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Tony awards top off a Broadway season of pop musicals, big stars, scene-stealers and new faces

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The Broadway opening of Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ was a defining event of the season, which culminates in the Tony awards Sunday night in New York.

The show immediately set off debate about whether it was actually a musical, or an artfully directed concert. Though it is nominated for best musical, it failed to receive a nomination for its book -- or the narrative framework that allows the score to be more than a succession of songs.

The Times’ Charles McNulty, revisiting the show he reviewed last fall at Berkeley Rep, wrote in a critic’s notebook that he found the Broadway production ‘captivating,’ but '... the resonance of the ‘story’ -- and I put ‘story’ in quotation marks because I’m not sure if it’s quite the right word to describe the wisps of narrative [director Michael] Mayer elaborated from the lyrics of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong -- has turned out to be more evanescent than the show’s explosive din of curtain call applause.’

But ‘American Idiot’ wasn’t the only unorthodox musical this season, nor the only one with a popular music soundtrack. In Tony award coverage in this week’s Sunday Calendar, McNulty and The Times’ pop music critic Ann Powers talk about ‘Idiot,’ the other best-musical nominees, and where the musical might be headed. To read their conversation, click here.

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In other Tony award stories, McNulty writes about the stage veterans who shone in plays that were supposed to be notable for their big-name Hollywood casting. And one of the unlikeliest Tony nominees is Sherie Renee Scott, doubly nominated for her roughly autobiographical show ‘Everyday Rapture.’ Patrick Pacheco profiles Scott.

Stay with Culture Monster on Sunday for coverage of the stars arriving at Radio City Music Hall and live blogging of the ceremony.

-- Kelly Scott

Related:

Nominees for the 2010 Tony Awards


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