Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Once Again, My Initial Tony Nomination Reactions

I can't believe a year went by so fast. The Tony nominations were in line this morning, and I of course have some opinions. What follows is the complete list of nominations, followed by my initial reactions.

Best Play:
In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play
Author: Sarah Ruhl
Next Fall
Author: Geoffrey Nauffts
Author: John Logan
Time Stands Still
Author: Donald Margulies

Yes, yes, yes! I've seen all 4 of these and think they are all deserving, especially Red and In The Next Room. Earlier in the season, I would have been rooting for In The Next Room to take it, but Red was my favorite play of the year and I'm hoping it wins.

Best Musical:
American Idiot
Million Dollar Quartet

This list just shows what a weak year it was for musicals. I'm surprised Million Dollar Quartet made it over Everyday Rapture, or even Sondheim on Sondheim or Come Fly Away. I am glad American Idiot made the list because it didn't get much love in other categories.

Best Book
Everyday Rapture
Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott
Jim Lewis & Bill T. Jones
Joe DiPietro
Million Dollar Quartet
Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux

It was a weak year for book of a musical, but Million Dollar Quartet barely had a book. I'd like to see Everyday Rapture win this just because it's more deserving than the other 3.

Best Original Score
The Addams Family
Music & Lyrics: Andrew Lippa
Music: Adam Cork
Lyrics: Lucy Prebble
Music: Branford Marsalis
Music: David Bryan
Lyrics: Joe DiPietro, David Bryan

I still think American Idiot should have been eligible if Tommy was. I've only seen Memphis on this list and I wasn't crazy about the score. I'm hoping that Enron or Fences wins just to make a statement about how weak a year it was for new musicals.

Best Revival of a Play
Lend Me a Tenor
The Royal Family
A View from the Bridge

I haven't seen Fences yet, but the other three are strong productions with The Royal Family being my personal favorite.

Best Revival of a Musical
Finian's Rainbow
La Cage aux Folles
A Little Night Music

I'm so glad Finian's Rainbow and Ragtime were remembered. I was disappointed with both A Little Night Music and La Cage, but I found a lot to admire in both, so overall I think they are all deserving, but I'm rooting for Finian's or Ragtime.

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
Jude Law, Hamlet
Alfred Molina, Red
Liev Schreiber, A View from the Bridge
Christopher Walken, A Behanding in Spokane
Denzel Washington, Fences

I missed Hamlet and I haven't seen Fences yet, but I was wowed by both Molina and Schreiber. I liked Walken also, but really, he was just Walken being Walken.

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
Viola Davis, Fences
Valerie Harper, Looped
Linda Lavin, Collected Stories
Laura Linney, Time Stands Still
Jan Maxwell, The Royal Family

From what I heard, Viola Davis is the one to be beat. I'm glad Valerie Harper was recognized because she was the only reason to see Looped.

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
Kelsey Grammer, La Cage aux Folles
Sean Hayes, Promises, Promises
Douglas Hodge, La Cage aux Folles
Chad Kimball, Memphis
Sahr Ngaujah, Fela!

I'm seeing Promises, Promises tonight, but overall I approve this list. I do feel bad for Kevin Mambo, though, but Ngaujah is pretty mind-blowing (I didn't see Mambo). Grammer was the highlight of La Cage for me, and I'm glad he was recognized in addition to Hodge. Also very happy for Chad Kimball, who was the highlight of Memphis for me.

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical
Kate Baldwin, Finian's Rainbow
Montego Glover, Memphis
Christiane Noll, Ragtime
Sherie Rene Scott, Everyday Rapture
Catherine Zeta-Jones, A Little Night Music

Yeah!!!!! Kate Baldwin and Christiane Noll!!!!! I was afraid they wouldn't be recognized because their shows closed too early. I'm thinking Sherie Rene Scott has the best chance at winning, though.

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play
David Alan Grier, Race
Stephen McKinley Henderson, Fences
Jon Michael Hill, Superior Donuts
Stephen Kunken, Enron
Eddie Redmayne, Red

Yeah!!! Jon Michael Hill and Eddie Redmayne! Two of my favorite debut performances of the year. Is this Race's only nomination?

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play
Maria Dizzia, In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play
Rosemary Harris, The Royal Family
Jessica Hecht, A View from the Bridge
Scarlett Johansson, A View from the Bridge
Jan Maxwell, Lend Me a Tenor

I could take or leave Johansson on this list, but everyone else is very deserving, but I'm especially happy to see Maria Dizzia and Jan Maxwell (being a little greedy this year, aren't we?) on this list.

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
Kevin Chamberlin, The Addams Family
Robin De Jesús, La Cage aux Folles
Christopher Fitzgerald, Finian's Rainbow
Levi Kreis, Million Dollar Quartet
Bobby Steggert, Ragtime

YEAH!!!!! If there were two nominations that I cared the most about, it was Fitzgerald and Steggert. I am bummed that American Idiot's Tony Vincent didn't make the list though. I also loved Stark Sands and Michael Esper in American Idiot, but I really thought Vincent had a shot as the sinister St. Jimmy. As much as I love Robin De Jesús, sometimes when I was watching him in La Cage, I felt like I was watching Sonny from In the Heights in drag. I also thought Kreis was a terrific Jerry Lee Lewis, but I wish someone would recognize Robert Britton Lyons, who was just as strong as Carl Perkins.

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
Barbara Cook, Sondheim on Sondheim
Katie Finneran, Promises, Promises
Angela Lansbury, A Little Night Music
Karine Plantadit, Come Fly Away
Lillias White, Fela!

No surprises here. I'm excited to see Finneran's performance tonight.

Best Scenic Design of a Play
John Lee Beatty, The Royal Family
Alexander Dodge, Present Laughter
Santo Loquasto, Fences
Christopher Oram, Red

I loved The Royal Family set. Never got to Present Laughter.

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Marina Draghici, Fela!
Christine Jones, American Idiot
Derek McLane, Ragtime
Tim Shortall, La Cage aux Folles

I hope American Idiot wins this one.

Best Costume Design of a Play
Martin Pakledinaz, Lend Me a Tenor
Constanza Romero, Fences
David Zinn, In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play
Catherine Zuber, The Royal Family

I don't have too many opinions on this category.

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Marina Draghici, Fela!
Santo Loquasto, Ragtime
Paul Tazewell, Memphis
Matthew Wright, La Cage aux Folles

Or this one, except I wasn't too impressed with the Ragtime costumes.

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Neil Austin, Hamlet
Neil Austin, Red
Mark Henderson, Enron
Brian MacDevitt, Fences

So far, only seen Red, and I loved the lighting.

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Kevin Adams, American Idiot
Donald Holder, Ragtime
Nick Richings, La Cage aux Folles
Robert Wierzel, Fela!

American Idiot better win this one too. I think even those who didn't like the show agree that the design elements were strong.

Best Sound Design of a Play
Acme Sound Partners, Fences
Adam Cork, Enron
Adam Cork, Red
Scott Lehrer, A View from the Bridge

I don't know too much about sound design, I'll admit.

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Jonathan Deans, La Cage aux Folles
Robert Kaplowitz, Fela!
Dan Moses Schreier and Gareth Owen, A Little Night Music
Dan Moses Schreier, Sondheim on Sondheim

See above.

Best Direction of a Play
Michael Grandage, Red
Sheryl Kaller, Next Fall
Kenny Leon, Fences
Gregory Mosher, A View from the Bridge

I'd like to see Michael Grandage win. Have I mentioned I loved Red?

Best Direction of a Musical
Christopher Ashley, Memphis
Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Ragtime
Terry Johnson, La Cage aux Folles
Bill T. Jones, Fela!

Way to snub Michael Mayer for American Idiot. I'm pretty bummed he wasn't recognized, but I'm glad Marcia Milgrom Dodge got a nomination. Also, Warren Carlyle should be recognized for what he did with Finian's Rainbow.

Best Choreography
Rob Ashford, Promises, Promises
Bill T. Jones, Fela!
Lynne Page, La Cage aux Folles
Twyla Tharp, Come Fly Away

No Steven Hoggett for American Idiot?! I loved his choreographey and actually preferred it to the Spring Awakening choreography, which was of a similar frantic nature. Oh well, I hope Jones gets his second win, though I haven't seen Come Fly Away yet.

Best Orchestrations
Jason Carr, La Cage aux Folles
Aaron Johnson, Fela!
Jonathan Tunick, Promises, Promises
Daryl Waters & David Bryan, Memphis

Seriously??? No Tom Kitt for American Idiot??? This is actually the only category I think American Idiot was a lock to win. Whatever.

So, what do you all think?

Edit: Although I felt there were some snubs, I was very happy with the way the Tony nominations turned out this year. For once, shows that have been closed for a while were not ignored--Finian's Rainbow, Ragtime, and The Royal Family--and I think the nominations for the most part represent the best of a fairly weak year.

1 comment:

Esther said...

I really liked reading your reactions! And I agree, I'm so happy shows that opened and closed already weren't forgotten.

Also, it gives me something to root for on Tony night, since I haven't seen any of the shows that opened in 2010.

I loved The Royal Family, too. I was afraid it would be a bit dry and musty but it wasn't!

And I really liked Montego Glover in Memphis. In some ways, I think her character had the greatest dramatic arc of the four I saw. But she has such a powerful voice, too.