Liveblogging The Tonys

Ken AshfordPopular Culture3 Comments

Lg_tonys2007_posterI’m going to enjoy this year’s Tonys more than usual, because I saw Spring Awakening (expected to sweep most musical awards) and Curtains (not expected to do well) a few months ago.

Heather did the early work so I don’t have to (also because I missed it):

7:30pm – first award! The Jersey Boys present the award for best orchestrations to Duncan Sheik for Spring Awakening! His acceptance speech was so beautiful! I almost cried!

7:32pm – Best Lighting for a Play – Coast of Utopia. Ken did say to pick this one for everything! So far I am 2 for 2! Why did they need 3 people to design lighting for this show?

7:36pm – Best Lighting for a Musical – Spring Awakening! They are going to sweep this thing.

7:39pm – Best Costume Design of a Play – The Coast of Utopia. I am only 3 for 4 now as I chose Mary Poppins for best lighting for a Musical.

7:41pm – Best Costume Design for a Musical – Grey Gardens. I think that makes me 3 for 5 because I was sure Legally Blonde would won. Oh well, William Ivey Long says he was sure Spring Awakening would win. I guess we were both wrong.

7:44pm – Best Scenic Design of a Play – The Coast of Utopia. 4/6

7:46pm – Best Scenic Design of a Musical – Mary Poppins. 5/7

7:50pm – The Jersey Boys were hysterical in their little run down before the show. I have never seen them give those directions to people about how many seconds they have and when they can use the bathroom. Too funny! Now we just wait for the show to start!

Okay, I’m 6 for 7.  Like Heather, I missed best costumes for a musical.  I picked Mary Poppins.

8:00 pm:  Here we go.  I just want to say that Marvin Hamlisch is fat.  I like the outdoor thing.  Like the list of presenters.

8:05 pm:  Angela looks great.

Best Featured Actor in a Play:  No surprise.  I knew it would be either Crudup or Hawke from Coast of Utopia.  But I said Hawke, so I have to stick with it.  6 out of 8.

8:10 pm:  SOOOOOO glad John Gallagher won for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Spring Awakening)!  I figured him for being upset.  I’m glad I was wrong!!  How great for a young actor.  6 out of 9.

8:15 pm: Curtains coming up.  I just didn’t like that show.

8:20 pm: Best Book — Steven Sater for Spring Awakening.  He has a son?  "Obviously adopted" says Cheryl.  He’s losing it.  7 out of 10.

Here comes the song from Curtains.  Hold on.  It’s a shame that the great team of Kander & Ebb ended their career together with such a sub-par show. 

Nice standing O for Kander.

Ugh.  The Curtains number.  David Hyde Pierce (the only good thing about the show) is still doing that Boston accent that he was doing in the preview show I saw.

This number is unmemorable.  Like the rest of Curtains.

8:35 pm:  Idina looks well.

Best Original Score:  Duncan Shiek and Sater for Spring Awakening.  No surprise.  "Musical theatre rocks!"  Yes, indeed, Duncan.

I’m 8 out of 11.

8:38 pm: Mary Louise Wilson (Grey Gardens) wins Best Featured Actress in Musical.  Very funny acceptance speech from a longtime Broadway vet.  (9/12 for me)

Are they doing excerpts for revivals as well?

Audra MacDonald rocks.

8:50 pm: Best Choreography for Bill Jones for Spring Awakening.  To be honest, this is a bit of surprise.  There simply wasn’t a lot of dancing in the show.  He’s riding on the coattails of everyone else.  (9/13 for me).  I still think Jerry Mitchell should have won (Legally Blonde).

Best Feaatured Actress in a Play: Jennifer Ehle for Coast of Utipoa.  I predicted the other woman, Martha Plimpton. (9/14)

The song from Mary Poppins.  I can’t get excited about this show.  Just part of the awful Disneyfication of Broadway.  Wait 6 years, and every community theater in the country will be doing this show all at the same time.  Kinda like Beauty and the Beast.

9:09 pm:  Harry Smith?  Why?  Nice montage to plays — I wish they could have done more.

Hey, Liev.  Great actor.  I hope he wins later, but I don’t think he will.

Love Eddie Izzard.  Hope to see his standup sometime.  Best Special Theatrical Event — who cares?  Of course, with a 50/50 shot, I of course pick the wrong one.  (9/15).

Best Direction goes to Jack O’Brien for Coast of Utopia. (10/16).  Not a surprise.

9:22 pm: Cute chandelier thing.  I was just about to tune out.  Jesus, John Mahoney looks old.

Ooops they tried to bleep the "goddamn" and missed.  Heh.

And I say again, Marvin Hamlisch is faaaaaaaaaat.

Musicals of the year montage — is that Didi Conn in Luvemusik?  I LOVE her!  I guess this is the montage of rather shitty musicals.  Except for Legally Blonde.

9:30 pm:  Harry Connick, Jr.  Just saw him in Bug (the movie).  He played a baddie.

Best Director of Musical: Michael Mayer for Spring Awakening.  Yaaay! (11/17)  How many has it won so far?  Seven.  Seven!

Raul Esparza sings "Being Alive" from Company.  He will win later, as will Company for Best Revival.  He’s very good.  I’m not a big fan of the song (it was THE audition song 20 years ago, and I got sick of it), but he’s nailing it.  WOW!

9:40 pm:  Best Play — is there any doubt?  Oh, they psyched me out.  It’s Best Revival.  I guessed Journey’s End, but they are all good.

And I was right. 12 out of 18.  Don’t know much about this play, but it looks interesting.

The Tribute to the dead:  I’ll miss Kitty Carlyle, Charles Nelson Reilly, Roscoe Lee Brown, Mako, and Bernard Hughes.

Battery running low here.  Uh-oh.

Man, CBS is really plugging this new Las Vegas series — Viva Melanie Griffith.  Or whatever.

9:50 pm: Got to love Kevin Spacey.  Best Musical Revival.  Company.  I guessed right — 13 out of 19.  Whoops.  Went a little over in your speechtime, boys.

10:00 pm: Best Leading Actress: Julie White (The Little Dog Laughed).  I thought she might upset Angela and Vanessa.  Actually, not really an upset, since she was the odds-on favorite.  Very funny speech.  13 out of 20.  What a loon, but she certainly zapped some energy in to the show.

10:10 pm:  Battery died, and Cheryl is letting me use her laptop.  Just so long as I don’t have greasy popcorn fingers. 

This Jersey Boys revival isn’t very good.  A bit of disappointment.

Best Leading Actor: What a great category.  They are phenomenal actors.  Frank Langella won, as I predicted.  I saw him years ago in "Dracula".  Fantastic actor.  Don’t worry, Liev.  Your day will come (14 out of 21, I think).

10:15 pm:  Patrick Wilson ("Full Monty") introduces Christine Ebersol doing Grey Gardens.  Nice song, I guess.  I don’t know the music from Grey Gardens, and that song didn’t sell me.

I swear to God — if I see one more ad for that Las Vegas show on CBS, I’m going to go postal.

10:25 pm:  NOW it’s Best Play — Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia.  This is one of the few geniuses of the theater — at least in the playwriting arena.  The Real Thing is one of my favorite plays. (15 out of 22)

10:30 pm:  FINALLY!  The Spring Awakening segment!  Ugh — they’ve sanitized it!  How can you sing the song "Totally Fucked" without singing the word "fucked"?  I mean, I guess you HAVE to, but why edit some of the other words from "The Bitch of Living" — especially if you are going to use the word "bitch"? 

I mean, instead of saying "let those apples fall" (meaning breasts), they sing "Oh I want it all"?  Laaame.

Good performance though.  High energy despite the censorship.

10:42 pm:  Not a big Fantasia fan.  I’m zoning out.  Why are we plugging a show that is from last year?

10:45 pm:  We’re getting to the big ones.

Bernadette and Harvey.  I can’t take his voice.

DAVID HYDE PIERCE for Best Actor in a Musical????   Holy carp!  Now that was an upset!  To his credit, he was the best thing in Curtains.  He carried that show on his back, and he deserves the award.  I picked it wrong.  Amazing about Raul not getting it though.  15 out of 23.

Christine Ebersol bags the Best Actress in a Musical. as everybody said she would.  (16 out of 24).

10:55 pm: Last award of the evening.  Not even necessary to guess.  If it’s not Spring Awakening, I don’t know what to say.

And it is. Holy shit.  Tom Hulce is almost as fat as Marvin Hamlisch.

They’re done, and so am I. I think I got 17 out of 25.  Pretty respectable.

UPDATE:  New York Times write-up.  Spring Awakening took 8 Tonys altogether.  Associated Press says it is a record-breaker:

"Spring Awakening," a pounding post-rock musical of teenage sexual anxiety, and Tom Stoppard’s "The Coast of Utopia," a sprawling tale of 19th century Russian intellectuals, dominated the 2007 Tony Awards Sunday.

"Spring Awakening" captured eight awards, including best musical, and "The Coast of Utopia" had seven, including best play, a Tony record. The previous record was six, held by "Death of A Salesman" and "History Boys."

Is this true?

Okay.  Did a little googling.  The AP article is correct, but confusing (or perhaps I’ve had too much wine).  "The Coast of Utopia" won the most Tonys for a non-musical (with seven).  The Producers still holds the most for a musical, with a total of 12.