The Tony Awards, which are theatre's equivalent of the Oscars, were shown live on CBS on June 5th, 2005. From the beginning, it promised to be an awards show for next day water cooler discussion.
When Bernadette Peters finished singing "Another Opening, Another Show" the announcer gave the intro for the host to appear. It was Billy Crystal! He started an opening monologue, skewering members of the audience as only he could. About halfway through, a cellphone went off. Crystal finally realized it was his, and took the call. It was Hugh Jackman, gently breaking the news that HE was the actual host. Billy mentioned he was up for a Tony himself. Hugh calmly reminded Billy that he HAD a Tony (The Boy From Oz-Best Actor).
Obviously, it was a gigantic set up. When Jackman walked out on stage, there was a bit of back and forth chatter before Billy announced the nominees for best Supporting Actor (Liev Schreiber won for his work in Glengarry Glen Ross). Later that evening, Billy won his own Tony for Best Theatrical Event-700 Sundays. In other words, a one person show.
Nothing swept the awards as Oscars are known to, but there were standout exceptions.
For example, Doubt won for Best Play. It tells the story of a nun who hears rumors of misconduct by a superior. The question remains: what does she do, if anything?
Best Actor was Norbert Leo Butz (I am not making that up) for his role of Freddy in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, co-starring John Lithgow. I highly recommend that people see it when it comes to town.
Monty Python's Spamalot took home several awards. I'm not surprised. After all, it stars Tim Curry with David Hyde Pierce and Hank Azaria. Curry and Azaria were both up for Best Actor. Mike Nichols won for Best Director. Sara Ramirez's win for Best Supporting Actress also came from this musical.
Those of you who grow nostalgic when you think of Monty Python's works (most notably Quest for the Holy Grail) will be delighted to find out that Eric Idle wrote the script. The words are linguistically sharp, with acting of comedic brilliance. Think about it. Three of the best comedians in show business are part of the cast. This is also a must see.