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Monday, June 16, 2008


Stage Addiction: Monday Morning Quarterbacking Edition

Some guesses as to the fallout of last night's Tony Awards:

In The Heights' four trophies -- including the vaunted Best Musical -- ensures that it will have an extensive U.S. national tour, and probably a berth in London in 2009-2010. The same can already be said of August: Osage County, The 39 Steps and Boeing-Boeing (the latter two have already been to London). Less predictable at this point are the tour plans for the musical revivals; Gypsy is built around the aura of Madame LuPone (who doesn't tour anymore), while South Pacific is settling in for a multi-year stint in NYC before it takes any next steps.

GOODBYE, LITTLE DREAM, GOODBYE: If you still want to see shut-out shows like
Xanadu, A Catered Affair, and Cry-Baby -- or even the virtually shut-out, critically-acclaimed Passing Strange -- buy tickets very, very soon. Because none of these four will live to see the end of summer. (All were already struggling at the box office before the Tonys, and with no help on the way, the producers are left with few options.)

CRAP LIVES FOREVER: You might think that
The Little Mermaid and Young Frankenstein might also close soon...after all, neither of them won anything last night, either. But you'd be underestimating both. Frankenstein is the shakier of the two, but it will hold on to Christmas at least...long enough to get a solid tour in place, where it will make big money playing to Mel Brooks fans across America. Mermaid, despite being critically panned and awards-free, is turning into one of the bigger tourist draws on Broadway...and Disney will keep it that way, marking to little girls (and their parents) for years to come.

MY I-TOLD-YOU-SO MOMENT: Only one award went to an already-closed production last night -- Jim Norton's much-deserved supporting actor win for The Seafarer. And in that case, voters didn't have a choice...they had to pick from five nominees all from closed shows. So follow this rule: closed shows don't win Tonys. (Usually.) If you don't think the Tonys are about selling tickets, you need no further proof than this result tonight.

BIG WINNERS: Boeing-Boeing and The 39 Steps probably extended their lives by a number of months, if not more. Paulo Szot can now pick whatever show he'd like as his Broadway follow-up...if he decides to make a career in the theatre, before going back to opera. Deanna Dunagan has already left August: Osage County
, like most of the Chicago cast...but she'll be back, count on it. Probably two seasons from now. I'm guessing a revival of a classic. Take it to the bank.

BEST MOMENT(S): God, I miss that original cast of Rent. And God, I love Sunday in the Park with George (which closes in a week, so hurry if you want to see it). And God, A Catered Affair was totally robbed. And Whoopi in the boat with the Phantom was priceless.

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Blogger Brian Doan said...

I loved that number from Sunday In The Park, too-- that and the Sondheim speech that Mandy Patinkin read were my two favorite moments of the show (although I liked the In The Heights number, too).

6/16/08, 12:51 AM  
Blogger Vance said...

I think I love Daniel Evans. He was my "should" pick for Best actor but up close on TV... he's DREAMY... I wish I could come back before it closes to see it again but sadly I can't.

And I guess I won't be able to easily win the lottery anymore for In the Heights. Damnit. Great for them. Bad for me because I SO want to see that (and Passing Strange and Xanadu and Gypsy) again!

And thank goodness I bought South Pacific tickets already. Whew. I probably should have bought more though eh?

6/16/08, 1:06 AM  
Blogger Esther said...

Of all the shows I didn't see, the one I regret not seeing the most is Sunday in the Park with George.

And I love In the Heights. I think it's got a great message: that we're still a nation of immigrants and we're better for it. I loved Lin-Manuel Miranda's shoutout to Stephen Sondheim.

I thought Stew's speech when he accepted the Tony for Best Book was lame, and his funny glasses when they showed the nominees for Best Actor in a Musical were classless. Ugh.

I liked Passing Strange, though, and I thought Daniel Breaker was amazing. But I respected it more than I loved it. Whereas In the Heights got to me emotionally. It's the one I really want to see again.

I hope The 39 Steps gets a little lift. I really, really enjoyed it.

Mark Rylance bewildered me.

I'm thrilled for August: Osage County because it shows that there's great theater going on all over the country. Plus, Rondi Reed is a wonderful, gracious woman in addition to being a hoot on stage. I'm so happy for her!

6/16/08, 1:51 AM  
Blogger Nick Davis said...

Letts! Steppenwolf! Patti shouting out to Ravinia! Chicago Shakespeare Theater! It was the most Chicago-centric Tony Awards in memory, so I'm sure we're all feeling very smug in our midwestern city.

Good bewildering: Mark Rylance. Truly strange and a whole new way of taking the piss out of the show.

Bad bewildering: Faith Prince. A Catered Affair might be wonderful, but she was awfully wobbly in that number. It's one thing to be vocally unpolished in service of the character but another to be in search of a note and a key.

Favorite moment of the night: Tracy Letts, thanking his producers for doing the "unimaginable" and bringing "an American play, with theater actors, to Broadway." I will always dislike the Tonys a little for treating the musicals like royalty and the plays like dirt, offering very little corrective to audiences' tendency to do the same thing, and I cheered when Letts stood up for his art.

6/16/08, 10:05 AM  
Blogger Dorian said...

Noo! Xanadu better not close before I get down to the states (mid-August). I've resigned myself to missing Sunday, and Top Girls, because of the limited engagements, but if Xanadu is no longer an option either, I shall cry. Because I adore Kerry Butler, and what I've heard about the show sounds appealing.

6/17/08, 11:22 AM  
Blogger soulbrotha said...

Passing Strange was robbed, plain and simple. I saw it twice and was exhilarated both times! Come on, just Best Book??

6/17/08, 3:33 PM  

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