Hours after the 2016 Tony Awards, Gold Derby’s in-house Tony trio – Executive Editor Paul Sheehan, contributing writer Sam Eckmann and myself – met via webcam with contributing writer Charles Bright to discuss the biggest surprises of the awards ceremony and our reactions to James Corden as host (watch above).
After breezing through some of our missteps in the Creative categories, we focus on why three of the four of us incorrectly picked Savion Glover (“Shuffle Along”) to win Best Choreography over Andy Blankenbuehler (“Hamilton). I suggest that Blankenbuehler’s choreography was perhaps more “innovative” than Glover’s, while Charlie chalks it up to Blankenbuehler being “caught in the sweep of ‘Hamilton.’”
Yet “Hamilton,” with a record 16 nominations was not able to match the record 12 wins chalked up by “The Producers” in 2001. It had the potential to win 13 races, but lost in Best Actress (Cynthia Erivo prevailed for “The Color Purple”) and Scenic Design (After five losses, David Rockwell finally won a Tony for “She Loves Me.”)
Had “Hamilton” not entered the field this season, Sam predicts “Fiddler on the Roof” star Danny Burstein would have easily walked away with the Best Actor in a Musical trophy, and he reveals his competitive side to us when he admits that he almost encouraged Paul to predict Burstein instead of eventual victor Leslie Odom, Jr. (“Hamilton”) so that he would get the category wrong!
Commenting on the overall telecast, I commend Corden for presiding over a “happy, celebratory” ceremony, while Paul praises the opening number for its “message of empowerment.” Charlie, after complimenting Corden for his delivery of the ceremony’s dedication to Orlando, critiqued the disjointed beginning of the show.
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