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6/14/11

It's Tonys Time!

What…you were expecting me, the self-proclaimed theater junkie, to NOT have an opinion on the Tonys? Trust me, I have plenty. In fact, I revolved most of the day around the occasion; I think I was more excited about this evening then I was my last birthday.

So I did what any Broadway Baby would do? Round up the friends and go to a Tonys Party. We opted for the BroadwaySpace.com celebration at Blondies restaurant. The restaurant was located a few blocks north of the Beacon Theater, where the red carpet festivities and the eventual ceremony was held.

There was a whole bunch of give-aways, party games and fun to be had with this celebration - which was hosted by Rachel Potter and Adam Riegler, two cast members of The Addam’s Family - but we opted for the club-style booth sitting in the “silent” room (pfft, silent my fanny) and just enjoyed each other’s company. The company in question?



Meet my sweeties Tristan and Courtney, whom were all I needed for a good time. Even with the Broadway-costumed waiters and the endless supply of hor dourves, we just had our bestie bubble most of the evening less talking to some of the people at Davenport Theatrical (they own BroadwaySpace.com) and our table neighbors who work at the Broadway Dance Academy (whom were lovely).

Overall, I agree with the general consensus that this was one of the best Tonys ceremonies in its entire history. In fact, I cannot recall such a great collection of performances and well-executed comedic bits in any award show I have seen in my lifetime…and there have been plenty.

It all starts with a talented, otherworldly and winning actor/performer/host/badass named Neil Patrick Harris a.k.a NPH. I agreed with the decision to have him host (I am in the “NPH can do no wrong” base camp if you could not already tell), but just in case anyone else needed some convincing…



There you go! C’mon, that was FABULOUS. No amount of capital letters could express my content with that opening number; please tell me that video is available for download on iTunes.

Oh, and Brooke Shields? You are going to be on Broadway soon honey; check yourself before you wreck yourself.



Too late. Thanks anyways for the entertainment!


Oh, NPH is not done people; he’s brought in the big guns (literally)


NPH and Hugh Jackman: co-hosts for the 2012 Tonys? I’ll get the petition circulating; they BROUGHT it. I particular loved NPH’s “I am going to out-diva him, and then get him naked in my bed” thought-bubble charisma towards the proceedings.

What else? Well, if you patrolled the Tony-verse online and came across either The Craptacular (my favorite Broadway blog) or the Broadway.com drinking games…well…



I hope some people had some ambulances on standby. Not only did Spiderman: Turn Off the Lawsuits Dark have it coming, almost every joke at their expense had me rolling over in laughter. So much so I contemplated doing a top-ten countdown of the best Spiderman jokes; kudos to Bono and company for having a sense of humor about it.

Let’s tackle some other show-stoppers, shall we?



Well, hello Harry Potter!

Of the many shows I have to see, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is topping that list and that is largely due to Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe’s casting. Oh sure, I have other reasons (namely, John Larroquette won “Actor in a Featured Role” and Tammy Blanchard was nominated for ‘Actress in a Featured Role”), but Radcliffe is an accomplished triple threat performer now. I want to pat him on his scar head.


You know, given how depressing the show is - that nobody saw because it was open for only 9 weeks - they did a good job by picking out one of the more “happy” numbers (like they had a choice). Who could judge by this performance that The Scottsboro Boys had been closed since the middle of December?

Of course, what eventually became a theme with the evening, each performance was curtailed to the nominated lead actor in their last minute “I WANT that TONY” plea (even though the awards were already decided); fortunately, Joshua Henry knows what he’s doing.

Let’s get my short-lived frustration of the evening out of the way, through sarcastic ranting photos.


I'm Live in Living Color! LET ME BE YOUR TV GUIDE!!
I have an amazing voice, charisma, good looks, killer dance moves and I am the lead
in a Broadway musical. Hello, I'm Aaron Tveit.
Oh wait...I am not a nominee. You see this guy right here, who has 3 fewer songs and half
the stage time, was nominated for my lead category.
So that means he's performing his signature number. Okay, bye bye!
In case you cannot tell, I call bullshit. Yes, Norbert Leo Butz is a Broadway legend, incredibly talented and deserves an award for this role; believe me, I said it first. I am happy for him, especially with what he has had to endure while performing with this show, but he should have won for featured actor, not lead actor.

This is Tveit’s show from start-to-finish and while we caught a glimpse of it, he is one of the best performers working in musical theater. Forget his second Tony snub (sure, let’s forget that); but he couldn’t get more then 30 seconds of performance time when Daniel Radcliffe - who was also overlooked for a nomination, might I add - got an entire number? Shenanigans.

As it turned out, the lack o’ Tveit love lasted was short-lived…



…because Butz reminded me why he is a legend and why he deserved the Tony award (great speech too). “Don’t Break the Rules” is one of the best numbers of the show and I did say he was my favorite part of the show.


EDITHmm, what is this Norbert? 


Wow. That is what I would like to call a class act. Mr. Butz? You are unbelievable and almost made Aaron Tveit cry. Awww...

Keep em’ coming!


This number sealed the deal for me; time to hit-up that Book of Mormon lottery because I am sure it is sold out Wicked-style until next year. Of the entire soundtrack, “I Believe” was the only choice for them to perform by default (coincidentally, it is also one of my favorites). Even so, I was expecting a cut of the number given the subject matter; oh, how glad I was that they did not compromise the song. Bravo, Andrew Rannells; sorry you got beat out by an (awesome) supporting actor.

Minor issue? It would have been awesome to work in the other nominated actors (Josh Gad and Rory O’ Malley) and the victorious Nikki M. James into a number. In fact, after this…


I would watch her read the dictionary; the most passionate (and passionately hilarious) speech of the evening, hands down. I want to deliver a Tony acceptance speech on a comparable level, hopefully with me pushing down security as they futile-y attempt to remove me from the stage. Admit it: that would be a “Dear Diary” moment…

Dear Diary,
            I won my first Tony award today; just like I told you two years ago when you I was writing about how passionate Nikki M. James speech was. It was a trip; I tackled so many security guards for that mic so I could thank as many people as possible and read several Louis Jenkins poems a la the amazing Mark Rylance. I wish you were there with me; I hogged so much camera time I started name-dropping people I could not care less for whom also had nothing to do with me winning. I think I even called my parents lions for always providing me with food. Weird. Still, such a wild experience; 2 good + 2 be = 4 gotten. Xoxo

Yours truly,
NRNW

P.S You lost weight; WERQ it!

You see? What an occasion!

Let’s get the not-so-goods out of the way.



Spiderman? Whatever. That song gave me no further desire to see the show and the staging of the number was lame and cliched, to put it nicely. Reeve Carney does not look cut out for the public eye.



I have a fickle relationship with Memphis, which I will elaborate on further at some point. I respect its high points, but I was not all that excited to see them perform this year, especially when they dominated the Tonys last year. This was only okay; pulling the aisle-flooding children card looked desperate.

But this…



Underwhelming yet again. What was the point? Sure, Stephen Colbert, Christina Hendricks and co. all got to inject some star power and show off a little. The entire number seemed a little flat though.

Time to inject some fun and sex back into the performances.



Well okay, not exactly sexy; but that’s coming down the pike. I have had to defend Sister Act lately because people I have spoken to are skeptical of the show; I feel this performance seals the deal. Like the show as a whole, it is thoughtless, harmless, fun and energetic. Why complain? It’s Broadway. Considering most of the evening’s performances were a lead actor/actress diva moment, I respected the fact that this number showed off the entire ensemble and not just Patina Miller.




Speaking of Patina, whom I adore, she looked stunning on the red carpet. My favorite look of the evening; she should make more red carpet appearances as the diva-on-the-rise.



Congrats on the second Tony, Sutton Foster! Best friend Kay and friend Caroline pointed out how great she was in the show. I believe it; she worked those sailers like she’s screwing them in-between shows. Which she probably is while husband Bobby Cannavale is performing in The Motherfucker with the Hat.


Fun in that drag-fabulous kind of way; but overall, it felt like a throwaway.


So goes one of the most fun evenings of my calendar year; NPH? Take us on home.


Charming and witty, even though Lin-Manuel Miranda (the rap writer) would have been a better choice for the rapping.

Remember the most important lesson of the evening darlings…Broadway is not just for the gays anymore!

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