NEW YORK My editor knows I do not have the self-discipline to sit through an entire Broadway musical, but he thought I could handle covering the Tony Awards from the comforting perch of my sofa.
Here are some links to segments I thought notable for whatever reason. Of course Once took home all the awards (I think because it was the only new musical), but all that earnest buildup in the press and the seeming inevitability of it winning—plus Once itself—made me gag a little.
Book of Mormon Opening, Featuring Neil Patrick Harris:
At first, when Ricky Martin opened his door and seemed surprised to see a young man standing before him, I thought I had tuned into a porn channel by mistake. But no, it was the “Hello” song from the Book of Romney—oops, I mean Mormon—which won Best Musical last year. Check out James Earl Jones holding a signed picture of Darth Vader. The song is kind of repetitive, so I left the room and missed Neil Patrick Harris joining the cast at the end of the song, so I had to rewind. But it was clever and seemed just right for him.
Speaking of Ricky Martin, Do You Buy Him as Che Guevara?
This is why the Tony Awards is so great. I mean, the idea of having to sit through all that Andrew Lloyd Webber nonsense that is Evita just to make this call—well, that’s just not going to happen. But here is Che Guevera right here in my living room. I doubt the real Che wore his undershirt and suspenders quite that tight, don’t you? And I kind of wonder if he even knows what he’s singing about (I certainly don’t), but I have to say it could have been worse. I am going to let Ricky off the hook on this one. But not the show.
Best Melodramatic Acceptance Speech Award Goes to Judith Light:
Why? Because from "Daddy, this is for you!" to kinda-faux shock that turns into what appears to be a very carefully prepared and rehearsed acceptance speech, Judith Light has created a performance that has it all. Pathos! Comedy! A visual delight! See it again and again.
Speaking of Tight Pants, Why Is Judas So Sausagey?
Played by Paul Young, Jesus’s traitor sings the title number from a musical that I actually know and like (A Catholic family, my cousins and I sing the entire show, plus Godspell, if we have too much to drink.) But I am distracted by the blue, shiny pantsuit. It’s not my favorite song from the show, and this version, with the American Idol-style falsetto riffs at the end, seemed a little blustery. But I stuck around to see the Big J and he was unnaturally handsome, as I like my savior to be. As you probably know, a lot of shows limp to Tony night hoping the network telecast will deliver some seat fillers, and in this case I have my fingers crossed.
Them Newsies Can Dance!
Another great thing about the Tonys is that shows you think are way too stupid to even exist, do, and sometimes even thrive. Like this one, starring, as host Harris called them, “hyper-acrobatic 35-year-old 15-year-olds.” Who is the intended audience for this? Retired newspapermen? Gay male teens? Dance moms?
Upset! Best Dress Award Goes to Bernadette Peters:
This gigantic purple number swept the entire stage when she entered, and I’m sure this morning it smells like bejesus. But congrats to the Bernie for looking great on the night of her retirement award, or whatever they call that award they give you when you are no longer nominated. I think Patti Lupone got it last year. Or Tyne Daly—oh no, not her, she’s apparently still working. (Sorry, the image is a little fuzzy).
Well, Maybe Once Is Enough:
Here’s the song from the original movie. It goes on forever and ever and will never end and only seems to have four notes. If you watch this entire trailer, you know the whole story and I can’t imagine needing to see or hear more.
Falling Slowly … Asleep
Steve Kazee’s mom died on Easter Sunday, and then he of course won Best Actor in a musical for this drivel and cried during his acceptance speech, as he should. Ah, Broadway cares.