The Playgoer: Bloggin' The Tonys, 2006

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Bloggin' The Tonys, 2006

10:56
Double-dis to "Sweeney"! And to Patti LuPone! Obviously LaChanze benefitted from a classic split-vote scenario between her and Chita....Make no mistake, they don't like dark shows (especially dark musicals) on Broadway, no matter how praised.

And finally... Vivat the Jukebox Musical! "Jersey Boys" stands to run as long as producer Michael David's beard. That is his real beard. I've seen him on the subway on a hot August afternoon with it.

Since that's probably the most valuable contribution I can make for the night I'll sign off there.

Thanks, commenters, for a rockin' Tony party! In true Bill O'Reilly fashion, I'll give you the last word.

10:30
And the Best Play goes to... what, a Well write-in?
No, it's da Boyz. Dig Alan Bennett's flamboyant and crooked tie. The one American voice in the acceptance speech is Bob Boyett, who's watching his exclusive contract with the Royal National to bring their shows to B'way pay off. Big time. (History Boys has already paid off investors after six weeks. The Tony only sweetens it all.)

Heeeeere's Oprah! (Can we still hope for some envelope shenanigans with Best Musical...?)

10:20
Thank god some drama is making it on the show. Even though August and Wendy had to die to make it happen. How about that 10 seconds of James Earl Jones doing "Fences," huh? Really couldn't find 50 more seconds, American Theatre Wing?

Dis to "Sweeney"! Wow. As good as "Pajama Game" may be, the word is it's all about touring, as usual. And so the show commonly agreed to be the most dramatically interesting on Broadway may very well go Tony-less. Unless, Miss LuPone gets the Diva award.

Did we forget to mention that "fuck" Alan Cumming had to quietly vocalize during the "Threepenny" number? (It must have been hard to find a song in Wally Shawn's translation without one.) Dare I hope for a Janet Jackson/Bono-style bruhaha tomorrow in the media? If only they paid that much attention to us...

And cutting off Richard Griffiths reciting Whitman? Priceless.

9:45

I know the cynical among us should not feign outrage over the Tonys' treatment of "straight" plays... but the 2-minute wrap up of "these thought provoking works" seemed design to provoke nothing more than a "huh?" The literally 10-second video clips couldn't have done anything to boost ticket sales for any of these. Nice going, Tonys. Let's see what better plans you have for these three hours.

Have you noticed the corporate sponsorship of specific awards? In the last commercial break Cadilac saluted the Best Featured Actress in a Play. Imagine the possibilities!

The Hal Prince living diaroma tableau is scary. Good thing the old man stayed away.

I hope the exceptionally well-chosen "Threepenny" excerpt convinces some that my recent lone-voice-in-the-wilderness positive review may have something to it.

Uh oh, Julia's coming up. Get the popcorn ready...

9:05 What does it say when your classiest presenter is Joe Pesci?

Seriously the no-host format isn't working out too badly, since it cuts down on dud monologues at least. The question for still is--without the design awards, without rambling host syndrome...why is this still a 3-hour show? Beware a massive "Salute to..." number, featuring mismatched stars, in the final hour. (Remember last year's head-scratching Hugh Jackman-Aretha Franklin Sondheim tribute?)

Wisely they seem to be using the time to showcase the shows, at least the musicals, with lengthier excerpts than usual, I believe. But they haven't convinced me that "Jersey Boys" is much more than a PBS-telethon filler or that "Drowsy Chaperone" isn't a more tongue-in-cheek "Thoroughly Modern Millie." Meanwhile, the jaw-dropping spectacle of "Wedding Singer" is definitely the performance highlight so far.

Omigod, Hal Holbrook is talking about Mark Twain's grave. Not a CBS-scripted moment, I'm sure. And congrats Frances De La Tour. And sorry Jane Houdyshell, Well's only Tony shot--you were doomed to lose out to the Brits in every way.

Yay, Odets! Bravo on your first Tony on your 100th birthday.

8:00pm
Welcome to Tony Blogcast 2006.

It's 8pm EST, Harry Connick is singing in lieu of a host, and the first ten awards were already given out. As for that webcast showing that part... what webcast? The design awards are summed up here. (Already a History Boys sweep. Good for Awake and Sing on costumes, though.)

Again, no host, just "60 stars". "Our first two stars--Kyra Sedgwick and Josh Lucas." Wow!

Featured Actor in a Play? Ian McDiarmid, the creepy Star Wars guy, beats Mark Ruffalo. Brits rule tonight it's already clear.

Tune in as the night goes on. It will clearly be a long three hours...

17 comments:

June said...

No kidding. If History Boys could win for set, when half the postings on All That Chat are about how people couldn't see because of all the obstructions, I'd say it's a lock!

Anonymous said...

I've watched for 10 minutes so far and they've already gotten through two awards. It's actually perking along! How does this take three hours?

Oh, now I see--musical number coming up...

Anonymous said...

Our gracious host is silent?


Cook looked great.

Sweeney bored me.

Neil decided to practice his masculine voice tonight?

John Branch said...

I'll say something I might regret later: Did Molly Ringwald look stoned?

The Playgoer said...

I'll try not be "silent" for long, but probably only be posting every 30 minutes or so.

But keep the comments coming!

I agree about Molly. Although I would say she seemed more like a bad Tori Spelling impersonation. She must have been doing her jappiest best to get us in the spirit for Wedding Singer.

Sweeney wasn't that bad was it? Though I do question the choice to do a "medley", rather than the whole opening along with "Best Pies in London" or something.

Oh, and "Slings & Arrows" does rule! My only interest in "Chaperone"

Now--quiet. The American Theatre Wing board presidents are talking! It's the famous "Jack Valenti moment" from the Oscars

John Branch said...

Sweeney looked better than Threepenny Opera is looking. Although I have a silly soft spot for Cyndi Lauper...

Re. The Drowsy Chaperone, so far it looks like all the people involved are lovable kooks.

Anonymous said...

Threepenny looked interesting. I'm no longer regretting my ticket for the 24th.

The Wedding Singer number might sell some tickets. Unfortunately, the show goes downhill from there [and that's the opening number].

The Sweeney medley just didn't work for me.

June said...

I've been watching the American Theatre Wing's seminars all weekend and have developed quite a soft spot for the Carol Channing lookalike and her professorial pal.

June said...

I wondered if Molly Ringwald was understudying a role in Sweeney or 3p Opera. She sure was pale.

Anonymous said...

It really is difficult to present the plays in an interesting way. I'm surprised a trailer-like treatment hasn't been attempted.

The Playgoer said...

Well the dramatics plays do present a challenge. I cherish the memories, though, of the times they tried (I particularly remember Speed the Plow and Joe Turner's COme and Gone).

But at least longer video excerpts, no? Trailers, perhaps, like you say.

John Branch said...

I guess I should look up Playgoer's Threepenny review, if he's got a different angle on it from most. I think it was posted during one of my busy spells. But in visual terms, that excerpt didn't look as appealing to me as Sweeney Todd did; dramatically, I couldn't decide between them (doing other things while watching).

Uh-oh, gotta go: Here's Julia!

lm said...

Was this philadelphia commercial supposed to appeal to musical theatre lovers?

Cause it didn't.

lm said...

The transfer is now definite...I had the strange sense that unless they won this award, the Pajama Game transfer may not have occured.

John Branch said...

Well, it's been a fun run, Playgoer. Thanks for hosting the party.

June said...

I was so excited by the Tonys, I did one of my five blog posts of the year! Here's my lite live-blogging.

The Playgoer said...

Little did I know that Robert Simonson over at Playbill.com was running his own Tony blog, but from his privileged perch backstage.

Worth checking out:

http://www.playbill.com/news/article/100217.html