2014 Tony Nominations

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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:36 pm

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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby The Original BJ » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:41 pm

I feel like if most people on THIS board think a movie is obscure...in the grand scheme of things, it counts as pretty obscure.

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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby flipp525 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:38 pm

To a 2014 audience, it is a completely and utterly obscure film reference. That hopping bit was a fail. The only time it made any sense was when he siddled up to Andy Karl who was jumping rope as Rocky.
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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:41 pm

Small Town Girl is not an obscure film, nor was it a "Bobby Van film". Jane Powell, Farley Granger and Ann Miller are the stars of the 1953 musical. Billie Burke, S.Z. Sakall, Robert Keith, Fay Way and Nat King Cole as himself have major supporting roles along with Van who follows Powell who follows Granger who follows Miller to Broadway. Van's hop appears to be continuous but was actually done in four takes. It was an Oscar nominee for Best Original Song "My Flaming Heart" sung by Nat King Cole. It shows up occasionally on TCM, had been on VHS, laser disc and is on DVD from Warner Archive. It is a very loose remake of the 1936 film of the same name which starred Janet Gaynor, Robert Taylor and James Stewart.

I wondered as I watched if the backstage portion of Jackman's hop was pre-recorded so he could catch his breath before coming back out on stage.
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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby OscarGuy » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:28 am

Apparently the song in Small Town Girl was called "Take Me to Braodway" or something, which could explain why it was used as an inspiration for the opening.

Was it just me or did Alan Cumming seem unenthused for that performance. I remember the Tony performance several years ago and it was fantastic. Now it just felt tired. Whether that's because I felt like I'd already seen it before or because Cumming just didn't bring the verve to it this time.

As for being tired of things, I'm entirely bored by tap dancing numbers. Those are the numbers every musical seems to trot out these days, making it feel unnecessary and trite. We got two such numbers last night and neither was particularly interseting to me.
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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:17 am

The hopping thing was -- I've read elsewhere -- an homage to a Bobby Van movie called Small Town Girl (which was the movie showing on a monitor). Which reaches new heights of obscurity -- even someone like me, who first watch the Tonys 50 years ago, had no idea what it was about. (And I agree with BJ, that it was difficulty figuring out which shows Jackman was hopping past)

Relatively few numbers on the Tonys come off as well on TV as they do in the theatre (I remember seeing the first act finale from Sunday in the Park and finding it nothing much -- then a bit later seeing it live and being swept away). Just as I'll take your word A Friend Like Me is a wow live, you should believe me that the tap number from Bullets over Broadway is a knockout (and it was pretty much the only thing in the show I liked).

OscarGuy, I agree the Gentleman's Guide number suggested Sondheim -- I thought of the opening of A Little Night Music, and the Kiss Me number from Sweeney.

Since both Raisin revivals came from Kenny Leon, I'm assuming they were similar, but the fact of an entire new cast separates it from Cabaret, where having Cumming reprise his role has made people treat it as the same old thing. (They even did the same number for the broadcast)

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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby flipp525 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:26 am

I only saw The Velocity of Autumn out of the Best Leading Actress in a Play nominees and I thought Estelle Parsons was particularly phenomenal.

Someone posted on another forum that Hugh Jackman needs to lose the beard. I must not have seen her, but was Deb Furness there?
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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby dws1982 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:15 am

The Original BJ wrote:All three major prizes to A Raisin in the Sun caught me completely off guard. Didn't I JUST watch Phylicia Rashad and Audra win Tonys for this show?

It was actually ten years ago. Several other shows have been revived twice in the past decade. (The Glass Menagerie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf--which won for the actor playing George both times) I did think that this production was basically a return engagement of the 2004 production, similar to Cabaret this year, which would've made it ineligible everywhere except for the acting categories. But the vagaries of Tony (and Oscar and Emmy) rules are always fairly confusing, I'm not too sure what the situation was there. Pretty churlish for Denzel Washington not to show up to support his show, though.

Worth noting that, although Mark Rylance won, he gave an actual speech instead of reciting the poem.

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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby ksrymy » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:40 am

Now that Audra has won most egregiously, I hope we don't ever have to hear about her again unless she deserves a good, honest nomination.
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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby OscarGuy » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:25 am

The Gentleman's Guide performance reminds me of something Sondheim might have written during his glory days.

She may be a genuinely nice person, but I'm tired of hearing about Audra MacDonald.

I think the Wicked tribute should have had a reunion with the stars who originated the part. It would have been a spectacular moment. As is, it felt "meh" to me. I'm sure the reason they celebrated Wicked is because it's still a huge show while Avenue Q has been largely forgotten (it was even performed by a local theater group here in town, which suggests its days of impotance are pretty much over, especially since they refused to let it tour).

I also don't get the Hugh Jackman hopping thing, though they had a monitor going back stage where someone in a film was hopping around the neighborhood greeting everyone. I thought it looked like Burt Lancaster on screen, but it was such a tiny screen that I have no idea who it was or even what film it was from. Was that one a stage adaptation this year?

I'm personally tired of future shows being showcased on the Tonys. Unless you can highlight all shows, not just the ones who can pay big money for a performance on the Tonys, you shouldn't do it at all.
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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:20 am

Mister Tee wrote:I enjoyed the Gentleman's Guide number, but I kept thinking, the people who are sold by Disney aren't going to be prompted to buy tickets based on that. Lucky for the show it took best musical.

I agree with everything you said except that. I watched the show with my right-wing, retired military, DAR doyenne sister-in-law who knew nothing about the show; never knew Hugh Jackman sang; never heard of Audra MacDonald, much less understood what the obvious outpouring of love was for; never heard of Kind Hearts and Coronets, yet decided she had to see A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder based on Jefferson Mays' introduction and the performance of that song.
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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby The Original BJ » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:46 am

Sight unseen, I was happy for Gentleman's Guide winning, mostly to stave off prizes to jukebox musicals, but also because now it seems a lot more likely the show will still be around by the time I make it to New York again. And the show's number, though not a showstopper, was entertaining enough, especially Jefferson Mays's opening bit. (Is he required to play multiple characters in every show he does?)

All three major prizes to A Raisin in the Sun caught me completely off guard. Didn't I JUST watch Phylicia Rashad and Audra win Tonys for this show?

Not that Hedwig needs any help selling tickets, but if I were a tourist and wanted ideas for which show to see, Neil Patrick Harris's no-holds-barred performance tonight would have shot that musical right to the top of my list. Jessie Mueller dueting with Carole King also made for a memorable moment -- you could tell how much that performance meant to the younger singer to be portraying and performing with a legend.

I figured before the ceremony that whoever got to introduce Idina Menzel would have a giant gift of a joke just waiting for them. And Jonathan Groff just aced that moment effortlessly.

Speaking of Idina, her If/Then number, "Always Starting Over," is one of the most stupendous eleven o'clock solos in any musical this millennium, and even in this truncated version, Menzel was, as ever, sensational.

"Friend Like Me" is MUCH better in the show. For starters, what was presented tonight was a severely shortened version -- the actual number must run three or four times as long, and a lot of the fun is in seeing how the song keeps topping itself. And also, a lot of what makes the song so entertaining are technical elements -- the theater magic that goes into the Genie's tricks -- none of which made it to the Tony stage. The night I saw Iglehart's performance I thought, this is the kind of role that wins a Tony, and I was happy for him (though it seemed to me he went up on the lyrics on tonight's telecast -- something seemed off at one point.)

Audra McDonald is one of the most beloved people in the theater business, as a performer and as a person, and it was pretty clear this evening. She's become the most awarded actor in history at a staggeringly young age. You have to imagine she'll have plenty of great roles for years to come, with probably more trophies in the future. (I also loved this Tweet from her husband, Les Mis star Will Swenson: I'm so excited to go to the Tony Awards with my beautiful wife -- between the two of us, we have won 5 Tony awards!!)

The After Midnight performance was well-done, but didn't I already see this show when it was called Ain't Misbehavin'? The Bullets Over Broadway number looked like a cut song from Guys and Dolls -- I'm not sure tap dancing gangsters is anything I need to see much more of. Along those lines, while "One Day More" is always a pretty irresistible number, I think I need a moratorium on Les Mis for a while. I did quite like the Violet number though -- musically at least, it was one of the best pieces performed.

Hugh Jackman was genial and entertaining as usual -- as with Ellen's award show gigs, I like it when the host isn't too snarky or mean-spirited. I didn't really get the opening number, though. What was with all the hopping? And, despite my familiarity with some of the shows, I still couldn't identify a number of them so early in the ceremony -- I can't imagine how the casual viewer (if any of those even watch this thing) would have felt baffled by what was happening. It seems to me that this show should remember most people HAVEN'T seen the productions nominated, and this is their first exposure to them.

The Music Man rap seemed like the kind of thing some old producer thought would be a fun way to appeal to the kids -- I sat sort of dumbstruck through that.

The tribute to Wicked's ten year anniversary felt a little strange given that Avenue Q ALSO just celebrated its decade anniversary (albeit with a move back Off Broadway), and, you know, Avenue Q actually WON the Tony.

I guess that's all I have for now.

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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby Okri » Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:26 pm

I knew it was wrong, but I didn't remember who won book for Hairspray. My bad.

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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:34 pm

Okri wrote:Schenkan's victory means that all five best play nominees have Tony awards for writing (Lapine for Into the Woods and Passion, McNally for Kiss of the Spider Woman, Ragtime, Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class, Shanley for Doubt, Fierstein for Torch Song Trilogy and Hairspray).

OK, I hate to be "the guy who does this", but Harvey's musical-writing Tony was for La Cage, not Hairspray.

So...mostly an unsurprising evening, except for Raisin in the Sun's run through several categories. Sophie Okonedo's win was for the same character Audra won for a decade back. Oddly, when Ruby Dee originated the role, she wasn't even nominated. (By the way, I heard some critics on NY1 talking about Okonedo as if she'd materialized from nowhere. Apparently an Oscar nomination doesn't mean as much as it used to) I'd hazard a guess that being the show still running at voting time may have helped the show over two other productions -- Twelfth Night and The Glass Menagerie -- that got more rhapsodic reviews.

I had mixed feelings about Gentleman's Guide winning -- I was happy that for once the road-show folks' choice lost to something better reviewed. On the other hand, a friend and I have been trying to get tickets through TDF for the past four weeks, and this win probably means we won't be seeing it for many months.

I mentioned earlier I'd gone to college with Jessie Mueller's parents, but I haven't seen them in several decades...so the shock of the evening for me was seeing how old they've got. (Note to self: avoid mirrors for a few days) Enjoyed the Mueller/King duet, but of course a baby boomer like myself is the target audience.

What a tribute for Audra. I doubt she'd get that kind of reception simply for breaking the Lansbury record, so it was either appreciation for this performance (which I hear is pretty wonderful) or a salute to maybe the biggest star Broadway has generated in recent decades. It was a moment of pure love.

Likewise, Neil Patrick Harris' ovation was partly for the (clearly) well-liked production, but also gratitude for what he's done to keep the Tonys aloft.

Hugh Jackman was mostly OK, though I thought that opening was a lot of energy expenditure to no particular purpose. He did have some funny lines, though, and his musical presentation of both female acting awards was an interesting idea.

I thought the numbers were hit and miss. I assume the Aladdin song is more elaborate in the theatre -- I didn't see anything that merited a leap to one's feet, which everyone tells me the number gets. I enjoyed the Gentleman's Guide number, but I kept thinking, the people who are sold by Disney aren't going to be prompted to buy tickets based on that. Lucky for the show it took best musical. I also liked Idina Menzel's rendition -- though the cameraman got a little too close and caught some odd facial contortions, she killed, especially with that last note.

By the way, loved Groff's tweaking of Travolta with his sly "wickedly". Also laughed out loud at Eastwood looking at the chair backstage.

More later, if I think of anything.

ON EDIT: It was so early in the evening it slipped my mind, but the After Midnight number was pretty good in familiar but fun way.

Mark Rylance finally gives a speech, and it's such a pleasing one that it makes you wish he'd been doing them all along.

There was supposed to have been an In Memoriam, but they cut it for time. Because we couldn't have done without that fifth-replacement-cast duet from Wicked.

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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby Okri » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:53 pm

Schenkan's victory means that all five best play nominees have Tony awards for writing (Lapine for Into the Woods and Passion, McNally for Kiss of the Spider Woman, Ragtime, Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class, Shanley for Doubt, Fierstein for Torch Song Trilogy and Hairspray).


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