News & Noteworthy (Week of June 29)

A lot goes on in our world each week — some news you may catch, and some may slip by your radar. Below are a few articles that caught our attention, and we didn’t want you to miss ’em!

Billy Elliot at Budapest Opera. Photo Credit: Peter Rakossy/Hungarian State Opera

“Philadelphia’s Tony Awards” Are Changing: The Barrymore Awards, otherwise known as “Philadelphia’s Tony Awards,” are going gender-neutral, according to John Timpane for The Inquirer. Timpane explains, “Instead of a best actor and best actress, there will now be awards for best performance in categories that used to be gender specific, and two awards will be given. So there will, for example, be two awards for best performance in a musical, two for best performance in a play, two for best supporting performance, and so on — the idea being to open up different combinations of male, female, and gender-nonconforming awardees.” He also adds that Theatre Philadelphia, which administers the Barrymores, is continuing to diversify the ranks of its 76 nominators and 12 judges.

Billy Elliot Outrage in Hungary: Despite this being the musical’s third season at the Budapest opera, it is receiving some new criticism from the mouthpiece of the ruling Fidesz party, the publication Magyar Idok. One writer suggested that children who watched the opera’s performance were in danger of becoming homosexual. Nick Thorpe writes for BBC News: “The article fits into a new cultural offensive against the last ‘liberals’ in a film, theatre and publishing world that is already dominated by Fidesz figures.” Thorpe quotes another critic, who wrote that “all areas of cultural life should be ‘purged’ of those who allow space for ‘liberal, globalist, and cosmopolitan ideas.'”

London Launches Vegan Live Music Festival: Jim has written that food is entertainment. Now, Vegstock is coming to London. Tanya Flink reports for LIVEKINDLY that “the Vegstock music event will combine the best of the vegan food festival world with a rocking line up of live bands.” There will be ethically made apparel for sale and jewelry booths, plus 11 musical acts that will perform over the weekend of September 16 and 17.

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