Monday, June 14, 2010

2010 Tonys: After-thoughts & Leftovers

(Dear Tonys: I love you. You're Perfect. Now Change.)

I realized I started writing about the 2010 Tonys last week, and then never finished or posted. A week later, it seems the world, if it was paying attention at all, has moved on. I usually like blogging awards shows, but I never got into the Tony field this year. I was so annoyed by the snub of Tom Kitt in the Best Orchestrations category for his work on American Idiot that it put a bad taste in my mouth toward the whole affair. The original musicals were a weak field overall, in my opinion, and the original scores were really lacking. Lots of celebrities nominees were in attendance this year though! It's always nice to look at pretty celebrities! Here are my brief thoughts on the night before they completely fade from my mind.

1) The problems with sound are unacceptable. It's totally ridiculous to me that they can't get the microphones to work. It ruins the experience of watching these performances on TV. It happens almost every year and it drives me crazy. I watch plenty of live shows that have musical performances and the sound is never more poor than it is at the Tonys. Why can't they get this issue under control? They rehearse the show beforehand. What has to happen should not be a surprise to the tech people. These are all shows that perform live with mics 8 times a week, with only rare technical malfunctions. Why can't the Tonys pull it together? Don't give me excuses. JUST FIX IT.

2) I know the third time will be the charm for my friend Robin de Jesús. Two acting nominations to his credit at the age of 25. He's such a wonderful performer. I can't wait to hear the fantastic speech he will give when he finally claims his award. It's gonna happen!

3) Angela Lansbury reading from a prompter is better than most people speaking directly from their soul.

4) GLEE is here! This was not the first time Lea Michele sang Don't Rain On My Parade while running up the aisle of Radio City Music Hall. That would be when she performed it at "Glee Live in Concert" a couple weeks ago. It didn't sound quite the same this time. I guess she was thinking of it not coming from Rachel this time and that made the difference. I liked Matthew Morrison's camera time as well. His musical performance was crisp and tuneful (even though he seemed a smidge winded at the end from all the hoofing) and he was a good sport about Douglas Hodge singing so much of "The Best of Times" directly to him while holding his hand. Morrison tipping him with a $20 when the moment was over was also particularly awesome.

5) I didn't find Sean Hayes' costume changes to be as hilarious as the people in Radio City did. I do like how he played piano to open the show though! He seems like a nice fellow. He did a good job, but nothing could top NPH's End Credit's song from last year.

6) Bebe Neuwirth, after being passed over for a nomination in the Best Actress category for her work in Addams Family, actually presented the award to winner Catherine Zeta-Jones, who we all know also won the Oscar as Velma Kelly in the movie-version of Chicago, after Neuwirth was passed over for that role which she played to immense acclaim on Broadway. CJZ keeps stepping over Bebe to get these top honors!

7) I love me some CZJ, and I totally dug her aggressive almost manic live performance of Send in the Clowns - a song I don't really get even though it's probably one of Sondheim's most popular songs.

8) I also loved her bizarre, confused attempt to drag her husband Michael Douglas up onstage with following the announcement that she won Best Actress. Both of them look legitimately dumbfounded. Heehee!

9) The post-win performance of 2010 Best New Musical Memphis was... anti-climactic and kinda scattered. I didn't like it the first time they performed that number during the broadcast, and the encore was even worse. I don't blame them for it being a weak ending. Obviously, they were happy and excited and it took a lot for them to concentrate on the song, which was why it was a bad idea to make them do it. Let them just enjoy the moment, show!

10) Green Day rocked. Their multiple song set in the opening of the show was fantastic and really filled with energy and emotion. Even though I think the plot of their musical is super-thin, I really feel like this show should've had more nominations. The craft was top level even if the plot wasn't.

So that's it for me about the Tonys. There were a bunch of really nice speeches, appearances by Antonio Banderas, Ricky Martin and Daniel Radcliffe to promote their returns to Broadway in Zorba The Greek, Evita, and How To Succeed... I look forward to a stronger field of original shows for next year and wonder if "Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark" will ever actually see the light of day.

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