I look forward to the Tony Awards every year, mostly because it's one of the few chances I get to see what's happening on Broadway. Theater is an unfortunately expensive habit, and with barely enough funds to see a few choice touring productions every year—never mind actually flying out to New York for the real thing—so the Tonys help me figure out which shows and cast recordings might be worth my time and money.
This year Once landed the most nominations and looks like the favorite to win Best Musical. I'm still on the fence about it. I watched the movie a few years back, when I gave it a verdict of “I'm glad I saw it, but don't really feel any urge to see it again.” But the down-to-earth production values and haunting songs look like they play very well onstage. I think I'm going to have to give this music another listen—it's kind of growing on me.
The other musicals nominated are Newsies (based on another “good, but not great” movie), Nice Work If You Can Get It (a show I've paid exactly no attention to so far), and, strangely enough, Leap of Faith, which was almost universally reviled at its opening last week. I suspect one of the reasons this show got the nod was because a lot of voters balked at the phrase “Tony-nominated musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.” I actually thought Spider-Man might get the fourth nomination—not because it's good (I still can't get through the cast recording without being bored to tears) but because it's something that the general public has heard of and it managed to pull itself out of a messy preview period and find its feet (after a fashion), which is an accomplishment in and of itself. Pity—I was looking forward to seeing the Dancing Spider-Man Chorus again.
The top nomination earner among plays was Peter and the Starcatchers, which is based on an enchanting prequel to Peter Pan by Dave Barry (yes, that Dave Barry) and Ridley Pearson. Among its nominated categories was Best Original Score (along with another play, One Man, Two Gunvors). This is the first time I can recall any plays being nominated in that category, let alone two--doesn't really speak well for the musicals that came out this season. Anyway, I hope it gets a performance slot at the awards (plays tend to get shortchanged on this score) because the highlights reel makes it look like a lot of fun. It also stars Christopher Borle of Smash, but we won't hold that against it.
So let the race begin! I'm probably not lucky enough to get another Neil Patrick Harris/Hugh Jackman duet this year, but a gal can dream...
Located on a small expansion shelf about midway between the Third and Fourth Circles, Musical Hell is presided over by Diva, a minor demon charged with passing judgement on the worst musicals ever committed to film. (She still hasn't figured out if this is their punishment or hers.) Take a seat on the bench and have your earplugs ready, because court is now in session.
New videos posted on the first Monday of the month. Other viewpoints, news, and general ramblings posted when they crop up.