Before we start, I’d like to say this: Please bring back Neil Patrick Harris next year. More on that later.
Alright, this is a bit late due to the fact that I had a throbbing headache this morning. But on the upside, I’ve read other blogs post-Tony award posts and talked to my dad, the musical theater guru. So, on that note, I’d like to say that this year, you get the thoughts of my dad, who listened to the Amahzing Seth Rudetsky’s coverage on XM-Sirius On Broadway, and me, who watched it on my CBS affiliate, KGAN.
So, this year’s opening number was a bit confusing. Sure, it was better than “The Lion King” performing last year, but some of it was just a bit confusing. Like Aaron Tveit of “Next to Normal” performing a number from that show while Stockard Channing performed a piece from “Pal Joey.” Yes, that was simultaneous.
Oh, and if you missed it, like I did, Bret Michaels apparently came close to being beheaded by a falling set piece. I’m not joking.
Anyway, Angela Lansbury won her fifth Tony Award and I found out last night that she’s 83. Her and Jane Fonda look good for their age. Both her and Roger Robinson of “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” gave very lovely speeches.
One of the two portions of the broadcast I missed was of the number from “Shrek”. I had prepared a cup of tea during the commercial break and needed to take care of that. When I started to hear the very familiar dialogue, I decided then was a good time. Personally, I thought the number wasn’t too bad. It didn’t make me want to go see it when I’m in New York, but I thought it was fairly amusing.
Oh, and the number from “Rock of Ages” definitely made me not want to go see it when I’m in New York. It also made me wonder something I first wondered a couple of months ago.
As Time Out New York points out, a huge irony of the broadcast this year is that this is the first year that the award for Sound Design was presented. And there were some huge sound problems. Most notably with the number from “Guys and Dolls.” And while Chris at Everything I Know I Learned From Musicals says that “Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat” was a poor choice of a number, if that is any sign of what the actual production is like, I think the sarcastic comment I made about the production I saw at a high school being better than the Broadway revival was actually right.
I’ll be honest, I thought that the three best musical numbers were from “West Side Story,” “Hair,” and “Next to Normal.” I was absolutely riveted watching the number “You Don’t Know/I Am the One” and because of that I was very pleased to see “Next to Normal” win Best Score. My father, who has been championing the musical for a bit, was also pleased to see it usurp “Billy.” As for “West Side Story,” I thought it was interesting, wish it had been a number with dancing, but I liked seeing the chemistry between Josephina Scaglione and Matt Cavenaugh. As for “Hair,” it was energetic and I was pleased that I wasn’t in the orchestra section of Radio City Music Hall.
And thank God Liza won a Tony, that prevented any riots from breaking out at Radio City.
I am tempted to say that the worst decision for a number to be performed was from “Billy Elliot.” First of all, a disclaimer, I have heard the soundtrack and I’m not fond at all of Elton John and Lee Hall’s score. Alright, at first I thought it was “Solidarity” that was being performed, and I was wrong. I wish it was “Solidarity” because I was left confused by “Angry Dance.” Billy’s yelling seemed forced and illogical. I sat there in front of my TV and I was reminded of Sean Graney’s direction of “Alice in Wonderland” at Chicago Playworks. Although, what I was reminded of with “Alice in Wonderland” actually made sense. And was there audio/visuals of Margaret Thatcher’s famous response to the strikers? I am sorry, but could we please move on from the anger over the Thatcher regime?
I thought Alice Ripley’s speech was interesting, I wasn’t sure why she was yelling, except maybe out of fear of the sound problems. According to my dad, she was very deserving. Personally, my favourite speech was from Oscar Eustis of the Public Theatre, who ended his speech with “Peace now, freedom now, equality now,” pointing at the wedding ring on his ring finger on “Equality now.”
The closing number, written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, made up for the touring productions’ performances. And, on that note, I understand that The Broadway League enjoys using the Tony Awards as an ad. But did they have to use “Legally Blonde,” “Mamma Mia!” and “Jersey Boys”? Couldn’t they have used other shows? Like “Spring Awakening” and “Avenue Q”? Or, at the very least, “Wicked”?
Raul Esparza didn’t win, again. But Geoffrey Rush’s speech was amusing.
But please bring back Neil Patrick Harris. Not just because he made a joke about Jeremy Piven. I actually enjoyed the hosting done by an award show host.
“The Norman Conquests” and “God of Carnage” winning Best Revival of a Play and Best Play was not surprising. I would have liked for “Dividing the Estate” to have won, but because it closed in January, I thought it was unlikely. Although, my dad found out last night what “The Norman Conquests” was about for the first time.
Oh, and the second part I missed was Marcia Gay Harden’s speech. Right before the winner was announced for Best Actress in a Play, KGAN cut in with a severe weather update. What it actually was was them informing us that a semi had been blown off of a highway. The Tony Awards came back right before she finished her speech, so I missed her pointing out the gaffe on Janet McTeer and Harriet Walter. (I found out from reading the live blogging on the New York Times website after the telecast.)
And shame on the orchestra for playing off Jerry Herman!