My Top 6 Favorite Things about the 2013 Tony Awards.

And just like that, the night that so many of us look forward to more than Christmas and our birthdays,  is over.

Another Tony Awards is in the books.  The speeches are done.  The parties are over.  And the tears of joy and sorrow are drying up.  And, it’s back to work we all go, because we’ve got shows to do!

But before we do just that, let me tell you “a few of my favorite things” about this year’s Tonys, as I do every year.

Here they are in no particular order:

1.  Not Just Another Openin’, Another Show.

This year’s musical opener was hands down the best opening number for a Tony Awards telecast I’ve seen in a decade, if not two.  Or three.  You get my point.  It was the perfect mix of funny but not too polarizing (our Idaho audiences didn’t change the channel).  It represented lots of shows, but didn’t feel like it was spreading itself too thin.  And it was, well, just really . . . Broadway.

2.  The Best Lobby for a New Award Goes To . . .

. . . Jane Lynch.  Boy did she crush her version of “Little Girls.”  It made me wish there was a Tony Award for Best Replacement.  And why shouldn’t there be?  It would bring attention to the shows that run longer than a year (and could use the attention).  It would give actors another reason to agree to replace.  Bring it back.  And retro one to Jane for her perf last night alone.

3.  Old Boys Club?  How About New Girls Club!

In 2005, this article appeared in the NY Times which discussed the dearth of female directors on Broadway.  While the actual numbers haven’t improved all that much since those days, it was freakin’ awesome to see the Awards for Best Director of a Musical and Best Director of a Play go to two women.

4.  Did I Just See a Heavyweight Champion doing a Kick-Ball-Change?

In what could have been the most random appearance ever (and the most awkward dance moves), the appearance of Mike Tyson in the opening number had me doubled over.  And then, in true call-back style, Neil just kept mining that comic gold all night long.  If ever there was a moment that denied how our community is made up of the most diverse group of people on the planet, that was it.  And I loved it.

5.  They came, they saw, they presented.

Everyone who has seen Macbeth is still talking about how Alan Cumming was passed over for a nomination.  So when the Tony Awards came a-callin’ for him to give an award away, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone if he passed.  But he didn’t.  Because he’s just that kind of gracious guy who loves and supports our biz.  And the same goes for his presenting partner, Scarlett as well.  I’m sure they both had other places they could have been.  But they chose to be with us, and that is the def. of a classy actor . . . and just a class act.

6.  3 Letters.

NPH.

I don’t know what we did to get such a passionate, charismatic and funny host year after year, but thank God for him.  He throws everything he has behind the show, and behind Broadway.  I mean, he made out with a freakin’ dog for Sandy’s-sake.

My only critique of his performance was that we missed him in that last hour.  I wanted more NPH.

But it sounds like we’re going to get him.  He’s moving back to the city.  Maybe an actual show is in his future soon?
So those are my Top 6 . . . now, what did you think about last night’s Telecast?  Better than last year?  The best ever? Or not so much!  Favorite performances?

Take our TONY SURVEY and tell us (and everyone else) what you think.  Click here and fill out the quick questionnaire about the telecast and I’ll publish the results here in a week for everyone (including The Tony Awards peeps) to see.

Take the Tony Survey today!

Oh, wait . . . I did have one more Favorite Thing about last night’s telecast that I kind of forgot to mention.  So here’s a bonus.

7.  That time I won one.

In all seriousness, thanks to all of my investors for believing in me and in Kinky Boots, even when facing what seemed like an unbeatable foe/show in Matilda.  We took a longer shot.  And our number came up.  And I couldn’t have done it without all of you.
Ok, now take that survey!  Click here!

To see a list of the complete 2013 Tony Award Winners, click here.

 

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)
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Comments
  • Peter Sachon says:

    The Tony awards were a great celebration of our community (and go Pippin!), but it is puzzling that once again the live music aspect of Broadway was absent. In this celebration of live theater, why was everyone singing to tracks? Where was the orchestra?

    It is a slippery slope that cheapens out product and our art. If it’s ok to celebrate the best of Broadway with tracks, then it’s not a far leap to imagine actual Broadway shows using tracks eight times a week.

    The Tony awards should have live music. The absence of live music is embarrassing to all of us.

  • Peter:

    The Tonys do use a live orchestra. Due to space limitations at stage level at Radio City, they’re housed upstairs on the ninth floor. It’s been like that for many years. The only performance that full-on used a track was Phantom Of The Opera, which I agree was really tacky. The rest of the performances were played live. They may have utilized click-tracks for ensemble vocals (imagine organizing wireless mic packs on every single ensemble member in every show for the night), but the orchestra was very much live.

  • Peter Sachon says:

    Caskey,

    The Tony’s could have fooled me. The only way anyone could know that there was any sort of live music was when they watched Cydi Lauper’s performance (with members of the Kinky Boots orchestra), or perhaps if they read our comments here on Ken’s website. Otherwise, the live music making was so hidden that it may as well have been tracks.

    I’m unsure what space limitations you are referring to — there is no reason that in Radio City, of all places, not to include the orchestra in the show. That hall one of the largest venues anywhere, one that was designed for an orchestra, and last night the entire Tony production didn’t use all of the available stage space. Not to mention the center section below the stage that was filled with extra audience members and cameras. You know, the orchestra pit. The space is there. Excluding the orchestra from the event is not a requirement of this venue, it is a production choice.

    • I won’t get into all the technical details of why it doesn’t work, but honestly, it doesn’t. I’ve actually worked at the music hall and I can assure you, it isn’t logistically possible to place the orchestra in the pit area where they play for shows like the Christmas Spectacular. If it wasn’t being broadcast and they weren’t bringing in all the extra equipment necessary, they might have been able to make it work, but it really doesn’t in this case. In fact, the last few years when the awards were at the Beacon Theatre, the orchestra wasn’t even on premises. They were halfway across town in a studio and being piped in live. . A Chorus Line did the same thing among others, so it’s not unheard of historically. I agree that not seeing them makes it a little disconnected. On the flip side, it’s almost a complement to the musicians. They’re playing so perfectly that it sounds canned.

      • Forgive my poor HTML skills. I didn’t mean to make the entire end of that comment a link.

      • Please approve my earlier comment so my HTML comment makes sense and I don’t look like a moron. Also, I wanted to make my point.

        • Hey folks! I think Ken’s blogging system isn’t posting a previous reply I made because I included a link, so here’s the post sans link: (the link was to an article talking about Spiderman’s orchestra being hidden away in a basement.

          Peter,

          I won’t get into all the technical details of why it doesn’t work, but honestly, it doesn’t. I’ve actually worked at the music hall and I can assure you, it isn’t logistically possible to place the orchestra in the pit area where they play for shows like the Christmas Spectacular. If it wasn’t being broadcast and they weren’t bringing in all the extra equipment necessary, they might have been able to make it work, but it really doesn’t in this case. In fact, the last few years when the awards were at the Beacon Theatre, the orchestra wasn’t even on premises. They were halfway across town in a studio and being piped in live. . Spiderman’s orchestra is house in the basement of the Foxwoods. A Chorus Line did the same thing among others, so it’s not unheard of historically. I agree that not seeing them makes it a little disconnected. On the flip side, it’s almost a complement to the musicians. They’re playing so perfectly that it sounds canned.

          Sorry to everyone for mucking up the comments with my ramblings.

  • Josh Ruben says:

    Bravo Ken on comments that are both insightful and POSITIVE. I couldn’t believe all the nasty, snarky comments from self-described theatre fans and members of the Broadway community. Jeeze, even the blogger on Broadway.com (among others) was downright nasty in regards to all the kids on stage. Entertainment Tonight reported that this year’s broadcast saw a 20% increase in viewership. Maybe all those “annoying kids” and their family-oriented shows had something to do with it?

  • Mary Britt says:

    I was in NY a week ago. Big billboards for both “Phantom…” and “Chicago” in Times Square. “25 years”! “Longest Running American Musical” Big splash on the Tony’s. Interesting how a misleading headline can ignore an “American” musical that ran 42 years in its original off-Broadway run and after a short dark period, is now over 50. Now. THAT’S impressive. Not just ‘something shiny’. Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt deserve a little splash, too. Just a thought.

  • I have played the opening number over and over again (thanks to my DVR). I still don’t know how they did that magic trick, though even more impressive to me was NPH jumping through that paper-covered hoop.

    I thought it was obvious that the music was live — though, as a musician, I too, would love to see them in the pit. In a way, it’s quite a compliment if some thought it was canned. That meant there was no obvious musical snafu over the course of the entire evening.

    So many impressive moments, not the least of which was Cicely Tyson riffing on the ‘wrap it up’ warning during her speech. How clever was that?!

    I think “Cinderella” did themselves proud, both in the opening number and then their own slot (I’ve also watched Laura Osnes’ big dress reveal a bunch of times — what brilliant costuming!)

    Did they say who wrote that opening number? I’ve posted the video on my fb page and alerted songwriters everywhere to watch and learn. A perfect song sung by the perfect singer. Even the camera cutaways to people mentioned in the song (Tom Hanks was one) were perfectly timed. Kudos to whoever it was was at the helm for that!

    I also think there should be a Tony for best replacement (but word it better than that). Back when Laura Osnes replaced Kelli O’Hara in SP I wrote to BB and CI at the NYT asking them to at least go back and re-review the show with her in it. That didn’t happen, but I know her Tony is coming, just going to take a little more time (same for Danny Burstein).

    I also think “Broadway Song Of The Year” would be a terrific category to add.

    So glad to hear NPH is moving east. I predict eventually he’ll have a Broadway house named after him. A big one.

    No, bigger!

    • Daniel says:

      Hey Christine,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the camera cut aways! A colleague (Glenn Weiss) and I are both in charge of getting the right “shots” at the proper time during the show. Glenn watches all of the monitors and calls which camera angle to take.

      Thought you might enjoy this video Jodi posted of him calling the correct angles for the opening number. It really heats up around 00:50 in.

      youtub.ecom/watch?v=iANaJgqq0N8

      A lot of work goes in to making the show seem so effortless to those at home! I really appreciate your comment.

      I’m sorry to creep and randomly reply! 🙂

      Take care.

  • Co-sign on all of the above. Loved the show, the opening number, NPH, the Cinderella costume change, everything about Cyndi Lauper, the whole nine yards. As a former actor who did my (non-Broadway-unfortunately) time in NYC during the downturn of the late 80s, this made me more nostalgic for those days than any previous Tony’s telecast.

  • Harmony says:

    Eh… the opening was great, but didn’t seem that different from past NPH openings. Jane Lynch wasn’t funny, although I blame the fast pacing of the staging specifically for the awards for that. And I didn’t agree with some of the major award winners.

  • rps says:

    They may have utilized click-tracks for ensemble vocals (imagine organizing wireless mic packs on every single ensemble member in every show for the night)

    What?? They’re called condenser mics, powerful mics placed in strategic areas above and in the footlight areas of the stage. The biz term is: “Good mics are only able able to pick up Good singers.” Lip syncing is lip-syncing no matter what excuse you give it and I thougth was a no-no (even NPH does a bit about “we sing live EVERY night: CHECK IT!!) and lypsyncing was definitely going on during the Tony shows. Very disappointing. It is very obvious to us theater peeps and it cheapens the art when they do that. So, we just saw a dance show with dancers moving their mouth to pre-recorded music….. We didn’t see a live song and dance Broadway level show. What makes Broadway so unique and so speical is that when you go and see an ACTUAL show, those folks up there are singing live AND dancing AND acting with no “cheats.” Broadway is the only place where that happens and I think the Tony’s should showcase that to the world. My opinion.

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