TONYS Wrap Up

For all the awesome people who love musical theatre, I thought I’d do a wrap-up of the best awards show of the year – the TONYS!

Neil Patrick Harris is king
Neil Patrick Harris is king

There were no less than 13 musical performances from current and future musicals on Broadway, as well as a few other potentially questionable numbers.

Without a doubt the best performance of the night award went to Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Hedwig won best revival of a musical, best lighting design, best actor in a leading role in a musical (Neil Patrick Harris), and best actress in a featured role in a musical (Lena Hall). And yes that’s Lena Hall barely recognisable as Yitzhak in the video below. If you’re not impressed by the two of them in this clip then there’s actually something wrong with you. I absolutely love the fact that NPH pashes his husband mid-performance. If I could have seen one Broadway show this year it would have been Hedwig no question. The performance of NPH’s life.

Unfortunately, NPH’s role in a musical this year made it difficult for him to host. So we got the supposed next best thing in Hugh Jackman. The opening number was possibly the worst I’ve ever seen. Apparently it’s a tribute to some old film. I just sat there wondering “WHY DOES HE KEEP JUMPING?”

The closing number was also pretty weak when you compare it to the Lin-Manuel Miranda penned wrap ups of Tonys past.

The most hotly contested award was best actress in a leading role in a musical. I was personally rooting for Sutton Foster who KILLS IT every goddamn time she steps onto a stage. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing her in both Anything Goes and Shrek the Musical on Broadway and she has fast risen to the top of my list for Broadway superstars. Watch her previous performances here and here for further evidence of her awesomeness. This year she was nominated for relatively unknown musical, Violet, and as usual she kills it.

My second choice was Idina Menzel because Idina Menzel. And if anyone STILL doesn’t know who she is, then seriously get the hell out of my life. For further evidence of her amazingness see here, here and here. This year she was nominated for new musical, If/Then. If/Then was also nominated for best original score by the geniuses Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, who wrote one of the best scores of all time, Next to Normal. I’ve only just downloaded the If/Then cast recording so time will tell how it compares. Jonathan Groff’s joke at the start here cracked me up.

Kelli O’Hara was nominated for the fifth time for the (unfairly) short-lived The Bridges of Madison County. The fact that it had closed recently made her odds pretty slim, and maybe also the fact that her fake Italian accent is pretty grating. But there’s no denying she is a phenomenal talent. She was amazing when I saw her in South Pacific. It’s unfortunate there was no musical number for Bridges, considering it was the winner of best original score by the master, Jason Robert Brown. The Tonys don’t even broadcast this category either which is a bit of a wank. I would have much preferred a Bridges performance over the previews of upcoming musicals The Last Ship and Finding Neverland – those Peter Pan kids were unbearable and J-Hud isn’t even going to be in it so what the eff. WHERE WAS JEREMY JORDAN? To see what you missed out on:

But as to THE WINNER: Jessie Mueller. I saw her in 2011 in her Broadway debut in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever where her talent was obvious. NOW SHE HAS A TONY! I was rooting for Sutton but it was still great to see Jessie come away with the win. She is currently starring as Carole King in Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. And here she got to sing with THE Carole King.

The other nominee was Mary Bridget Davies for A Night with Janis Joplin. I don’t know anything about her or this musical and if she had won I would have been pissed. No offence Mary but I LOVE MY BROADWAY DIVAS!

For once, the best musical category was probably the one I was the least interested in. The winner was A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder which was up against After Midnight, Aladdin, and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. It looks potentially entertaining, but the score doesn’t excite me. It was nominated for pretty much everything and also won best direction of a musical, best book of a musical, and best costume design of a musical.

After Midnight received universally great reviews and is more of a revue than a musical but looks great. It won for best choreography – check it:

Disney’s Aladdin scored a best musical nomination, but more importantly James Monroe Iglehart WON for best actor in a featured role in a musical. I LOVE THAT GUY! I saw him bust a move in Memphis (<— seriously CHECK OUT THIS CLIP, IT’S AMAZING) and he makes a brilliant genie. I hope Aladdin comes to Aus.

The end of his speech is also worth a watch to see him ‘Praise Shout’. This guy is awesome.

The three nominees for best revival of a musical were Hedwig and the Angry Inch (winner), Violet, and powerhouse Les Misérables. The Broadway cast showed the movie cast how to do a REAL awards show performance. Ramin Karimloo is THE SHIT!

There was some more cool tapping from Bullets Over Broadway, and further performances from Rocky and Cabaret though these were somewhat underwhelming. Same goes for the Wicked performance (celebrating it’s 10th anniversary) – those witches ain’t no Idina & Kristin. Yes, there is a musical of Rocky. Even I find that a bit weird.

I’m not usually that interested in the play categories, however Audra McDonald was up for her sixth Tony award as Billie Holiday in the musical play, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. AND SHE WON! AUDRA IS GOD! She has now won in all four performance categories and has six total. BOO-YA! That standing O was well-deserved.

All that’s left is The Music Man rap starring LL Cool J, T. I. and Hugh Jackman. This was weird, but was worth it to see James Monroe Iglehart in the audience bust a move once more. But yeah, if this is making musical theatre ‘cool’ then let’s just keep it uncool.

It was clearly an amazing year on Broadway and an enjoyable awards show to boot. But please bring back Neil Patrick Harris to host again next year.

What were your highlights?

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