Odds and Ends from the Tonys

It dawned on me during the Tony Awards last night that the only musical I have seen in the last six months was a disastrous production of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. When you figure that I saw it with many of my former high school teachers, this was easily the worst Broadway experience of my life. So I have started the “help Joanna go to a Broadway show that isn’t Spider-Man so she can regain her faith in humanity musical theater” fund. (Note: This is a legit fund. I don’t care which show it is. I will sit in the most nosebleed-y seats of any production as long as it is NOT Spider-Man.)

Thank god for the Tony Awards though. They were great fun and gave me a dose of exactly what I was missing out on – Sutton Foster, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, dancing and singing Mormons, dancing and singing Harry Potter, Sutton Foster. The Book of Mormon cleaned up by winning nine awards, including Best Musical. The Book of Mormon is arguably the best thing to happen to Broadway in a while; it has injected far more life into the stage scene than Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ever could.

(By the way, everyone’s favorite musical mess opens for real this time on Tuesday. What’s that? The sound of you casually strolling to the Times Square TKTS Booth to purchase your tickets for Anything Goes and not Spider-Man? I don’t blame you.)

Aside from The Book of Mormon domination (music to Joseph Smith’s ears?) and the success of plays, War Horse and The Normal Heart, Neil Patrick Harris was once again the best host imagineable. Did I mention the awesome NPH and Hugh Jackman host off/dance off? (“But buddy, if I’m the bottom you’re the top!” – Annie Get Your Gun will now have a revival.) Please Oscars producers, take note.

What follows next are some of the entertaining Tweets I read during the night’s festivities:

Continue reading “Odds and Ends from the Tonys”

Live Blogging the Tony Awards

8:00 – Welcome to the live-blog of the 63rd Annual Tony Awards. First time I’m live-blogging the Tonys so here goes nothing!

8:01 – Of course Elton John opens the Tonys. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing Billy Elliot some day soon.

8:03 – I love the West Side Story/Guys and Dolls mash-up.

8:04 – Ah! Bret Michaels! Yes. I wonder if he rode the Rock of Love bus to get to Radio City tonight.

8:07 – I’m more convinced than ever that Shrek does not need to be a musical.

8:07 – Dolly Parton! Totally makes up for Bret Michaels.

8:11 – Let the Sunshine In! Perfect way to kick things off… with LIZA. I’m in heaven right now.

8:12 – Can Neil Patrick Harris top that opening?

8:16 – Eh.. not really but the Tonys opening isn’t about the host really; it is about Bret Michaels.

8:17 – Roger Robinson wins the first award of the telecast for Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. 46 years he’s been waiting to win this. Awesome. Nice shout out to the Obamas, who saw the play last week.

8:24 – Time for me to judge Shrek: The Musical. The costumes are pretty incredible – so not surprised it picked up that award already.

8:26 – I’m still eh about Shrek though.

8:30 – “For the record, Shrek and I are of no relation.” Hah, James Gandolfini made a joke. Who knew that was possible.

8:31 – Angela Lansbury wins her fifth (FIFTH) Tony Award for Blithe Spirit. She is only the second actress in history to achieve that (Julie Harris was the first).

8:35 – Performance from Mamma Mia! Love this musical but the fact that the sound is really off on the television broadcast makes this almost unbearable.

8:39 – West Side Story performance is coming up after the break. I’m already excited.

8:42 – Smell-o-vision Broadway. “I’m not going to scratch Billy Elliot.” Hah! Haha. Okay, now NPH has won me over as the host now.

8:43 – Colin Hanks! Confession time: I really want the priest he plays on Mad Men to hook up with Peggy Olson.

8:44 – Will Ferrell has arrived. The mispronunciation of GOD-ot joke is a nice touch.

8:45 – John Stamos is in the audience. YES. Please oh please let there be a Full House musical in the works.

8:47 – Award for Best Musical Score goes to… Next to Normal. Upsetting Elton John (Billy Elliot) and Dolly Parton (9 to 5).

8:48 – Lin Manuel Miranda! Woohoo!. Love In the Heights. Miranda wrote the Spanish dialogue and worked with Stephen Sondheim to translate the lyrics into Spanish for the remake of West Side Story. Thus making West Side Story more awesome than it already was.

8:51 – Kind of disappointed by the presentation of West Side Story. Too much dancing – it doesn’t translate well with the camera cuts.

8:57 – I hope one day to look like Susan Sarandon.

8:58 – Matthew Warchus wins for directing God of Carnage – he beat himself.

9:00 – Stephen Daldry wins for directing Billy Elliot.

9:02 – Rock of Ages performance. Oh Constantine Maroulis. I never dreamed you would be nominated for a Tony but alas that day has come… And I kind of like it.

9:03 – Liza Minelli is a Tony nominated freak machine. True Story.

9:08 – It took Journey to liven up the normally stoic Tony audience.

9:10 – I certainly hope NPH and Bret Michaels are doing shots backstage.

9:13 – Liza wins for Liza at the Palace. I wasn’t expecting that at all.

9:15 – They’re playing Liza Minelli off the stage? Just as she is thanking her PARENTS? Really?… Really?

9:18 – “Sit Down You’re Roclin the Boat”. I love Guys and Dolls. So much. Also, best performance from a musical so far.

9:29 – Hellooooo Stamos

9:32 – Featured Actor in a Musical: Gregory Jbara

9:32 – Featured Actor in a Musical: Karen Olivo

9:34 – Woah Carrie Fisher. That is all I have to say. And she is the one introduces the bi-polar musical. Classic.

9:36 – But not the best song to promote Next to Normal.

9:39 – Sidebar: Carrie Fisher’s memoir Wishful Drinking is on my summer to read list.

9:40 – Do we really have to be subjected to another performance from Legally Blonde?

9:44 – The Jeremy Piven versus Sushi jokes will never get old.

9:45 – Geoffrey Rush wins his first Tony Awards for Exit the King.

9:48 – The tribute to the theater greats who’ve died this year.

And they had to do the same thing as the Oscars – sweeping shots so you can’t read the names. It was disrespectful in February; it is disrespectful now.

10:00 – I love Frank Langella. He rightfully pointed out that fall productions typically get ignored. And pulls out his Oscar acceptance speech. Side note: I FINALLY saw Frost/Nixon the other night, which solidified love for Frank Langella.

10:01 – Marcia Gay Harden wins for Best Leading Actress in a Play.

10:05 – Elton John introduces the performance of Billy Elliot .

10:10 – They only used one Billy (Trent Kowalik) in the performance. But I can’t really see how they would have rotated him with the other two actors.

10:14 – Legally Blonde performance = unnecessary. MTV killed that musical for me.

10:17 – Best Revival of a Play – Norman Conquests

10:19 – Best Play – God of Carnage

10:24 – There is still a performance of Hair left.

10:30 – Lifetime Achievement for Jerry Herman. And they’re playing him off? Wow. That is pretty douchey.

10:33 – Anne Hathaway is clearly starting to think that she is more important than she really is. I saw Bride Wars Hathaway. I know the truth.

10:35 – Performance from Hair. They’re going into the audience. And did the actor mount Geoffrey Rush?

10:38 – Chenoweth!

10:38 – Best Revival of a Musical goes to… Hair.

10:46 – David Hyde Pierce presenting Best Actress in a Musical to…

Alice Ripley for Next to Normal. And she is shouting. What an annoying speech. I guess she is just a little over emotional since she just won a Tony.

10:50 – The three boys – the three Billys – from Billy Elliot- win for Best Actor. They are pretty much super adorable.

10:53 – Well the show would finish on time if they hadn’t done the touring company performances. Various companies of Jersey Boys are performing now. I’m just glad I wasn’t subjected to The Lion King again.

10:59 – And here is Liza to announce the winner of Best Musical.

11:00 – Best Musical goes to… Billy Elliot. All the kids from show are

11:03 – NPH is finally performing… as the credits are rolling. That was worth staying up for!

Well that’s the show. Good night!