My TONYs Post-Mortem

I ended up at a long-time friend’s apartment last night with some other similarly individuals to view The Tonys. Overall, I’d say this year’s was pretty boring. Kevin Spacey did an excellent job as host – he has a great voice. The opening number meant well but it felt really choppy and slow.

Groundhog Day picked the WRONG number to perform. I’m assuming they just needed something with the entire cast that wouldn’t cost too much to stage, but wow, they picked an awful number. It was so boring. I think it sold zero tickets, so that was a waste of $500k on the part of the producers. On the other hand, Dear Evan Hansen and Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 did fantastic numbers. It was really moving to see Ben Platt perform, and although his voice was a little shaky to start, he nailed the high notes in the latter part of the song. He deserved his TONY Award. Lastly though, the Hello, Dolly! performance? What was that?! I went to refill my drink at that point.

Somebody should’ve gotten a hook and pulled Bette Midler off that stage because goddamn. Snooze. And did Sutton Foster wake up from a nap right before walking onstage? She needed a blowout.

Best Costume Design of a Musical should definitely have gone to Great Comet. I have no idea what the voters were thinking with Hello, Dolly!. I mean, really?

Christopher Ashley (Come From Away) definitely deserved the Best Direction award. The direction is stellar. They were on point when they voted for The Great Comet for Best Scenic Design, because, COME ON. Have you seen the inside of the Imperial Theatre lately?

I really wanted Jen Colella to win Best Featured Actress, but I hear Rachel Bay Jones is excellent, so congrats to her. I was also very excited for Laurie Metcalf and her win. She deserved it.

Another year down. I can’t wait to see what the next season has in store!

The full list is here.

 

My Annual TONY Award Picks

I saw a lot of good theatre this season. Much more than I thought possible. And tonight the Hamilton Tony Awards are on. I saw a lot but I didn’t see everything. I’ll go ahead and say who I think should win and I’ll signify the shows I haven’t seen with a ^. Sound good? Good. 

Best Play – Honestly I have no idea what will win. i only saw two of these and the other two I wasn’t blown away buy. I thought Eclipsed was super powerful though. 

Eclipsed 

The Father^

The Humans

King Charles III^

Best Musical – Obviously Hamilton will win. It would be a huge upset if, say, School of Rock or Waitress won and I’d be 100% okay with that, but yeah, let’s move on. I would say I’m ashamed that I’ve only seen two of the nominated Best Musical nominees, but I’m not. I was very unmotivated to see Bright Star, had no interest in seeing Shuffle Along, and Hamilton was impossible to get tickets to. 

Bright Star^

Hamilton^

School of Rock – The Musical

Shuffle Along…. ^

Waitress

Best Revival of a Play – The only nominee I didn’t see was A View From the Bridge and I always miss that whenever it’s revived, but whatever. I think it will end up being The Crucible and I think that’s just fine. Long Day’s Journey could get it because of Jessica Lange though. Who knows. 

Arthur Miller’s The Crucible

Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge^

Blackbird

Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Noises Off

Best Revival of a Musical – This is a total toss up between The Color Purple and Fiddler on the Roof for me. The last incarnations of both productions were just so bad that these were so great by comparison. Spring Awakening was creative but not necessarily worthy of an award. I haven’t seen She Loves Me (yet, going in July) and I hear it’s great, so who knows. I think I’d lovvvvve for Fiddler to get it though. #JewPride

The Color Purple

Fiddler on the Roof

She Loves Me^

Spring Awakening

Best Book of a Musical – Hamilton has no book and since there are only four producers behind Hamilton, hopefully they won’t be able to vote their own way on this one. I can see Bright Star running away with this one (though I haven’t seen it).

Bright Star^

Hamilton^

School of Rock – The Musical

Shuffle Along….^

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre – I’m, like, 110% sure this going to Hamilton but maybe some voters have a soft spot for Steve Martin, Sarah Bareilles, or Andrew Lloyd Webber. 

Bright Star^

Hamilton^

School of Rock-The Musical

Waitress

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play – I haven’t seen The Father but I have a hunch it’s going to Frank Langella. If not him, I think definitely Gabriel Byrne. 

Gabriel Byrne, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Jeff Daniels, Blackbird
Frank Langella, The Father^ 
Tim Pigott-Smith, King Charles III^ 
Mark Strong, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge^

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play – I think Jessica Lange has this one locked in, but I could see Lupita Nyong’o or Sophie Okonedo stealing it and upsetting a whole lot of people. 

Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Laurie Metcalf, Misery
Lupita Nyong’o, Eclipsed
Sophie Okonedo, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Michelle Williams, Blackbird

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical – I think this should definitely go to Danny Burstein, but I’m pretty sure Lin-Manuel or Leslie will take this. 

Alex Brightman, School of Rock-The Musical
Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof
Zachary Levi, She Loves Me^ 
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton^ 
Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton^

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical – I hear Laura Benanti is amazing in She Loves Me, but if anyone but Cynthia Erivo takes this award home, I’ll burning down Times Square.

Laura Benanti, She Loves Me^ 
Carmen Cusack, Bright Star^ 
Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple
Jessie Mueller, Waitress
Phillipa Soo, Hamilton^

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play – I hear Reed Birney is locked in and although I didn’t love The Humans off-Broadway, I thought it was really great, as always. 

Reed Birney, The Humans
Bill Camp, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
David Furr, Noises Off
Richard Goulding, King Charles III^ 
Michael Shannon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play – I’d love to see Saycon Sengbloh take this but I think Andrea Martin probably will.

Pascale Armand, Eclipsed
Megan Hilty, Noises Off
Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans
Andrea Martin, Noises Off
Saycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical – I’m pretty sure it’s going to be someone from Hamilton, but Christopher Fitzgerald just totally stole every seen in Waitress. 

Daveed Diggs, Hamilton^ 
Brandon Victor Dixon, Shuffle Along…^
Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress^ 
Jonathan Groff, Hamilton^ 
Christopher Jackson, Hamilton^

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical –
I’d love it if Danielle Brooks took this home because she’s a powerhouse, but I think it’ll go to Renee Elise Goldsberry. 

Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton^ 
Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me^ 
Jennifer Simard, Disaster!^ 
Adrienne Warren, Shuffle Along…^

Best Scenic Design of a Play – I don’t remember Therese Raquin or The Humans having an amazing set, so it will be A View From the Bridge. 

Beowulf Boritt, Thérèse Raquin
Christopher Oram, Hughie^ 
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge^ 
David Zinn, The Humans

Best Scenic Design of a Musical – Give this one to American Psycho. I know it will probably go to Hamilton because we all now pray at the holy grail of Hamilton, but seriously, that set looks like a wooden version of Taboo’s set, or Rent’s set. 

Es Devlin & Finn Ross, American Psycho
David Korins, Hamilton^ 
Santo Loquasto, Shuffle Along…^
David Rockwell, She Loves Me^

Best Costume Design of a Play – I think Noises Off could get this. The set was really well designed and versatile. 

Jane Greenwood, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Michael Krass, Noises Off
Clint Ramos, Eclipsed
Tom Scutt, King Charles III^

Best Costume Design of a Musical – I see Hamilton taking this even though they’re just re-purposing Felicity’s wardrobe from the American Girl Dolls collection. But whatever.

Gregg Barnes, Tuck Everlasting
Jeff Mahshie, She Loves Me^ 
Ann Roth, Shuffle Along^
Paul Tazewell, Hamilton^

Best Lighting Design of a Play – The lighting was ace for Long Day’s Journey and The Crucible. I hope Crucible takes it.

Natasha Katz, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Justin Townsend, The Humans
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge^

Best Lighting Design of a Musical – Seriously, again, give it to American Psycho. That’s all I ask of you. 

Howell Binkley, Hamilton^ 
Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer, Shuffle Along…^
Ben Stanton, Spring Awakening
Justin Townsend, American Psycho

Best Direction of a Play – Please give this one to Jonathan Kent just because Long Day’s Journey is such a beast. 

Rupert Goold, King Charles III^ 
Jonathan Kent, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Joe Mantello, The Humans
Liesl Tommy, Eclipsed
Ivo Van Hove, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge^

Best Direction of a Musical – Michael Arden definitely deserves it for his originality but it’ll go to Hamilton.

Michael Arden, Spring Awakening
John Doyle, The Color Purple
Scott Ellis, She Loves Me^ 
Thomas Kail, Hamilton^
George C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along….^

Best Choreography – I would love to see Fiddler take this home, but Hamilton will get it. 

Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton^ 
Savion Glover, Shuffle Along…^
Hofesh Shechter, Fiddler on the Roof
Randy Skinner, Dames at Sea^ 
Sergio Trujillo, On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan^

Best Orchestrations – Hamilton will definitely take this.

August Eriksmoen, Bright Star^ 
Larry Hochman, She Loves Me^ 
Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton^ 
Daryl Waters, Shuffle Along…^

So, overall, there was a lot I didn’t see, but it was because some of this season didn’t seem all that appealing. Maybe some of the performances tonight will change my mind. I remember how unbelievably boring the 2002 and 2003 Tony Awards were when The Producers and Hairspray took most of the awards in each of their years and those years are always the worst.

Hopefully the Tony voters did the right thing and voted for what was best, not what’s most popular. Happy watching!

Insert Obligatory Tony Awards Post

Since I left working in the industry almost 8 months ago, I have literally given zero brain energy to thinking about the Tony’s this year. I still see lots of theatre, and love it, and have lots of opinions, but since my job no longer rides on whether show X, Y, or Z stays open, and also because I know, and have known, for a long time, that the awards (and this goes for any awards shows) are bullshit, I’m no longer invested in who wins these awards (holy run-on-sentence, Batman). 

That being said, I still have lots of opinions on who should win. My thoughts after the cut…

Best Play: I’ve seen Curious Incident, Disgraced, and Hand to God. I hear Wolf Hall is amazing too, but I haven’t been able to convince myself to spend the money or go spend 6 hours at a theatre yet. Hand to God was a let down for the most part, Disgraced was very good, but Curious was visually stunning and extremely impressive in the way they translated this book to stage. My pick: Curious.

Best Musical: I’ve seen Fun Home (off-Broadway, but I don’t think they changed a lot), Something Rotten, and The Visit. I’m hoping to see American in Paris soon and I hear it’s great, but whatever. Something Rotten was SO fun. It’s so creative and everyone on that stage is so talented. I loved watching it. The Visit was an exquisite mess onstage and doesn’t deserve any award at all. But all of that said, Fun Home I believe will take the award. Because of the acclaim it’s received from the critics. Do I think Fun Home will last in the long run? No. It is a depressing-as-fuck show. Is it an important piece of theatre? I don’t really think so either. Sue me. The performances are great and the material is compelling, but it’s dark. You can’t market this for touring audiences in Oklahoma. They’ll get the award so they can PRAY that it helps them on the road.

Best Revival of a Play: I saw The Elephant Man, This Is Our Youth, and You Can’t Take It With You. I hear Skylight was great in London, not sure about here. I think this one will go to The Elephant Man, because it was a fantastic production with a fantastic cast. Or the voters might go the way of You Can’t Take It With You because: James Earl Jones. Who knows.

Best Revival of a Musical: I’ve seen On the Town and On Twentieth Century. I think The King & I might win though as I hear it’s gorgeous and: Kelly O’Hara. Case closed. Lincoln Center almost never produces shit on Broadway. That said: musical revival nominees this year, as far as I saw, put me to sleep.

Best Book of a Musical: Nominated are Craig Lucas (American in Paris), Lisa Kron (Fun Home), Karey Kirkpatrick/John O’Farrell (Something Rotten), and Terrence McNally (The Visit). I swear, if McNally wins I’ll kill myself. I think Lisa Kron will win because she’s amazing and also because Fun Home might sweep the Tony’s this year, sadly. Secretly though, I’d love for the Something Rotten team to take it home. 

Best Original Score: Nominated are Jeanine Tesori/Lisa Kron (Fun Home), Sting (The Last Ship), Wayne Kirkpatrick/Karey Kirkpatrick (Something Rotten), and John Kander/Fred Ebb (The Visit). Again, if Kander/Ebb win for The Visit, I’ll kill myself. If the voters get nostalgic because oh-my-god-their-last-show-together-lets-give-them-one-more-win, oh god. My personal pick is the Kirkpatrick brothers. Who do I think will win? Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron for Fun Home.

Best Performance by an Actor in Leading Role in a Play: This is a tough fucking category. My personal pick is a toss up between Steven Boyer (Hand to God), Alex Sharp (Curious Incident), and Bradley Cooper (Elephant Man) because, OMG, both were just so good. I think in the end it’ll go to Alex Sharp but it might just go to Steven Boyer, because, fuck, he deserves it as well. I’m sure Ben Miles (Wolf Hall) and Bill Nighy (Skylight) were fantastic too. Let’s look at it this way: Who has more producers, Curious or Hand to God?

Best Performance by an Actress in Leading Role in a Play: Nominated is Geneva Carr (Hand to God), Helen Mirren (The Audience), Elisabeth Moss (The Heidi Chronicles), Ruth Wilson (Constellations), and Carey Mulligan (Skylight). The only performance I did see here is Mulligan’s. I think this’ll either go to Helen Mirren or Elisabeth Moss. Depends on whether the producers are feeling sentimental (Mirren) or not (Moss). And how much they like Mad Men, I guess. 

Best Performance by an Actor in Leading Role in a Musical: Nominated are Michael Cerveris (Fun Home), Robert Fairchild (American in Paris), Brian d’Arcy James (Something Rotten), Ken Watanabe (The King & I), and Tony Yazbeck (On the Town). Please, this is going to Ceveris. Once again: Possible Fun Home sweep. Or MAYBE the voters could surprise is with Watanabe (I hear he’s great). I feel like Yazbeck’s nomination was a filler. 100%.

Best Performance by an Actress in Leading Role in a Play: Choices: Kristin Chenoweth (On Twentieth Century), Leanne Cope (American in Paris), Beth Malone (Fun Home), Kelli O’Hara (King & I), and Chita Rivera (The Visit). If the voters are feeling nostalgic, it’ll go to Chenoweth or Rivera. If they’re adventurous, it’ll go to Malone. O’Hara can stay home as she is clearly the Susan Lucci of the Tony’s. 

Best Performance by an Actor in Featured Role in a Play: Between Matthew Beard (Skylight), K. Todd Freeman (Airline Highway), Richard McCabe (The Audience), Alessandro Nivola (Elephant Man), Nathaniel Parker (Wolf Hall), and Micah Stock (It’s Only a Play). I haven’t seen most of these performances (only two), but I’m going to go out on a limb and say they give it to Freeman. He was hilarious. But who knows.

Best Performance by an Actress in Featured Role in a Play: Voters can pick between Annaleigh Ashford (You Can’t Take It With You), Patricia Clarkson (The Elephant Man), Lydia Leonard (Wolf Hall), Sarah Stiles (Hand to God), and Julie White (Airline Highway). Wolf Hall is the only performance I missed here. Honestly I’d love to see Clarkson take this home. I have no idea who WILL take it home though. 

Best Performance by an Actor in Featured Role in a Musical: Christian Borle (Something Rotten), Andy Karl (On the Twentieth Century), Brad Oscar (Something Rotten), Brandon Uranowitz (American in Paris), and Max von Essen (American in Paris) are all nominated. Karl is fantastic, as is Oscar, and von Essen has always been amazing in everything, but please give this to Christian Borle. Thank you. 

Best Performance by an Actress in Featured Role in a Musical: Three Fun Home actresses (Judy Kuhn, Sydney Lucas, and Emily Skeggs) are nominated (ahem, excessive) along with Ruthie Ann Miles (King & I) and Victoria Clark (GiGi). I think it’ll end up going to Victoria Clark because the rest of the votes will go evenly towards the Fun Home ladies. 

Best Scenic Design of a Play: Please just give this award to Bunny Christie and Finn Ross for Curious Incident. Case closed. I’m sure the directors of Skylight, Wolf Hall, and You Can’t Take It With You are deserving in some respect, but Curious’ staging was just outstanding. The rest of you can stay home in your pajamas. 

Best Scenic Design of a Musical: I’ve only seen the sets for Fun Home (boring) and On the Twentieth Century (better, but cheesy), so I’m going to say that either Michael Yeargan (King & I) or Bob Crowley/59 Productions (American in Paris) get it.

Best Costume Design of a Play: I honestly don’t think any of the costumes for any of these shows that I’ve seen (The Audience, You Can’t Take It With You, and Airline Highway) are deserving of this award. Airline Highway had the most fun costumes. I think Wolf Hall might take it though (the one I haven’t seen) because it’s probably the most intricate.

Best Costume Design of a Musical: Between Something Rotten, An American in Paris, On the Twentieth Century, and The King and I, I’d really like Something Rotten to win. The costumes were just cool. It’ll probably go to The King and I though. 

Best Lighting Design of a Play: Again, thank you to the rest of the nominees, but Paule Constable (Curious Incident) should just take this one home. Wolf Hall and Skylight probably had nice lighting, and Airline Highway had boring lighting. Thank you everyone. Go straight to your show’s afterparty. 

Best Lighting Design of a Musical: I haven’t seen the lighting in or don’t remember the lighting in any of these musicals (King & I, American in Paris, Fun Home, and The Visit) , but I’m going to go out on a limb and say Natasha Katz for An American in Paris

Best Director of a Play: I’m torn between Moritz von Stuelpnagel (Hand to God) and Marianne Elliot (Curious Incident). Probably Curious Incident should take it home. Skylight, You Can’t Take it With You, and Wolf Hall directors, you can stay home with a bottle of wine.

Best Director of a Musical: I don’t remember the direction of Fun Home being anything to write home about but I wouldn’t be surprised if it won because: the industry and blah, blah, blah. Who would I like to see win? Casey Nicholaw for Something Rotten. The other two are revivals, meaning they had prior productions to steal ideas from, and An American in Paris… I can’t really say. I haven’t seen it. But there’s so much going on onstage in Something Rotten and so many people on that stage that it had to take an excellent amount of direction to pull it off. 

Best Choreography: I didn’t even notice that Curious Incident was nominated in this category but I guess it kind of makes sense. I think On the Town will definitely take it, but I’d love to see Something Rotten take it. I can’t really speak to the choreography in King & I and American in Paris

Best Orchestrations: One last time, I’d love to see Something Rotten orchestrator Larry Hochman take this home, but I think it’ll probably go to Fun Home orchestrator John Clancy. The dude’s from American in Paris and The Last Ship are also nominated.

That’s it. That was exhausting. I know everyone loves Fun Home, but I just had a much better time at Something Rotten. It has a better chance at longevity. Fun Home is too damn depressing. 

The line up of performances was announced this week – another long line of unrelated celebrity performances to get ratings so they can keep airing the awards show at all. They may as well just televise it on the web at this point and cut out the crap. I don’t need to see Jersey Boys, Vanessa Hudgens, or Tyne Daly perform. Excuse me, if you were not nominated, please stay in your seat.

May the shows with the most producers and therefore the most voting power win!

Taking Her Tony Home

This article, about Jessie Mueller, was really adorable. I highly suggest you read it. I’m sure she was totally excited to do this interview this morning after partying all night at the Carlyle 😉

The top moments from last night:

  1. A Gentleman’s Guide winning Best Musical. Obviously. (Full disclosure: my current office of employment works on the show so we were all incredibly happy.)
  2. Hedwig’s performance. it was the best (GGLAM following a close second!). Hedwig is going to be sold out for their entire run soon. Mark my words.
  3. Lena & NPH winning their much deserved awards.
  4. Bryan Cranston and All the Way winning. Love that show. 
  5. Jessie Mueller’s acceptance speech. She was so sincere. 

Let’s see, last night’s WTF moments were as follows:

  1. The Wicked performance. That was the best they could do? Come on. Idina Menzel was in the house – throw her $10k to perform Defying Gravity. She’s a single mom now, so she could probably use the extra money, right? (No, I’m just being an asshole and I’m completely kidding. I think she makes upwards of $20k/week for If/Then, she’s fine.) This performance was a waste of time and a dishonor to a show that’s been on Broadway and selling out for 10 years. 
  2. The Music Man rapping. WHAT WAS THIS? Everyone at the party was speechless. We had no idea what was going on. 
  3. Nikki James in Les Miserables. Jesus christ. When is she scheduled to go on vacation because I cannot sit through a production of Les Miserables for three hours where Eponine sounds like a, and I quote, bag of dying babies. Miscast, indeed.  
  4. Celia Keenan-Bolger and The Glass Menagerie losing. WHAT? This was not supposed to happen. Wires got crossed somewhere.
  5. The opening number. Look, I get it, I read online today why Hugh Jackman was hopping, but even if I’d gotten the reference when I was watching it, it was still incredibly boring. It was one of the most lackluster openings in a while.

It wasn’t the best Tony’s, but it had it’s moments. I was exhausted and made my way home around midnight. It’s always worth the exhaustion. 

Taking Her Tony Home

I’ve seen a bunch of shows in the last month. Unfortunately it’s been the week leading up to the Tonys/I’ve been a bit lazy so I haven’t had a chance to write about them yet.

I’m going to my company TONY party tonight with my lovely (semi-still new, I suppose?) coworkers and crossing our fingers that our shows take home all the awards.

This year the TONYs are such a toss up. I think Hedwig is a lock for revival and NPH is a lock for Best a Leading Actor, but who knows.

I’m also ashamed to admit that I’ve only seen one musical that’s nominated in the Best Musical category! I’m seeing After Midnight on Wednesday though so there’s that.

I’m sitting in a spa chair getting a long overdue pedicure in an admittedly weird lime green orange (for GGLAM!) from Essie. Then I’m going to watch a couple of episodes of Orange is the New Black, rest, do my hair, and get going to the party.

May the best show win…

Nominations Announced for 67th Annual Tony Awards; Kinky Boots Earns 13 Nominations – Playbill.com

So, there were donuts in the conference room at my office today as we waited with baited breath for the nominations on NY1. The donuts were good; the fact that Matilda received 12 nominations was better.

Things I’m particularly excited about:

  • Bring It On’s nominations (Best Musical, Best Choreography). I loved this show – though I may be biased. But I’m totally ecstatic that it got two nominations that it very much, IMO, deserved.
  • Rob McClure for Chaplin. He was just phenomenal. There were no words. 
  • Condola Rashad in The Trip to Bountiful. She was endearing, and funny, and gave a great performance.
  • Pippin’s nomination for Best Revival of a Musical. You just have to see it to get it.

The hysterical moment came when they announced Best Lighting of a Musical. Kenneth Posner received three out of four nominations. I’m not sure that’s ever happened before. If he doesn’t win.. it’ll be the biggest shock of the awards.

I guess nothing else is that big of a shock as far as the nominations go. I suppose I have to see Kinky Boots now. I guess I’ll be rushing it! 

Congrats to all of the nominees!

Nominations Announced for 67th Annual Tony Awards; Kinky Boots Earns 13 Nominations – Playbill.com