Monday, June 09, 2014
The 2014 Tony Awards: My review
Plus, it was a pretty average show. This has been such a lousy year for musicals that only four were nominated. And to pad the show they trotted out a number from WICKED, and songs from two shows not even on Broadway yet – a grim old sea shanty by Sting and Jennifer Hudson honking a four-minute plug for a new Harvey Weinstein Peter Pan musical. Gee, I wonder how that got on the show?
Jason Robert Brown won two Tonys for the music in BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY and nothing was sung from that show. Instead we got Jennifer Hudson belting out another generic boring power ballad. Again, thank you, Harvey.
And neither music awards were presented live. Nor was Best Book of a Musical. Aren’t these kind of important categories? Are the Tonys honoring outstanding work in the theatre or a chance for CBS star LL Cool J. to do a rap version of THE MUSIC MAN?
Hugh Jackman was perfectly charming as the host, although the comedy was not nearly as sharp and biting as when Neil Patrick Harris hosted in past years. But writers could have something to do with that. (I know. It’s always the writers’ fault.)
Some random thoughts:
If you’re saying “what was with the opening number and Hugh Jackman hopping all around?” Like everyone in the WORLD knows, that was an homage to Bobby Van from the most famous Broadway musical of them all, SMALL TOWN GIRL. Nothing obscure about that number!
Doesn’t everything Idina Menzel sings sound exactly like the song from FROZEN?
The highlight number for me was ALADDIN with James Monroe Inglehart as the genie. Wow, he was terrific. Too bad he didn’t star in THE CRAZY ONES too. I might’ve watched it.
If ever there was a lock it was Neil Patrick Harris. He is clearly the toast of Broadway. The only way he could lose a Tony is if he’s up against Audra McDonald.
I was thrilled that Jessie Mueller won for Best Actress in a Musical for BEAUTIFUL. Who knew? You can win without belting to the last row.
That said, it must suck to be Kelli O’Hara today. She lost for the fifth straight time, and everyone who saw her in BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY said she was nothing short of wondrous. She needs to change her name to Audra.
I was disappointed Clint Eastwood didn't sing a medley from PAINT YOUR WAGON.
Everyone says A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE (winner of Best Musical) is a hoot. And yet, for all the good buzz and rave reviews, it has only limped along at the boxoffice. I imagine that will change.
It was nice to see playwrights get to introduce their plays. And not Fran Drescher.
How does RAISIN IN THE SUN win every award possible and star Denzel Washington not even be nominated? I guess he was an unknown to the Broadway community
Despite the silly MUSIC MAN rap, there was a real musty vibe to this year’s show. Much hipper in recent years. Jackman was singing revised versions of old chestnuts like L.O.V.E. and Mack the Knife. That's fine but give me more Lin-Manual Miranda.
Jennifer Hudson as a black Peter Pan in a silver evening gown – finally we get J. M. Barrie’s true interpretation of the character.
And finally, for the biggest award of the night, the best presenter they could find was Rosie O’Donnell? Were these the Daytime Emmys? Where was Angela Lansbury or Bernadette Peters or Barbara Cook or even Elaine Stritch? But I guess it could have been worse. Rosie could have lost the coin flip and Fran Drescher presented Best Musical.
Update. Here is the un-aired In Memoriam segment prepared for the Tonys. It's inexcusable that they showed the Jennifer Hudson number and not this.