Shame on you Tony Awards.
On Sunday night, almost no one at Radio City Music Hall bothered to speak up for the late Stephen Sondheim.
After a far too humble tribute to legendary West Side Story composer/lyricist Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, Into The Woods, A Little Night Music and many others, who died in November aged 91 Years Died, sung by Bernadette Peters, only a handful of showmen reluctantly got to their feet.
For one of the greatest musical theater composers of all time. Who dedicated his whole life to Broadway. With friends like this, who needs enemies?
With the Tonys, his death was a total afterthought — a short Peters song and a few videos — although the producers had months to plan a star-studded number that honors him. The debacle was puzzling.
As are most of CBS’s low-energy, ill-tempered 75th Annual Tony Awards.
Ariana DeBose, who won the Oscar this year for her role as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, hosted the evening. It was a nice idea. Tony’s dwindling viewership isn’t going to get any bigger, so why not go with a fan favorite?
But being a mistress of ceremonies didn’t come naturally to DeBose, and her songs and banter were forced and unfunny. Neil Patrick Harris, Hugh Jackman and even James Corden were all classes better at the gig.
Nathan Lane had the funniest and most outlandish awards ceremony. He should have hosted instead.
The winners were largely predictable in a season sorely lacking in popular hits. Best Musical went to the outre “A Strange Loop”, Best Play to the grandiose but already completed “The Lehman Trilogy”, Best Musical Revival to “Company” and Best Play Revival to “Take Me Out”. But there were some close races that ended in shocks.
Deirdre O’Connell’s win for Best Actress in a Play (“Dana H.”) was a nice surprise – and her speech calling for “strange art” was the best of the night – as was Simon Russell Beale’s first, well-deserved best Leading Actor in a Game Victory.
Myles Frost, who plays Michael Jackson, won best actor in a musical in what must have been a very close competition against Jaquel Spivey from A Strange Loop. And Joaquina Kalukango (“Paradise Square”) beat heavyweights Sharon D Clark (“Caroline, or Change”) and Sutton Foster (“The Music Man”) for best actress.
But aside from the all-important Best Musical award, it’s the television show’s performances that have viewers rushing to Telecharge to buy tickets for new shows…or instead to ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ for the 43rd time see.
The best performers were “MJ the Musical” about the Prince of Pop and “Paradise Square”, the worst show of all, as the wonderful Kalukango sang the musical’s only good song – “Let It Burn”. (Their song got a standing O, proving the audience’s legs weren’t numb.)
The Spring Awakening cast’s reunion performance of “Touch Me” was also great. But that closed 13 years ago. And the sextet of pop-singing queens from “Six” provided a boost of energy. unnecessarily. Their sales are already huge, Top Tony or not (they won Score and Costumes).
The number of “A Strange Loop” (one of the few matching tunes) was appropriate, although the winning show is difficult to explain in an elevator pitch and Hugh Jackman was too reserved as Harold Hill in “The Music Man” – one of the biggest losers of the season At evening.
Nevertheless, it is the Sondheim brusk that has stung the most. Why did CBS send the clowns to one of the best Broadway movies?
https://nypost.com/2022/06/12/tony-awards-2022-lousy-show-dissed-stephen-sondheim/ Lousy show dissed Stephen Sondheim