 'This Is Our Youth,' which had two previous off-Broadway engagements, and he was last represented in New York with the Atlantic Theater Company production of 'Hold On To Me Darling.' Other off-Broadway credits include 'Medieval Play,' 'The Starry Messenger,' 'Lobby Hero,' and 'The Waverly Gallery.'

 

Finally, a huge congrats to Viola Davis, who can now add an Academy Award to the mantelpiece, right next to her Tony Award. Her performance as Rose in the 2010 Broadway revival of August Wilson's Fences earned her the Tony that same year and now her reprising of the role for the film adaptation has landed her the "Best Actress in a Supporting Role" gong. Ms. Davis also won a Tony Award for 'King Hedley II' in 2001 and earned a Tony nomination for her Broadway debut in 'Seven Guitars' in 1996. Her co-star Denzel Washington was also nominated in the categories of "Best Actor" and "Best Director."

All in all, Broadway was certainly well represented and well rewarded at the film industry's biggest night of the year... Now, I guess we'll just have to sit and wait patiently for the stage adaptation of La La Land, so Hollywood can return the favour!

 

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