2016-2017 Tony Awards

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Mister Tee
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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:23 pm

Okay: the time arises to make a final forecast. My theatre-going this year has been limited to what was free or extremely cheap – which amounts to The Price and Indecent, both of which actually have a shot at winning something. But, as usual, I’m mostly going by what I hear around town.

Many pundits see a tight two-show race between Oslo and A Doll’s House Part 2 for best play, which surprises me – all the tea leaves (Drama Critics, Drama Desk) have seemed to be going Oslo’s way. But apparently Scott Rudin has been doing Weinstein-like campaigning for Doll’s House. There’s also scuttlebutt that the latter’s much shorter running time makes it an easier sell to some voters. I’ll stick with Oslo, but am open to being surprised.

The play’s scope also makes Oslo a likely winner for directing, though this is one of the spots where Indecent might do well (TimeOutNY is actually predicting it) – it’s a fully conceived visual/musical/drama experience, and might fit the spectacle niche that has won this for shows like Metamorphosis. But I’ll lean Oslo.

On the musical side, it remains a tight race between Dear Evan Hansen and Come from Away. The majority of pundits seem to be going with Hansen, but I fear the apparently more openly sentimental Come from Away might pull a King’s Speech. Fun Home aside, the art-sical has not done all that well in this category over the past few decades. Pure toss-up.

One prediction article I read noted that it’s been 15 years since a nominated musical won best director without also winning the top award (all subsequent splits have involved directors of revivals – except for 2006, the winning revival). This gives me pause, because I’ve been thinking this is a year ripe for a split – neither Evan Hansen nor Come from Away seem to have a strong directorial signature, while Nastasha and Pierre is apparently full-on spectacle of the sort for which Diane Paulus has been honored in the past. I’ll stick to predicting Rachel Chavkin (there have been such splits prior to that 15 year period – Millie/Urinetown, Rent/Bring in Da Noise, City of Angels/Grand Hotel), but now view Michael Grief as highly-likely alternate.

Leading actors in plays have solidified – Laurie Metcalf and Kevin Kline are seen as shoo-ins (for some of you younger folk, it’ll be your first chance to see Kevin Kline win – like his one-time co-star Streep, he’s had a long wait between wins). On the musical side, Midler is of course unstoppable, and the general consensus is that Ben Platt is too emotionally overwhelming not to win for Evan Hansen. But…there’s still that nagging feeling that show-must-go-on trouper-ism sentiment for Andy Karl could win it for him, instead. At the very least, this nomination’ll set him up for a slam-dunk win his next time at bat.

Danny DeVito was wonderful in The Price – in fact, more commanding than Mark Ruffalo, who has considerably more NY stage experience. I’d be perfectly happy to see DeVito win supporting actor, and he’s viewed as the favorite – though John Douglas Thompson is a possible upset, as August Wilson roles have engendered a lot of Tony acting wins. Supporting actress in a play is one of the more opaque acting categories – it may be that the two double-nominee plays will open a path for soloist Cynthia Nixon to triumph. If not, Condola Rashad seems most likely to me. Gavin Creel is thought to be way ahead for musical supporting actor, with Jenn Colella and Rachel Bay Jones fighting over the female trophy, the latter slightly favored.

Hello, Dolly! and Jitney are widely viewed as sure things in revival. Evan Hansen will probably win book and score even if it doesn’t take best musical. The spectacle of Natasha and Pierre make it a favorite for sets and costumes, though Evan Hansen may hold on for lighting. On the drama side, I’ve heard good things about Jitney for set and Present Laughter for costumes. Lighting is another prize I think Indecent could win – though the overall strength of Oslo could help it win there. Choreography is thought to be in the bag for Bandstand’s Blankenbuehler (making him a repeater from last year). And orchestrations, I’ve heard, will go to Dave Malloy for Natasha, so he doesn’t go home empty-handed from his three nominations.

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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:19 am

As a warm-up for Sunday's Tony Awards, you might want to watch last Sunday's Drama Desk Awards which streamed live o their site Sunday nite and can still be seen here:

http://dramadeskawards.com/

The filmed opening with host Michael Urie is quite well done. If the rest of the show seems amateurish compared to the Oscars, Tonys and Emmys, but this doesn't. The singing of the rules by the cast of Spamilton is also quite engaging, although I think the show itself might better be called Hamalot.

The 2 1/2 hour show will make you glad the Tonys present the tech awards off-camera since none of the presenters or winners in the various design categories had much oomph, but then there were the likes of Jane Krakowski, Vanessa Williams, Tommy Tune, Maury Yeston and Harold Prince to present the major awards. Jenn Calella singing her show-stopping song about the first female American Airlines captain from Come From Away was the musical standout.

It was rather amusing watching the winners feign surprise at their win when most of them had already won the Outer Critics Circle awards earlier. Seven of the eight acting winners - Kevin Kline, Laura Linney, Danny DeVito, Cynthia Nixon, Andy Karl, Gavin Creel and Colella were there to proudly accept their awards, but there was no Bette Midler to accept hers. What's up with her? Not only wasn't she there, she wasn't at last night's pre-awards Tony dinner for the nominees and has refused to perform at Sunday night's Tonys at Radio City Music Hall. Is it bad diva behavior or is she suddenly feeling her age?
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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat May 06, 2017 6:29 pm

dws1982 wrote:I'm guessing Pasek and Paul will easily add to their awards haul for their Dear Evan Hansen score. And then the Grammy for either Dear Evan Hansen or La La Land (possibly both) will likely follow early next year, and they'll just have the Emmy to go.


Pasek and Paul actually do have an Emmy contender this year. They wrote an original song for the musical episode of The Flash called "Runnin' Home to You"...and it's pretty good! They can conceivably EGOT in the span of just a year.

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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby dws1982 » Sat May 06, 2017 6:13 pm

David Hyde Pierce reportedly asked to be placed in Lead because he felt like Gavin Creel might have a better shot in Featured if he didn't have to compete with a co-star. I think Creel probably has a good shot, but I think Lucas Steele is probably in it too, especially as (potentially) the one high-profile win for the most-nominated show.

I'm guessing Pasek and Paul will easily add to their awards haul for their Dear Evan Hansen score. And then the Grammy for either Dear Evan Hansen or La La Land (possibly both) will likely follow early next year, and they'll just have the Emmy to go.

Laurie Metcalf is supposed to be pretty sensational in Doll's House, but there might also be sentiment to honor Laura Linney's long-time commitment to the theatre.

Doesn't Metcalf go even farther back than Linney though? She's had over thirty years of credits in New York (Balm In Gilead was her breakthrough, right?), and has come back over and over while maintaining a very busy movie and television career. Plus she had an extensive resume in Chicago and even did a highly-acclaimed run in Long Day's Journey Into Night in London a few years ago. But I guess Linney is a bigger name so that could trump.

The reviews for The Glass Menagerie were not good, but I am glad Sally Field got that nomination, if only because I remember how good she was in the 2004 production at the Kennedy Center. She hasn't always been in the best movies, but she was at the absolute top of her game there. If that production had been on Broadway, she would've been a frontrunner for the Tony, or at least solidly in the conversation.

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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby Big Magilla » Fri May 05, 2017 5:22 am

I've been rather busy the last couple of weeks, but I have been meaning to comment on this for a few days.

As usual, I'm way behind in assessing the new plays. Indeed, I have no idea which of the revivals, with which I'm more familiar, will win. Jitney is the only one nominated by the Drama Desk nd Outer Critics Circle, but it's already closed, so I don't know. Possibly The Little Foxes or Six Degrees of Separation. the only one I wouldn't expect to win is Noel Coward's creaky Present Laughter.

I haven't seen any of the musicals either, but I am familiar with most of the productions. The limit of four new shows and three revivals seems a bit harsh considering the high number of possibilities this year. Still, it's a very exciting one given the absence of a surefire winner like Hamilton crowding out everything else.

I think Dear Evan Hansen has the edge. It's emotionally riveting and has been getting lots of news coverage on local New York TV stations. The score is by the lyricists of La La Land, only this time their songs are sung by players who can actually sing. I don't see how it can lose, unless it's to Come From Away which has a built-in emotional appeal of its own. Groundhog Day is a very pleasant show, but lacks the emotional pull of the other two. I don't know how Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 emerged as the most nominated show with 12 nods. Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle nominated it in tech categories only. I expected War Paint and/or Anastasia to round out the nominations.

Hello, Dolly! is, of course, the only sure thing this year, albeit just for Best Revival of a Musical and Best Actress, Bette Midler. Wins in other categories are not as certain, although it should pick up at least a few more.

Ben Platt would seem to be the one to beat for Best Actor for Dear Evan Hansen based on performance, but Andy Karl leaving his hospital bed to perform on opening night with a broken leg, or whatever the story was, should get some sympathy votes for Groundhog Day just as Platt will probably lose a few for getting the lead in a show produced by his father. Then Again, Josh Groban could probably win on sheer popularity alone, but the Tonys aren't the Oscars or the Emmys, so probably not.

Christian Borle already has two Tonys and is nominated for a closed show, so there's no likelihood of his winning again this year. Ditto, David Hyde Pierce, a previous Best Actor in a Musical winner and recipient of the Isabel Stevenson Award. Besides, his role in Hello, Dolly! is supporting by billing and completely in the shadow of the show's star.

Gavin Creel, previously nominated for Thoroughly Modern Millie and Hair and snubbed last year for She Loves Me, should finally prevail for his supporting turn as Cornelius Hackl Hello, Dolly!. The irony here is that Charles Nelson Reilly who was nominated for this role in the original production lost to Jack Cassidy in Creel's role in the original production of She Loves Me.

Golden throated Kate Baldwin, a previous nominee for Finian's Rainbow, could prevail in Hello, Dolly! as well, but could just as easily lose to any of three of the other nominees including Mary Beth Peil, a previous nominee for the 1985 revival of The King and I opposite Yul Brynner. Also in the race are veteran Rachel Bay Jones, finally making a name for herself as the mother in Dear Evan Hansen and Jenn Colella, another veteran making a name for herself in the ensemble of Come From Away. Only Stephanie J. Block in the already shuttered Falsettos seems out of the race for featured actress.
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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby Mister Tee » Fri May 05, 2017 12:16 am

I'm surprised so few have chimed in on this; of course, till now I haven't, either.

Unlike last year, when Hamilton was crushing everything in its path, competition is pretty even in most categories -- best actress in a musical of course excepted. There were a bunch of other musicals that might have been listed, notably War Paint or Anastasia (which managed to lead Drama Desk nominations just a few days prior to being almost totally shut out by the Tonys), but I'd say these four represent general theatre community consensus (I say this having seen none of the shows myself). I think the competition is mostly down to Dear Evan Hansen vs. Come From Away, and I have no real instinct for how it will go -- Evan Hansen has more art-appeal, but, Fun Home notwithstanding, Tony voters can often default to the more soothing show. The Drama Desk will not be its usual help in that regard, because both Evan Hansen and Natasha and Pierre were eligible previously during their off-Broadway runs.

Best actor in a musical also seems a fierce battle, with Hansen's Ben Platt matched against Andy Karl, who not only has a been-around-a-while advantage, but also has accumulated much goodwill for being a trouper and performing through serious injury. This could go either way.

On the play side, I guess I'd be inclined toward Oslo, but some think the recency (and relative brevity) of A Doll's House Part 2 might push it over the top. Or one of the two newer plays could slip in; that's how unfocused the race is.

Laurie Metcalf is supposed to be pretty sensational in Doll's House, but there might also be sentiment to honor Laura Linney's long-time commitment to the theatre. And best actor could go to Kevin Kline -- many decades after his first two prizes -- or maybe to more recent winner Jefferson Mays.

I didn't hear a whole lot of griping about omissions this year -- there were of course people who might have been cited but weren't (Allison Janney, for notable one), but no one rising quite to the level of "shocking snub".

All tolled, an interesting enough list, one that could provide a decently suspenseful evening.

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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby Sonic Youth » Tue May 02, 2017 6:28 pm

Very happy for "Groundhog Day" because a sort-of friend of mine is appearing in it, as a member of the ensemble. We were in a show together back home three years ago, a summer Shakespeare production. (We were onstage together for only 10 seconds, though.) She was in high school at the time. She apparently just graduated and went to New York to audition for a Broadway show. She had said it was her ambition to appear on Broadway, and she went and did just that. She was certainly talented enough to do so. Incredibly talented, actually.
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2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby anonymous1980 » Tue May 02, 2017 8:03 am

The nominees.

I expect a lot of #PinoyPride articles because another Filipina got nominated for playing Kim in Miss Saigon.


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