Thursday, June 14, 2007

The OTHER Tony Show

As I mentioned earlier this week, I don’t have HBO, so I did not see the final episode of The Sopranos. Instead I was watching the other Tony show, the annual American Theater Wing Awards. The Tonys are the NHL of the major award shows, little watched and hardly anyone knows who won or is even in it. Every year the Tonys are up against the NBA championship which makes me one of the few straight males in the country that watches this celebration of glamour on The Great White Way.

The non-whacking of the other Tony also assassinated the Tonys ratings with fewer than seven million viewers turning in. The theme of night was “There Is A Little Broadway In Everybody”, a demonstrably ludicrious assertion despite Michael Bloomberg’s attempt to usurp Guiliani as New York’s most show-tune loving mayor.

I watch for two basic reasons. I like to root for the shows that I saw that year and I like to preview potential future reasons to travel to New York. This year the only nominated show that I had seen was A Chorus Line which got steamrolled by Company in the Best Revival category. You can’t go up against Sondheim and expect to win. My favorite show, High Fidelity (based on the Nick Hornby book/John Cusack movie) was only nominated for best scenic design where it got beat by Mary Poppins. The bitch!

Since I had no dog in the other fights, I watched the production numbers to see what looked good. Curtains starring David Hyde Pierce looked awful even though it won Pierce an acting award. The number from Grey Gardens was also fingernails-on-chalkboard grating.

The big winner for the night was Spring Awakening which is about horny teenagers hooking up in nineteenth century Germany. The music was written by Duncan Sheik who is following in the proud tradition of lightly talented pop stars taking refuge on The Great White Way. Rupert Holmes and Elton John, among others, have learned that writing rock musicals is harder than it looks. This show seems to pull it off.

The “Bitch of Life” number they performed impressed my wife enough to get her to order some tickets for later this summer. Check out other perfomances on their official site. Since it can now can put “Winner of 8 Tonys” on the poster, I suggest you get tickets before they figure out that not all the orchestra seats have been recategorized as “Premium” seats. We got face value tickets for a matinee in the second row, but other seats further back are nearly twice as much.

In order to maintain my façade of manliness and keep the testosterone level up, I play a little mental game as they go through all the minor awards between 9 and 10 while the other Tony is (or isn’t) getting whacked. I try to determine whose evening gown is the most low cut. Unfortunately, the younger hotter presenters were way too tastefully dressed. The clear contenders in this category were Felicity Huffman and Cynthia Nixon. My wife cattily remarked that when you have nothing to hold in, you can take the neckline down to the waist.

I was feeling a little queasy ogling woman than can be described as “of a certain age”, but an IMDB search reveals that Felicity is barely a year older than me and that Cynthia hadn’t graduated high school by the time I had. Now I really feel old. But the definite winner in the Cougar Category of Deep Cleavage was Swoozie Kurtz.

Yikes! To cleanse the palate, please linger as long as you want on Idina Menzel. She sure cleans up well from her role as The Wicked Witch. I just read in Defamer that they are casting for a Broadway version of Shrek. Idina would be a shoo-in as Fiona since she already looks good in green.

Finally, I have seen both of these television stars on stage, Niles in Spamalot and Doogie in Assassins, but I never quite caught the cross-generational Separated At Birth® resemblance between the two.

Someone needs to put together a script where these two get to play father and son.

BlatantCommentWhoring™: Do I need to surrender my RealGuy Card for just watching the Tonys, let alone blogging about them? I even blogged about them last year.


Anonymous said...

Well, I don't know if you need to hand your card in, but you really ought to put yourself on probation. You stepped back from the precipice by focusing on plunging necklines, but let's be honest, most of your subjects weren't terribly ogle-worthy. Idina Menzel isn't bad bad, but she seems to have something of a foobish quality. (Speaking of FOOB, Niles will soon be in the running to play Grandpa Jim. Doogie, OTOH, looks like a young Sting.)

Speaking of rockers who flopped on Broadway, you forgot Jim Steinman. His musical based on Polanski's Fearless Vampire Hunters died a death so ignominious, that Steinman himself said it sucked (no pun intended).

Impetua said...

Just think of yourself as a kinder, gentler guy... you're already teetering because of your geekery and obvious devotion to wife and family. :) but as demetriosx points out, pointing out the obvious charms (and pitfalls) of the ladies does redeem you a bit. Plus you like Angelina Jolie. Yow!

BTW I have tickets to Spamalot, Camelot, Twelve Angry Men, Sweeney Todd and Avenue Q this season. It was a splurge based in part on my love for Monty Python and my fascination with "The Internet Is For Porn" which I first saw posted on your site. And am prone to sing at odd moments. Inappropriately.

A bonus is that one of the puppeteers doing Avenue Q is John Tartaglia, of "Johnny and the Sprites" (lately) and "Sesame Street" (formerly). A comment on the IMDB site accurately sums him up: "surprisingly hot!"

Jamy said...

I think it takes a man secure in his masculinity to admit a love of Broadway. My father is one and so are you!

2fs said...

Talk of "real guy" -ness generally sets me fuming - I hate hate all the gender-role policing so prevalent in media these days, to the extent that someone who doesn't know me would assume I must make Truman Capote seem butch or something. (This is not in fact true.)

But really, why worry? I mean, I know you weren't really doing so - you were joking about doing so - but that still tosses just a bit more gasoline on that particular fire.

A fun game to play: our local media loves loves loves to proclaim these the newest, bestest days for our city, and that the older, stereotypical images of our city (which i'll not mention here for reasons to become obvious) are outmoded, no longer germane or at least not as prominent. Of course, every time they do so, in so doing they're reinforcing the very images they're so strenuously denying the relevance of.

yellojkt said...

Jim Steinman also worked with Andrew Lloyd Weber on Whistle Down The Wind which never made it to Broadway. I saw it in out of town tryouts in DC.

yellojkt said...

That is a pretty good line-up. I'm surprised Avenue Q is finally touring. It was very controversal when after it won it Tony it went to Vegas instead of on the road.

Anonymous said...

I don't know much about this. Anyway a big hello from me.

Michele insists I say hello..:D

The Mistress of the Dark said...

This is the first year I didn't watch the Tony Awards. I can't believe David Hyde Pierce looks so old. Surely it's a trick of my eyes.

I was always fond of Duncan's music...I'm going to have to check out Spring Awakening.

Oh and my oh my...lotsa cleavage going on at the tonys this year.

thanks for stopping by my place earlier :)

Anonymous said...

Do I need to surrender my RealGuy Card for just watching the Tonys, let alone blogging about them?

Not at all, Miss.