All The Way won the New York Drama Critics Circle award for Best American Play (The Night Alive won Best Play and Fun Home won Best Musical) – what does this mean, if anything, for the Best Play award at June 8th’s Tony Awards?
I found the reviews of the play respectful but the consensus (sp?) seemed to me to be that the play took on too much history and needed to be more specific. The reviews focused more on the acting performances, esp. Bryan Cranston and Michael McKean. I noticed a lack of interest in any of the pruduction aspects for this show.
All 5 of the plays got (to some degree or another) mixed reviews.
Casa Valentina got similar reviews to All The Way, except that the design aspects were more appreciated. Different critics preferred different cast members. Almost everyone was disappointed in the second act and felt that writing dissipited with a poor ambiguous ending (however, some bloggers felt this was a good thing about the play).
Outside Mullinger got mixed reviews. I almost felt like the play got one of those grammar school report cards: “imcomplete”!!! The acting was appreciated, but not as much as the many terrific revivals on broadway this past season.
Mothers and Sons also got respectful but not overwhelming reviews. This is the play that most appeals to me personally, particularly since I have fond memories of Andre’s Mother. Again, the critics seemed to feel the play was incomplete….
Act One got the most interesting reviews – fondness for the source book by Moss Hart got the valentines, and the play’s design elements were lauded, and they loved Tony Shalhoub’s performance, but the play tried to contain the entire book, instead of focusing in on one part of the story (the writing of the play Once In a Lifetime; btw, I saw the movie of the play in a terrible YouTube video and it was fascinating). Bloggers seemed to feel that this story, about second act problems, had serious first act problems! (;
I dunno what is going to win. All the Way? Act One? Casa Valentina? I think we can safely rule out Mothers and Sons and Outside Mullinger, but who knows for sure? I think this is one category where voters are going to vote their own hearts and personal biases, which will make for an interesting outcome!
Whatever wins, it will be the worst Best Play winner in a looooooong time.
Its really hard to get excited about any of these winning. I agree that Mothers and Sons likely doesn’t have the muscle to win. I enjoyed it, but its dying at the box office (its probably not helping that they are advertising to gay men and ONLY gay men). Outside Mullingar is absolutely the fifth place entry that just skirted in.
So that leaves Casa Valentina, Act One, and All the Way. Act One and Casa Valentina have the most support across the board (play, acting, design) but that doesn’t always matter for this category (see: last year). All the Way has just two nominations but is the sales juggernaut and definitely has the biggest buzz/word of mouth going for it. It also likely has best actor in the bag. Anyone of these three could take it really. I suspect votes will be just as evenly divided as they were for the nomination process which lead to five nominees.