Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Elton's Madonna Speech at Drama Awards

Elton John couldn't resist a playful jab at Madonna during his Drama League Awards acceptance speech this weekend.

"I heard about this from my office," the British singer told the audience after receiving his Distinguished Achievement honor.

"They said, ‘They want to give you an award from the Drama League.' I thought, I've been a member of the drama league for years. They went, ‘No, no, no. Not the Madonna drama league. The OTHER drama league!' "

All kidding aside, the five-time Grammy winner is just happy to contribute to consistently successful Broadway shows like "Aida," "The Lion King" and "Billy Elliot."

"I find it quite easy to write songs for theater because you have a story line," Elton said. "You have characters to write songs for.
But you do have to swallow your ego because some of your songs don't make it. The director usually decides that. You present some things to the team and they go ‘yay' or ‘nay,' and sometimes you go away sobbing. But that's part and parcel for the experience."

Speaking of people who cry, Jeremy Piven was skewered during the ceremonies, too. Raul Esparza, nominated for best actor for his "Speed-the-Plow" performance after taking over for the "sick" Piven, couldn't make the gala because he was called back to rehearsals at the last minute. "He actually came down with mercury poisoning," co-host Cynthia Nixon joked to a thunderous round of applause.

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