January 31, 2006

On Oscar nominations day, think of the overlooked

By Robert Osborne

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - A deep bow to all Academy
Award nominees as of 5:30 a.m. Pacific time Tuesday.

Enjoy the day, the attention, the pats on the back. It's
something that doesn't happen often -- unless your name is
Streep, Nicholson or Dench. And do keep in mind those
gloriously talented people who did great work but never
received a single Oscar nomination in their entire careers,
including such heavyweights as Edward G. Robinson (think "Key
Largo," "Little Caesar") Myrna Loy ("The Thin Man," "The Best
Years of Our Lives"), Dana Andrews ("Laura," for one), Joseph
Cotten ("Citizen Kane" and "The Third Man," for two), Mia
Farrow (amazingly overlooked in "Broadway Danny Rose") and Fred
MacMurray (no nomination for "Double Indemnity" or "The

Also Ida Lupino, Joan Bennett, Kay Kendall, Marilyn Monroe,
Maureen O'Hara, Eli Wallach and Robert Walker -- and that's
only a fraction of the actors never recognized with a
nomination for a competitive Oscar.

Many in the director category have had the same fate, among
them Robert Aldrich, Sam Peckinpah, Nicholas Ray, John
Cromwell, Michael Powell, Roberto Rossellini, Douglas Sirk,
Raoul Walsh, Rouben Mamoulian, etc.

It'll be announced imminently where this year's Oscar party
in New York for East Coast Academy members will be held. The
most likely spot: the Versailles Room of the St. Regis Hotel.
What began as a regular and festive affair at the famed Russian
Tea Room in 1990, and remained there until the RTR shut its
doors in 1995, has since moved around town to such spots as the
Tavern on the Green (two years), 21 (one year), the
Waldorf-Astoria's Empire Room (two years), Le Cirque 2000 (five
years) and Gabriel's (in 2005).

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This week's Broadway opening: "Rabbit Hole" on Thursday at
the Biltmore, with Cynthia Nixon and Tyne Daly and directed by
Daniel Sullivan for the Manhattan Theater Club.

Previews begin February 8 at the Barrymore on the Johnny
Cash musical "Ring of Fire," directed by Richard Maltby Jr.

Off-Broadway, one day earlier, previews begin on a revival
of Rose Franken's 1944 play "Soldier's Wife," a Broadway
success with Martha Scott and rarely seen anywhere since. It'll
have a run at the Mint Theater as part of their season devoted
to American female writers.

On its way to a late-February launch in Los Angeles, the
legit "Dr. Dolittle" starring Tommy Tune received a decidedly
thumbs-up reception in Tennessee, with the Chattanooga Post
giving it a rave. Next stop: Denver, then California and,
hopefully, New York in the near future.

Meanwhile, the Players Club has started an ambitious
project: For the first time in New York, it will give concert
readings of every full-length play, sketch or one-acter that
George Bernard Shaw ever wrote for the stage, and it's free to
audiences. (A quirk of Shaw's: He preferred no admission
charge.) It's a two-year project that will be done on a
once-a-month basis with David Staller producing and directing.
Shaw's "Arms and the Man" began the series last week; "Fanny's
First Play" will follow February 27, "Heartbreak House" on
March 20, with such Shaw delights as "The Apple Cart,"
"Misalliance" and "Captain Brassbound's Conversion" also on the
agenda before the end of the year.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter