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The Tonys: Surprises, Frustrations, and Jubilations

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  • Anthony
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    #430998

    After reading the thread about Christian Hoff’s surprising Tony win, I thought I would create a topic where we can just discuss upset/surprise wins, wins or nominations that baffled us, and about close races, etc….

    I figured I’d start the ball rolling with some topics, but feel free to comment or bring up new topics as well!

    FOSSE and CONTACT winning Best Musical in 1999 and 2000, respectfully, were two of the worst Best Musical wins ever. You can make a case for the latter as it was nominated in a very weak field (I’d probably give to James Joyce’s The Dead by default), but I can’t get behind FOSSE’s win because of PARADE being nominated. Sure, it closed quickly and had a polorizing response but dear God, JRB’s score is stunning, the book was great, the acting was top-notch….what are your thoughts on these two wins?

    Also, THE LION KING may have been a visual feast for the eyes and was superbly directed, but it wasn’t a well written or structured show….which is why RAGTIME won Book and Score….and yet, it still annoys me that RAGTIME lost the Tony for Musical despite being the overall astounding achievement because it had such power and emotion and even it had the massive tech appeal….not to mention a cast that included Brian Stokes Mitchell, Audra McDonald, Peter Friedman, Judy Kaye, Mark Jacoby, and Marin Mazzie at the top of their game.

    I need to think more about acting wins, but here is a start!

    Comment away!!    

              

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    allabout oscars
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    #431000

    I agree about  RAGTIME.!!!
     Losing to The Lion King was ridiculous to me..
    RAGTIME , one of my all time favorites had it all!!!

    Marin Mazzie losing for  KISS ME KATE .
    i was so disappointed that Aida won anything,
    especially lead actress for Heather Hedley

    Patti Lupone losing for  ANYTHING GOES
    bothers me… she lost to cheesey Joanna Gleason
    for a show i dont care for…INTO THE WOODS
    For me, Sondheims worst!!

    of course , for me, the ultimate disgrace was
    Carol Channing winning over Barbra Streisand
    in FUNNY GIRL

    I thought Matthew Broderick  deserved the lead actor
    tony for THE PRODUCERS  over Nathan Lane, who
    in my opinion, mugged his way through the entire show.

    Denzel Washington in  FENCES  defeating Alfred Molina
    in RED was awful….

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #431001

    I strongly agree about Fosse and Contact.  Awful.

    Patti Lupone losing for  ANYTHING GOES
    bothers me… she lost to cheesey Joanna Gleason
    for a show i dont care for…INTO THE WOODS
    For me, Sondheims worst!!

    I think Joanna Gleason might be one of my absolute favorite Tony wins ever.  I don’t think anyone can fit that role better.  Her timing and effortlessness is brilliant.  And Into the Woods is my favorite Sondheim.  I’m confused as to why you call her performance “cheesy.”  Sure, Act One is cheesy.  But it’s playing into the cheesiness of fairy tales.  But without Act One, Act Two wouldn’t be nearly as powerful.  And yet.. you think Anything Goes ISN’T cheesy??  It’s about as hoaky as you can get!  (But don’t get me wrong.. I still love it.)

     

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #431002

    of course , for me, the ultimate disgrace was
    Carol Channing winning over Barbra Streisand
    in FUNNY GIRL

    And THIS… well.. I’m just going to pretend like I didn’t hear you say that. 

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #431003

    Also, I LOVE Avenue Q AND Wicked.  Both are great shows.  I was actually thrilled when Ave Q surprised the world and won.

    HOWEVER.

    Caroline, or Change should have won every single award that night.  I think it’s the greatest musical of the new century. 

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    Trent
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    #431004

    Sutton Foster winning over Patina Miller was a bit upsetting for me even though Sutton was the overwhelming frontrunner.

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    GoMe91
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    #431005

    I disagree with you all. Ragtime is probably in my top 5. I love the musical to death (and that opening is so very strong). However…I don’t have a problem with The Lion King winning. Yes, it’s based on a Disney movie. But, before that show came, there was virtually nothing like it on Broadway. The songs are beautiful. The visuals are wonderful. I think those factors make it deserving enough. (And it’s still on Broadway today so clearly it made a bigger impact than Ragtime…I know that’s not a great argument but I’m sticking with it!).

    Avenue Q/Wicked/Caroline or Change…what a strong year. I agree. I think Caroline or Change and Tonya Pinkins shoulda won the Tony, even though I love Avenue Q. But the fact that Avenue Q beat the overrated Wicked is great enough for me! 

    I don’t like that Memphis beat Fela. That stunk. The Jersey Boys beating The Color Purple or The Dorwsy Chaperone was diappointing. Spammalot beating The Light in the Piazza stunk. 

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #431006

    I disagree with you all. Ragtime is probably in my top 5. I love the musical to death (and that opening is so very strong). However…I don’t have a problem with The Lion King winning. Yes, it’s based on a Disney movie. But, before that show came, there was virtually nothing like it on Broadway. The songs are beautiful. The visuals are wonderful. I think those factors make it deserving enough. (And it’s still on Broadway today so clearly it made a bigger impact than Ragtime…I know that’s not a great argument but I’m sticking with it!).

    Avenue Q/Wicked/Caroline or Change…what a strong year. I agree. I think Caroline or Change and Tonya Pinkins shoulda won the Tony, even though I love Avenue Q. But the fact that Avenue Q beat the overrated Wicked is great enough for me! 

    I don’t like that Memphis beat Fela. That stunk. The Jersey Boys beating The Color Purple or The Dorwsy Chaperone was diappointing. Spammalot beating The Light in the Piazza stunk. 

    I agree with you about Ragtime/The Lion King.  I think Ragtime is one of the greatest musicals of all time.  That score is perfect.  Simply perfect.  And the book is fantastic.  I definitely would have voted for it over The Lion King.  However, I can totally understand why someone would vote for The Lion King over Ragtime.  It is a brilliant production.

    And I can’t believe I forgot about SPAMALOT!  Awful win.  Seriously, one of the worst things I have ever seen on Broadway.  It’s definitely my least favorite Best Musical winner of all time.  At least Fosse and Contact had great dancing.  I felt like there was nothing redeeming at all about Spamalot.  I could have just watched the movie at my house.  It’s cheaper and funnier.

    I also would have given last year’s Best Actor in a Musical award to Tony Sheldon for Priscilla: Queen of the Desert.

    And I think it’s a shame that Legally Blonde didn’t get a best musical nomination in 2007.  A great production of a truly great contemporary musical comedy.

    And I think it’s a darn shame that The Scottsboro Boys went home empty handed last year.  Ditto with The Music Man revival in 2000 and The Sound of Music revival in 1998.

    And the 2010 Tony awards should just be erased from everyone’s memory.  Such a bad year for Broadway only to look even worse by the Tony broadcast being such a complete mess.  An awful awards ceremony along with the most obnoxious display of celebrity pimping I’ve ever seen. 

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    Karl William
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    #431007

    I’m going to have to go with Next to Normal losing to Billy Elliot. Next to Normal was the most creative and well rounded musical of that year. It should have actually won Lighting, Directing, and Sound Design (just for the difficulty of mixing from different points on the stage) that year as well. While score and orchestrations were great consolation prizes, it really should have won 7 awards that year (Musical, Actress, Sound Design, Lighting, Directing, Score and Orchestrations.)

    Also, that piece of sh!t Memphis over American Idiot. Which should have been nominated and won orchestrations.

    And Ragtime of course should have won over Lion King. And the recent revival should have won and deserved a much longer run.

    One last one. Ann Harada should be a Tony winner for Avenue Q. Now I’m done.

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    Trent
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    #431008

    Yes, Wicked received mixed reviews and Avenue Q deserved Best Musical, but I think Wicked deserved Best Score. It was the show’s strongest point, and, beyond being a take on The Wizard of Oz, is what it’s known for. Defying Gravity will probably go down as one of the greatest “rebellious character anthems” of all time. For Good is an ode to friendship surviving through thick and thin everywhere. No Good Deed is an ode to passionate love. The Wizard and I is an ode to hopes and dreams. Popular is an ode to looking confident on the outside but secretly being insecure on the inside. Sure, Avenue Q has these themes too but the melodies are so basic that it’s almost as though a beginner wrote them. I would have definitely voted for Wicked for score if I was voting that year.

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #431009

    Yes, Wicked received mixed reviews and Avenue Q deserved Best Musical, but I think Wicked deserved Best Score. It was the show’s strongest point, and, beyond being a take on The Wizard of Oz, is what it’s known for. Defying Gravity will probably go down as one of the greatest “rebellious character anthems” of all time. For Good is an ode to friendship surviving through thick and thin everywhere. No Good Deed is an ode to passionate love. The Wizard and I is an ode to hopes and dreams. Popular is an ode to looking confident on the outside but secretly being insecure on the inside. Sure, Avenue Q has these themes too but the melodies are so basic that it’s almost as though a beginner wrote them. I would have definitely voted for Wicked for score if I was voting that year.

    It’s true that Wicked does have some incredible numbers (What is This Feeling?, The Wizard and I, Defying Gravity, Popular, etc.)… but it also has some pretty big duds (As Long as You’re Mine, Wonderful).  I think Avenue Q is much more consistent of a score.  Also, it’s simplicity is perfectly intentional.

    Still… I think Caroline, Or Change’s score trumps both! 

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    Trent
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    #431010

    I must be the only person who didn’t like Caroline, Or Change. I did, however, enjoy Tonya Pinkins’ performance, although I don’t think it is possible to have watched Idina Menzel perform No Good Deed and not vote for her.

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    Anthony
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    #431011

    Thank you all for those who commented so far!! I want to comment on other topics that came up so here goes:

    Thank you ikarlito!! Ann Harada not even getting nominated when she should have won Best Featured Actress is one of the worst omissions I can think of! Her reviews were stellar, too! “The More You Ruv Someone” is pure genius. Also, Stephanie J. Block should have been in the running for THE BOY FROM OZ that same year.

    BILLY ELLIOT and SPRING AWAKENING are both vastly overrated, IMO and I think that the former should have lost to NEXT TO NORMAL or my personal favorite, the snubbed [title of show]…..the latter should have lost to GREY GARDENS.

    The RAGTIME revival was very good, but much of the spark was lost for me. If it had one, I still would have supported it, but I think the intimate, sweet, and scaled-down LA CAGE AUX FOLLES revival was one of the most delightful Broadway shows I have seen. Much better than the bloated Gary Beach version from 2005.

    MEMPHIS winning Musical was simply due to the fact that there was nothing good competing against it, and it was the only original show nominated. I honestly can’t think of any other year where MEMPHIS could have been nominated and actually could have pulled off the win. I think even CONTACT would have still won. My favorite musical that season was EVERYDAY RAPTURE, which was the only true great musical that season…..I would have even nominated THE ADDAMS FAMILY and given it the win before MEMPHIS or any of the other nominees.

    LEGALLY BLONDE definitely should have been nominated over MARY POPPINS.

    I support Norbert Leo Butz’s win for CATCH ME IF YOU CAN but I do think he could have been bumped to Featured to spare us of John Larroquette’s win….then I, too, would have given the win to Tony Sheldon.

    I don’t hate SPAMALOT but it is probably my least favorite of the nominees that year. Personally, I would have given the win to THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA but also THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE was a worthy choice, as it had an amazing book, while the former had the better score. DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS was also a good show, as well.

    I think Joanna Gleason winning for INTO THE WOODS was a deserving win, esp. because I don’t care for Patti as Reno.

    I actually don’t mind Heather Headley’s win, although I think both Audra McDonald and Marin Mazzie were more consistent.

    As for Carol Channing and Barbra Streisand, that is tough because I actually have qualms with both. I wish Barbara Cook had been nominated for SHE LOVES ME….which speaking of that show, SHE LOVES ME is severely underrated and deserves so much more.

    And lastly, AVENUE Q was my choice for the win, but CAROLINE OR CHANGE was also a great possibility. 

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #431012

    I’m going to have to go with Next to Normal losing to Billy Elliot. Next to Normal was the most creative and well rounded musical of that year. It should have actually won Lighting, Directing, and Sound Design (just for the difficulty of mixing from different points on the stage) that year as well. While score and orchestrations were great consolation prizes, it really should have won 7 awards that year (Musical, Actress, Sound Design, Lighting, Directing, Score and Orchestrations.)

    One last one. Ann Harada should be a Tony winner for Avenue Q. Now I’m done.

    I LOVED Next to Normal the first time I saw it.  I thought some of the lyrics were pretty awful and self-indulgent, but I was still incredibly moved (mostly because of how great Ripley’s performance was).  I was rooting for it when the Tonys came.  But that was before I saw Billy Elliot..  Billy Elliot remains one of the most moving pieces of theater I’ve ever seen.  The staging is absolutely incredible.  I’m happy Billy Elliot won.

    And I agree about Harada.  She should have at least been nominated.

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    dannyboy.
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    #431013

    I can’t believe I forgot about Grey Gardens having lost to Spring Awakening. SA has some very catchy music that was sung very, very well. It winning Best Book and Best Musical was completely undeserved. It had a thin storyline (am still wondering why they bothered to kill off Lea Michele’s role and not even show it to us or go into mich depth) and I’m sorry Bill T. Jones but that was not your finest hour of choreography. Grey Gardens, the smaller, unique, almost risque (better) musical loses to the blockbuster again. Is Avenue Q the only one to have pulled this off?

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