Sunday, June 15, 2008

An Insane Fan's Guide to the Tony Awards

My minute by minute take on the Tony Awards. It's like watching the awards, but faster. I warn you now - many Broadway references are below that I don't have time to hyperlink for your convenience - I have to teach at 8am tomorrow. Hopefully, you will still enjoy this post. It may be a little confusing. Just go with it.

8:00pm - We open with Rafiki (from The Lion King) chanting the opening bits of Circle of Life. Viewers are immediately confused and think that it is 1998.

8:02pm - Those Lion King puppets make their way down the aisles of Radio City Music Hall. The audience applauds. I sigh internally.

8:04pm - Whoopi Goldberg enters dressed like Sebastian from The Little Mermaid. No one is sure why. She makes some lame jokes about Disney and cuts to commercial.

8:06pm - Whoopi Goldberg enters in a dress. It's not an improvement.

8:09pm - Rondi Reed (August: Osage County) wins the Tony for Best Featured Actress in a play. It's the first of what will surely be many awards for this play. She has a speech prepared, so there's no big drama there.

8:11pm - John Waters introduces a musical number from Cry Baby called "A little upset." It makes Zack a little upset (he feels that the integrity of the films are compromised when they become musicals). A rousing prison number with dancing inmates enrages him even more. There's been a lot of talk about the choreography in this show and it's pretty entertaining. The rest of the number is bland/nonsensical out of context.

8:21pm - Whoopi pretends to be lost backstage and plugs Oh backstage antics. You are so fake.

8:24pm - Laura Linney gives out the award for Best Featured Actor in a Play and pretends not to be insulted that she wasn't nominated for anything. Jim Norton wins his first Tony at age 237. I am secretly sad that David Pittu doesn't win, but since nobody else knows who that is, he never really stood a chance.

8:25pm - Adam Duritz appears on stage to introduce Passing Strange. Zack yells a dirty word at the screen. I am struck by being able to understand the lyrics (unlike when I actually saw the show).

8:34pm - Billy Elliot the Musical gets a plug. I'm intrigued by a musical that has both young dancing ballet boys and fat British men.

8:35pm - The infamous LL Cool J/Carol Channing from years past is replayed. Audiences find it just as weird the second time.

8:38pm - John Lithgow presents the award for Best Direction of a Musical to Barlett Sher for South Pacific. Why isn't John Lithgow in another Broadway show? I love him. Anyone who can make the stupid award show patter funny deserves more work.

8:41pm - Jack Klugman (the original Herbie in Gypsy) introduces La Lupone's musical number. There's a crazy cutaway to Mandy Patinkin masquerading as my dad circa 1995 (huge beard). Zack is annoyed by Patti's "acting" in the lead up to "Everyone's Coming Up Roses." Audiences realize that La Lupone's performances are simply ridiculous on screen and should be kept in the theater.

8:45pm - Whoopi pretends to be Christine in The Phantom of the Opera. It was funnier than I was expecting.

8:52pm - All the non-flashy awards are presented on tape. Boeing Boeing beats Macbeth for Best revival. I know, I was surprised as well. Also, since when are the awards for choreography and Best Revival relegated to a pre-show taping?

8:55pm - Best Score goes to Lin-Manuel Miranda for In the Heights! The 12 year old girl inside me swoons. He raps his thank yous. Seriously. My favorite line? "Look Mr. Sondheim - I made a hat! Where there never was a hat." The crowd goes nuts.

8:58pm - Harry Connick Junior introduces South Pacific. I think he's secretly having an affair with Kelli O'Hara. The cast performs a medley of the shows musical numbers.
Paulo Szot sings "Some Enchanted Evening" and I thank whoever thought it would be a good idea to cast an opera singer instead of a musical theatre performer in the show. I could listen to him sing all day long. I'm a little annoyed by all these short cuts of songs. Couldn't they just have picked one? I'm sure "I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair" would have been a big crowd pleaser.

9:08pm - Whoopi flies in as Mary Poppins. Ashley Brown, watch out for stunt casting.

9:10pm - Kristen Chenoweth can't get through her patter with a straight face as she gives the award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical to Laura Benanti. She's all flustered and happy. She clearly has no idea what to say, even though she was the front runner for this award. Zack goes "awwww" when she says she loves her husband.

9:13pm - Barry Boswick introduces the musical number from Grease. All the audience can think is "Hey, you're not John Travolta." That's all I really have to say about that.

9:23pm - Brooke Shields wears her prom dress from 1989 as she gives out the award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Boyd Gaines wins for Gypsy. It seems like a clean sweep for Gypsy acting awards...but I guess we'll see.

9:26pm - Marisa Tomei pretends that she can act while she introduces The Little Mermaid. Why does The Little Mermaid get to perform? Why is the mermaid costume so hilarious? Who thought that was a good idea?

9:28pm - Faith Prince sings a song from A Catered Affair. She was in the first Broadway show I ever saw (Guys and Dolls - 1993). She's considerably older now - but no less talented!

9:29pm - Young Frankenstein gets to sing as well! It's like a party over here. There's a cut to Bradley Whitford...not smiling. Not clapping. Ouch.

9:35pm - The boring part of the Tonys - those old guys talk about the American Theatre Wing.

9:37pm - Whoopi wears another outfit. Who picks these clothes for her? They are not flattering. CGI sets appear as Whoopi talks about the nominees for Best Play. Why do they bother with these "clips"?" They're boring. They don't really make sense. If you're watching the Tonys (and not many of you are), you probably know what the plays are about anyways.

9:43 - Gabriel Byrne gives the award for Best Director of a Play to Anna D. Shapiro for August: Osage County. Not much suspense there. But yay for women winning Best Director! Plus, she's got a tattoo. A Tony Award and a tattoo? That's pretty cool.

9:47pm - Whoopi enters as a knight in Spamalot. More than anything, this year's Tony Awards are just one big advertisement for Broadway.

9:53pm - Mary Louise Parker gives out the award for Best Actor in a Play. She is so beautiful. I can't believe Claire Danes stole her man from her. Mark Rylance takes home the award. Patrick Stewart has a very good "gracious loser" face. Mark Rylance gives the most out of left field speech I've ever heard. Mary McCormack looks like she can't believe what's going on. It's all very endearing.

9:56pm - Alec Baldwin gives the award for Best Actress in a Play to Deanna Dunagan for August: Osage County. I typed that out before she even won. Awards can be so predictable.

10:00pm - Lin-Manuel Miranda starts the musical number from In the Heights. I swoon again. I love watching this cast move. They're so full of joy. It makes me smile.

10:09pm - More pre-taped awards - mostly design. South Pacific wins a lot of awards. The designers from Sunday in the Park are robbed blind.

10:10pm - Harry Potter and Uncle Vernon present the award for Best Play. August: Osage County takes home the prize (surprise, surprise). The playwright thanks for the producers for "an amazing thing. They decided to produce an American play on Broadway with theatre actors."

10:14pm - Mandy Patinkin gives Stephen Sondheim a lifetime achievement award. Sondheim does not show up to accept it. Burn!

10:18pm - The musical number from Sunday in the Park with George is presented - Move On. I can't believe this show didn't win any design awards. They were robbed. Robbed!

10:21pm - Whoopi does Spring Awakening. Oy vey.

10:27pm - Glenn Close pulls off a strapless dress at age 61. She also presents the award for Best Revival of a Musical. South Pacific takes home the prize. I have flashbacks from the 2003 Willows Theatre production.

10:31pm - Lily Tomlin mocks Marisa Tomei on national television and introduces the musical number from Xanadu. They sing bad '80's songs and skate around. It's all very silly.

10:42pm - The cast of Rent performs La Vie Boheme. The 12 year old inside of me is really really happy. The original cast enters and the crowd goes wild. They sing Seasons of Love and everybody cries. They keep cutting to Patti LuPone who wonders why they're taking this time to sing instead of giving her an award.

10:47pm - Liza Minnelli freaks me out and gives the award for Best Actor in a Musical to Paulo Szot for South Pacific. I am bummed that Lin-Manuel doesn't win, but Paulo does sing like a god (but does he rap?).

10:49pm - David Hyde Pierce gives Rob Ashford a shoutout and gives La Lupone her award. She mugs it up big for the camera. Diva lovers everywhere rejoice. They try to play her off and she screams "Shut up, it's been 29 years!"

10:54pm - There's a creepy Mario Lopez/Whoopi Chorus Line. There's a show I won't be seeing.

10:58pm - Whoopi Goldberg gives out the final award - Best Musical! I'm crossing my fingers for In the Heights. Clearly, it was that last little bit that put them over the edge and let them take home the award. Lin-Manuel and Whoopi dance it up and everyone storms the stage like it's Normandy.

11:00pm - The show ends on time. The Oscars could learn a thing or two.

Congrats if you made it to the end of this post! If you didn't, I won't be insulted.


Anonymous said...

I think Bradley Whitford was tired & bored. (And probably missing out on spending Father's Day with his three kids!)

Meredith said...

yeah, I can't get into that, but props to you for sticking to it

Becky said...

"and a Latin hat at that" I'm going to have to buy that CD pronto....I can totally see where the crush comes from.

chris said...

holy shit, lena.

i'm sending this to the entire BC/EFA staff.

you are a god.