2012 Tony Awards (10 Favorite Moments)
Although, this summer, I’m pretty much devoting most of my time to the Emmys (expect prediction posts to be coming either tonight or tomorrow). I thought it was fair to at least acknowledge last night’s Tony Awards (even though I literally have not seen ANY of the shows…I haven’t even watched the movies the musicals are based on…except Once). So, without further ado, here are 10 moments I loved from the ceremony!
- Neil Patrick Harris - I think I agree with some people who say Harris’s third attempt was a little stale. He sort of does the same “schitck” over and over again. But, hey, it’s funny schtick and I enjoyed myself a lot. I thought the opening number about what life would be like if it was more like theatre (pretty much exclusively musical theatre). It featured cameos from 30 Rock‘s Patti Lupone, Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson as NPH’s “understudy”, Amanda Seyfried (“Mama Mia!”) and that little girl who will play Annie in the fall. (By the way, is anyone else excited for that?) I also loved his little tribute to the award winning scores from the last 50 or so years. It was very impressive. And of course, I always like the closing number where Neil sings about the night. So…overall, I think Harris was great…but I think it’s time for another new host next year.
- Newsies - Newsies only walked away with two awards (score and choreography), but at least they showed that they deserved those two awards with this incredibly energetic performance, featuring Tony nominated Jeremy Jordan (Keke Palmer’s usual white love interest from Joyful Noise.) I just thought the choreography was slamming. I loved the thing they did with the newspapers. That was like unnecessarily awesome. It’s like…they didn’t need to do that…but they did, anyway. And just all the gymnastics and…it was really amazing.
- Spider-Man - No, not Andrew Garfield (I’ll get to that later), but NPH dangling on a wire upside down as class act Angela Lansbury and Ted Chapin talk about the Tony organization. “Thank you for your undivided attention”. So funny! I loved it. Rewound like 10 times.
- Guy Love - Andrew Garfield and Christian Borle were both nominated for Featured Actor in a Play. They were both pretty much the front runners, but only one could win. Who won? It was Christian Borle, the gay guy from Smash (the most prominent gay guy I mean). And before Borle got on the stage, he and Garfield shared a really adorable hug. I didn’t even know these two knew each other but OK. As for Borle winning…even though I haven’t seen Peter and the Star catchers, I’m so happy for the actual actor. He’s a great Broadway performer. He was great in Spammalot and, more importantly, Legally Blonde the musical. So I’m happy he’s finally getting his due. And the show itself also sweeped up four technical awards, making it the most awarded play for that night.
- Lead Performers in a Play - Weren’t the winners just adorable? Brit James Corden won for the play One Man, Two Guvnors. He not only got to perform a small monologue (which was pretty crazy), but his speech was just too cute. First, he has the cutest little English accent I’ve ever seen. It’s like scratchy, like a 4 year old in the morning. And then the dedication to his “baby mama” was pretty baller. Afterwards, Nina Arianda won for Lead Actress in a Play for Venus in Fur. She began her speech by telling presenter Christopher Plummer he was her first crush and that his whistle blowing from Sound of Music was a highlight. It was hilarious. I just overall loved how excited and happy they were for winning.
- Les Miserables - Yes! A highlight for me was watching the short trailer for the upcoming musical movie. I dunno ’bout you, but I think Anne Hathaway is very very talented and I’m really looking forward to this movie, which will also have Hugh Jackman and Amanda Seyfried (and NOT Taylor Swift thank God. I love her music, but she is not a “singer”). So…I’m putting it on this list.
- Clybourne Park - It seemed like the seemingly cute Peter and the Starcatcher would win for Best Play, but, instead, it went to Pulitzer Prize winning Clybourne Park. Of course I haven’t seen the show, but I did read the play, particularly because A Raisin in the Sun is literally my favorite work of literature. (CP is sort of a midquel and sequel to the Lorrainse Hansberry play) So, I’m happy the show pulled off an upset and ended up winning the big one, despite only 4 nominations and no other wins. It doesn’t make up for the fact that ARIS lost Best Play during their year, but…it’s still nice I suppose.
- Once and Porgy and Bess - If there were two shows I’d see on Broadway this season, it’d be these two, and their respective wins and ceremony performances confirmed that. Steve Kazee and the Once company performed “Gold” and everything about it was lovely. The instrumentals, the lighting, the subtle choreography, and even Cristin Milloti slowly wandering around until she finds her way to Guy (Kazee). (FUN FACT: Milloti was that “sexy girl” from that hilarious 30 Rock episode “TGS Hates Women”. So you can say that Fey discovered her first sorta). It was spellbinding. The Porgy and Bess performance was filled with songs we all had probably heard, yet didn’t know where they came from. It featured Audra McDonald performing a sweet, operatic version of “Summertime,” Norm Lewis singing “I Got Plenty of Nothing,” and David Alan Grier performing “It Aint Necessarily So,” along with the company doing a fun little dance. There were other good performances from the night, including the before mentioned Newsies, but also Follies, Leap of Faith, Nice Work If You Can Get It, and Evita. I didn’t particularly like Ghost, Godspell or the cruise ship Hairspray. But Once and Porgy and Bess won the night for me (and, more importantly, they won best for Best Musical and Revival respectively).
- Book of Morman - The opening number with the cast singing “Hello” was a lot of fun, especially the beginning when they went into the dressing rooms of certain actors like James Earl Jones and Cynthia Nixon. However, the real treat was Matt Stone and Trey Parker presenting Best Musical, making fun of the fact that had now become a part of Broadway elite. It was probably the funniest thing of the night, behind the Spider Man gag earlier in the ceremony.
- Steve and Audra - Steve Kazee winning for Best Actor in a Musical was somewhat of a surprise for me. I thought it would go to like Jeremy Jordan or even Norm Lewis. But Kazee ended up taking the big prize and really made everyone in the audience (and at home) cry from his dedication to his mother who died of cancer on Easter Sunday. It was beautiful and heartfelt and any small malice the other actors felt for losing was immediately lost with his beautiful tribute to his mother, his costar and his company. Now with that win, it seemed like Cristin Milloti had a chance at winning. Instead, clear favorite Audra McDonald won and not even Milloti, who immediately and graciously gave McDonald a standing O, could be too disappointed over the loss. I surely wasn’t. McDonald, at age 40, has become one of Broadway’s greatest stars. She had already won 4 Tonys, and it’s simply amazing that she finally won a Leading Actress award – her fifth! Her speech was moving, a little hilarious and I think everyone’s eyes went blurry when she told her daughter that giving birth to her was the best day of her life. AWWW!
So, overall, it was a good night for theatre. Neither the ceremony or the shows presented seem as good as they were last year, this was still a great night and I just love theatre and Broadway so much…
Now onto the Emmys!