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.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Live-Blogging the Tape-Delayed Tonys

6:50PM MDT: Part of the problem living on this side of the country--by the time I get to see the Tony awards, they're already an hour into the ceremony on the east coast. Ah well. I'll make do as best I can here.

6:55PM: How many more months do we have to put up with political ads again?  Five?  Shit.

6:59PM: I don't like Book of Mormon much (I don't find vulgarity for vulgarity's sake funny), but it does have a great opening number.  And having the Mormons chatting up the presenters is pretty funny.

7:02: Dear Mormons: you'd get more converts if all your missionaries wore the shirt and tie as well as Neil Patrick Harris.  Hell, I'd convert if I saw him on my doorstep dressed like that.

7:03: "Fifty Shades of Gay...I had to."  No you didn't, Neil.

7:04: If life were more like theater, I'd be the person in the back of the chorus trying to draw focus.

7:06: I admit it, if I were surrounded by handsome dancers in tuxedos, life would be pretty swell.

7:09: All in all, a neat meta-referential opening number.  Loved the Patti LuPone cameo.

7:12: Paul Rudd's awkward Featured Actress-Play introduction leads to Judith Light winning and giving a breathless but enthusiastic acceptance speech.  I still can't look at her without thinking Who's the Boss?...

7:14: Nick Jonas introduces the artfully smudged newsboys of Newsies.  Love the energetic choreography.  The crippled newsie suddenly regaining the use of his gimp leg...not so much.

7:18 Once got best orchestrations, apparently.  I really wish we got to see more of these technical awards.

7:19: During the first commercial break, I would like to apologize for mispronouncing Amanda Seyfried's last name in my Mamma Mia! review.

7:22: Isn't it a bit early to be advertising the fall television season, CBS?  I'm just sayin'.

7:23: Newsies gets best choreography.  Unsurprisingly, given that sampling.

7:25: I mean, how was I supposed to guess "sigh-fred"?  In other news, Seyfried's apparently a squire in the SCA now, judging by the belt.

7:26: Michael McGrath wins Featured Actor-Musical.  Now he'll no longer have to make ends meet as a Nathan Lane impersonator.

7:27: I want Bernadette Peters' dress.  That is all.

7:29: Damn, that Follies' girl's costume is shedding like my cat in summer.

7:31: Personally, I've got the "what's-the-big-deal-with-Follies-seriously-I-don't-get-it" blues.

7:39: Dear Ghost: it doesn't show much confidence in your score when you devote most of your segment to the one song you didn't compose.  In other news, the guy playing Carl looks like Ben Linus' even creepier younger brother.

7:41: John Tiffany wins Best Musical Direction for Once.  Clearly a surprise, as he didn't even bother shaving this morning.

7:44: Mike Nichols wins Best Play Direction for Death of a Salesman.  Gets through his speech without saying "Attention will be paid."

7:48: Every time I see Josh Young singing the title song to Jesus Christ Superstar, I'm always a little disappointed at the lack of confrontation in his attitude.  He looks more like a motivational speaker than someone challenging the founder of the world's largest religion.  The addition of Jesus preaching on the viewscreen behind them is a nice touch, though.

7:56: Harris might not be in red spandex, but he's hanging upside down in an enticing position, and that's enough.  More importantly, he's providing some much-needed background humor to the traditional boring American Theater Wing speech.

7:59: Christian Borle wins Featured Actor-Play for Peter and the Starcatcher, and I've only just now noticed that "Starcatcher" isn't pluralized, unlike in the title of the book that inspired it.

8:01: Matthew Morrison hasn't shaved either.  Does this have something to do with the Stanley Cup Finals?

8:03: Nice Work if You Can Get It gives the best performance of the evening this far.  Then again, it's hard to go wrong with Gershwin.

8:10: It's shaping up to be Once's night, taking awards for book and sound design.

8:11: James Marsden needs to do another musical sometime.  For serious.

8:12: Judy Kaye wins for Nice Work if You Can Get It.  Comments on how both her Tony roles involved chandeliers before I can come up with something clever to say about it.  Gives a touching speech to her dad, who passed away last week.  Sob.

8:15: Peter and the Starcatcher looks better every time I see it.  And the tour is launching here.  Score!

8:18: One Man, Two Guvnors looks like a Whose Line is it Anyway skit.  In a good way.

8:21: Psst, Neil, they can see the teleprompter...

8:28: Harris sings every Best Score winner ever.  And it is AWESOME.  (He does a surprisingly good Norma Desmond, too.)

8:30: Newsies wins Best Score.  Like so many, Alan Menken doesn't win for his best work, but at least he won something.

8:34: Porgy and Bess performs a medley of its most memorable songs.  Again, Gershwins showin' how it's done.  (It doesn't say much for the newer shows this year that the most stirring scores are coming from guys who died years ago...)

8:37: Rock of Ages commercial.  I still can't figure out if it looks so bad its good or so bad its bad.

8:42: Death of a Salesman wins play revival.  More stubbly faces abound.

8:47: The cast of Once performs "Gold," and manage to capture the uniquely thrilling atmosphere of a bunch of musicians just getting together and jamming for the hell of it.  Nicely done.

8:58: If you're going to put the Best Play nominees on stage, why not have them act a bit, instead of just dancing around each other in the half-light?

9:00: Clybourne Park wins Best Play.  As in the Oscars, Serious Issues carry the day.

9:06: Elena Rogers' Eva spends a lot of time striding around with her hands behind her back, like a blonde Argentine Grand Moff Tarkin.  Ricky Martin sells the song very well, though.

9:10: I swear, the Les Miserables trailer gets more amazing each time I see it.  Why is it not December yet?

9:13: Is it a rule that all casts of Godspell must be dressed like five year olds turned loose in a thrift store?

9:15: Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin sing selections from the Best Revival Musicals, and it's wonderful--but why is Patti wearing a baby sling?

9:16: Porgy and Bess wins.  Jeffrey Richards accepts dressed in Col. Sanders' bow tie.

9:18: I cannot stand Harvey Fierstein's voice--it sounds like someone sitting on a frog.  There, I said it.

9:21: Yeah, it's pretty much a shill for Royal Caribbean, but I don't care--the music for Hairspray is just so damn fun.

9:23: Hopefully the sea won't be calling me before our cruise in the fall.  It sounds kind of creepy.

9:29: Deborah Lee Furness is wearing an old Avenue Q puppet.  I guess when you've already landed Hugh Jackman, you can dress any way you like.

9:33: Hugh and Deborah are sweet together, though.  "This is the greatest thing you've ever done for me."  Awwww...

9:33: "The cast of Hairspray has been taken over by pirates."  Admit it, you would pay money to see that show.

9:35: Steve Kazee wins Best Actor-Musical.  Thanks his fellow cast members for supporting him in the wake of his mother's death, in what is the most touching speech of the evening thus far.

9:38: James Cordon wins Best Actor-Play.  Is appropriately grateful, and in desperate need of a throat lozenge.

9:41: I can't understand half the lyrics in the Leap of Faith performance.  That may be a good thing.

9:51: Nina Arianda wins Best Actress-Play.  Christopher Plummer accepts her fangirl squeeing with remarkable grace.  Arianda shouts down the orchestra, which I wish more winners would do.

9:55: Audra McDonald wins Best Actress--Musical.  Is probably the first winner to thank her (onstage) rapist.

9:59: Why have I not heard of Hysteria before?  It looks like a lot of fun.

10:02: Once wins Best Musical.  The acceptance speech blurs by as my caffeine crash kicks in.

10:04: Neil Patrick Harris hasn't been around near enough for my taste, but makes it up with his recap song.  Well worth running five minutes over, which is more than you can say for the Oscars each year.

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