ENTERTAINMENT ARTS & CULTURE
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Essential Arts: Tonys, Tonys and more Tonys, plus opera, selfies and that magazine cover

I'm Kelly Scott, the arts and culture editor of the Los Angeles Times, and it's been a busy Tony Awards week here in the arts department.

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Tony Awards, A to Z

It's lucky you dropped by, because our Tony coverage will provide a full briefing on what to expect Sunday night. Settle in with Charles McNulty's stories from the last week. A good place to start is his interview with Oskar Eustis, the head of the Public Theater, who sent the Tony-nominated musical "Fun Home" to Broadway this year and launched the acclaimed "Hamilton," opening on Broadway in August. Next, a commentary on this year's British-accented nominees. Finally, McNulty examines the complicated choices Tony voters face in some of the closest categories. 

Oskar Eustis has served as the artistic director of the Public Theater in New York since 2005. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

You have to agree that the Tonys are the most fun TV show to watch. No Method acting acceptance speeches -- these performers know how to hold a stage. Wives, husbands and partners who look like America (and the U.K.). Song-and-dance numbers that have a reason to exist (not pointing fingers, Oscars). And there is a direct relationship between the Tonys show and what endures on Broadway: If the Tonys do not smile, stage doors do not remain open. All of this goes into the shaping of the telecast, Stephen Battaglio writes. He even reveals one TV producer's admirable motive. "We want people to come to Broadway, but we also want people to connect to theater," Glenn Weiss told Battaglio. 

If you want to find all of our Tony coverage in one place, look here.

'Next' is a fitting season finale

As the L.A. Phil's Next on Grand festival of new work wound up, Mark Swed looked back on the roughly two weeks of performances. One of them is the revival of a piece that had its premiere at the Museum of Contemporary Art, "Available Light." Jessica Gelt talks to creators Frank Gehry, John Adams and Lucinda Childs about how the piece came to be -- and came to be re-created. Swed's review will appear Monday.

Lucinda Childs, who danced in the original “Available Light,” is supervising choreography in the new version premiering Friday. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

When the photo doesn't quite fit the occasion

You can't say there wasn't an arts angle to the Caitlyn Jenner story that devoured the week's news cycle. The first bulletin out was a photograph for the cover of Vanity Fair magazine by celebrated celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz. What did that photograph signal? Mostly disappointing cliches, art critic Christopher Knight wrote.

A journalist looks at Vanity Fair's tweet about Caitlyn Jenner, who will be featured on the magazine's July cover. Caitlyn Jenner, the transgender Olympic champion formerly known as Bruce, on Monday unveiled her new name and look in a Vanity Fair cover shoot. (Mladen Antonov / AFP/Getty Images)

'Boulder Holder' and beyond

Deborah Vankin talked to art museum officials who are trying to make the selfie obsession work for them. Do museums unconsciously create "selfie" spots or are they actively cultivating them? Of the new San Francisco Museum of Modern Art building, set to open in 2017, chief content officer Chad Coerver says, "We are definitely looking at what those iconic selfie moments are going to be at the new SF MOMA."

Marjorie Mabini, left, takes a selfie with her niece Jaydah Mabini, and son Jaren, 1, in front of the "Urban Light" installation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles. They are visiting from Oahu, Hawaii. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Looking ahead

So who won Tonys? Watch the show while second-screening our live blog, with contributions from our reporters in New York and our writers in L.A. watching in real time.... And see Monday's print section for articles, a review, photos and complete lists.... No rest for the weary: Charles McNulty pivots from Broadway to some big shows opening here in Southern California: "Matilda" at the Ahmanson Theatre, "Waterfall" at the Pasadena Playhouse and a new musical at the La Jolla Playhouse, "Come From Away." ... Christopher Knight reviews the much-anticipated Noah Purifoy retrospective at LACMA.

What we're reading, watching and listening to

Somehow I missed this among the recent Cannes Film Festival stories: Michael Fassbender (also soon to be seen as Steve Jobs in "Steve Jobs") is the Lord and Marion Cottillard Lady McB in "Macbeth," opening this fall.

Mark Swed is getting ready for the Ojai Music Festival: "Ojai University is an online class free for anyone and created by this year's music director, percussionist Steven Schick. Beyond being a handy preview to the festival, it is a great peek into the fascinating world of percussion," Swed writes.

Compare the reviews of the new opera "Crossing," based on Walt Whitman's poetry and journals, written by composer Matthew Aucoin and directed by Diane Paulus, from the American Repertory Theater in Boston: Here is the New York Times' by Anthony Tommasini, the Wall Street Journal's by Heidi Waleson and the the Boston Globe's by Jeffrey Gantz.

 

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