The Three Stars of Hedwig and the Angry Inch
scoring eight nominations - the most out of any revival and the second-most overall - is a feat to be proud of. I’m super happy for the show’s three stars - but who are they, you ask? Neil Patrick Harris’ nomination was a foregone conclusion the moment the show was announced. Lena Hall’s turn-up in the featured category is a “go and get it, girl!” But the third star of the show is not the Angry Inch (although I appreciate its presence, like one does). That would be Michael Mayer, forever the adrenaline-rushing, exciting director of my soul and mind. When Hedwig has her spastic, fever dream-esque moment with the strobe lights and the car rising up on stage - and Hedwig sheds her clothes for the first time - I wasn’t thinking about NPH in that moment. I was thinking about how Michael Mayer NEEDS to get a Tony nomination with this amazeballs directing moment, the best all year outside of The Glass Menagerie and Twelfe Night. Et voila! My wish has been granted. Now, time to win the Hedwig lottery again. And again. And again!
Celia Keenan-Bolger. Enough Said.
She’s one of the most pretty, lovely and talented stage-actresses around. And with a perfect performance after being perfectly-cast in the The Glass Menagerie, Celia Keenan-Bolger secured her third Tony nomination, surprising no one and reminding everyone that she is basically the best. Because, like, three-time Tony nominees are not exactly a common superlative and if anyone ever tells you otherwise, you have my permission to take them out at their knees. I want to have a slumber party with Ms. Celia and eat cookie dough in honor of the occasion. I mean, wouldn’t you?
The Glass Menagerie Meets the Record Books
It is one of the most-revived productions on Broadway and it has been since day one. But in a fun trivia fact we learned yesterday, The Glass Menagerie has never earned a Tony nomination in any of its productions. Nada. Zip. Goose egg. That is...until now! John Tiffany directed this gem of the show that I loved more then most things, including breathing and world peace. Seeing the show lock-in seven nominations - including the aforementioned Celia, Cherry Jones and Brian J. Smith - and stake their places to Theatre's top honors is an additional validation to what we already know: this production was theatre at its finest.
Ramin ValJean on Top
With no OCC or Drama Desk nominations, I feared the Karimloo love had diminished after Les Miserables opened last month, opening up the opportunity for another performer to usurp his slot. When Jonathan Groff, quite adorably, tried pronouncing his name, my faith in humanity has been restored. The Leading Actor in a Musical category is Neil Patrick Harris’ to lose - what with his stellar performance in Hedwig and his hosting contributions to the Tony Awards the last few years - but Ramin being overlooked for a nomination would be the equivalent of a rainbow getting set on fire. And no one likes it when rainbows get set on fire. Now, let’s get the bonkersauce Love Never Dies to transfer to Broadway so Ramin could reprise his role as the Phantom. Because that would be the greatest thing in the history of things and I will start saving up to see the show 20 times.
Act One Doing Us Proud
I’m familiar with the work of Moss Hart and never planned on skipping Act One, but with all the other shows opening this season, it was relegated towards the bottom of my list. Well, Act One responded with a “FUCK YOU” and brought the house down with style and flair, establishing itself as one of the front-runners for Best Play and four additional nominations. And Broadway couldn’t be luckier to have and be represented by Act One as it celebrates the nostalgia of theatre, as well as those who love it. Much credit to James Lapine, wielding both writing and directing credit, for making Act One mostly enthrall - the show wasn’t perfect, but I liked a lot of it. Between the beautiful turn-table of Beowolf Boritt’s multi-functional sets and Jane Greenwood’s costumes, I’m figuring they will scoop some of the design awards.
Let's Hear it for the Leading Ladies!
No ballot-padding here - on the play end, our lady stars are letting their fabulous fly! That’s always a welcome sight given their competition pool never has the quantity of eligible performers the gents do. Jones disappeared into her role as Amanda Wingfield in Menagerie. Audra, in typical Audra fashion, Audra'd Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill. Terrence McNally entrusted Tyne Daly to carry the story in Mothers and Sons and she BROUGHT. IT. Estelle Parsons gave her best “I may be 86-years-old, BUT I’M STILL HERE BITCHES” performance in The Velocity of Autumn. Just a fun collection of women whom have been around the Broadway block numerous times and are back on top where they belong. That is, if they ever left in the first place.
Firmly Committed to Team Violet
Remember when I said that Violet would be the sleeper hit of the season? Yep, that just happened. And for good reason...after seeing Violet this past sunday, it sky-rocketed to the top of my favorites list. Jeanine Tesori's music is incredible and she couldn't have a better cast to really run with it. Sutton Foster, whom I could barely tolerate prior to this show, goes against type and gave my new favorite performance of hers...and a pretty flawless one at that. Joshua Henry's military character is one sexual mother fucker, causing me to shift in my front-mezzanine seat and almost prompting me to tweet "I want to have Josh Henry's adopted babies. #TheFavoriteSonPartDeux" But my favorite part about Violet's success? It debuted Off-Broadway 17 years ago, which even by musical standards, is a long freakin' journey to Broadway. Talk about better late than never.
Mark Rylance. Like a Boss.
I love a universe that can reward Mark Rylance with two nominations in the same year. This is a place I see myself living for a long time. That didn’t lessen my surprise though when Mark Rylance turned up in the lead category for Richard III…he already had a lock on the featured category with his amazing Olivia in Twelfe Night. Richard III, no matter how well done it was, only did two shows a week. I may not agree with the politics of it all - and I am particularly distraught Ian McKellen, Daniel Radcliffe and Zachary Quinto were left off of the ballot - but rewarding talent is the first priority of the Tony Awards and you can’t find many others more talented then Rylance.
The Tonys Heart Ireland!
Man, the Tonys sure do love them some Ireland-set plays - just ask Martin McDonagh, whom received his fifth Tony nomination this morning with The Cripple of Inishmaan being recognized in the Best Revival category. And while Outside Mullingar was underrepresented by the Tonys - mostly in the performance department - John Patrick Shanley’s play scored a Best Play nomination. I love Inishmaan and really liked Mullingar…and with Mullingar closing months ago with almost no one I know seeing it thanks to the snowpocalypse, I was certain that people forgot about the show. I don’t see myself visiting Ireland for quite some time, so I’ll just pick up the books of both shows and pretend I’m there anyways.
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus