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I'm sure Jack O'Brien is going to get taken to task for that one any minute, but I'm not going to be the one to do it. Anyone who's up for making the best theatre they can instead of whining about it gets my support. Is it easy for him to say, with the Lincoln Center's resources? Sure. Is that an excuse for the rest of us? Not a chance.

The main thing I came away from this year's broadcast with is definitely a desire to see The Coast of Utopia.

Other random impressions:

  • Jennifer Ehle looks weird blonde, and sounds weirder American, even though I know she was born here.
  • Spring Awakening looks -- and sounds -- more interesting than I expected it to. (I did, however, want to grab the hand mikes away from those poor kids and throw them at the head of whoever thought they were a good idea. The headset mikes in Rent are distracting enough!)
  • The Tonys work better with a host.
  • Ben Vereen gushing about presenting with his godson (Usher) was adorable, if a bit tangential.
  • Legally Blonde, which by rights should be a fluffy musical comedy in the all-but-forgotten classic sense, appears to be both unmusical and unfunny.
  • I want to like Grey Gardens, but have yet to find any of it appealing.
  • Mary Poppins looks overexpanded and unfocused.
  • My adoration for Audra McDonald borders on the idolatrous, but wow, no matter how hard she worked it, that number was dull. Doesn't 110 in the Shade have anything better to show off? If not (which I've sort of heard; I have two acquaintances who loathe it due to having been in two different productions), why on earth is she in it?
  • WTF moment: John Mahoney and Jane Krakowski stepping in as "understudies" for the ATW execs. O_o Yes, that speech is a little tedious every year. But y'know what? Every year there are kids somewhere who have NEVER HEARD IT BEFORE. Who don't know there are resources they can tap into even if their school and community have sod-all for drama. Who the hell thought it was a good idea to make it all but impossible to actually get that information in the midst of a cheap joke that wasn't even funny?
  • The note above? Applies in general. Seriously. The scripted jokes are always flatter than the Coke in that two-liter you opened last week. They've been that way for the 20+ years I've been watching the Tonys. Give it up already. Let your presenters have some class, and trust your winners to bring the funny. That's what we'll remember anyway.
  • Best "OMGMEREALLY?" speech: Julie White. Less convincing than some I've seen (let's face it, the only one I've ever really believed is Michael Crawford's "I'm due to be hit by a bus any day now," but I always love them anyway), but high on the charm scale. And seriously, when you're in that company, there's really no choice but to do some form of self-deprecating. Her form just happens to be high-energy comic.
  • Best exception to the aforementioned rule: Mary Louise Wilson. "I've always wondered if I would think they had made a mistake. And no. No, I don't." After forty-plus years of busting her butt, not a person in that house was going to begrudge her that!
  • Best gracious speech: Frank Langella. It's a stroke of luck that he had that "success in America" line to quote, but he could have made the same speech without it. Talk about around the block and back again -- the man who should never have found himself playing Skeletor in a foam mask knows exactly what he's talking about with the tension between wanting his colleagues to have a turn and being thankful it's his turn again. He radiates class in the visible spectrum.

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
sventhelost
Jun. 11th, 2007 05:57 pm (UTC)
My adoration for Audra McDonald borders on the idolatrous, but wow, no matter how hard she worked it, that number was dull. Doesn't 110 in the Shade have anything better to show off? If not (which I've sort of heard; I have two acquaintances who loathe it due to having been in two different productions), why on earth is she in it?

What song did she sing? I just saw it on Broadway this Saturday, and she was FABULOUSOCITY!
wiliqueen
Jun. 11th, 2007 06:03 pm (UTC)
"Raunchy." It was fun for about a verse, and then I was like "OMG, I get it already!"
sventhelost
Jun. 11th, 2007 06:09 pm (UTC)
Hrm. Yeah, I wouldn't have picked that.

It was a fun number at that point in the play, and it probably has the best staging options. And you only need one person singing, IIRC. But...

Yeah, I'd have said the Old Maid song was better, because it was sooo powerful. I was crying. Erm, which is not necessarily just because I have issues. ;)
wiliqueen
Jun. 11th, 2007 06:13 pm (UTC)
Oh, dear. I think I need to hear that, then. See, all my favorite songs of hers are the ones that make me cry: "Your Daddy's Son," "I Won't Mind," "How Glory Goes"...
sventhelost
Jun. 11th, 2007 06:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah, definitely check this one out, then. And I loved "Simple Little Things," too.

*goes back to worshiping Audra McDonald"
neadods
Jun. 11th, 2007 08:43 pm (UTC)
Through the McDonald musical number I kept wondering how old McCallum was. He wasn't a spring chicken in the days of Northern Exposure. Agree with you about Mary Poppins and Legally Blonde... but then, I don't particularly approve of musicals made from movies. Dude, bring something new to the table that's more than a dance number!
wiliqueen
Jun. 11th, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC)
Dude. Seventy-seven. O_O He looks the same as he has for, like, 20 years! amilyn and I saw him play Don Quixote for real at the MUNY in St. Louis about ten years ago. I got to tell him John Cullum was better than John O'Malley. :-)

I don't mind the movie-to-Broadway thing as long as it's done well, but it's definitely a tall order.
studiesinlight
Jun. 12th, 2007 05:51 am (UTC)
>"the man who should never have found himself playing Skeletor in a foam mask"

This made me laugh, because my back-brain burbled: "Yes, if only there had been no foam mask, that would have made all the difference!" ;-)
wiliqueen
Jun. 12th, 2007 01:37 pm (UTC)
*rueful chuckle* Well, apart from making it not Skeletor... It just added insult to injury somehow, y'know? There's a right way to take away a brilliant actor's ability to use his face (viz. V for Vendetta). And then there's any other way...
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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