Monday, June 11, 2012
The Tonys: Once, Twice, Three Times a Neil Patrick Harris
Here are my highlights and lowlights of last night's 66th Annual Tony Awards (the pink categories are the ones I correctly chose to win):
Best Host: The fabulous Neil Patrick Harris (NPH) who kept us entertained - despite some less-than-exciting production numbers of new Broadway musicals.
Best Opening Number: I found last year's Book of Mormon number of "I Believe" kind of boring so I was happy to see my favorite number from the musical - "Hello" - opening this year's Tony telecast with amusing cameo appearances by Ricky Martin, Matthew Broderick, Cynthia Nixon, Judith Light and James Earl Jones (who was signing pics of Star Wars' Darth Vader in his dressing room).
Best Appearance by a Web Series Actor: The talented Jared Gertner as The Book of Mormon's Elder Cunningham (check him out in the behind-the-scenes Broadway comedy, Submissions Only).
Best Original Musical Number: NPH's "What If Life Were More Like Theatre?" featuring Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson as his understudy and the divine Patti LuPone as his lawn-mowing neighbor.
Cutest Background Dancer: Charlie Williams, whom I've featured here on the Dish.
Best Reaction Shot: Harvey Fierstein's nod of agreement with NPH's joke about Newsies cast of "overly attractive hyper-acrobatic 35-year-old 15-year-olds" (Fierstein wrote the musical's book). And after seeing the show's musical number, I would have to agree as well.
Yummiest Eye Candy of the Night: Paul Rudd, Nick Jonas, James Marsden and Hugh Jackman.
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play: Judith Light for Other Desert Cities.
Best TV Ad for a Broadway Play: Gore Vidal's The Best Man (it made me want to go see it).
Cutest Guy I've Never Seen Before: Choregrapher Christopher Gattelli, who won a Tony for Best Choreography for Newsies.
Categories Unworthy for Television:
Best Orchestrations (Once)
Best Choreography (Newsies)
Best Book of a Musical (Once)
Best Sound Design of a Musical (Once)
Best Sound Design of a Play (Peter and the Starcatcher)
Best Costume Design of a Play (Peter and the Starcatcher)
Best Costume Design of a Musical (Follies)
Best Scenic Design of a Play (Peter and the Starcatcher)
Best Lighting Design of a Play (Peter and the Starcatcher)
Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Once)
Best Scenic Design of a Musical: Once (obviously Tony voters really didn't like Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark).
Best Featured Actor in a Musical: Michael McGrath for Nice Work If You Can Get It.
Best Dress: Bernadette Peters looked smashing in her purple gown.
Oddest Choice for a Musical Number: Nothing against the Tony-nominated Danny Burstein, but I was disappointed by the selection of his Follies number, "The God-Why-Don't-You-Love-Me Blues", since there are so many other great songs in the show that I would have rather seen ("Broadway Baby", "Who's That Woman?", "I'm Still Here", "Could I Leave You?", "Losing My Mind" and "The Story of Lucy and Jesse").
Worst Musical Number: 23-year-old Richard Fleeshman is attractive, but his bad number from Ghost The Musical was just a bunch of screaming.
Best Direction of a Musical: John Tiffany for Once.
Best Standing Ovation and Funniest Speech Runner-Up: Mike Nichols won his sixth Tony Award in the category of Best Direction of a Play for Death of a Salesman (his previous wins were for Barefoot in the Park, Luv and The Odd Couple, Plaza Suite, The Prisoner of Second Avenue and The Real Thing). I also enjoyed his memory of participating in a pie-eating contest in the Beacon Theatre as a kid.
Best Musical Number Runner-Up: Jesus Christ Superstar featuring the cute Josh Young.
Best Comedy Bit: NPH's Spider-Man spoof during Angela Lansbury and Ted Chapin's American Theatre Wing speech.
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play: Smash's Christian Borle for Peter and the Starcatcher.
Worst Musical Number Dishonorable Mention: I certainly hope that the unmemorable Matthew Broderick number from Nice Work If You Can Get It isn't the best one in the show.
Best Speech Runner-Up: Judy Kaye, who won Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in Nice Work If You Can Get It, delivered a speech that was both funny ("Chandeliers have been very, very good to me" - referring to her previous Tony Award for The Phantom of the Opera in 1988) and heartfelt (the recent loss of her father).
Most Disappointing Performance: I assume that Tony-nominated actress Tracie Bennett acts the hell out of her role in End of the Rainbow because she looks and sounds nothing like Judy Garland.
Best Original Score: Newsies
Best Comedy Bit Runner-Up: NPH's impressive medley of songs from Tony Award-winning composers.
New Musical I'm Most Interested in Seeing Next Season: Diner based on the wonderful 1982 Barry Levinson film with a score by Sheryl Crow (it has a tryout in San Francisco this fall before opening next spring on Broadway).
Best Revival of a Play: Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
Best Musical Number: Once featuring the adorable Steve Kazee.
Best Play: Clybourne Park
Best Musical Number Honorable Mention: Evita featuring the handsome Ricky Martin (even though my partner said his hair was "too perfect" as Che).
Who the Hell is Corbin Bleu?: I had to Google the High School Musical actor who is now appearing in Godspell.
Biggest Surprise of the Night: The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess won Best Musical Revival over Follies.
Favorite Presenting Duo: Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin who hilariously sang together before handing out the award for Best Revival of a Musical.
Lamest Waste of Time: Did we really need to see a number from a 10-year-old musical performed on a boat? I love Hairspray, but I would've much rather watched Bernadette Peters' acceptance speech for the Isabelle Stevenson Award.
Cutest Couple: Hugh Jackman and his wife, who surprised him by presenting his Special Tony Award. They seem very much in love.
Best Speech: Steve Kazee's emotional acceptance speech for Best Actor in a Musical (I nearly cried).
Best Speech Honorable Mention: James Corden, who deservedly won Best Actor in a Play for his hilarious performance in One Man, Two Guvnors.
Worst Musical Number Runner-Up: After seeing its annoying number, I now understand why Leap of Faith bombed on Broadway.
Funniest Speech: "You were my first crush! When that whistle was blown in Sound of Music, you made my day" - Nina Arianda to presenter Christopher Plummer after winning Best Actress in a Play for Venus in Fur
Best Actress in a Musical: Audra McDonald won her 5th Tony for The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess (I adore her but I was rooting for Follies' Jan Maxwell while my partner was hoping that Once's Cristin Milioti would win).
In Memorium: There wasn't one so I guess no Broadway people died in the last year (or it was just cut from the telecast so we wouldn't miss that Hairspray number).
Favorite Presenting Duo Runners-Up: Trey Parker and Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon co-creators and the "Broadway establishment" who handed out the award for Best Musical.
Best Musical: Once
Best Closing Number: Watch below - and hopefully we'll see Neil Patrick Harris hosting the Tonys forever.