Time once again to review the lowest rated Awards show in America – the Tonys. I have more Twitter followers than Tony Awards Show viewers. And in L.A. it competed with the Gay Pride Parade so no one was watching.
Thus it’s understandable that there was no pre-Tony’s Red Carpet Show, which is a shame. Would love to see Ant and Miss South Carolina broadcasting from the Times Square R Train subway platform as all the stars got off.
The Tonys are also the only awards show to still be tape-delayed to the West Coast. I think they will air sometime next Thursday.
Part of the problem is that no one outside of Manhattan and Fire Island know any of the nominated shows. The two big musicals were NEWSIES from a 20-year-old Disney movie starring songbirds Christian Bale and Robert Duvall and ONCE, the small Irish movie that delighted audiences in all twelve art houses it screened in.
But the Tonys are only once a year in the summer so you can understand why CBS continues to air it despite so little interest. I mean it’s not like it’s a weekly series about Broadway. What network would be crazy enough to have one of those, spend big bucks on it, and then renew it? Even NBC couldn’t be that foolish, could they?
Usually the purpose of the Tonys is to celebrate excellence in New York theater, but this year it was to pimp the Royal Caribbean cruise line. They even featured a ten minute number from HAIRSPRAY direct from a ship in the Atlantic Ocean. Why spend money on a big name host? Next year just have cruise director Sergio emcee the Tony Awards.
My delightfully caustic daughter, Annie and her writing partner, Jon Emerson are also contributing this year. Annie (during the JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR number): “That musical has had more revivals than Jesus.”
Host Neil Patrick Harris was charming as ever, but his opening number didn’t have the same zing and sodomy jokes that last year’s had. Cruise director Sergio will be better next year. You’ll see.
The big surprise was James Corden winning Best Actor in a Play over Philip Seymour Hoffman, Frank Langella, John Lithgow, and James Earl Jones. I suppose if you want to outperform some of the greatest actors of our time just smash a trash can lid on your head.
Very happy that Nina Arianda won even though you’re saying who is she and what did she win for?
This year we had JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, GODSPELL, THE BOOK OF MORMON, and LEAP OF FAITH. Don’t producers know that JEWS are the people who go to the theater? What’s next? A Mel Gibson one-man show?
Let’s face it -- the big prize for a dazzling performance on Broadway isn’t a Tony. It’s a TV series the following season. Congratulations to Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad!
Have not seen Best Play, CLYBOURNE PARK but hear it’s wonderful. All the nominees this year were supposedly great. They’ll get their chance again next year when they’re all up for Best Revival of a Play.
The theater community was thrilled and relieved when Audra McDonald finally won for lead actress. Her four other Tonys were just for supporting actress. Highlight of her speech was saying it was an honor to get raped by Philip Boykin every night.
How nice to have an awards show where the “Harvey” they’re saluting is Fierstein not Weinstein.
DEATH OF A SALESMAN won for best revival of a play, which makes sense since it’s maybe the best contemporary play ever written.
Was I dreaming? Did they really play walk-off music when Mike Nichols was making his acceptance speech? Seriously? They devote ten minutes to a bunch of Croatian kids singing a HAIRSPRAY medley but have no time for Mike Nichols?
Sheryl Crow looked fabulous! May she look that way for the next forty years.
ONCE was the big musical winner. I’ll see it on my next Royal Caribbean cruise to Costa Rica.
CBS kept promo’ing Ricky Martin as if that was a big deal.
In Los Angeles this was a Channel 2 news tease: “A mother and her two kids are missing. The search after the Tony Awards.” As if the search party couldn’t be torn away from their TVs while Ricky Martin was still scheduled to perform.
The universally panned GHOST performed a number. To show that Mark Evans was the ghost he was followed by a blue spotlight. Annie said, “Why not just throw a sheet over his head and call it a day?”
Ellen Barkin has turned into Cloris Leachman.
I always find in unnerving to see a Judy Garland impersonator who isn’t a man.
Not hard to guess what demographic watches the Tonys. Sponsors included Embrel, Celebrex, and Cymbalta. I’m sure when the ship stops in Mexico you can pick up all of them for a fraction of their regular price.
The production numbers are always more fun at the Macy's Parade where they do the same thing but in 20 degree weather. If I don't see steam coming out of mouths I'm not as transported.
Ever notice that every Broadway musical has these same two songs -- “Love Me For Who I Am” and “I Have to Follow My Dream”? Or did you just fast-forward the minute you saw Matthew Broderick attempting to dance?
Play people take themselves waaaaaaaay too seriously. Musical people take nothing seriously. I prefer musical people.
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER won for best scenic design of a play. I thought it had no set. And it was up for Best Play even though there’s singing and dancing. Hell, submit it for an Oscar as Best Foreign Film.
Of all the great songs in FOLLIES, they chose that one? Danny Burnstein’s orange suit blended right into the red curtains. This won’t be a problem on the Royal Caribbean because the stage curtain is blue. And a Bingo tournament follows the show!
Bernadette Peters was exquisite in her strapless purple gown. It’s what the well-dressed mermaids are all wearing this season.
Notice the guy with the giant Lion King head in the audience? I’m guessing that was the only person in the audience you were able to identify. Good luck to the poor schmucks sitting behind him. Annie: “As if Julie Taymor isn’t hated enough.” Jon: “Ruining the experience one person at a time.”
As usual, off stage announcer, Randy Thomas, was smooth and flawless. I want to win just so someday I could hear her say my name (and maybe plug my book).
Judith Light won the Tony for best revival of a face.
Tony speeches tend to be more heartfelt than other backslapfests. Lots of tears, even from the women. I loved when James Corden acknowledged the mother of his child and said, “I can’t wait to marry you.”
PORGY & BESS won Best Revival of a Musical. It seemed like thirty producers got up to accept the prize. All of them white.
Mandy Patinkin and Patti LaPone were presenters together. That’s like Godzilla and Mothra on the same stage. There must be teeth marks on every piece of backstage scenery at the Beacon and three neighboring theaters.
Otherwise, Hugh Jackman won an award for being Hugh Jackman. Ricky Martin was not worth the hype. Side effects of Cymbalta include a fast heart rate, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, canker sores, high cholesterol, and acne.
The show ran over. Normally that’s no big deal but there are three missing people out there with no one looking for them.
And now if you’ll excuse me, I have to join the after-theater crowd for an elegant midnight barbeque buffet on the Lido Deck.
Sea you at the theater!
Monday, June 11, 2012
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM