I have to admit that apparently since I didn’t watch the Tony Awards last night, I am apparently a bad theatre person. Or so I’m told. You see, I’m actually lighting a show and making a paycheck right now, so I didn’t have a chance to sit and watch the Tony Awards show. Did you watch, or are you baaaad like me?
The big lighting design awards last night were Best Lighting Design for a Play, and Best Lighting Design for a Musical. In the PLAY category, the Tony was awarded to Neil Austin for Red by John Logan; in the MUSICAL category, the Tony was awarded to Kevin Adams for American Idiot by Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day and Michael Mayer.
Best Lighting Design for a Play: Red (Golden Theatre) by John Logan, lighting design by Neil Austin
Neil Austin – the LD behind the show:
Production images of Red:
(All images from Johan Persson, from the Neil Austin website)
About Red (from the Tony Award website):
Master American expressionist Mark Rothko (Alfred Molina) has just landed the biggest commission in the history of modern art. But when his young assistant (Eddie Redmayne) gains the confidence to challenge him, Rothko faces the agonizing possibility that his crowning achievement could also become his undoing. John Logan’s play is a searing portrait of an artist’s ambition and vulnerability as he tries to create a definitive work for an extraordinary setting.
Producers: Arielle Tepper Madover, Stephanie P. McClelland, Matthew Byam Shaw, Neal Street, Fox Theatricals, Ruth Hendel/Barbara Whitman, Philip Hagemann/Murray Rosenthal, The Donmar Warehouse
The images from the show are amazing. From a few people who emailed me today to tell me about the show, it was also apparently equally amazing, and Austin’s work is stellar.
Best Lighting Design for a Musical: American Idiot (Berkeley Rep) by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer, Lighting Design by Kevin Adams
Kevin Adams, LD behind American Idiot:
Production images from American Idiot, from Kevin Adams’ website:
From the Tony Awards website about American Idiot:
American Idiot tells the exhilarating story of a new generation of young Americans as they struggle to find meaning in a post-9/11 world, in a journey borne along by songs of the band Green Day. The musical follows working-class characters from the suburbs to the city to the Middle East, as they seek redemption in a world filled with frustration. The cast of 19 is led by past Tony Award-winner John Gallagher, Jr.
Producers: Tom Hulce & Ira Pittelman, Ruth and Steven Hendel, Vivek J. Tiwary and Gary Kaplan, Aged in Wood and Burnt Umber, Scott Delman, Latitude Link, HOP Theatricals and Jeffrey Finn, Larry Welk, Bensinger Filerman and Moellenberg Taylor, Allan S. Gordon/Élan V. McAllister, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Awaken Entertainment, John Pinckard and John Domo
You’ve probably heard of Kevin Adams, if not Neil Austin too. Kevin Adams got some press on JimOnLight.com last year for his design for Passing Strange (which has become one of my favorite designs ever). I ran across an article in Live Design that asked Kevin five questions – this was my favorite two – students and people wanting to break into the lighting design industry, pay attention:
Live Design: What is the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
Kevin Adams: I was never really interested in a “career,” so I never really asked for career advice. I realized early on that employment as a freelancer was always going to be up and down, so I’ve tried to make every day less about working and more about making things that, at the end of the day, satisfy me. And if other people respond to the work I make, then great.
Live Design: And what’s the worst?
Kevin Adams: Probably telling myself that a “career” doesn’t matter.
Amazing. I hope this gives a little bit of insight into the Best Lighting Design category of the Tony Awards. It is so important to me that people know more than just who won the award!