Playwriting

The Tonys

Watched the Tonys last night. I’ve been watching them for over twenty years and they certainly affected my love for theatre as a youngun’. I have a distinct memory of being sixteen and “whooping” rather loudly because Into the Woods had won best musical and my dad coming downstairs and yelling at me for making so much noise.

Of course, I was very excited to have another chance to see a snippet of Sweeney Todd. Very cool – I clapped my hands like a lunatic. John Doyle got the Tony for directing, but the show didn’t get any other major awards. The revival award went to The Pyjama Game. Boooo.

The majority of the other musicals didn’t get more than a “meh” from me. (Except for The Threepenny Opera with Alan Cumming and Cyndi Lauper – that looked very interesting.) The lyrics, in general, were simplistic and the music uninspiring. The Wedding Singer snippet was just horrific. Money was spent on a musical version of The Wedding Singer? Why? The Colour Purple seemed to place more emphasis on how they were singing, than what they were singing. The gospel sound can certainly be uplifting but the song they showed was without tension or growth in the words.

As a Canadian I was tickled that The Drowsy Chaperone did so well. This is a show that started out in someone’s living room, moved to the Fringe, and just got bigger and bigger. A true underdog success story. I’m sure none of the originators thought that winning a Tony was ever in their career path and they seemed genuinely thrilled to have won.

All in all, a fast paced show with some juicy goofs (the guy singing from Phantom of the Opera in a Hal Prince tribute number forgot that there was an edit in the song – Whoops!) I’m not sure who out there in TV land watches the Tonys, but I’m glad they’re there. I’ll be watching!

About the author

Lindsay Price