Tony, Tony, Tony!

Tony Award nominations are out today. Here’s how it shook out:

August: Osage County by Tracy Letts
Rock ‘n’ Roll by Tom Stoppard
The Seafarer by Conor McPherson
The 39 Steps by Patrick Barlow

In The Heights
Passing Strange

Cry-Baby by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan
In the Heights by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Passing Strange by Stew
Xanadu Douglas by Carter Beane

Cry-Baby Music & Lyrics: David Javerbaum & Adam Schlesinger
In the Heights Music & Lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda
The Little Mermaid Music: Alan Menken; Lyrics: Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater
Passing Strange Music: Stew and Heidi Rodewald; Lyrics: Stew

The Homecoming
Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific
Sunday in the Park with George

Ben Daniels, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Laurence Fishburne, Thurgood
Mark Rylance (right), Boeing-Boeing
Rufus Sewell, Rock ‘n’ Roll
Patrick Stewart, Macbeth

Eve Best, The Homecoming
Deanna Dunagan, August: Osage County
Kate Fleetwood, Macbeth
S. Epatha Merkerson, Come Back, Little Sheba
Amy Morton, August: Osage County

Daniel Evans, Sunday in the Park with George
Lin-Manuel Miranda, In the Heights
Stew, Passing Strange
Paulo Szot, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific
Tom Wopat, A Catered Affair

Kerry Butler, Xanadu
Patti LuPone (right), Gypsy
Kelli O’Hara, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific
Faith Prince, A Catered Affair
Jenna Russell, Sunday in the Park with George

Bobby Cannavale, Mauritius
Raúl Esparza, The Homecoming
Conleth Hill, The Seafarer
Jim Norton, The Seafarer
David Pittu, Is He Dead?

Sinead Cusack, Rock ‘n’ Roll
Mary McCormack, Boeing-Boeing
Laurie Metcalf, November
Martha Plimpton, Top Girls
Rondi Reed, August: Osage County

Daniel Breaker, Passing Strange
Danny Burstein (above), Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific
Robin De Jesús, In The Heights
Christopher Fitzgerald, The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein
Boyd Gaines, Gypsy

de’Adre Aziza, Passing Strange
Laura Benanti, Gypsy
Andrea Martin, The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein
Olga Merediz, In The Heights
Loretta Ables Sayre, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific

Maria Aitken, The 39 Steps
Conor McPherson, The Seafarer
Anna D. Shapiro, August: Osage County
Matthew Warchus, Boeing-Boeing

Sam Buntrock, Sunday in the Park with George
Thomas Kail, In the Heights
Arthur Laurents Gypsy
Bartlett Sher Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific

Rob Ashford, Cry-Baby
Andy Blankenbuehler, In the Heights
Christopher Gattelli, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific
Dan Knechtges, Xanadu

Jason Carr, Sunday in the Park with George
Alex Lacamoire & Bill Sherman, In The Heights
Stew & Heidi Rodewald, Passing Strange
Jonathan Tunick, A Catered Affair

Peter McKintosh, The 39 Steps
Scott Pask, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Todd Rosenthal, August: Osage County
Anthony Ward, Macbeth

David Farley and Timothy Bird & The Knifedge Creative Network, Sunday in the Park with George
Anna Louizos, In the Heights
Robin Wagner ,The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein
Michael Yeargan, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific

Gregory Gale, Cyrano de Bergerac
Rob Howell, Boeing-Boeing
Katrina Lindsay, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Peter McKintosh, The 39 Steps

David Farley, Sunday in the Park with George
Martin Pakledinaz, Gypsy
Paul Tazewell, In the Heights
Catherine Zuber, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific

Stephen Sondheim

Chicago Shakespeare Theatre

Robert Russell Bennett (1894-1981), in recognition of his historic contribution to American musical theatre in the field of orchestrations, as represented on Broadway this season by Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific.

For a complete list of nominees visit the American Theatre Wing’s Web site.

Sorry, no `Passing Strange’ `Sex’

The Tony Awards are less than a month away, and it seems sex is already tripping them up.

The wonderful musical Passing Strange, which played Berkeley Repertory Theatre before heading to the Public Theater in New York and then to Broadway, is stirring up some controversy.

It seems the Tony Awards (to be hosted by Whoopi Goldberg on Sunday, June 15) are doing things a little differently this year by planning a pre-show show that will include numbers from nominated musicals. Stew, a writer/performer of Passing Strange, and his composer partner Heidi Rodewald had planned to perform the rousing “We Just Had Sex,” which isn’t nearly as salacious as it sounds. In fact, here’s a sample lyric:

We just had sex. There’s nothing sleazy ’bout a natural reflex. It’s nice and easy. No need to crane your necks. It’s all cool and breezy, baby. What’s a little bedroom traffic? Evening News is more pornographic!

Apparently the suits at CBS were less than thrilled with the title (I mean, come on, they just HAD sex, they’re not HAVING sex on your precious network), calling it “inappropriate for broadcast.” Well “Two and a Half Men” is inappropriate for broadcast for 30 minutes every Monday night.

Man up, CBS. Let Passing Strange work its musical magic on the American masses (or at least the small percentage of the masses that will watch a Tony Awards special on CBS). And in case you don’t know, this year’s Tony Awards telecast has a catch phrase, and it’s vaguely sexual: “There’s a little bit of Broadway in everyone.” Suggestive, no? Like maybe after seeing a Broadway show we should perhaps smoke a cigarette.

You can hear the controversial song for yourself soon. The live recording of Passing Strange will be the first Broadway cast recording to be available online before it hits brick-and-mortar stores (all three of them that remain).

The cast recording will hit iTunes May 27. Thank you, Ghostlight/Sh-k-Boom Records, for bringing Broadway musicals into the 21st century.

Check out the Passing Strange Web site here.

Make `ShowBusiness’ your business

One of the most interesting documentaries of the year had nothing to do with health care or Iraq.

ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway sort of slipped in and out of theaters without a whole lot of fanfare, which is really too bad because director Dori Berinstein has created a fascinating glimpses behind the scenes of four major musicals opening in New York during the 2003-2004 season.

Luckily, the movie came out on DVD this week (Liberation Entertainment, $28.95).

For her movie, Berinstein picked four musicals to follow, and boy did she pick good ones: Wicked, Avenue Q, Caroline, or Change and Taboo.

Bay Area audiences, of course, got the first look at Wicked during its pre-Broadway tryout. We had the great fortune to see Caroline, and Avenue Q made its overdue local debut last August. The only real mystery in this bunch is Taboo, the Rosie O’Donnell-produced ’80s flashback revolving around Boy George: his life, his music and himself (he was in the cast).

Of the four, Wicked and Avenue Q were monster hits and are still running. Caroline is an esteemed flop by Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner and composer Jeanine Tesori. And Taboo is known as one of Broadway’s great disasters.

The movie follows each of the shows from the summer of 2003 up to the Tony Awards in 2004 when Avenue Q upset favorite Wicked for the Best Musical award.

Along the way, we get fascinating glimpses of the creative process, the marketing machine and the economics of Broadway. One of the juiciest threads involves tension between Jeff Marx, the co-composer of Avenue Q and Jeff Whitty, the book writer who was brought on board relatively late in the creative process.

It all ends happily, with Tony Awards for everyone, but the two did not get along, and it’s not pretty. Marx’s parents, by the way, turn out to be a highlight of the movie.

Director Berinstein includes several round-table discussions with New York theater critics, and this, to me, is a horror show. These nattering fools (save Charles Isherwood from the New York Times, who salvages a shred of dignity) make critics look like the lowest possible bottom feeders in the show business pool. Ouch.

Covering such a diverse assortment of shows, Berinstein ended up with more than 250 hours of video that had to be whittled down to 104 minutes.

“The season was a roller coaster with highly anticipated shows closing early and little shows coming out of nowhere to take Broadway by storm,” Berinstein says. “There was no way to predict where the Season was heading. Consequently, it was necessary to capture everything. Editing, as a result, was a massive and extremely difficult process. Narrowing down our primary storytelling to four musicals was excruciating. So many extraordinary moments are on the cutting room so to speak. I can’t wait until we assemble the DVD.”

Visit the movie’s official site at

Here’s the trailer from ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway, followed by a clip featuring Idina Menzel of Wicked.

`Spring Awakening’ in San Francisco

The musical gods are smiling on the Bay Area.

It was announced today that the national tour of Spring Awakening — winner of eight 2007 Tony Awards including best musical — will indeed launch in San Francisco as part of the SHN/Best of Broadway 2007-2008 season.

“When I saw Spring Awakening, I was instantly struck by what a vital leap forward this work represents for the American musical,” said SHN founder Carole Shorenstein Hays in a statement. “The show resonates with audiences young and old and touches everyone. Since this is the kind of work SHN is committed to presenting, there was no doubt we would partner with the Spring Awakening creative team to launch the national tour in San Francisco.”

This means that in a little more than a year, Tony-winners Duncan Sheik (score, orchestrations), Steven Sater (book, lyrics), Michael Mayer (direction) and Bill T. Jones (choreography) among others, will be running around San Francisco whipping a whole new cast of youngsters into shape to tell the story of German teens going through adolescent angst.

“Carole Shorenstein Hays is an incredibly passionate producer who is committed to presenting new bodies of work,” Mayer said in a statement. “I couldn’t imagine a better guardian to launch the national tour of Spring Awakening in San Francisco.”

For information visit

I (heart) BC/EFA

Now that the Tony Awards are behind us, you don’t need to go through withdrawal. You can order your very own Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS official Tony T-shirt, which features the signatures (silk-screened) of all Tony Award nominees. See for yourself. It’s a gorgeous shirt.

Order the shirt here. It’s only $20 ($25 if you want the extra-extra-large), and it’s for a great cause. The BC/EFA credo: “Imagine, demand, and work for a cure.”

Now how do I know this shirt is spectacular? Because some kindly person sent me my very own (the right size and everything) with the following note:

“For you, the main dog. From one of your adoring theater pups. I woof you.”

Clever and sweet. I hope I’m not betraying a confidence in sharing the note, but it was so enjoyable I had to share it with other Theater Dogs.

The shirt also comes with a handy guide to the signatures. Some of them (Billy Crudup, David Gallo, Jack O’Brien, Orfeh, Swoosie Kurtz, Brian McDevitt, Eve Best and William Ivey Long we’re talking to you) are a little hard to decipher.

So thank you, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and thank you for the tremendous work you do.

For more info visit the BC/EFA Web site.

Tony’s winning quartet

A salute to the big musical winners from Sunday’s Tony Awards: (from left) Frank Langella, best actor for Frost/Nixon, Christine Ebersole, best actress for Grey Gardens, Julie White, best actress for The Little Dog Laughed and David Hyde Pierce, best actor for Curtains.

The number from Mary Poppins, a little “Chim Chim Cheree,” “Step in Time” and “Anything Can Happen,” came across very well, but my favorite was “Show People” from Curtains (below). And Audra McDonald’s “Raunchy” oughta sell a few tickets.

`Spring’ awakens

(all photos Associated Press)

For Spring Awakening fans such as myself, Sunday night’s Tony Awards was one of the most exciting in years. Granted, the “medley” of songs performed by the exuberant cast wasn’t great. The girls sang “Mama Who Bore Me,” then the boys sang “The Bitch of Living” (with some slightly re-tooled lyrics), then everybody sang “Totally F***ed” and covered their mouths where they would have used the f-word. Unless you knew that it just looked silly.

Still, eight awards out of 11 nominations is more than enough to make up for the medley.
Herewith, a gallery of choice Awakening moments.

John Gallagher Jr. wins for best supporting actor in a musical and says to director Michael Mayer, “Michael, I’m not the only one whose life you changed this year.”

Steven Sater wins for best book and manages to incorporate the song title “The Bitch of Living” into his speech. He, along with Duncan Sheik, would also go on to win best score.

Duncan Sheik won two awards: best orchestrations (during the non-televised portion) and best score (with Sater). His memorable quote: “Musical theater rocks.”

Bill T. Jones thanked his sisters, including Rhodessa Jones, of San Francisco’s Cultural Odyssey, when accepting his award for best choreography.

Director Michael Mayer finally won a Tony after nominations for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Thoroughly Modern Millie and A View from the Bridge.

And of course there were the “kids” singing and dancing their fool hearts out on the “medley.” (In an interview, Sheik couldn’t even bring himself to say the word “medley.” He described the number as “several songs strung together.”)

Tony red carpet, etc.

(all photos Associated Press)

“Musical theater rocks,” so said Duncan Sheik with a sly smile and a twinkle in his award-drunk eyes during Sunday’s Tony Awards.

Here’s Sheik on the red carpet before the event.

That’s the smile of someone who knows he’s going to win two Tonys (for best score and orchestration for Spring Awakening.

Another gorgeous red carpet arrival was best actess in a musical nominee Audra McDonald (110 in the Shade), who would not go on to win her fifth Tony.

But she would go on to electrify the audience (in Radio City Music Hall and at home) with the number “Raunchy” alongside co-star (and fellow nominee) John Cullum.

Returning to the red carpet, here’s the lovely Laura Bell Bundy, nominee for best actress in a musical for her role as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. To no one’s surprise, Bundy did not win, and Blonde failed to win in any category.

Looking like the Broadway royalty she is, Angela Lansbury, a best actress in a play nominee for Deuce, arrives. That’s Harry Connick Jr.’s daughter in the rear looking at Lansbury adoringly (“Daddy! It’s the voice of Mrs. Potts!). Lansbury lost to an ecstatic Julie White for The Little Dog Laughed, but she was a gracious ad hoc host.

Cutest married couple award on the red carpet goes to Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs. Neither was nominated but they should have received an award for looking so good.

I am thrilled that David Hyde Pierce, by all accounts a marvelous guy, was the surprise winner for best actor in a musical (for Curtains), but I was a little disappointed for Raul Esparza, who is electrifying as Bobby in the John Doyle revival of Company (which won best musical revival). On the red carpet he was clearly amused by the whole shebang.

Esparza’s performance of “Being Alive” during the awards was just a taste of how good he is in this show.

Another cutest couple award goes to a non-couple: presenters Cynthia Nixon and Felicity Huffman, who should definitely find a project to work on together.

Speaking of couples, hard to resist including a snap of Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts. In Hollywood that’s called a baby bump. In New York, it’s called pregnancy.

In the realm of manufactured couples, here are the reality show castees Max Crumm and Laura Osnes, who will be starring on Broadway in the much-needed revival of Grease.

Tony Week: Here’s Steven Sater

Steven Sater is heading into Sunday’s Tony Awards ceremony with two nominations of his own and 11 total for his show, Spring Awakening. Sater is nominated as lyricist, along with composer Duncan Sheik, for best score and for best book of a musical (which he based on Franz Wedekind’s play of the same name).

On the phone from his New York home, Sater says he’s been walking through the busy awards season in a “semi-delirious state.’’

“I truly haven’t been thinking about awards a lot,’’ he says. “I usually live in an absorbed state, focused on the thing I’m working on, which, right now, is about five things. But when I’m in front of other people accepting an award, I find myself surprisingly moved. This has been such a long, hard journey. To have the kind of reception we’ve had, to win these awards. It’s completely remarkable.’’

As a playwright, Sater is probably best known for “Carbondale Dreams’’ and “Perfect for You.’’ Buddhism, aside from any spiritual benefits, has been good to Sater. Through Soka Gakkai, a lay Buddhist organization, he met his wife, Lori, and Sheik.

Sater asked Sheik to collaborate on a play called “Umbrage,’’ and their collaboration was born. Their work can be heard on Sheik’s contemplative album “Phantom Moon’’ and then in the play with music, “Nero (Another Golden Rome),’’which was the title when it opened last year at San Francisco’s Magic Theatre. Now that still-being-revised work is simply called “Nero.’’

The duo was only warming up for what would become “Spring Awakening,’’ a musical based on an 1891 German play about the repression of teenagers and their sexual, intellectual and spiritual urges.

In the 8 ½ years they’ve been working together, Sater and Sheik have learned and grown.

“Duncan and I were close right away,’’ Sater says of his collaborator. “We have a connection, and it’s really profound. To me, it’s kind of mystic. We have this relationship based on faith. We have created these things of such beauty together. That’s the only way I can describe it. What we’ve done together neither of us could have conceived doing on our own. I certainly didn’t ever see myself writing musicals or even writing song lyrics.’’

The two New Yorkers spend a lot of time together and, earlier this year, attended a TheatreWorks writers’ retreat in Mountain View to work on their next musical, “The Nightingale,’’ a loose adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale set in Ancient China in the Forbidden City.

“Duncan and I are close friends,’’ Sater says. “We’ve both grown in what we’ve learned about the musical form, and this new life opened up for each of us. Duncan had a different kind of success than I had in the pop world. I was more of a writerly guy. Still am. We’ve gone through a huge life experience together – a number of them, really. We still talk about everything.’’

“Spring Awakening’’ is a bold musical – both a period piece and completely contemporary – that is sort of a mash-up of concert and heavy-duty play dealing with sex, abortion, suicide and friendship. It’s not exactly Rodgers and Hammerstein, and that’s what Sater says he and Sheik were after.

“From the beginning we wanted to do something different,’’ he says. “Duncan wanted to do something different musically, and I wanted to do something different both with the lyrics and the book. The songs we love and that remain part of us, take us into the heart and soul of the singer. The singer becomes the song. That’s what we wanted to write — not songs forwarding the plot of the story. That is writing the surface instead of the depth.’’

That doesn’t mean they could throw just any song into any scene.

“We still had to find a way for the songs to tell the story, serve the dramatic moment and, yes, move the story forward,’’ Sater says. “There’s easily an album, if not a double album’s worth of songs we wrote for the show that didn’t make it in, any number of which are as good as the ones in the show.’’

The central idea became the creation of a play – not simply a book linking songs – that took place alongside, as Sater describes it, “an incredible concert of the same material unfolding in your heart, deepening your investment in the story. I was inspired by great plays I love and by `West Side Story,’ `Carousel’ and `Porgy and Bess.’ ’’

A published version of Sater’s book and lyrics was supposed to be out in time for the Tonys but won’t be out until about a week later from Theatre Communications Group.

Thinking about Sundays’ Tony Awards, Sater says he has his suit picked out (he bought it with Sheik when they were meeting in Los Angeles), but he hasn’t written a speech.

“I’m nominated in two categories, and you don’t want to set yourself up,’’ he says. “Will they divide the wealth? Hard to know. I have things in mind I’d like to say. As we get closer I’ll have to think more about it.’’

Here’s Sater picking up a Drama Desk Award (his last line is classic):

Tony Week! Chatting with Duncan Sheik

As we head toward the Tony Awards telecast on Sunday, June 10, I will be offering interviews with folks from my favorite musical of the season, Spring Awakening. Up first, composer Duncan Sheik.

Last time I interviewed Duncan Sheik it was February 2006, and we were sitting in his bedroom at the back of his tour bus in front of San Francisco’s Independent concert venue.

Sheik was in full-on rock-star mode, sipping a glass of wine next to a giant pile of laundry that partially obscured the big flat-screen TV on the wall. He had a play with music about to open at San Francisco’s Magic Theatre (Nero, Another Golden Rome) and there was big buzz about his and Steven Sater’s impending musical version of the Wedekind play Spring Awakening.

A lot has happened in the last year. Nero, another collaboration with Sater, didn’t generate much buzz, but Spring Awakening became the most talked-about new musical of the year, with the Atlantic Theater Company’s off-Broadway production transferring to Broadway, becoming a big hit and scoring 11 Tony Award nominations.

On the phone from his New York home, Sheik says he’s OK with being called a “theater guy.’’

“I’m feeling like a jack of all trades, and that’s not a bad thing,’’ he says. “I really do enjoy working in different mediums – film, theater, recorded music. They all have their different challenges and different aspects that are fulfilling creatively. Obviously, it’s the theater stuff that has kind of taken off for the moment. We’re enjoying that ride.’’

It’s a ride that will likely give him the “Tony Award-winner’’ prefix for the rest of his music career come Sunday’s Tony ceremonies.

The pre-Tony award ride has been, in a word, smashing for Spring Awakening. At the Drama Desk Awards, the show won best musical, Michael Mayer won best director, Sater won for lyrics and Sheik won for music.

The musical also scored major awards from the Lucille Lortel Awards, New York Drama Critics Circle, Outer Critics Circle and the Drama League, leaving Sheik and his cohorts with high hopes for the Tonys.

“It’s been sort of fun the last couple of weeks,’’ Sheik says. “We’ve done well with the awards leading up to the Tonys, but the problem is your expectations get higher than they should be. I have to keep a lid on it internally. I need to go into the Tonys thinking anything can happen. I’ll cross my fingers and hope for the best, but with 11 nominations, I don’t have enough fingers to cross.’’

Having been called the best rock musical ever and even the best musical adaptation of a play since My Fair Lady, Spring Awakening is getting the kind of praise and attention that Sheik first received when he burst onto the pop charts in 1996 with “Barely Breathing.’’

“I’m not going to say I don’t enjoy all the congratulations and everything,’’ Sheik says. “It has been really great. The Tonys are a big deal because they do have an effect on how long the show runs on Broadway and whether the show will tour extensively through the U.S. or overseas. It’s important for all of us that we do well at the Tonys. We all want to see the show continue to grow and have a long life.’’

Speaking of the Spring Awakening tour, there have been rumblings about the tour starting in San Francisco. Sheik has heard those rumblings as well, but he acknowledges, “That’s not my department.’’

“It would be great if the tour started in San Francisco. The Bay Area would be an excellent place to start the tour. There’s an amazing theatergoing audience there that would probably respond really well to the piece.’’

When Sheik and Sater were in San Francisco working Nero at the Magic, they saw American Conservatory Theater’s production of The Black Rider,the Tom Waits-William S. Burroughs-Robert Wilson musical.

“That was an extraordinary show, and Steven and I sat in that theater saying, `This is such a great Spring Awakening audience here in this room.’’’

ACT artistic director Carey Perloff is reportedly a big fan of Spring Awakening and approached Sheik about composing a score – mostly underscore, though there may be a song or two – for next season’s production of Tis a Pity She’s a Whore.

“She wanted to do something that was kind of edgy and intense and out there,’’ Sheik explains. “It’s more instrumental and scene transition music, which I’ve done before in the Public Theater’s Twelfth Night in Central Park. I’m interested in jumping into a different side of music for the theater, where it’s not necessarily a musical.’’

Not that Sheik is anywhere near abandoning his burgeoning musical theater career. In fact, the success of Spring Awakening is making people listen to Sheik’s work a little differently these days.

“Before, the things Steven and I were working on were long shots, but now they have a chance to see the light of day,’’ Sheik says. “That means people have a certain amount of respect for our vision, how we work on these shows. We do take a different approach to musical theater than most folks. It’s an eccentric thing we’re doing, breaking quite a few rules and looking the other way from certain conventions and formulas. It’s nice that people seem to respond to these different approaches in a more positive manner.’’

Sheik and Sater continue to work on Nero, which after a number of title changes, is called (or so Sheik thinks at the moment) The Golden Rooms of Nero. There may be a workshop at the Public later this summer.

Another musical project in the works a commission from the Stamford Center for the Performing Arts in Stamford, Conn., is Whisper House, with a script by Kyle Jarrow. It’s about a boy whose father is killed in World War II, so he goes to live in a lighthouse with his aunt and deals with ghosts, fears, grief and confusion.

“I’m just getting started on that one,’’ Sheik says.

A project that’s farther along is his next collaboration with Sater, The Nightingale, a sort of musical fairy tale set in ancient China. The next workshop of that show may be under the auspices of ACT.

“We’re going to do a workshop with (director) James Lapine later this fall, probably here in New York but possibly in San Francisco,’’ Sheik says. “ACT would be an amazing theater to work with on that show. We’re hoping everything comes together to make that happen.’’

Amid all the Spring Awakening Tony Award hoopla, one writer described Sheik as a “former pop singer.’’ But don’t believe it.

In September, Sheik is going into the studio with David Poe (who performed onstage with Sheik at last year’s San Francisco concert) and other downtown New York singer-songwriters. He says he also has a covers album concept he’d like to record this year.

“Then, next year, I think I’ll start getting together material for a proper Duncan Sheik album,’’ he says.

If you trawl around YouTube (or look below), you can find video of Sheik singing songs from “Spring Awakening,’’ and he says demo recordings exist of him singing most of the score’s songs. He may eventually record his own show tunes for an album encompassing Spring Awakening, Nero, Whisper House and The Nightingale.

“That’s something I still have to think about,’’ he says. “It seems I’ve released a lot of records in the last year and a half. Don’t want to glut the market. There will be more albums and more film scores. At the moment, I’m enjoying my theater moment.’’

Visit the Spring Awakening Web site here.

Here’s Sheik singing the final song in Spring Awakening, “Song of Purple Summer”