My Top 5 Favorite Things about the 2012 Tony Awards.
The curtain has come down on yet another Broadway season. That sound you hear in the distance is the opening of many a Fire Island and Hampton home as the industry gets ready to hibernate for the summer now that the handicapping is all done and the Tony Awards are all handed out.
Ok, well, we’re not done just yet. There’s still the Monday morning dish about who got dissed and who went home pissed (and I mean that in both the “angry” connotation and the “so-drunk-I-want-to-make-out-with-Michael-Riedel” sense).
This isn’t a dishy blog, so I’ll leave all that chat to, well, the folks on All That Chat.
I will, however, post my Top 5 Favorite Things from last night’s awards, as usual. And here they are:
1. The Cold Mormon Open
There was a lot of scuttlebutt in Shubert Alley about having Mormon open the show. “They don’t need the help!” and “Give more time to the speeches!” and “Give more time to the nominated and non-nominated shows!” were just a few of the complaints I heard when the opening was announced. But you know what? Open strong, I say. Mormon is a juggernaut of a hit, and reminding the world about Broadway’s biggest contribution in the last five years is a great way to show them what we have to offer. Oh, and remember, Mormon isn’t the most traditional show around. It’s not like it was a safe choice. But it was a great choice.
2. Someone Give That Guy A Hanky
Mike Nichols is one of the most celebrated Directors of our time. He has achieved more in one decade than most of us can dream about achieving in our lifetime. Yet still, when Mike Nichols accepted his award for Salesman, he got choked up and had to fight back tears. The theater means a lot to that guy, and it meant a lot to me to see how honored he was. Old hat, this was not . . . just like his production of Salesman, actually. The Honorable Mention in this category goes to Miss Audra “5-Timer” McDonald, who stepped up there to accept her award and immediately started to sob. In that moment, she showed us all why she is such a great actress . . . she’s not afraid to open up her chest and show her heart.
3. Ok, We Know This Part is Boring
The annual American Theatre Wing speech about the great work the organization does every year is important . . . but let’s face it, everyone just wants to get back to Neil Patrick Harris doing his schtick. So this year they let Neil continue to do his schtick, hanging upside down à la Spiderman, as Angela Lansbury and Ted Chapin told us about the Wing’s website. Being self-aware of our assets and liabilities is a great way to keep people watching.
4. I Haven’t Seen So Many Numbers Since Proof!
It seemed like every thirty seconds, another show was performing another number. And it was awesome. Let’s face it, the performances are what people want to see (it’s why I tuned in as a sixteen year old from Massachusetts, and I can still remember that Will Rogers Follies number wowing me). Overall, all of the numbers were terrific (word is still out on the cruise ship bit) and they made it look like Broadway is bursting at the seams with lots of diverse choices for great live entertainment . . . and, oh yeah, it is.
5. Surprise! You won!
This was not a year to be a Tony handicapper. Who would have thought James Corden would take down The Hoff? And Judith Light? And Steve Kazee? And what about Porgy & Bess showing Sondheim who’s boss? The too-close-to-callness of so many races made for quite an exciting evening. . . there were several audible gasps at my Tony Party. Obviously there’s no way to create close races every year (although maybe with more voters? More nominees?) but, boy oh boy, it is a heck of a lot of fun when you don’t know whose name is going to be on that piece of paper. It’s so . . . well . . . dramatic.
What were your favorite moments of this year’s Tony Awards? Least favorite moments? Let me hear what you thought of the awards in the comments below.
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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.