Homeland, which won Golden Globe Awards for best actress in a television drama, best actor in a television drama, and best drama less than a year ago, failed to pick up a single nomination at this morning’s announcement. Not even Mandy Patinkin (or his resplendent facial hair) made the cut.
It was bad news for one Washington-set TV drama, but House of Cards and Veep both scored big, with House of Cards gaining nominations for best TV drama, best actor in a drama (Kevin Spacey), and best actress (Robin Wright). Julia-Louis Dreyfus, who’s won two Emmys so far for her performance as Selina Meyer in Veep, got her second Golden Globe nomination for the role.
Musician St. Vincent, contemporary artist Doug Aitken, and author Dave Eggers are among nine recipients of the second Smithsonian Magazine American Ingenuity Awards, the organization announced today.
The mission of the American Ingenuity Award, says a statement on the magazine’s website, is to “identify the most innovative individuals working in America today . . . candidates who had achieved a breakthrough that was influential and recent—ideally within the past year.” Aitken is best known in Washington for “Song 1,” his 2012 video installation on the outside of the Hirshhorn museum, but this year received plaudits for “Mirror,” an LED installation exhibited at the Seattle Art Museum.
St. Vincent, also known by her birth name, Annie Clark, is a singer/songwriter and instrumentalist who collaborated with David Byrne on the 2012 record Love This Giant. Eggers is the best-selling author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, What Is the What, and 2013’s The Circle, and is the founder of publishing company McSweeney’s and literary nonprofit 826 Valencia, which operates 826 DC in Washington.
The awards were established in 2012 to recognize innovation in arts, culture, science, technology, and education. Last year’s honorees included Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk, Grammy-winning musician Esperanza Spalding, and artist Benh Zeitlin. Artist Jeff Koons tweeted that he had designed the new American Ingenuity Award, to be given out November 19 in Washington.
Your National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony this year features three musical acts with 32 Grammy nominations among them and a Latin pop sensation whom People en Español has twice feted as being “most beautiful.”
Janelle Monáe, whose year has included an appearance on Saturday Night Live and a critically acclaimed follow-up album to 2010’s Grammy-winning smash, The ArchAndroid, will be there, as will superstar Cuban jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, and San Francisco rock band Train. And then there’s Prince Royce, who’s been described as “Latin music’s biggest breakout star” by Billboard, and who’s a mere 24 years of age. (He’s also currently in the running for favorite Latin artist at this year’s American Music Awards.)
As if that weren’t enough excitement, the National Christmas Tree is tweeting this year, so follow along for all your 31-foot, Colorado blue spruce updates.
The lighting ceremony takes place Friday, December 6, at 4:30 PM. Watch it live via the National Park Foundation’s website or later in December on PBS.
Despite the fact that Ford's Theatre Society is a private institution, it's the latest casualty of the government shutdown. The company, which was scheduled to host its opening-night production of The Laramie Project in the historic theater tonight, has been informed that it won't be allowed to use the space while the shutdown continues.
Although the company is privately funded and maintained, it operates within the Ford's Theatre National Historic Site, which is managed by the National Park Service (all national parks and national park sites are currently closed). During previous government shutdowns, Ford's was able to go ahead with its performances as usual. Unfortunately, despite mixed messages it's received over the past few days, Ford's has now been made aware that it won't be able to use the theater space while the government is closed.
Tonight's opening night performance of The Laramie Project has been moved to Woolly Mammoth Theatre's rehearsal space, with no word yet on future performances. The show is timed to coincide with the 15th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay man whose murder in 1998 shocked the country and led to new federal laws regarding hate crimes.
Devised by Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project, the show explores the reactions to and aftermath of Shepard's death, using a documentary theater approach to reenact courtroom testimony, other moments from the trial, and interviews with Shepard's friends and family. Ford's current production, directed by Signature Theatre's Matthew Gardiner, is part of the institution's Lincoln Legacy Project, an initiative that uses theater, educational programs, and other events to promote tolerance and respectful dialogue.
Welcome to the first day of the Great Government Shutdown of 2013. Your nonessential federal employees are probably rewatching all of Breaking Bad from the comfort of their couches while wondering if they'll ever be paid again. Meanwhile, all free museums are closed, for the most part. Here, in photos, is a quick glimpse of what was essential and nonessential on the National Mall this morning.
The Kennedy Center will celebrate two Latino artists at this year’s Kennedy Center Honors, following a controversial year in 2012 in which the chairman of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts had a tempestuous phone conversation with Kennedy Center Michael Kaiser about the annual ceremony’s neglect of Hispanic artists.
This year’s slate, which honors Martina Arroyo, Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel, Shirley MacLaine, and Carlos Santana, doubles the number of Latino artists chosen for the prestigious award for artistic excellence, which up until now had only previously been awarded to opera star Placido Domingo and actress and singer Chita Rivera.
Following the controversy, after Sanchez said Kaiser told him to “Go f**k yourself,” the Kennedy Center changed its selection process, appointing a super-committee including Rivera and cellist Yo-Yo Ma to oversee the final decisions. Previous winners and artists such as Glenn Close, Christoph Eschenbach, Alec Baldwin, Renee Fleming, Arturo Sandoval, and Forest Whitaker also made recommendations.
A debate over inclusiveness is presumably not what the Kennedy Center had in mind when it launched the Honors in 1978 with a debut list that included Marian Anderson, Fred Astaire, George Balanchine, Richard Rodgers, and Arthur Rubenstein.
The guest list for this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor has just been announced, and it’s a veritable who’s who of funnywomen (oh, and Tony Bennett). Julie Andrews, Lucie Arnaz, Bennett, Tim Conway, Tina Fey, Rashida Jones, Vicki Lawrence, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short, Rosemary Watson, and more will be on hand to fete this year’s recipient: actress, singer, and comedian Carol Burnett.
This is the 16th annual Mark Twain Prize, and the first time ever the award has been given to two women in a row (last year’s ceremony honored Ellen DeGeneres—read more about it in our earlier post). Previous honorees include Richard Pryor, Whoopi Goldberg, Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin, Bill Cosby, Fey, and Will Ferrell. The event will be taped at the Kennedy Center October 20 and broadcast on PBS November 24.
Remember last week when the White House indulged Bo by tweeting an adorable picture of him along with a Mean Girls reference? Well, they may have been cosseting the First Dog in preparation for a huge upheaval in his otherwise perfect life: a new puppy.
Michelle Obama was the first to break the news that the First Family has expanded yet again, tweeting, "So excited to introduce the newest member of the Obama family—our puppy, Sunny!" The tweet included a picture of Sunny sitting with her big brother, Bo, on the White House lawn, as well as a link to a press release announcing the arrival of the adorable puppy, who's also a Portuguese water dog. "Sunny is the perfect little sister for Bo—full of energy and very affectionate—and the First Family picked her name because it fit her cheerful personality," says the release. There's also a video of Sunny scampering around. Unlike Bo, she appears to have no white markings, although most will agree she's equally as photogenic.
All eyes were on Netflix at this morning’s Emmy nominations, and while it was more than likely the provider’s hit political drama series House of Cards would score a nomination or two (that’s what tends to happen when you hire Kevin Spacey), the online-only show scooped a total of nine nods, including the trifecta: Best Drama, Best Actor, and Best Actress (for Robin Wright as Claire Underwood).
The nominations were announced by Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul and How I Met Your Mother’s Neil Patrick Harris, who stepped in for House of Cards’ Kate Mara when her overnight flight was canceled due to mechanical problems. This saved on awkwardness when Mara wasn’t nominated in the Supporting Actress category for House of Cards. (Paul was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, and Harris scooped a nod for presenting the Tony Awards).
In addition to House of Cards, several other Washington shows triumphed: Homeland, which also received Outstanding Drama/Actor/Actress nominations for Damian Lewis and Claire Danes, and Veep, which was nominated for Outstanding Comedy, Actress (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), Supporting Actor (Tony Hale), and Supporting Actress (Anna Chlumsky). Kerry Washington also received a Lead Actress in a Drama Series award for her role as fixer Olivia Pope in ABC’s Scandal.
The people honored at the White House Wednesday for their contributions to the arts and humanities ranged from a Tony-winning playwright to a National Book Award winner to the creator of Star Wars, but despite their diverse backgrounds, they all have one thing in common, according to the President. “They’re teachers, whether they know it or not,” President Obama said, praising the 20 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal recipients for their commitment to illuminating the “untold stories of history.”
Those given oversize medals included film producer George Lucas, playwright Tony Kushner, soprano Renée Fleming, musician Allen Toussaint, artist Ellsworth Kelly, and writer Joan Didion, a tiny figure in a beige dress and blue cape next to the President and the Marine who helped her to the stage. Didion, the President said, “rightfully has earned distinction as one of the most celebrated writers of her generation.”
Also honored was the Washington Performing Arts Society, cited for “bringing world-class performances to our nation’s capital” in its role as a producing institution, and sportswriter Frank Deford. “I grew up reading Sports Illustrated, and I think it was very good for me,” the President said, also joking that before Star Wars irrevocably changed the nature of special effects in film, movies mostly featured spaceships made out of models hanging from pieces of string.
The President has been criticized for failing to appoint a new chairman to the National Endowment for the Arts, the agency that bestows the awards alongside the National Endowment for the Humanities, but he affirmed his belief that arts and humanities stimulate the human imagination, which he said is “still the most powerful tool we have as a people.” Quoting Robert F. Kennedy, he likened them to “ripples of hope like stones in a lake.”
See the full list of honorees and their citations.