Monday, June 13, 2011

Tonys 2011: Winners

Three cheers for a great Tony ceremony! Honestly, the ceremony itself was fantastic. There was tremendous energy, fantastic performances (I now want to see Catch Me If You Can, The Scottsboro  Boys (sadly closed), Anything Goes, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Book of Mormon, and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; maybe Sister Act; I'll pass on Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, thanks), and terrific jokes (particularly the following exchange about Spider-Man: The Edge: I think we missed the [nomination] deadline. Bono: [muttering] A couple of them.). And Neil Patrick Harris; can we please have him host the Oscars? He was pitch-perfect, being both host and entertainer and never stealing the spotlight from anyone else (actually, can we have NPH and Hugh Jackman co-host? Everything?).

Pretty pretty please?

I've had "I Believe" from The Book of Mormon stuck in my head all day today. You can see Andrew Rannells' phenomenal performance below. I'm dying to see a show on Broadway now; thank you, Tonys, mission accomplished.

I do have one quibble: how come we can't incorporate the nominated plays into the ceremony as well? Performances from all six nominated musicals (original and revival) were included, but we couldn't have seen any scenes from the plays? Sure, we had actors talk about their plays in pre-filmed segments, but that's not the same as actually getting a taste of the show. Surely the producers can find a way to incorporate even a small snippet of a scene? It may not be flash-and-bang musical number, but acting is it's own electricity, you know? And it certainly wouldn't hurt the show's business, introducing a much larger audience to the nominated plays. Who's with me on this?

From an awards standpoint, The Book of Mormon ran away with the musical competition, winning nine awards off of 14 nominations, with Anything Goes following it with a distant three. Unfortunately, The Scottsboro Boys, coming in with 12 nominations, walked away empty-handed, perhaps in part to the show's early closure back in December. In plays, War Horse took home a leading five trophies, with The Normal Heart winning three. Notable snubs include no prizes for The Motherf**ker with the Hat nor The Merchant of Venice. And most notably, the winners were all very much Broadway stars, a departure from the recent trend of throwing Tonys to movie stars just for showing up.

A full list of winners is below. What did you like/dislike about the ceremony? And which winners did you agree/disagree with?

Best Play: War Horse, by Nick Stafford
Best Revival: The Normal Heart
Best Actor: Mark Rylance, Jerusalem
Best Actress: Frances McDormand, Good People
Best Featured Actor: John Benjamin Hickey, The Normal Heart
Best Featured Actress: Ellen Barkin, The Normal Heart
Best Direction: Marianne Elliot and Tom Morris, War Horse
Best Scenic Design: Rae Smith, War Horse
Best Costume Design: Desmond Heeley, The Importance of Being Earnest
Best Lighting Design: Paule Constable, War Horse
Best Sound Design: Christopher Shutt, War Horse

Best Musical: The Book of Mormon
Best Book of a Musical: The Book of Mormon, book by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone
Best Original Score: The Book of Mormon, music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone
Best Revival: Anything Goes
Best Actor: Norbert Leo Butz, Catch Me If You Can
Best Actress: Sutton Foster, Anything Goes
Best Featured Actor: John Larroquette, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Best Featured Actress: Nikki M. James, The Book of Mormon
Best Direction: Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker, The Book of Mormon
Best Choreography: Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes
Best Orchestrations: Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus, The Book of Mormon
Best Scenic Design: Scott Pask, The Book of Mormon
Best Costume Design: Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Best Lighting Design: Brian MacDevitt, The Book of Mormon
Best Sound Design: Brian Ronan, The Book of Mormon

Lifetime Achievement Awards: Athol Fugard and Philip J. Smith
Regional Tony Award: Lookingglass Theatre Company, Chicago, Illinois
Isabelle Stevenson Award: Eve Ensler
Special Tony Award: Handspring Puppet Company
Tony Honors: William Berloni, The Drama Book Shop, and Sharon Jensen and Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts

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