Tapeworthy

Friday, June 05, 2009

Neil Patrick Harris Will Not Be A Bad Tony Host And Other Mutterings

The Tony Awards are on this coming Sunday, June 7th at 8pm on CBS!!! And while there will be tons of musical performances (Elton John! Liza! Hair! West Side Story! Poison! (wait WHAT?)), here's some clips to get you in the mood.

With Neil Patrick Harris! Who ran down the Top 10 list of Bad Tony hosts with Letterman last night (which I'm sure you've all seen by now).



(But for those of us outside the US)
10: Spends first twenty minutes tangled in the curtain
9: Only got the gig because Nathan Lane has swine flu
8: Looks like Shrek, but isn't Shrek
7: Lights go up, pants come down
6: Instead of airfare and a modest fee, he demands a fake passport, enriched uranium and a plane ticket to North Korea... Read More
5: Thinks the two gangs in West Side Story are the Jets and the 49ers
4: His only qualification is that he's a distant cousin of Tony Danza
3: Quits after ten minutes, citing "mercury poisoning from sushi"
2: Plans to have a bare-assed Angela Lansbury lowered onto Eminem
1: He's straight

Anyways, my last predictions and picks (slightly revised from before) are below:
With my comments in red.
*****'s denotes shows I've seen and grades I've given them (out of 5).
"<" means I've seen the show/performance (for individuals nominated)
Highlight choices are the ones I'm rooting for.
Links to my reviews for all the shows I've seen are at the end of the post.

Best Play
Dividing the Estate by Horton Foote ***1/2
God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza *** WILL WIN
reasons to be pretty by Neil LaBute
33 Variations by Moisés Kaufman ***

Well, at this point, God of Carnage is almost a shooin to win, but it didn't impress me enough to win in my eyes. Dividing almost wins by default for me. Or I would almost pick reasons to be pretty even though I haven't even seen it. I don't dislike GoC, I just didn't think it was all that special.


Best Musical


























Billy Elliot, The Musical
****1/2 - WILL WIN/ SHOULD WIN
Next to Normal ***
Rock of Ages**1/2
Shrek The Musical **

There's a whole Next to Nomral movement as the little musical that could, but unlike Aveque Q, it's a much more difficult musical to take and it was something I appreciated more than I loved. I also thought the best part of the show was its cast and sets/lighting. Billy Elliot is for once, the big musical that I think actually deserves it.


Best Book of a Musical


























Billy Elliot, The Musical by Lee Hall ****1/2
Next to Normal by Brian Yorkey *** - WILL WIN
Shrek by David Lindsay-Abaire **
[title of show] by Hunter Bell **** - SHOULD WIN

No offence to Pulitzer prize winner Lindsay-Abaire, but he'd better not win. I commend Yorkey for his original book but I still wasn't convinced by the end. I'm going with cult fave Bell, though Hall would be the most likely winner if they go for the sweep.


Best Original Score (Music and Lyrics)


























Billy Elliot, The Musical Music: Elton John, Lyrics: Lee Hall ****1/2 - SHOULD WIN
Next to Normal Music: Tom Kitt, Lyrics: Brian Yorkey *** - WILL WIN
9 to 5 Music & Lyrics: Dolly Parton ***1/2
Shrek The Musical Music: Jeanine Tesori, Lyrics: David Lindsay-Abaire **

The music from N2N was great... up until the 2nd act when it all started blending together and sounding the same. There's been a backlash against Billy Elliot's score but I think it's John's best, and works better with the story than people give it credit for. It just doesn't give a "pop single" out of it.


Best Revival of a Play
Joe Turner's Come and Gone
Mary Stuart
The Norman Conquests **** (Overall) - WILL WIN
Waiting for Godot


Since I've only seen one so far, and its got all the buzz, I'm sticking with Norman.

Best Revival of a Musical




























Guys and Dolls ***
Hair ***** - WILL WIN/SHOULD WIN
Pal Joey ***1/2
West Side Story ****1/2


Best Special Theatrical Event
Liza's at The Palace - WILL WIN
Slava's Snowshow
Soul of Shaolin
You're Welcome America. A Final Night with George W. Bush



Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
David Alvarez <, Trent Kowalik, Kiril Kulish Billy Elliot - WILL WIN
Gavin Creel Hair - SHOULD WIN
Brian d'Arcy James Shrek <
Constantine Maroulis Rock of Ages <
J. Robert Spencer Next to Normal <

Creel's is the only preformance I actually haven't seen but I'm smitten to throw away any sense of fairness or credibility (though I partially basing it on the OBR). I only saw Alvarez but since he's apparently the "best" Billy, I wasn't as impressed as I was with the London Billy I saw. Maroulis, James and Spencer were all fine but not the strongest person in their casts.


Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical
Stockard Channing Pal Joey <
Sutton Foster Shrek <
Allison Janney 9 to 5 <
Alice Ripley Next to Normal < - WILL WIN
Josefina Scaglione West Side Story < - SHOULD WIN

Three of the ladies are bterr actors than singers (Channing, Janney and Ripley), Sutton was the ingenue now star. Scaglione is the new ingenue. All put in fine performances, but I'm going to go with the fresh face here, mainly because Ripley's singing voice really annoyed me to the point of distraction.


Best Performance By A Featured Actor in a Musical
David Bologna Billy Elliot, The Musical <
Gregory Jbara Billy Elliot, The Musical <
Marc Kudisch 9 to 5: The Musical <
Christopher Sieber Shrek The Musical < - WILL WIN
Will Swenson Hair < - SHOULD WIN

Sieber was terrific and with Breaker, made the show watchable. Kudisch was surprisingly good, funny and poignant in a caricature role. Jbara softened a caricature role. Bologna gets to put on a tutu. While all are worthy, Swenson really grabs hold of the show with bounds of energy and sexual vibes and lets his hair down. Literally.


Best Performance By A Featured Actress in a Musical
Jennifer Damiano Next to Normal <
Haydn Gwynne Billy Elliot, The Musical <
Karen Olivo West Side Story < - WILL WIN/SHOULD WIN
Martha Plimpton Pal Joey <
Carole Shelley Billy Elliot, The Musical <

Gwynne had this in the bag until Olivo showed up. In any other year, Plimpton would have won. Or Gwynne. But I think Olivo will win this for WSS (and probably its only main win).


Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
Jeff Daniels God of Carnage <
Raúl Esparza Speed-the-Plow <
James Gandolfini God of Carnage <
Geoffrey Rush Exit the King < - WILL WIN/SHOULD WIN
Thomas Sadoski reasons to be pretty

Rush. Hands down. Esparza was great but he should have won for Company. I'm still not over that.


Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
Hope Davis God of Carnage <
Jane Fonda 33 Variations <
Marcia Gay Harden God of Carnage < - WILL WIN
Janet McTeer Mary Stuart
Harriet Walter Mary Stuart

Davis, Fonda and Harden all put in great performances but while any would be deserving, I'm almost holding out to be wowed even MORE. But since I haven't seen Mary Stuart, I can't tell you if McTeer or Walter are better, but from what I hear, they are astounding. Harden will probably win but cause she gets a showier role, but I feel that discounts Davis who was equally as good in a quieter role.


Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play
John Glover Waiting for Godot
Zach Grenier 33 Variations <
Stephen Mangan The Norman Conquests < - WILL WIN/SHOULD WIN
Paul Ritter The Norman Conquests <
Roger Robinson Joe Turner's Come and Gone

Grenier might take it since I feel like he's worked with a lot of people in New York. But Mangan is practically a lead (not just cause his character's name is in the title) in a superbly strong cast so his win will almost represent the entire cast. I'm okay with that.


Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play
Hallie Foote Dividing the Estate <
Jessica Hynes The Norman Conquests <
Marin Ireland reasons to be pretty
Angela Lansbury Blithe Spirit - WILL WIN
Amanda Root The Norman Conquests <

I really have no allegiance to anyone I've seen yet since both Conquests ladies could win it and I wouldn't be annoyed. Or Hallie Foote who was the funniest thing in the play.


Best Direction of a Play
Phyllida Lloyd Mary Stuart
Bartlett Sher Joe Turner's Come and Gone
Matthew Warchus God of Carnage
Matthew Warchus The Norman Conquests < - WILL WIN/SHOULD WIN

The question really is, which play will Warchus win for? At first my best were on GoC but I'm leaning towards Conquests because I think the voters will think 7 hours of play is harder than 1.5. Fair enough.


Best Direction of a Musical
Stephen Daldry Billy Elliot, The Musical < - WILL WIN
Michael Greif Next to Normal <
Kristin Hanggi Rock of Ages <
Diane Paulus Hair < - SHOULD WIN

I can't give Hair enough accolades. And I haven't even seen it on Broadway yet (where apparently it's even BETTER than the Park version. Which I didn't think it could be topped. Billy is strong though too. It's a good year for Daldry. Oscar nominated and will probably win the Tony. He should work on winning an Emmy and get the trifecta.


Best Choreography
Karole Armitage Hair < - SHOULD WIN
Andy Blankenbuehler 9 to 5: The Musical <
Peter Darling Billy Elliot, The Musical < - WILL WIN
Randy Skinner Irving Berlin's White Christmas <

Hair!!! Cause it's so subtle. Darling's is obvious though for Solidarity alone, it might deserve it. I just love Blankenbuehler's style and think its the best thing about the show.


Best Orchestrations
Martin Koch Billy Elliot, The Musical <
Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt Next to Normal < - WILL WIN/SHOULD WIN
Danny Troob and John Clancy Shrek The Musical <

It's sort of down between Billy and N2N and I think they may reward the smaller show here.


Best Scenic Design of a Play
Dale Ferguson Exit the King <
Rob Howell The Norman Conquests <
Derek McLane 33 Variations < - WILL WIN/SHOULD WIN
Michael Yeargan Joe Turner's Come and Gone


Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Robert Brill Guys and Dolls <
Ian MacNeil Billy Elliot, The Musical < - WILL WIN
Scott Pask Pal Joey <
Mark Wendland Next to Normal < - SHOULD WIN

I'm at odds with most people here. I did NOT like Guys and Dolls sets. Billy's was fine but I didn't think it was anything special. But I thought Pal Joey and N2N had interesting sets that worked with their themes.


Best Costume Design of a Play
Dale Ferguson Exit the King < - WILL WIN/SHOULD WIN
Jane Greenwood Waiting for Godot
Martin Pakledinaz Blithe Spirit
Anthony Ward Mary Stuart

I hear the concept for Mary Stuart's costumes was pretty fab though.

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregory Gale Rock of Ages <
Nicky Gillibrand Billy Elliot, The Musical <
Tim Hatley Shrek The Musical < - WILL WIN
Michael McDonald Hair < - SHOULD WIN

Just cause Shrek's costumes were more elaborate, doesn't mean they were better. But that's what's going to win.

Best Lighting Design of a Play
David Hersey Equus <
David Lander 33 Variations < - WILL WIN/SHOULD WIN
Brian MacDevitt Joe Turner's Come and Gone
Hugh Vanstone Mary Stuart

I'd be down for Equus to win here too. Mary Stuart could take it here too. Actually, I have no idea what I'm talking about here so I'm just guessing.

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Kevin Adams Hair
Kevin Adams Next to Normal < - SHOULD WIN
Howell Binkley West Side Story <
Rick Fisher Billy Elliot, The Musical < - WILL WIN

Best Sound Design of a Play
Paul Arditti Mary Stuart
Gregory Clarke Equus <
Russell Goldsmith Exit the King < - WILL WIN/SHOULD WIN
Scott Lehrer and Leon Rothenberg Joe Turner's Come and Gone

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Acme Sound Partners Hair <
Paul Arditti Billy Elliot, The Musical < - WILL WIN
Peter Hylenski Rock of Ages <
Brian Ronan Next to Normal < - SHOULD WIN


Here were all my reviews from the shows I saw this past theatrical season on Broadway (2008-2009):

13 - Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - **** (Review)

33 Variations (Play) - Eugene O'Neill Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - *** (Review)

All My Sons (Play Revival) - Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ***1/2 (Review)

A Man For All Seasons (Play Revival) - Roundabout at the American Airlines Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ** (Review)

Billy Elliot (Musical) - Imperial Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - **** (Review)

Dividing the Estate (Play) - Broadway, New York, NY - ***1/2 (Review)

Equus (Play Revival) - Broadhurst Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ***1/2 (Review)

Exit the King (Play Revival) - Barrymore Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - **** (Review)

God of Carnage (Play) - Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - *** (Review)

Guys and Dolls (Musical Revival) - Nederlander Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - *** (Review)

Hair (Musical Revival) - Delacorte Theatre Central Park, New York, NY - ***** (Review)

9 to 5: The Musical (Musical) - Ahmanson Theatre - Los Angeles, CA - ***1/2 (Review)

Next to Normal (Musical) - Arena Stage Theater - Washington, D.C. - *** (Review)

The Norman Conquests Trilogy (Play Revival) - Circle in the Square Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ****
Table Manners - ***1/2
Living Together - ***
Round and Round the Garden - ****
(Review)

Pal Joey (Musical Revival) - Studio 54 - Broadway, New York, NY - Original Review ****, Now ***1/2 (Review)

Rock of Ages (Musical) - Brooks Atkinson Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - **1/2 (Review)

The Seagull (Play Revival) - Walter Kerr Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ** (Review)

Shrek (Musical) - Broadway Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ** (Review)

Speed-the-Plow (Play Revival) - Barrymore Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - ***1/2 (Review)

[title of show] (Musical) - Lyceum Theatre - Broadway, New York, NY - **** (Review)

West Side Story(Musical Revival) - National Theatre - Washington, D.C. - ****1/2 (Review)

Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com

No comments:

International Jock Crocs, Inc. Bare Necessities>