Monday, June 12, 2006

So, what did we think of the Tony Awards?

Up until 2001 I went to NYC at least once, and usually twice a year. I'd visit my grandmother, I'd have business there, or both, but whatever the reasons I made it out there and usually had caught a number of the shows nominated for Tony's.

Since my grandmother died in 2001, I'm lucky to make it there once every couple of years, and my last trip, in March, didn't even include time for theatre. The last couple of years were the first where I had not seen a single nominated musical or play. So it's hard for me to feel very emotionally invested in the outcomes. Obviously I still have favorite actors, composers etc, butthat's rooting for legacy recognition, not current recognition.

My thoughts on the show:

-Well, only one winner had music start playing under him, and that's good, because nothing bugs me more than when they start interrupting someone, especially if it's someone who's actually saying something moving or amusing or anything other than a list of "thank yous"

Of course they may have been able to avoid the music play-off by keeping the pace of the show so rapid it felt like they were trying to win a race. 60 stars, count 'em! They'll be moving by so fat it'll be hard to actually count 'em, but you get the idea.

-Color me shocked that Pajama Game beat out Sweeney Todd for Best Musical Revival. I've only seen the show once, in London, and it seemed like your basic, blah 50s American musical. My S.O. and I were noting that the last few years Tony voters have really favored the frothy/fluffy over the substantial, but Pajama Game struck me as onle average material. Kelli O'Hara clearly shows her versatility, moving from the lyric ingenue of Light in the Piazza to the modern woman (and belter) Babe, but didn't Harry Connick Jr seem a little stiff and uncomofortable? Sweeney Todd remains my favorite musical ever, and everyone has raved about this re-imagining of it, so this was the most surprising moment for me last night.

-The second most surprising moment (but one I enjoyed) was seeing LaChanze take the Best Actress in a musical award. I have loved LaChanze ever since I saw her in Once on this Island over 15 years ago. The Color Purple was obviously getting the BIG Tony voter snub last night, so I thought Patti LuPone had it sewn up. Maybe Sutton Foster. LaChanze is a wonderful performer, and her life has had a few tragic turns (her husband died in 9/11) so I was very happy that she won.

-It's hard for me to imagine that Jersey Boys is really that good...I'm not typically a fan of jukebox musicals. But it certainly did look entertaining last night. Anyone seen it?

-I love Cyndi Lauper and would love to see her in a show that could use her interpretative skills and emotional intensity, but having done Threepenny Opera some years back I was reminded: I really don't like it. Long, rambly, non-melodic, non-poetic songs...just like I remember :) And now that the same artistic staff sleazed up Cabaret a few years back, this just looks like they had a production meeting and decided to do the exact same treatment to Threepenny without a lick of customization. Throw a little leather here, a few tattoos there, some homo-erotic and S&M-oriented undetones here and there...Presto! You've got a "re-interpretation!"

-Why wouldn't they let us see Patti LuPone play the tuba? Whyyyyyyy?

-Molly Ringwald is coming to San Jose, playing Charity in Sweet Charity at AMT. Hence I was a little disturbed to see her looking so uncomfortable on stage! If her eyes popped open any wider I was afraid we'd have an incident straight out of the season finale of House. (Yes, I'm mixing my theatre talk with TV references, so sue me.)

-Lastly: The Wedding Singer looked appallingly, embarrassingly bad, didn't it? Horrible song...which might have been carried off if there were even a soupcon of irony in the mix. But no. It just was horrible, (And horrible, frenentic, cliched choreography too.) My jaw dropped soon into the number, and I never got it closed until the number was over.

What do I want to see based on the show? (Since it is mostly a big commercial for Broadway, after all.)

Sweeney Todd (but that was already true)
Drowsy Chaperone (looks fun, no doubt)
Color Purple (those are some powerful women performers up there!!)
Jersey Boys (I can be convinced this one is worthwhile...and those boys are definitely talented!)

How about you?

Okay, Julia Roberts. This is a person who should never work in theatre again, let alone on Broadway, because it’s obviously all about her. She basically flipped the entire theatre community the bird by calling us “you people”. “I just want to take this opportunity to say that I think you people are so talented.” It was a pointed and condescending choice of words. It’s too bad that she didn’t get good reviews for “Three Days of Rain,” but puh-leeze!

Julia needs to stay in Hollywood where the big screen can accommodate her ego. Any actor worth their salt knows that even if it’s a solo show, it is never all about you. I would have loved for someone like Rita Moreno or Tyne Daly or Lynn Redgrave or Bebe Neuwirth or Glenn Close or Phylicia Rashad or her good friend Oprah to have put that girl in her place!

I actually wanted to see “Three Days of Rain” – but only because Paul Rudd and Bradley Cooper are on the same stage together!

Kathleen Dederian
I've seen several of the shows this year: Drowsy Chaperone, Jersey Boys, The History Boys, The Wedding Singer, and The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (but outside of Zeljko Ivanek, the less said about that the better). A few thoughts:

Jersey Boys: Really is that good. I'm not a fan of the jukebox musican phenomenon, but this one proves it can be done well. Worth catching when it hits SF later this year.

Drowsy Chaperone: Lots of fun, despite a few glaring problems with the plot and a score that is not highly memorable. The "man in chair" character is wonderful, and the performances all around are very, very good.

The History Boys: Everything the hype says it is. WONDERFUL. They've filmed it with the original cast for theatrical release, so watch for it.

The Wedding Singer: That number didn't work in Radio City, and I'm not sure why. I thought it was great fun in the theater. The show itself will not be everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoyed it. Nothing earth-shattering (or even remotely close), but I had a good time and didn't pay full price for my ticket.
I also found Julia a little condescending. I didn't see any of the nominated shows. Jersey Boys and Wedding Singer looked like the only ones I would want to see, but I probably won't. I have a review of the show too.
I have been dying to go see Jersey Boys...i heard it was excellent. Has anyone seen it? I am a huge Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons Fan so if anyone has an opinion of the show please let me know. As for Julia Roberts..i agree. She should just stay in Hollywood. I have never been a big fan of her and I dont think I ever will..
I just saw this commercial for this new show on NBC called Celebrity Circus. You have to see the commercial. The things they get these people to do. The guy from the Brady Bunch is on it and so is Rachel Hunter..its like watching them attempt a Cirque De Solei show ..

its on June 11th at 9: 30 if anyone feels like checking it out with me
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