Actor Danny Glover has jetted to South Africa to join protesters campaigning for higher wages. The activist and Lethal Weapon star recently teamed with bosses at the United Automobile Workers' Union of America in their mission to allow employees of a Japanese car manufacturing plant to form a labour union in Canton, Mississippi.
And to garner international support and publicity for the cause, Glover took to the streets of Johannesburg with members of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union on Thursday (30May13) to demand a salary increase for administrative workers in South Africa.
He told the crowd of demonstrators, "I'm here on behalf of all the workers in Mississippi. We are all supporting each other, we must stand together."
During his trip to the country, Glover also met with President Jacob Zuma and thanked him for his nation's hospitality.
The veteran starred in a Broadway production of South African playwright Athol Fugard's Master Harold... and the Boys, and he says, "The life of South Africa has been part of my life. The history of South Africa has been part of my life more than the majority of my life as a young student; as someone involved in the anti-apartheid movement in the early '70s to someone who used the platform of the incredible work of the great South African playwright Athol Fugard to manifest and build my career. So there's always a good relationship that I have with this extraordinary country."
The critically-acclaimed show, about two Mormon missionaries sent to Uganda, was nominated for 14 prizes at the New York ceremony, which celebrates the best of Broadway.
It triumphed in categories such as Best Original Score, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Book of a Musical, in addition to three technical awards for Best Sound Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Scenic Design of a Musical.
British play War Horse earned a total of five awards, while a revival of Larry Kramer's play The Normal Heart landed three top accolades, including Hollywood star Ellen Barkin's very first Tony Award for her Broadway debut as a frustrated doctor in the fight against AIDS. She became the very first honouree of the night and hailed her win as the "proudest moment in my career".
Host Neil Patrick Harris opened the awards show at The Beacon Theatre with a comical song-and-dance number titled It's Not Just For Gays Anymore, and Hugh Jackman, a previous Tony Awards host, later joined the actor onstage and engaged in a little competitive banter for an entertaining rendition of Anything You Can Do.
U2's Bono and The Edge found themselves the butt of several jokes for their troubled Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark musical, which will finally open on Tuesday (14Jun11) after months of delays and setbacks. The Irish rockers took the jabs in their stride and applauded along with the rest of the audience.
They showed their good humour again when they introduced a performance from Spider-Man stars Reeve Carney and Jennifer Damiano, with Bono deadpanning, "We used to be famous for being in U2... When I first saw the Tony Awards on our schedule, I just kind of assumed that we'd been nominated", to which The Edge quipped, "It appears we missed the deadline..."
Other performances came from Daniel Radcliffe and Tony winner John Larroquette, who sang Brotherhood of Man from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, while the casts of each of the Best Musical nominees (The Book of Mormon, Catch Me If You Can, The Scottsboro Boys and Sister Act) also gave the crowd a taste of why they deserved to win.
The main list of winners at the 65th Annual Tony Awards is as follows:
Best Play - War Horse
Best Musical - The Book of Mormon
Best Revival of a Play - The Normal Heart
Best Revival of a Musical - Anything Goes
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play - John Benjamin Hickey, The Normal Heart
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play - Ellen Barkin, The Normal Heart
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical - John Larroquette, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical - Nikki M. James, The Book of Mormon
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play - Mark Rylance, Jerusalem
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play - Frances McDormand, Good People
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical - Norbert Leo Butz, Catch Me If You Can
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical - Sutton Foster, Anything Goes
Best Direction of a Play - Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, War Horse
Best Direction of a Musical - Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker, The Book of Mormon
Best Original Score - Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon
Best Orchestrations - Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus, The Book of Mormon
Best Choreography - Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes
Best Book of a Musical - Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon
Lifetime Achievement - Athol Fugard and Philip J. Smith.
Celebrated playwrights Athol Fugard and Eve Ensler will be honoured with special accolades at this year's (11) Tony Awards. Ensler, who wrote The Vagina Monologues, will be given the Isabelle Stevenson Award for her humanitarian efforts and Fugard, author of The Road to Mecca, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The South African star, who was best known for his work with playwright Athol Fugard in apartheid dramas including The Blood Knot, passed away at his home on Friday (11Sep09) after suffering from a stroke in May (09).
Mokae won a Tony Award in 1982 for his portrayal of a servant and surrogate father for a white man in Master Harold, and appeared in television series The X Files and Oz, as well as movies The Comedians and Darling.
He also appeared on stage in The Blood Knot in 1961 - the first time a white man and a black man had performed together in a South Africa.
Mokae received a Tony nomination in 1993 for his part in Broadway production The Song of Jacob Zulu.
The star had been suffering from Parkinson's disease in recent years and had returned to the U.S. to receive treatment after initially retiring to South Africa.
He is survived by his wife, Madelyn, a daughter, Santlo Chontay Mokae, and three grandchildren.
Based on the 1980 novel by Athol Fugard Tsotsi--which translates roughly to "thug"--covers six days in the life of its titular 19-year-old hood Tsotsi (Presley Chweneyagae). His past being a mystery to his friends and in a way to himself Tsotsi leads a small gang of fellow lawbreakers in Johannesburg's chaotic colorful shanty-filled township. Tsotsi has been hardened by his violent hardscrabble life; nothing really fazes him until a spur-of-the-moment carjacking in a wealthy part of town unexpectedly leaves him burdened with a three-month-old baby. Tsotsi's reaction to his new responsibility--and the feelings and memories the helpless baby triggers in his formerly closed-off heart--becomes his catalyst for change and growth transforming a toughened street punk into a young man who feels hope for the first time in what seems like a lifetime. Chweneyagae who appears in nearly every scene of the film is Tsotsi's heart and soul and his performance more than lives up to the expectations implied by that description. His introduction as a cold ruthless gangster is chilling--Chweneyagae makes his character's eyes as bleak and empty as the windswept field between the township and the rest of Johannesburg. His gradual softening is expressed in quick glances and brief smiles; his revelation of the vulnerable boy hiding inside the hardened criminal is a slow but steady process. Terry Pheto co-stars as beautiful spirited single mother/seamstress Miriam whom Tsotsi forcefully recruits into helping him care for the baby and eventually turns to for guidance and peace. Swathed in color from head to toe Miriam is the antidote to Tsotsi's violent desperate existence and Pheto makes her a warm compelling presence in the film. Tsotsi--recently nominated in the Academy Award’s Best Foreign Language category--is director Gavin Hood's first movie to play in the United States outside of a film festival and only his third feature to date. But if his work here is any indication he has a long career ahead of him. One of the most striking things about the film is Hood's use of color in his cinematography; the heavy sepia-toned atmosphere of the township conveys its inhabitants' oppressive dusty existence in a glance. And the film's pulsing soundtrack (all local music) brings the movie's world to vibrant primal life. Tsotsi isn't the first movie about a criminal who finds redemption and it certainly won't be the last. But by telling this particular story with its insider's look at a place and a way of life utterly unfamiliar to most American moviegoers Hood (who also wrote the film) creates a wholly original film experience.