A few weeks ago, I promised to try and muster up enough energy to get through the Tony Awards. After Sunday night, I can say I mostly delivered on my promise, in that I DVR’d the awards and fast-forwarded through everything except the performances and certain key acceptance speeches. (I kinda want to see Cry Baby now.) If you managed to make it all the way through the festivities without the blessed use of fast-forwarding, I’m going to accuse you of being a producer.
After tallying up the wins, no one show was a runaway hit. South Pacific racked up the most honors with seven awards, which seems impressive until you realize it was nominated for 11. Similarly, In the Heights (my personal favorite) walked away with four, but was nominated for 13 (the most).
Having a pretty even split among the Tonys could mean one of two things: It could mean this was a very good year for Broadway, and that voters really found themselves split between great shows and found ways of honoring them all. Or, it could mean it was a so-so year for Broadway, and the even distribution means that there was no one show worth rallying around.
I personally haven’t seen enough shows to tell which case it is. From the looks of the performances, though, I’d say that Broadway fare this year is pretty typical. There’s the Spring Awakening-style show that blurs the lines between Broadway and rock concerts (Passing Strange). There are the campy, colorful musicals you think of when you hear the words “musical theater” (Cry Baby, Xanadu). There are the tired re-treads (Grease). There are the skilled revivals, and the innovative new shows you hope will be around forever. With Broadway, the financial investment is so risky that producers aren’t encourage to take risks, so the same types of shows turn up year after year, and this one was no exception.
That’s about it for the Tony Awards. Now, don’t tell me you want me to watch the Emmys, too.