Some girls just want to have a Tony.
Sunday night’s Tony Awards show (seen right here on WWNY) was the best award show I have seen in years. Neil Patrick Harris proves once again that he can do anything. The opening number was phenomenal. Harris kept up with the fast, fresh new lyrics (written a short time ago) and complex dancing. Athletic, light and immensely likable, Harris is able to run about the stage and down the long aisles of Radio city Music Hall, while singing and barely breaking a sweat. While other award shows have lip syncing and pre-recorded clips, the Tonys are still about the live performance and no one delivers like Neil Patrick Harris.
From the beginning the musical categories were a battle between three shows, Matilda, Kinky Boots and the revival of Pippin and as this prophecy would have it, these three shows claimed most of the musical prizes. Before the evening started it seemed like the race between Matilda and Kinky Boots for best musical was much closer than it turned out to be. Although Matilda won design awards and best book of a musical, it became clear half way through the broadcast that Kinky Boots was going to walk with the big award. Six was the final total for the best musical winner, while Matilda snatched up four as well as Pippin. All of Pippin’s awards were big ones, including best revival, best director (Diane Paulus) and best actress (Patina Miller) and best featured actress (Andrea Martin). It was the only musical to win in two acting categories.
Christopher Durang, whose first play was produced well over thirty years ago and who has won every major award for off-off and off-Broadway theater, finally and deservedly won a Tony for best play for Vanya and Sasha and Masha and Spike. The play is still playing and will continue to run through August and stars heavyweights David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver. Weaver is an frequent collaborator with Durang and interpreter of his work, since they first got started together, fresh out of college.
I jumped for joy when Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf won best revival of a play, best director (Pam MacKinnon) and best actor (Tracy Letts) in a play. I saw this production in November 2011 and thought it was about the best thing I had seen on Broadway in a long, long time. Check out my original Craig’s To Do List review.
With her win for best score, Cyndi Lauper becomes the first solo woman winner, for Kinky Boots. In the past a woman winning this award has shared the award with a male co-writer, for example she was the lyricist and he was the composer. I am so happy for the original offbeat girl who just wanted to have fun. It is proof positive that perseverance, hard work and raw talent will trump nasty comments about your pink colored hair!
Wednesday, November 25, 2015, Watertown, NY