Saturday, June 6, 2015

Brief Thoughts Before the Tony Awards

Since I do live in New York City, I try my best to see as many Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway shows as I can, albeit at a discount usually. This year, I think I did relatively well especially with regards to this year's Tony nominees, which is why I'm excited about Sunday's award show. Plus it also seems that unlike the last few years, many of the categories are nail-biters in terms of which show or which actor will win. Regardless the Tony Awards are always a hoot to watch with performances from the musical nominees and usually game hosts, this time with the fabulous Alan Cumming and Kristen Chenoweth.

So let's talk musicals! The Best Musical category is probably the most contentious this year. An American in Paris and Fun Home lead all nominees with 12 nods each while Something Rotten! has 10 and The Visit has 5 (and the legendary Chita Rivera). I've seen and loved Fun Home and Something Rotten! and hope one of them wins it. Something Rotten! in particular, which I've seen twice, has been an addictive earworm and its musical performance is the one I'm most looking forward to on the big night. As for Best Musical Revival (won the past two years by two musicals I've obsessed over aka Pippin and Hedwig and the Angry Inch), the sumptuous production of The King and I looks to prevail over On The Town and On the Twentieth Century. With high demand for the other two, I was only able to see On the Town which was fine more than great for me despite a few truly fun numbers.

In terms of acting, I think everyone is again holding their breath to see if Kelli O'Hara can finally win her first Tony especially with the love they've shown for her show giving The King and I 9 nominations. With that said, it's yet another brutal line-up for Lead Actress in a Musical consisting of two actresses from the top two nominated shows and two legends in Chenoweth and Rivera. Lead Actor is equally competitive with any of the five men nominated looking likely to pick up the trophy. In the Featured categories, it'll be interesting if there'll be some vote-splitting happening with Something Rotten!, An American in Paris, and Fun Home all with multiple nominees. The latter especially has three in Featured Musical Actress!

Like every year, my track record for plays are abysmal. Unlike last year though, I did manage to see something that was not only Tony nominated, but seems to be the front-runner i.e. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. With 6 nominations, that atypical play (a West End awards-winning hit) looks to go head to head with Wolf Hall for Best Play, which leads all plays with 8 nods. As for Best Play Revival, many seem to think the Bradley Cooper-starrer The Elephant Man will edge out the Carey Mulligan-starrer Skylight, neither of which I've seen so who knows?

Both actors, Cooper and Mulligan, then seem likely to win their first Tony Awards for Best Lead in a Play, but that's far from a lock. Cooper will have to contend with Curious Incident's Alex Sharp and Wolf Hall's Ben Miles while Mulligan's biggest competition is the Queen herself, Helen Mirren, in a role that has already won her heaps of awards. Just as a quick aside, yay for my TV favorites Elisabeth Moss and Ruth Wilson getting nominated here, but boo for no love for Jake Gyllenhaal (who was in Constellations with Wilson which I regret not seeing). Since I haven't seen many plays and don't know much about their roles, I have nothing to say with regards to the Featured Actors only to root for names I do recognize like Allesandro Nivola, Annaleigh Ashford, Patricia Clarkson, and Julie White.

Of course, I'm sure a lot of people are already thinking about next year's Tony Awards. Hamilton. Hamilton. Hamilton. I foolishly missed it when it played Off-Broadway this year, but you better believe I'll be seeing this before next year's Tonys!

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