Showbiz Sandbox 194: Tony Awards Prove Broadway Knows How To Put On A Show

Once again actor Neil Patrick Harris proved he knows how to host an awards show with a dazzling turn as master of ceremonies at this year’s Tony Awards last Sunday. The ceremony provided its share of surprises and dramatic speeches from the likes of Cicely Tyson and pop-star Cyndi Lauper as “Kinky Boots” walked off with six Tonys including Best Musical. Though the telecast may have been poorly directed, it was filled with a mixed bag of performances from this season’s top Broadway shows.

For Broadway play or musical, a Tony can provide a huge boost at the box office, though it’s no guarantee. There has never been a magic formula for investing in the arts which is something JP Morgan and its partners should have looked into before loaning Paramount Pictures a load of cash to finance movies. Now everyone is suing each other after the bank discovered their Hollywood investments weren’t as risk free as they had initially thought.

That kind of inside news is usually reported by the likes of Nikki Finke over at her Deadline Hollywood blog. However, if a scoop from a competing online news source is correct, Finke’s days at Deadline may be numbered. Has Finke’s conentious reputation finally caught up with her, or will a crosstown rival need to eat some crow?

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including Amazon’s European tax problems, Disney’s digital distribution plans, and the possibly illegal limitations of Microsoft’s new Xbox.

Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 194: Tony Awards Prove Broadway Knows How To Put On A Show

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Showbiz Sandbox 45: Changing Faces At Variety

Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” took the top spot at the box office again this week, which might be why 3D is causing quite a stir at ShoWest this year in Las Vegas. J. Sperling Reich fills us in on what theatre owners are talking about at the annual convention.

This week Hollywood suffered another untimely death, this time it was actor Corey Haim at age 38.

In happier news (for some), Jay Leno seems to be doing quite well back in his old time slot. The late night funnyman went back to “The Tonight Show” and ratings soared. What does this mean for Conan O’Brien and his chances for launching a competing late night talk show?

In music news, Billboard published a list of the Top 40 Moneymakers of 2009. Its well worth checking out as you might be surprised who makes the list. (Although it’s no surprise that U2 tops the list.)

Finally, we are joined by indieWIRE’s Anne Thompson during our Inside Baseball segment to talk about why Variety, the industry’s top trade paper is laying off staff members, including Todd McCarthy, their top film critic. Is this a sign of impending doom for the daily?  Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 45: Changing Faces At Variety

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