Monday, June 11, 2007

Tonys SOPRANOS

SPOILER ALERT!!!
Since the final SOPRANOS and TONY AWARDS were on the same night and both were so similar in theme and presentation, I thought I’d review them together.

As usual, the TONYS were the only awards show where no one thanked their wives.

You KNEW David Chase would do an ending nobody expected. But I thought it was going to be Bob Newhart springing up in bed telling Emily he had this really weird dream and Emily telling him to lay off the Lincoln log sandwiches before bed.

I was happy SPRING AWAKENING won. I saw it a year ago when it played in a dingy church in the village. Call me psychic but even then I knew, simulated sex and nudity would find an audience.

Things don’t look good for the SOPRANOS. But I choose to believe Tony noticed the guy going into the bathroom, shot him coming out. A.J. went on to produce CLEAVER II: THE MIDDLE EAST. Meadow became a prosecutor in New York and joined the cast of LAW & ORDER in 2017. Carmela and her dad got the building contract for the new Yankee Stadium. Tony settled his differences with the New York families but declared war on the New York Psychoanalytic Association, and Uncle Junior became a presidential advisor.

I miss Hugh Jackman.

At least Mr. Broadway himself was there, CBS newsman Harry Smith.

Who deserved to be shot more – Phil Leotardo or that JOURNEY’S END producer who wore Scotch plaid pants? Phil at least you could forgive for a few things.

Christina Applegate, with her short blond hair and tight green dress looked like Tinkerbell while her co-presenter, Neil Patrick Harris looked like Peter Pan. Neil is maybe the only male who could ever play that part.

The TONYS were shown on the west coast with a three hour delay but considering the speed of sound, we in LA still learned the results before those sitting in the back row of Radio City Music Hall.

Heidi Klum loves CATS. What a shock! And speaking of cats…

Was the cat at the safe house “pussy”? Some theorize it was Adrianna. But if she didn’t disguise herself doing JOEY I don’t know why she would now.

I thought THE SOPRANOS brought Pussy back but it was only Marvin Hamlisch at the Tonys.

LES MISERABLES is now a revival. Don’t you have to close for like at least a week to be considered a revival?

During that medley of closed musicals I thought, "Just come back Thursday. You could still win something."

Randy Thomas is the best off-stage announcer in the biz. She’s the first person EVER on national television to pronounce Billy Crudup’s name correctly.

THE COAST OF UTOPIA was a worthy winner for Best Play. At least 7 of its 9 hours were fantastic.

Did you notice that all the bad things on THE SOPRANOS started happening AFTER they killed Tim Daly, the screenwriter? Bad mojo. This is the only power the WGA has.

This was the year of actors portraying real people. Frank Langella as Nixon, Christine Ebersole as Edith Bouvier Beale & “Little” Edie Beale, and Ashley Brown as Mary Poppins.

Why are there no metal detectors at Holtsen’s Ice Cream Parlor? Especially at night?

I wonder how well this line went over in Alabama? Harvey Firestein said, “I wish I had a nickel for every time I gave it to an actor.” There were even some “Yikes” from the Tony audience.

12.8 million tickets were sold this season on Broadway. 11.2 of them for THE LION KING and MAMA MIA.

Those four-wheel drive SUV’s are perfect for rolling over and crushing a gangster’s head.

And that scene wasn’t nearly as stomach churning as the number from MARY POPPINS.

It’s hard to watch Fantasia sing on television without a phone number on the screen.

How important are the Tony Awards to CBS when they don’t even show them in HD? Although, considering all the face work of the presenters and winners, the Tony committee might have requested no HD.

“Don’t Stop” by Steve Perry expressed the thoughts of everyone watching that last scene of THE SOPRANOS. At least hang on until Meadow ordered.

Hey, my buddy Paul Kreppel won! Congratulations, Paul.

Not one audience shot of Les Moonves in the entire TONY broadcast. I thought, “Wait a minute. Is this not the TONYS?” And then a winner mentioned Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall and I knew I was in the right place.

Ohmygod, A.J. has the same job my daughter has this summer. And in a further coincidence, she too wants to own a nightclub.

David Hyde Pierce is a national comic treasure.

Great seeing he and Bebe Neuwirth together on stage. My partner and I wrote the FRASIER where they slept together. How lucky for us that we could write for two such gifted performers.

Making Paulie the captain of the construction business was like putting a certain former head of the Texas Rangers into the White House.

Julie White won the TONY for “Best Impersonation of a Harriet Harris” performance. She was very funny in THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED. Probably funnier than her fellow nominees Vanessa Redgrave and Angela Lansbury.

Has Frank Vincent (Phil Leotardo) ever NOT been shot to death in any show or movie he’s ever been in? Even home movies.

When they say everybody has “a little Broadway” in them, is that just a euphemism?

All in all, I thought the TONYS were entertaining and THE SOPRANOS fascinating (infuriating but fascinating). HBO reaches only a fraction of the country while CBS blankets the nation. I bet THE SOPRANOS had triple the audience of THE TONYS. Maybe that’s why Les Moonves wasn’t there. Even he was watching to see if Tony got whacked.

34 comments:

Great Big Radio Guy said...

I thought the final scene of the Sopranos was nothing short of

Anonymous said...

Nice GBRG. That's funny....

Me, I figured Tony was fine and it was just Chase having his way with us.

Until someone pointed out this line from Bobby Bacala's conversation with Tony in the ep. 1 of this season:

"You wouldn't even know it had happened: everything would just go black."

I believe (but am not sure) this is the same conversation that was replayed at the end of the second-to-last episode.

Now I'm going a little crazy trying to decide what to think. And Chase will, no doubt, never clarify this situation in an interview.

D. McEwan said...

"I miss Hugh Jackman." How? His new show VIVA LOUGHLIN was promoted on EVERY commercial break. We saw more of Hugh tonight then when he DID host the Tonys, both times combined. (I'm not complaining. I loves me some Hugh Jackman, my future ex-husband.)

Angela Lansbury FINALLY looks her age.

Fantasia has dropped her last name, which I'm sure her father's family finds flattering. I guess she's tired of being called Fantasia Burrito.

It would have been nice if we could have seen all the names of the people in the Death Montage. But during it, we learned that Tommy Tune's singing has died also. Tommy Out-Of-Tune now.

The Tonys were being given out on Judy Garland's Birthday. How appropriate.

"David Hyde Pierce is a national comic treasure." Very true, but old news. I remember him on Letterman once, explaining how his dick got sunburned while visiting a nude beach: "I couldn't figure out how to apply sunscreen without being arrested."

D. McEwan said...

"I miss Hugh Jackman." How? His new show VIVA LOUGHLIN was promoted on EVERY commercial break. We saw more of Hugh tonight then when he DID host the Tonys, both times combined. (I'm not complaining. I loves me some Hugh Jackman, my future ex-husband.)

Angela Lansbury FINALLY looks her age.

Fantasia has dropped her last name, which I'm sure her father's family finds flattering. I guess she's tired of being called Fantasia Burrito.

It would have been nice if we could have seen all the names of the people in the Death Montage. But during it, we learned that Tommy Tune's singing has died also. Tommy Out-Of-Tune now.

The Tonys were being given out on Judy Garland's Birthday. How appropriate.

"David Hyde Pierce is a national comic treasure." Very true, but old news. I remember him on Letterman once, explaining how his dick got sunburned while visiting a nude beach: "I couldn't figure out how to apply sunscreen without being arrested."

Hugh Betcha said...

The Tony Awards broadcast should be declared as the national kick-off for Gay Pride Month in America. A whole theatre full of men who never, ever kept copies of Playboy or Hustler under their mattresses when they were kids. Bless their hearts.

DrBear said...

I was personally hoping Tony Soprano would be arrested by Lennie Briscoe and personally prosecuted by Fred Thompson in his acting finale, then end up in "Oz." But that's just me.

RAC said...

When it just went black, the Sopranos audience got whacked. And the Tony Awards audience was pretty much whacking off all night long.

Mary Stella said...

When A-Rod did his little promo and said, "There's a little Broadway in everyone", I wondered if that's what his hooker said after he left -- with the emphasis on 'little'.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

"And the Tony Awards audience was pretty much whacking off all night long."

That Angela Lansbury, man.... ;)

Rory L. Aronsky said...

Hey Douglas, I must ask this: Did Miss Morehead partake in the blackness that was The Sopranos or did she watch the Tony Awards?

Brian Scully said...

Personally, I can understand David Chase not killing off Tony... he's protecting his franchise so that he can do a movie in the future. That said, the ending he chose was just plain lazy writing. The show has had some incredible moments... moments of great writing, great acting, great visuals... too bad he didn't choose to end the show with some greatness. Ending on black was not daring or creative. If you want to see a truly daring and creative ending, watch the final episode of "St. Elsewhere"... it was totally every bit as maddening as the ending to "The Sopranos" but unlike The Sopranos, it was completely in keeping with the artistic integrity of the show and it's writers. David Chase could've taken a lesson from "St. Elsewhere".

Great Big Radio Guy said...

This morning, someone pointed out to me that Chase was essentially giving kudos to the people who truly paid attention all along. Me? It took me four seasons just to get the principles' names straight.

Okay - here's the rundown according to him.

Three people were in that restaurant who had reason to kill him:

The guy at the counter who went into the men's room was Phil's nephew from Season 6.
The black guys at the register tried to whack him in Season 3.
The trucker in the booth was the brother of the victim of the DVD heist in Season 2.

And of course, the Cub Scouts were the same ones who witnessed Bobby's whacking last week.

Okay. NOW write the ending.

David Schwartz said...

I thought the Sopranos ending was brilliant. It was a slice of life where you just don't know what was going to happen. I don't think any TV moment has ever made me more tense, and more agitated than that one. And without the payoff, I stayed tense a full hour after the show went off the air. I don't think he could have come up with a more surprising and shocking ending.

Moxie said...

Ken, that dingy church in the village is actually the Atlantic Theater Company, one of NYC's top Off-Broadway NFP companies, founded by the likes of David Mamet and Bill Macy. They've been around for a while, and have had a string of incredibly well-received shows in the past few years, several of which have transferred to Broadway. Plus, it's located in what is decidedly Chelsea.

That said, that episode of Frasier where they sleep together is one of my all-time favorite sitcom episodes.

Max Clarke said...

Bebe Neuwirth. One of the best radio interviews I've heard was Bebe in San Francisco, I think on KQED. She was in town to sing a musical maybe written by Kurt Weil. She was as far away from Liluth Sternin as you can get, easygoing and cheerful, and unfailingly kind to the callers.

D. McEwan said...

Rory,

Tallulah has never watched The Sopranos (She hates being accused of having "HBO", which she thinks stands for "Hideus Body Odor"), and she doesn't care for live theater, as she "Misses the immediacy of editing and huge close-ups", so she spent the evening watching DVDs of LOST, wondering if the Smoke Monster had a Drink Monster sister, while I watched the Tonys.

And Hugh Betcha, regarding: "The Tony Awards broadcast should be declared as the national kick-off for Gay Pride Month in America." As a matter of fact, it WAS Gay Pride Day in Los Angeles, with the parade and the festival that day. This means that, in Los Angeles, the only people watching the Tonys were Ken and myself.

Oh, and Rac, while I admire your ability to find The Tonys erotic, I gotta say, it's straight guys who whack off a lot. Gay men are too busy having sex, because our partners weren't taught to hold out for marraige.

benson said...

GBRguy...

Thanks for the explanation...and I found an added tidbit on Aaron Barnhart's blog... from a Sorpranos fan forum...

Look at the final scene from Tony's eyes, with what GBR's friend said,
and with what anonymous #1 said: "You wouldn't even know it had happened: everything would just go black."

Bada-boom, bada-bing...he be dirt-nappin'.

Still liked the idea of Tony waking up with Bob Newhart. Oh, well, you can't make everyone happy.

BTW, my word verification is "ygads".

Buttermilk Sky said...

Alabama? You're dreaming. Most New Yorkers don't even watch The Tonys. Together with that other low-rated, high-class broadcast, The Kennedy Center Honors, it's the last shred of CBS's identity as "The Tiffany Network." The rest of the year it's strictly CostCo.

These people are stage actors because they DON'T want to be seen in high def.

Ken Levine said...

Moxie,

No disrespect of the church meant. In fact, the opposite -- you don't have to go to the Winter Garden to see great theater. In fact, you're better off not going to the Winter Garden to see great theater.

Will Teullive said...

Is it true Harvey Fierstein offered to walk into Holsten's and personally whack Tony Soprano with his own hands?

Jim Endecott said...

Anyone notice Carmela squeezing into the corner of her booth, adjusting several times moving to the side as she read the menu?

a) She was giving Tony room to see the door...

b) She knew Tony was getting hit.

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree with you about David Hyde Pierce. He was the difference between a great show and what would otherwise have only been a good show.

Anonymous said...

I had to write about both of these shows for my radio prep service. My favorite line of the day was, "If I wanted to see ambiguous sopranos, I would've watched the Tony Awards."

Script Demon said...

Funny stuff, Ken. Thanks. I put up something re The Sopranos on my blog so I won't go into details here.

Basically loved the last episode.

Tonys and Tony. Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Sadly... The Rangers won more games under Bush than they do now. Rangers fans are not having a very good year.

Anonymous said...

On the Today Show Monday morning, they showed the Jersey diner where Tony and the family ate Sunday night. There were no bullet holes, shell casings or yellow police tape. So I'm thinking no one got whacked.
I won an office pool on how the Sopranos would end. I said onion rings.
WK

Justin said...

Was the Sopranos ending a shout-out to Six Feet Under in a funny sort of way..? Sort of 'OK, you did the ultimate tie-up, we're doing the ultimate UN-tie-up.' Or 'if you're going to show the banality of it all, how about with a capital B?'.

Anonymous said...

I'm so confused. I saw it the Tonys on a HD set, and I saw each and every name of the deceased, on screen....

Heywood J. said...

I honestly didn't realize that the Tonys were still being televised. As for the Sopranos, some of the reactions from wounded fans have been pretty hilarious.

Krup said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Krup said...

i got a hold of 3 of the alternate endings that were shot for The Sopranos finale:

http://www.vimeo.com/clip:211043

Dhppy said...

What do Bebe Neuwirth and Bernadette Peters do to stay looking so young? I'm convinced they both belong to some kind of Pale Women for Eternal Youth group where they get together slather themselves with sunscreen SPF 120 and then inject themselves with goat fat.

Joey H said...

I think the better Newhart ending would have been for Tony to wake up on Dr. Robert Hartley's couch, where he has dozed off during a therapy session.

Moxie said...

Sorry to jump to the defensive, Ken. Us theater types have so little to hold onto these days... ;-) You're so right - staying away from the "now and forever"/wintergarden genre is always a good choice.