So I made it through the first couple of hours of the Tonys last night on the ole DVR before having to call it quits. Since it is rare that I’ve seen many – if any – of the nominated shows these days, I usually look to the Tonys to set my priorities for which shows I will try to see in the future. “Billy Elliot” is of course a given at this point. But based on what I’ve seen so far, I found “Rock of Ages” surprisingly intriguing (I laughed out loud at the little Michigan hand gesture during their musical number). And I have even less interest in seeing “Shrek” than I did before. I just don’t see how this show offers much over the source material which I can enjoy at a minscule fraction of the price.
Other random impressions:
> Neil Patrick Harris is the kind of effortlessly funny and smart host that I wish the Oscars had.
> The Tonys have tried for years to impress with star power from other media. This year, I think they succeeded. At least, I was fairly impressed.
> Susan Sarandon. I think I would watch her in almost anything. Her, plus Lauren Ambrose, add in Geoffrey Rush’s victory (why do Brits generally give such superior acceptance speeches?) makes missing “Exit the King” my biggest regret of this season.
> I liked the designer who said he’d have to tell his folks he didn’t work for a bank. Apparently the “real job” connumdrum haunts even Broadway.
> The technical issues – the badly mised or inaudible sound, sloppy camerawork – were a little pathetic. The shame of it is that, even if it’s the TV technicians who were responsible, Broadway production quality is what comes off looking amatuerish.
> I liked the performances from the touring shows. Thought it was a good idea to reinforce the message that theater doesn’t just happen in New York. However, while many people may be familiar with the stars of the Broadway shows, the leads in the touring productions are less well-known. I wish they had identified some of the performers…oh, and done something (anything) else but “Mamma Mia!”
The Times-Dispatch today previewed “Henry V” at Richmond Shakespeare (interesting to see Ms. Ruggieri’s byline on a theater story – I guess she’s the only arts staffer left?) It’s too bad they didn’t have a bigger picture of Phil Brown, though, because I have to say that he’s one hot dude. I met him in person last summer (with my swooning daughter in tow) and he’s a right fine fellow as well. After the somewhat tepid “H4P2” last summer, I’m looking forward to him burning up the stage in H5!