The Playgoer: Tony Noms 2012

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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Tony Noms 2012

They're out there.

Random thoughts:

First I recklessly tweet that Once would not even make it to opening night on Broadway, now it leads the pack with 11 Tony nominations. Go figure. (And have I seen it? Of course not.)  And given the competition, I now (equally recklessly) say it's the odd on favorite to win Best Musical.

Of the four Best Musical nominees, three are based on movies and one is a "revisal" of an old Gershwin musical (old songs, new script). I actually am not among those lamenting movies-into-musicals-- before that it was plays-into-musicals, no? (And even books.) But, as movies, Newsies and Once already were musicals, although I gather much new music has been added to both for Broadway? So Leap of Faith has the only fully original score of the bunch.

Note that for the actual "Best Original Score" category they couldn't even find four satisfactory musicals. 1) Newsies, which is only partially original for the stage; 2) Bonnie and Clyde, which... speaks for itself; 3) Peter and the Starcatcher, a play with music; and 4) One Man Two Guvnors, another play, featuring a mock-Beatles band playing 60's rockabilly pastiche between scenes.  So, anyone want to comment on the state of the new musical?

Speaking of 2Guvs (as the kids call it), a shame it apparently was deemed neither fish nor foul by the committee: Although it's actually a loose adaptation of Goldoni's Servant of Two Masters, it was ruled ineligible for the "play revival" category. Yet it appears to have seemed too (deliberately) old fashioned for Best "New" Play--a category which instead includes an adaptation of an old Viennese novel, a Peter Pan "prequel," and a Raisin in the Sun "sequel."

Best Play Revival includes Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman and Gore Vidal's The Best Man.  I don't believe that's what they were called when they opened originally. So let's call them new plays! (Ditto for The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, of course.)

Remember Spider-Man? The Tonys didn't.  Sets and costumes is all they get.  But as Erik Piepenburg @nyt just tweeted, the show's producers are probably just relieved, for legal purposes, that Julie Taymor did not get any further validation as "director."

As for performers...

Best Actor/Play looks like a tossup between three formidable fatmen: Philip Seymour Hoffman, James "2Guvs" Corden, and James Earl Jones. Jones would probably win in the "Featured" category--what's he doing here?

When you consider that Venus in Fur is playing to only 57% capacity (up 9 points from last week!), you wonder how Manhattan Theatre Club feels throwing a lot of money away for the sake of Nina Arianda's Best Actress nomination. Girl owes them!  (Oh yeah, got Best Play nod, too. So David Ives owes them!)

Speaking of MTC, blessed year for them.  From what I heard, no one particularly liked their (pointless) Wit and Master Class remounts. Yet both are nominated for Best Play Revival. (And likewise the only faintly praised Cynthia Nixon for Best Actress in Wit.)

Special Award for Hugh Jackman??? Well he did make some folks a ton of money this season.

And finally, shoutout to Shakespeare Theatre DC for the regional award. About time!


John Branch said...

The Tonys are strange to me, as usual.

You have to consider all of the nominations from within a pretty narrow range, of course, but I still don't think Once is much of a musical. And Bob Crowley's set, admittedly pretty good-looking, has never made sense to me: most of the show has no connection with bars. The orchestrations and choreography seem to me the result of cleverly decorating the story with extra players so that we have something to look at beyond the two central characters, which is all the show is really about (just like the film).

Enough about that show, though. I may watch the awards, but about the only thing I'm interested in is Venus in Fur, which I haven't seen yet. I'm kind of glad it's not selling that well, because it increases the likelihood I can find a seat via TKTS.

Wendy Caster said...

Although Venus in Fur is only at 57% capacity, isn't it possible it's making money? It has to have a small nut, with a cast of two, neither a big star.