(a Hirschfeld drawing for a Angie-hosted ceremony in '96)
A friend of mine referred to the day of the Tony Awards as "Holy Day", and more than ever I found this to be true. Though Michael Reidel will no doubt spend the rest of his days at the Post bemoaning the awards' lack of integrity, for me the awards are best at presenting an opportunity for the theater community--and let's be real here, the musical theater community--to geek out. The spend hours repeating each other as we talk about the nominees, who could win, who should have been nominated, what they will perform, what they should have performed, ways in which CBS kills theater by not allowing design and writing awards on the telecast, etc. etc. etc. The awards give a sense of structure to the season, an opportunity to reflect and to pass some sort of judgement.
The telecast itself makes a much more effective yearbook than it does a barometer of what was truly excellent or fine art--which is fine. Before I moved to NYC, the Tony Awards (and perhaps a few appearances on Rosie) were my primary source of information about what the hell happened on Broadway that season--and I was the type of nerd who read every article on theatermania.com, etc. And regardless of what I think about who won what, I feel like someone watching this year would ultimately walk away with a fairly accurate sense of how things went down this season. FELA! was artsy and not really for everyone. MEMPHIS was vapid but full of energy and toothy-grinned dance steps, and features a catchy--if derivative--tune. And even though trying to present the nominated plays is always tricky, I felt like, over the course of the evening, I had a vague sense of what was going on with each of those as well (though I think a 60-90sec "trailer" for each play would be marvelously effective, if a logistical problem for nominated shows that have already closed).
And how hot was Matthew Morrison singing "All I Need Now is the Girl", which is, in my mind, the sexiest (male) song in the theater cannon?
I spent the following Monday exactly as I would like to spend every post-Tony Monday--hungover, satisfied (with a hint of cynical despair), and relieved to have the head-space back to think about the projects on my plate, instead of this ridiculous notion of the "road block".
Next year at Radio City.