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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Tony Blogging Lite
Erm, is it just me, or was Harry Connick Jr. totally off-key in the initial “Tonight” section of his medley. Or as Randy would say “Pitchy, dawg.”

Hey, they just showed us a photo! Sure, it’s of the gathering of more than 100 previous Tony winners, but we can’t actually see it!

When accepting the Tony for Best Score (for Drowsy Chaperone), Greg Morrison’s speech, in which he thanked his parents for buying him a piano, was the first verkempt-making moment of the night. (Of course, if they’re back home in PEI, they won’t be able to watch, except via Webcast.)

Receiving the Tony for Best Direction of a Musical, John Doyle gives the first homo shoutout of the night--wishing his partner, Rob, a happy anniversary (and getting a round of applause for it). We had two last year (Edward Albee dedicating his award to his late partner and Cherry Jones snogging her girlfriend when her name was read). Will we beat that total tonight? Ooh, another gay moment: Harvey Fierstein say, "A gay man's work is never done" when releasing Audra McDonald's train.

I know that reviews always mention Hal Holbrooke's amazing memory (he apparently has massive quantities of Twain memorized and trots out different bits each night depending on the audience or his mood), but I was really worried he was going to lose his train of thought in his rambling preamble. I guess CBS wasn't too worried, though, he got the best guest cutaway guest shots of the night--Les Moonves, Julie Chen, and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Also, a very cool co-presenter, Veronica Mars herself, Kirsten Bell.

Hmm, so Clifford Odets now joins the pantheon of great American playwrights because he has a Tony?

Beth Leavel's speech was lovely, but even nicer were the closeups of Drowsy Chaperone director, Casey Nicholaw, shedding a tear at her joy.

So far, most of the musical numbers have seemed pretty lame--Jersey Boys, especially.

Could the excerpts from the best play nominees have been any shorter? Answer: NO!

Oh, the first political joke--from a puppet, no less! (Not that I'm calling the miraculous Christine Ebersole a puppet.) I suppose a gay puppet counts as a homo moment.

Wow, seeing Christian Hoff I wonder why I sometimes find goofy, emotional speeches irresistible and sometimes find them embarrassing. This was the latter.

LOVE the human tableaux in the Hal Prince lifetime achievement award. A new high in camp (which is saying something at the Tonys).

Hey, another homo moment thanks to Cynthia Nixon! And we're only two-thirds through the telecast. But she didn't thank her girlfriend!

LOVED seeing Julia Roberts get yanked out of camera shot by the award-guardian.

OK, the speeches have been longish, but the musical interruption of Richard Griffiths' speech was inexcusable. As The Playgoer has said, what exactly do they have in mind for the next hour?

In the zippy catch-up on the technical awards, it was heart-breaking to see the winners holding speeches (of which we heard approximately 3 seconds each from just some of them) but not being able to hear them. Bob Crowley's "I should've won it for the other one" was particularly interesting.

Alfre Woodard's dress made it a little difficult for me to focus on James Earl Jones' and Cynthia Nixon's Wilson and Wasserstein excerpts.

Nice writing from whomever came up with this description of the folks in the "in memoriam" section (too bad it was kind of hard to see the photos): "talented partners whose collaboration shall be missed."

Say what you like about Oprah, but she sure can make a speech, and the number from The Color Purple was the best of tonight's live musical presentations.

I have so little interest in Jersey Boys, I can barely bring myself to type out its full title, but I must admit producer Michael David's speech was appreciative and respectful. (And if he's ever short a few bucks for one of his productions, I have an idea for a way he could make some money in December.)

So, the final count was: History Boys - 6, Drowsy Chaperone - 5, Jersey Boys - 4 (but good ones, Best Musical the two actor awards, and the biggest one of all, lighting), Awake and Sing! - 2, Pajama Game - 2, Sweeney Todd - 2, and one each for Color Purple, Faith Healer, and Rabbit Hole. Oh, I almost forgot the special award for Bridge & Tunnel.

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