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2018 Tony Award Reactions

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  • Fade
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    #1202562764

    BWW is an abject cesspool. Burn that place down.

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    adamunc
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    The telecast was overall a little above average. Groban and Bareilles were fine hosts and there were no real clunkers in the performances from the shows, though My Fair Lady and Once on This Island definitely stood out.

    It was a painfully obvious ratings ploy on behalf of CBS to present Bruce Springsteen his “special Tony” live and then follow it up later with a “performance”, while stage legends Andrew Lloyd Webber and Chita Rivera were relegated to clips and that bizarre medley that mashed up the careers of two people who have nothing in common other than working in the theater.

    The Parkland students’ performance was a great moment. That song has become something of a cliche through the years, but this was still a very memorable addition to the show.

    Robert DeNiro can go suck an egg. While I might agree with the sentiment, I have no respect for people who use an awards telecast to grandstand about politics, especially when they haven’t even won an award and chosen to use their acceptance time to do so. Using profanity that had to be bleeped was very confusing to home audiences. And most of all, blasting Trump to the Broadway audience is the epitome of preaching to the choir.

    Nathan Lane was having none of that goat during the Island performance, lol.

    Cutting off the last speaker during the Best Play acceptance and then having that long pause before the next presenter came on was super-awkward. Oh, and how about acknowledging the authors of the nominated plays when presenting the award? Tacky.

    I would love to know what Glenda Jackson truly mean by her comment about Joe Mantello finding her a “worthy adversary”. He seemed to be laughing about it in the audience. He’s one of the most revered directors working today regardless, but it was a very provocative statement.

    Poor Mean Girls. Tied for the biggest loser in Tony history–but something tells me it will be more successful overall than its partner in ignominy, The Scottsboro Boys. It’s a fun show, if flawed and occasionally sloppy, but it will tour well and be performed forever in high schools around the country.

    The Band’s Visit took advantage of a weak season to put together an impressive sweep, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s the weakest Best Musical winner since at least 2014. It’s a good show, certainly, with some outstanding elements, but also stubborn in its understated approach, sometimes to its detriment.

    Only 364 days til the next Tonys!

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    Atypical
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    #1202562816

    Here is Melody Herzfeld’s rousing acceptance speech, since CBS doesn’t bother to air these on the main telecast:

    https://youtu.be/oO6rs9H3soI

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    SHT L
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    #1202562843

    I had thought Ethan Slater would win up until the NY Times voter poll where they had so much affection for Tony Shalhoub. The NY Times voter poll is really the best predictor out there (even better than me, lol).

    That is what I was saying when I was trying to explain probabilities in my post after the NY Times voter poll. The sample size was large and it was was almost 1/8th of the voting pool. When you have voters giving you results like 80% of the votes were going to The Band’s Visit and how big of a proportion of them said they were voting for it as a protest vote, I knew there was no way Tina Fey was going to win Best Book. That said, I still reacted when it actually happened because there was so much narrative about Tina Fey and New York loving her, etc. Those same people were going to vote TBV all the way through as a message.

    Some people on BWW tried to make a joke out of the survey saying it was for the NYT and that they were wrong about the 2016 election, but they don’t really understand why this survey was different and much more controlled than randomly calling voters and hoping they did actually show up to the polls (and were not lying about not voting for Trump because they were too embarrassed to admit which is actually something that happens in those polls—nobody in the American Theatre Wing will be embarrassed to say they were going to vote who or what they were actually going to vote for).

    I don’t share your hatred for My Fair Lady at all and I think it was taken for granted and deserved a lot more (I would have voted for Ambrose and Hadden-Paton myself) BUT I saw the writing on the wall. Once on This Island already had a dedicated, passionate, ride or die fanbase and if My Fair Lady were to win Best Revival, it needed a bigger lead than it had in that sample size. It was within the margin of error and I had a feeling that MFL and Carousel were going to split the votes. I just had a feeling about Once on This Island because theatre is a small community and whatever people are whispering on social media can actually give you insight to how the community is feeling. That said, from the survey, it was really close between MFL and OoTI and I don’t blame anybody for sticking with MFL because it was that close and could have gone MFL’s way.

    Because of how scarily accurate the survey was, I sort of wish they stopped doing it to keep up the suspense. I know I could easily not read it, but how could I not? It’s too tempting.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1202562860

    Here is Michael Riedel’s recap of the winners…
    https://nypost.com/2018/06/11/the-bands-visit-bucks-trend-by-sweeping-tony-awards/

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    adamunc
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    #1202562930

    Last night’s show rose from an 0.9 rating in the 18-49 demo to a 1.0 and gained viewers from 6.05 million to 6.32 million vs. the 2017 broadcast.

    It was still soundly beaten in the time period by Celebrity Family Feud and The $100,000 Pyramid. Yeesh.

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    SHT L
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    #1202562933

    I don’t know how the Tonys can improve viewership without Broadway itself having a much bigger footprint on mainstream culture. As a lover of classical American musical canon, I hate to say it, but I think Broadway needs a real Hair moment and actually stick with it. The type of music and songs it has needs to sound closer to what people are listening to on the radio and on Spotify while not being a jukebox music. It needs to create new content specifically for the stage but that new content has to sound like something one can hear on the radio…sort of like what Broadway used to be before the British Invasion.

    Maybe less prose, and more stand-alone songs. Like less Rodgers/Hammerstein and more Rodgers/Hart or Jerome Kern. Since not everybody can afford to see a Broadway show and not everybody lives in New York, and they don’t film shows for public consumption (not usually), then the only way to reach the masses is through the music itself.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  SHT L.
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    Atypical
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    #1202562962

    Time for critics’ reviews:

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/06/10/theater/tony-awards-review.html

    https://variety.com/2018/tv/reviews/tony-awards-2018-tv-review-1202839744/

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/72nd-annual-tony-awards-tv-1118784

    I’d agree that the plays didn’t get the level of representation on the telecast they should have this year, even by the low bar that the Tonys normally sets for showcasing them over their beloved and preferred musicals.

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    SHT L
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    #1202562966

    I just rewatched the performance from The Band’s Visit, and I really didn’t have a hard time understanding Katrina Lenk:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G71Zwn9s9vw

    The words are there and pretty clear and enunciated.

    Here are the lyrics:

    [DINA]
    Umm Kulthum and Omar Sharif
    Came floating on the jasmine wind
    From the west, from the south
    Honey in my ears
    Spice in my mouth.
    Dark and thrilling,
    Strange and sweet
    Cleopatra and the handsome thief
    And they floated in on a jasmine wind
    Umm Kulthum and Omar Sharif
    And they floated in on a jasmine wind
    Umm Kulthum and Omar Sharif

    Friday evening, Omar Sharif,
    In black and white and blurry through tears.
    My mother and I would sit there in a trance
    He was cool to the marrow, the pharaoh of romance

    Sunday morning,
    Umm Kulthum
    Her voice would fill our living room.
    The ship from Egypt always came
    Sailing in on the radio waves

    And the jasmine wind, deep perfume
    Umm Kulthum
    And the living room becomes a garden,
    And the TV set becomes a fountain,
    And the music flows in the garden
    And everything grows

    Umm Kulthum and Omar Sharif
    Came floating on a lemon leaf
    Flying in on a jasmine wind
    Umm Kulthum and Omar Sharif
    And we dance with them on a jasmine scented wind,
    Umm Kulthum and Omar Sharif.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  SHT L.
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    Atypical
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    #1202562970

    Glenda

    LM

    Mendez

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    I don’t know how the Tonys can improve viewership without Broadway itself having a much bigger footprint on mainstream culture. As a fan of classical American musical canon, I hate to say it, but I think Broadway needs a real Hair moment and actually stick with it. The type of music and songs it has needs to sound closer to what people are listening to on the radio and on Spotify while not being a jukebox music. It needs to create new content specifically for the stage but that new content has to sound like something one can hear on the radio…sort of like what Broadway used to be before the British Invasion.

    Well this year, we had quite a few mainstream nominees with Frozen, Harry Potter, Mean Girls, and SpongeBob SquarePants. I guess they were only enough to slightly lift the ratings. Though since the Tonys will continue to air on CBS as long as Les Moonves is there, I wonder if he might try moving them to a less competitive Sunday night.

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    Djoko
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    #1202563066

    Jeffrey Kare, will you publicly give me props for never wavering on my predictions for The Band’s Visit sweep including Ari’el Stachel and Once on This Island’s Revival win? We had a lot of back-and-forths on this and I was always right (just like I am every year)!!

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    Even though I was predicting Norbert Leo Butz all season long, I knew that if Ari’el Stachel were to win (which he did), it definitely would’ve been a sign of how strong The Band’s Visit was. While I also had My Fair Lady predicted to win Musical Revival the whole time, I knew there was a lot of affection for Once on This Island (especially after the New York Times voter poll hinted that there was still a chance for that to win). As I’ve mentioned earlier, I at least did appreciate how each of the three nominees took home at least one trophy last night.

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    Rich Landry
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    I thought this years awards were really entertaining. I think both Josh and Sara will be award winners next year for their turn as hosts. I really enjoyed what they did. I didn’t have high hopes when they were announced but they really surprised me.

    As for the winners, I was please but thought it was too much for the band’s Visit. I was fine with the acting wins but wanted some more variety. Couldn’t be happier for Garfield, Metcalf, Jackson, Satchel, Shalhoub, Lane and Lenk. I was disappointed Fey didn’t win but I would like to see her come back to Broadway with perhaps a play.

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    Atypical
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    DeNiro’s unedited rant for those who haven’t seen it yet:

    https://youtu.be/1zNr8Pf1QkY

    Love it!

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