2016-2017 Tony Awards

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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:20 pm

Mister Tee wrote:
Big Magilla wrote:It must be a Tony Award thing. The plays themselves do not have the playwright's name attached to the title, although a couple of musical revivals have done that in recent years.

Actually, I just checked my Playbill, and it definitely says "Arthur Miller's The Price", so at least some productions are doing it.

Hmmm. Maybe it's a Theatremania thing. Don't they have a hand in producing Playbills as well as the Tonys and Drama Desk Awards?

The Ibdb. does not have Arthur Miller's name attached to The Price, although I suppose the marquee might have had it.
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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby The Original BJ » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:17 pm

The thing that's really weird to me about it is...

If you have the economic capital to afford Broadway ticket prices, and the cultural interest in theater that is decades (sometimes many decades) old, why Tennessee Williams's name attached to the title The Glass Menagerie would have any impact on your decision to purchase a ticket is beyond me.

But then again, I'm not a Tony-winning Broadway producer, so what do I know?

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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:16 pm

Big Magilla wrote:It must be a Tony Award thing. The plays themselves do not have the playwright's name attached to the title, although a couple of musical revivals have done that in recent years.

Actually, I just checked my Playbill, and it definitely says "Arthur Miller's The Price", so at least some productions are doing it.

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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:06 pm

It must be a Tony Award thing. The plays themselves do not have the playwright's name attached to the title, although a couple of musical revivals have done that in recent years.

In 2012 there was The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess and the following year there was Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella to distinguish it, I suppose, from Disney's Cinderella. But the one and only Porgy and Bess? Back in 1993 there was The Who's Tommy to distinguish it, perhaps, from theatregoers thinking it was a musical about Tommy Tune.
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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:53 pm

The Original BJ wrote:What's with the new trend of attaching the playwright's name to the title of revivals?

Except for Noel Coward, who's apparently chopped liver.

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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby Greg » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:39 pm

The Original BJ wrote:. . . I was surprised how inside baseball it was too -- jokes about Andy Karl's injury. . .


Was that the part in the opening where Spacey moved his cast from his arm to his leg? I wondered what that was all about.
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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby OscarGuy » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:28 pm

My guess, BJ, is to goose attendance. Would anyone really have attributed Jitney to August Wilson were they unfamiliar with his playography? No. I think it may have started with Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, but that is just a blind guess.

The reason you haven't heard that number from Hello, Dolly before, BJ, is that it was cut from the original production. I'm guessing because it was dreadfully dull, but the character development also doesn't feel that necessary. Do we really need to know more about him?
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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby The Original BJ » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:50 pm

I'd heard that Scott Rudin (et al) wanted to do "Hello, Dolly!" from their own theater -- to be able to use their own sets and not have to restage the choreography for a different size venue -- but the Tony producers refused to allow this, due to the precedent it would set. (At that point, why wouldn't EVERY show want to perform in their own space?) Either way, the David Hyde Pierce number -- a song I've literally never heard before -- was just about the low point of the production numbers.

I liked parts of Spacey's hosting -- I thought both the Johnny Carson and Bill Clinton impersonations were quite funny, as was his appearance with Robin Wright as the Underwoods -- but the closing number was a dud, and the opening was fairly ho-hum too. (I was surprised how inside baseball it was too -- jokes about Andy Karl's injury and Michael Riedel are about as NYC-centric as they come).

Question -- is the age gap between 23-year-old Ben Platt and 71-year-old Bette Midler the widest for a pair of acting winners? It seems like it could very easily be in the running for some kind of record. Either way, both performances were widely hailed as the toast of the town this year, and it was neat to see both a beloved vet win her first competitive prize and a newbie on the cusp of what seems like a very promising career be introduced to the world in this way.

It must have been a great treat for Gavin Creel to get his trophy from his Thoroughly Modern Millie love interest Sutton Foster, fifteen years after she won and he didn't. Rachel Bay Jones also got to receive hers from her recent Pippin costar, Patina Miller.

It's hard not to feel a little disappointed for Michael Greif. He's now directed two Best Musical winners, and has about as good a track record as anyone for getting his stars Tonys (four in four different shows now), yet continues to lack a trophy of his own. It's possible that the kind of shows he excels at tend to be more intimate character pieces, and as a result, are less obvious choices for directing prizes. (For instance, I'm as much a devotee of Next to Normal as anybody, but think Greif's loss to Stephen Daldry for Billy Elliott in the Director race was the correct outcome that season.)

All of that said -- and with both shows yet unseen by me -- Come From Away certainly got strong enough notices that it isn't that surprising it went home with at least one major prize.

It was great to give the four playwrights an opportunity to present their work, though I still remain annoyed that Best Book of a Musical is considered a minor enough prize to be annually presented off-telecast.

What's with the new trend of attaching the playwright's name to the title of revivals?

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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:18 pm

Sonic Youth wrote:
OscarGuy wrote:As was pointed out to me today, it wasn't Bette Midler refusing to sing.

Apparently, the producers of the show thought that in order to move the sets to the Tonies theater and then re-staged the number for the Tonies would have been far too expensive, so they opted to do something that didn't require staging or anything in the way of sets.


I heard that explanation earlier today. Every other show, especially "Comet", seemed to make do just fine.

As have shows for decades. Why is Hello, Dolly! so special it gets different treatment from any other show in memory?

I think it chilled audience love for the Midler win. You'd have expected a stronger standing ovation than she got. She won the crowd somewhat back with her speech (and squelching the orchestra), but it still wasn't the triumph it could have been.

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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:12 pm

The way I heard it, the show's producers wanted to have Milder & Co. perform live from the stage of the Shubert Theater, where the show is playing, before an invited audience with a TV pickup there instead of at Radio City Music Hall. The Theater Wing refused to go along with their idea. That was the impasse.
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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:02 pm

From the New York Times Theater Section on May 29th:

There is still time for a change of plans, but at the moment it appears unlikely that Bette Midler, one of the biggest stars of the current Broadway season, will be singing during the June 11 CBS broadcast.

According to multiple people with knowledge of the broadcast plans, the producers of “Hello, Dolly!” and the producers of the awards show reached an impasse over the conditions under which Ms. Midler would sing, and as a result the plan is for her to present an award, but not to perform. Instead, her co-star and fellow nominee, David Hyde Pierce, is expected to perform a solo from the show.

The impasse was described by people who would not speak for attribution because of confidentiality rules imposed by the Tony Awards.

The issue matters to producers of the Tony Awards ceremony, which this year is being hosted by Kevin Spacey, because it could affect TV viewership. A famous actress singing a familiar song from a classic musical might add pizazz to an event that, like all awards shows, has struggled to retain viewers. Ms. Midler’s absence would also disappoint fans who can’t afford to see her in the Broadway show, which has a top ticket price of $748 and few seats left, but who would love to glimpse her in the role.
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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby Sonic Youth » Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:57 pm

OscarGuy wrote:As was pointed out to me today, it wasn't Bette Midler refusing to sing.

Apparently, the producers of the show thought that in order to move the sets to the Tonies theater and then re-staged the number for the Tonies would have been far too expensive, so they opted to do something that didn't require staging or anything in the way of sets.


I heard that explanation earlier today. Every other show, especially "Comet", seemed to make do just fine.
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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby OscarGuy » Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:27 pm

As was pointed out to me today, it wasn't Bette Midler refusing to sing.

Apparently, the producers of the show thought that in order to move the sets to the Tonies theater and then re-staged the number for the Tonies would have been far too expensive, so they opted to do something that didn't require staging or anything in the way of sets.
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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:49 pm

Big Magilla wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:ON EDIT: And, good god, that Hello, Dolly! number. As someone wrote elsewhere, "a cut number restored/an audience bored". A show that has numerous famous songs/worthy numbers, and that's what they chose to represent it?


Unfortunately, that's what you get when the star who is in practically every number, refuses to perform. The only other choice would have been Kate Baldwin singing "Ribbons down My Back".

Couldn't they have done "It Only Takes a Moment", and showcase their other Tony winner? Possibly they thought they needed to promote the more famous co-star -- but I'd say it backfired spectacularly: the number was deadly dull.

Two other things:

The appearance that must have baffled most of you was the guy who introduced the Come from Away scene. It was Ron Duguay, who -- a long, long time ago -- played for NY's hockey Rangers. He did make a brief effort at an acting career -- largely on the basis of long, flowing curly hair -- but his connection to NY theatre was basically non-existent. To have dredged up this person even I barely remember simply because he was Canadian seemed bizarre. Did it occur to the Wing to ask Samantha Bee instead? Hell, even David Frum would have made more contemporary sense.

I love Stephen Colbert. His show is essential viewing to get through these awful times. And his Falsettos/Sopranos joke may have been the night's best. But someone needs to take him aside and let hm know he really doesn't have the voice to sing alongside Broadway professionals. Tonight wasn't as glaringly bad as when he tried to duet with Audra McDonald on his show, but still a mite embarrassing for an event this public.

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Re: 2016-2017 Tony Awards

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:48 am

anonymous1980 wrote:Question for any Tony experts around here. Ben Platt is only 23. Is he the youngest SOLO winner of the Leading Actor in a Musical category?

EDIT: I just remembered the Billy Elliot boys winning this category. LOL.

I'm pretty sure he's the youngest nominee, aside from those kids, as well.

Daniel Jenkins would have been. He was just 22 when he was nominated for Big River, but that was the year they shoehorned all the lead performers into the featured musical categories. Mary Beth Peil, a nominee this year for Anastasia was a featured actress nominee that year as well for playing Anna in The King and I opposite Yul Brynner in his last run as the King.

Jenkins is currently in Oslo. He is the great-step-nephew of Katharine Hepburn. His stepmother, since 1970, is Katharine Houghton.
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