There were two different Tony Awards tonight. I want to see the OTHER one. What I watched on CBS was not an awards program. It was a three hour trailer for Broadway musicals, with a few breaks for some hurried awards. Just the ones people care about, though. No time to actually show the boring stuff, like choreography and book and anything with the word “design.” Oh, and make sure those presenters say the names and read the winners without taking a breath. Don’t let the winners talk long enough to bore anyone, even though it’s the biggest night of their lives. And go overtime anyway. Make sure this show is interesting to the people who don’t actually watch awards shows…but, wait. Hey, that’s a novel concept. Let’s put on a show for the folks who aren’t watching!
I complained just as much last year, so feeling like a broken record here. What’s different this time? My patience. If the folks behind the broadcast aren’t going to show viewers the parts we want see, we won’t bother paying much attention. Now, this is not to say that there weren’t some good moments. Neil Patrick Harris is always on (“50 Shades of Gay”) and his mash-up of award-winning songs was delightful. He made fun of going overtime, which he can get away with. Not everyone can. Other delightful moments: Harvey Fierstein in swim trunks and an inflatable pool ring. James Corden flustered and awed when accepting the acting award for One Man, Two Guvnors. Hugh Jackman graciously receiving a special award, presented by his wife. Nina Arianda’s genuine glee for winning the acting award for Venus in Fur. Matt Stone and Trey Parker just being their awesome selves. Steve Kazee (best actor for Once) honoring his mother, who died of cancer on Easter. And hey, they didn’t broadcast the In Memoriam. Tragic.
All those musical numbers. I’m on overload. Since I can’t sing or dance, I don’t feel qualified to judge, but I will say this. I saw Evita in London in 1980 with Mark Ryan as Che, and I listened often to the original cast album with Mandy Patinkin. I know that Che is supposed to feel contempt for Eva Peron, along with begrudging admiration. I have no idea what Ricky Martin’s Che was feeling. Right after his performance, Mandy Patinkin and Patti Lupone came out to present. It was cruel.
Congratulations to all the Tony winners. I’m sorry I didn’t get to see most of you receive your awards.
Each year, I hope that next year they will get it right. Another year like this one, and I’ll stop waiting and stop watching. Sorry, NPH.