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Posted at 10:52 AM ET, 06/13/2011

MONDAY MORNING ROUNDUP: Of the Tonys, Reubens, Comic-Con and Neil Gaiman himself

The world of cartoon characters provided both headlines and laugh lines at Sunday night’s Tony Awards.

As Post theater critic Peter Marks wrote last night from New York, the creators of Comedy Central’s “South Park” dominated the ceremony with their Latter-day satire.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s “The Book of Mormon” chalked up nine gleaming Antoinette Perry statuettes — including for Best Musical — at the 65th annual Tony Awards from the Upper West Side’s Beacon Theatre. “Book of Mormon” also won Best Direction for Parker and Casey Nicholaw.

Marks notes that “Mormon’s” big wins “continue a recent Tony tradition of anointing scathing musical comedies. ‘The Producers,’ ‘Avenue Q’ and ‘Monty Python’s Spamalot’ are other examples of satirical works that captured the top Tonys.”

“Avenue Q” mastermind Robert Lopez fittingly co-created “Book of Mormon.”

While the “South Park” duo has suddenly found themselves the toast of Broadway, the finally-about-to-open “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” continued to be roasted along the Great White Way.

The jokes about the Most Expensive Production Ever are so easy and plentiful, “Tonys” host Neil Patrick Harris attempted to dispense with as many of the one-liners as possible in a half-minute. To wit:

.

“Turn Off the Dark” songwriters Bono and the Edge endured the ribbing like good blokes throughout, grinning through strained smiles.

“Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” is scheduled to open Tuesday night, more than a half-year after it began previews and problems.


(Dan Steinberg - AP)
SPEAKING OF SPIDER-MAN: Top Hollywood producer Laura Ziskin died Sunday at her Santa Monica home, at age 61.

Ziskin, who had breast cancer, co-founded Stand Up to Cancer., on whose site is posted a tribute to Ziskin that reads in part:

“Through your life and your leadership, you have been a guiding force in our universe. You have dared to dream out loud, to speak up, to take action -- to put the world on notice that each and every one of us can make a difference in the battle against cancer.”

The Emmy-nominated Ziskin was a producer not only on the “Spider-Man” trilogy, but also on 2012’s “The Amazing Spider-Man.”

She received a lifetime award from the PGA in 2005.

SPEAKING OF HOLLYWOOD:

Update: Jon Favreau’s “Cowboys & Aliens” will have its world premiere at next month’s Comic-Con International, reports the L.A. Times’s Hero Complex blog. The film stars Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde. As if you didn’t know.

THE REUBENS REDUBBED: A year ago, if you’ll recall, Comic Riffs wrote an open letter to Ken Burns — aka “American’s documentarian” — to suggest that he make a film about one of the few uniquely American arts he hasn’t taken on: the comic strip.

Although we heard that Burns wouldn’t have time in his schedule to make a comics film any year soon, at least we now a little footage from ”Doozies” cartoonist and “Seinfeld”/”Simpsons” veteran Tom Gammill.

As host of the Reuben Awards ceremony several weekends back in Boston, Gammill offered his own comics-themed Burns parody (and tweaking of comics critic R.C. Harvey) that is now available for public consumption:

SPEAKING OF AWARDS: Three veteran political cartoonists — Robert Ariail of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal; Clay Bennett of the Chattanooga Times Free Press; and Jeff Parker of Florida Today — have been named as finalists for 61st annual Green Eyeshade Awards, reports The Daily Cartoonist. The Green Eyeshade is a regional award drawing from 11 Southeastern states. Winner to be announced June 24.

DA BOX OFFICE: After a strong weekend, Marvel’s first two films of the summer season — “Thor” and “X-Men: First Class” — have now grossed more than $650-million worldwide, per boxofficemojo.com. Which sounds a little impressive when you consider that “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” has now grossed nearly $900-million globally.

NOT QUITE COMICS: Still-a-newlywed Neil Gaiman (“Sandman,” Batman, “Coraline,” etc.-etc.-et cetera) has entered a new marriage with HBO and Tom Hanks’s Playtone, to turn the writer’s “American Gods” into a multi-season TV show, reports totalfilm.com.

This weekend, the Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning work is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its first publication.

By  |  10:52 AM ET, 06/13/2011

Tags:  tonys, reubens, spider-man, thor, x-men, neil gaiman, jeff parker, clay bennett, robert ariail

 
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