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5/2/12

Hey Tony Heyyy – The Fabulous, The Flaws and WTFu**s Nominees

The Tony nominations were announced yesterday morning and I literally could not process everything in the fast and fleeting 9 or 10 minutes that the nominees were being read off. I say that because I was cheering way too happily when a well-deserved name/show was announced – going as far as calling some people my “friends” – as well as overcoming the shock of some of the proceedings. It also did not hurt to have Jim Parsons being nerdy and bashful with Kristin Chenoweth, who was looking FABULOUS on a step stool oozing charm and hilarity just being herself (Gosh, I love her).

Without further adieu, I give you the Fabulous, Flawed and WTFu** nominees and oversights that occur to me some 30 hours later of deep thought and conversation with my theater insiders.

The FABULOUS

"WE DON'T SUCK. HOOVER SUCK."
Once could be interpreted as ‘11’ in Spanish – The most beautiful show in recent memory, my beloved Once, scored nominations all over the place – 11 in total. Even in the choreography category, the four or so minutes of it. Is it excessive? A little bit (I am looking at you…girl named Elizabeth A. Davis whom I cannot remember at all for her performance). But who cares…one of the best shows around and one of the most opposite of the Broadway standards, Once is a triumph.

Death of A Salesman is Taking Names – 3 acting nominations and Best Revival, this show has been atop the list I have in my head in so many regards. Bottom line – it’s amazing. Like I need more of a reason to rush the show at 4:00 am on a Saturday (because that is what you do for a show you love).

4 out of 5 for Other Desert Cities – Best Play, Stockard Channing, Judith Light and the Scenic Design nominations are all present and accounted for. It missed one for director Joe Mantello, but I can’t weep so much given his talent on-stage and off will bring him 4 or 9 Tony nominations…in the next two years.

By the way, I am way too excited at the thought of Channing and Light bringing some aged diva realness to the red carpet and showing up these young uns’.

Neverland y’all…Up With Starcatcher – While I believe it should receive all the awards on whimsy and nostalgia alone, Peter and the Starcatcher nabbed 9 nominations, not one nomination undeservingly and not one nomination too much. I not-so-secretly hope Christian Borle does press interviews and red carpet appearances in character, just working it like the Sir Sassy Stache he is (my nickname for him…which I will beat into the ground, for sure). I bow to him and all of his greatness.

Judas Prevails…Suck it, Illness – After missing numerous preview and post-opening performances due to severe illness (like seriously severe), Josh Young, currently playing Judas Iscariot in Jesus Christ Superstar, was recognized for when he was actually in the show. Having caught his show-stopping performance this past week, he deserves it…he may even look better then me in a blue suit and sequined top (and that’s MY look).

"Blimey; I didn't get a
bloody Tony nom. Console me
Nin-...Oh, right. Aphrodite"
My Campaigning for Venus in Fur (Kind of) Worked – Nina Arianda was nominated? I’M TOTALLY SHOCKED…yeah, just kidding; I called that from the first minute I saw her on stage. And the show got nominated too…I am happily surprised given I anticipated the Tony voters would go in a different direction. You think Arianda paid a visit to their office and left them tied to a support pole hailing Aphrodite? I would not put it past her…just ask Hugh Dancy.

Speaking of which, Dancy got the shaft…I would have not been upset, but given Frank Langella was nominated for a nothing show and James Earl Jones was singled out (for some reason), that is a bit of a slap in his face. Given what he endures eight times a week, a slap is hardly a punishment…but that was a lot of hours he put in this past fall and spring getting his man parts powned and having knives/guns pulled on him. Hey, he knows all about sado-masochism…he’s in the theater.

The FLAWS

Oh Great…More FolliesI can’t contain my upchuck any more; 8 nominations for Follies is cray cray. You want to nominate Jan Maxwell? Good right ahead. Some technical awards? Help yourself. But singling out anyone in the supporting cast seems ridiculous to me given that they are front and center on stage for no more then 10 minutes and can hardly steal a show that no one wants in the first place. Sorry Jayne Houdyshell – between you, Elaine Paige and Terri White, I can’t even recall what you ladies were doing on that stage or singing about. And as unapproving I am of that, they managed to nominate both Ron Raines and Danny Burstein…because one nomination is not enough? Because both men were too good to ignore (they really weren’t)? Color me confused…and nauseous. Mostly nauseous…

A Miracle for Leap of Faith…Not Even a Bit of an Understatement – Let’s cut the crap; the Best Musical category is lacking this year with only two clear-frontrunners. Slim pickings for the last two spots, I get that. But really? This “show” redefines awful in a new way by managing to be composed entirely of everything I loathe. With no nominations for book, music or performances, how do you justify nominating a show for the night’s top honor then? Oh, how I would love to hear the logic behind this…actually, spare me; I don’t need to know what brand of crack the Tony voters hit up beforehand.

"Lisa, I have a lot of feelings."
"How do you do that...
with your face?"
Michael Esper Needs a Hug – Break out your bamboo…MAJOR sad panda with this one. Probably the most disappointing oversight of the entire list, Esper’s twisted, committed, heartbreaking performance went right over those Tony voter’s heads. I’ll move past this difficult time in my life with the thought that he’ll get his due eventually…in the meantime, hug the poor man. The characters he play endure more then most people do in four lifetimes…and he conveys that pain of four lifetimes with just his face. You can’t put Esper in the corner for too long…

No Prize for Seminar and No Prayer for Godspell – Of all the shows that were shut out of nominations, these were the better ones that almost made the cut in some areas. Seminar had many likeable performances and Godspell had some creative elements and some strong ensemble performances. As a result of the harsh world of the Tonys, Seminar is slated to close now on Sunday while I await that very same announcement for Godspell. A shame really…had either of these shows opened in the Spring, they might have faired better. Both should be proud for providing sufficient entertainment before the influx of shows hit this Spring.

The WTFu**s

"Stolen Money. Stolen Tony Nom.
Clyde? I'm Flawless."
Bonnie over Blanche: An Osnes Tale – I LOVE Laura Osnes – just about everything about her. All eight of her abs, her luxurious locks and her voice from heaven, there is absolutely nothing she cannot do and I find her darling to boot. But her nomination was a shock given her show’s mediocrity casting a pall over the performances.

Which reminds me…Melissa Van Der Schyff was overlooked and you know it. I would be thanking Jesus Parrish if both women got nominated (by far, the two best things in Bonnie and Clyde), but I can’t be 100% happy for my Diva Osnes when there was a performance in the show just as great in a category where she was a contender for winning, let alone being nominated.

Give it Up…Lysistrata got a WHOLE nomination – While I should not break out some celebratory apple cider, one nomination for Lysistrata Jones is two more then I was expecting. Really, that type of math says it all. Douglas Carter Beane is a perfect little pixie of comedy and charisma; unsurprisingly, that was very apparent in Lysistrata. Can’t way for this guy to make some media rounds, and simultaneously crack me up and offend everyone else…because that is what he does. And he does it well.

Ellis’ Girlfriend is Better Then Him and Looks the Part – I did not see Stick Fly, but it was my first exposure to the strikingly gorgeous Condola Rashad. Her nomination came out of left field in a show that had little traction otherwise. But God knows after sharing so many awkward and bizarre scenes with Ellis, one of the worst characters written in television history, the girl needs to grab her bliss wherever she can…and kudos to the Tony people for helping her keep food down the next time she steps on to the Smash set.

Best Original…Wait, What? The nominees for Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre – I kid you not – are Peter and the Starcatcher, One Man, Two Guvnors, Newsies and Bonnie & Clyde. Show of hands: who sees the glaring issues here? Said issues include…why are two plays incorporated in this category? After being slammed for two straight productions in a row, how does Frank Wildhorn manage to secure a nomination? Basically, as the title says, WTFu**


Photo Credit: Joan Marcus, AP, for USA Today
Photo Credit: Vulture.com
Photo Credit: David Gersten for Zap2It
Photo Credit: BroadwayWorld.com

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