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The Tony Awards 2005

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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.

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About NancyGail

  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Spamalot seem like great fun, if the numbers presented at the Tonys were any indication. Not only is Jackman a nice guy, his vocal abilities are potent. Agree about Somewhere from West Side Story.

  • The Tonys, more than even the Grammies and the Oscars, seem geared to promoting commercially-appealing shows far more than critical faves.

    I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine whether that’s a good or bad thing.

  • I haven’t enjoyed a Tony show this much since Rosie last hosted. It’s sad that such a great telecast doesn’t do better in the ratings.

    Hugh Jackman is becoming Mr. Broadway. He’s a multi-talented actor who never ceases to amaze me. In Great Britain and Australia, actors are celebrated whether they be in film, television or stage. What’s unfortunate in America is that unless an actor does well at the box office they are not viewed as a success. There’s a lot of talent out there from off Broadway shows to daytime soap oepras.

  • Couple of notes: The winner for best actor in a musical is Norbert Leo Butz. Best leading actress in a musical was Victoria Clark from the charming A Light in the PiazzaSpamalot‘s Sara Ramirez won for her supporting role as Lady of the Lake. (Saw Spamalot last week; it is a riot, to be sure.)

    The awards show — so much better than the Grammys, Emmys, and Oscars combined, IMO — was divine: Threepeat host Hugh Jackman was witty and graceful, as always, and he delighted during a solo dance number. Sad to say, though, his duet with Aretha Franklin of “Somewhere” (for West Side Story) was just awful. The problem was the Queen of Soul, who seemed to be on another planet and singing in a different time signature. Ah well, even legends have off days. Jackman, however, was in fine form all night long and even during the unfortunate duet — the Theater Wing ought to put him on permanent retainer.

    I was happy that there was no awards sweep. This past year’s roster of Broadway-musical offerings featured a lot of wonderful shows, so it was terrific to see actors, artists, and technicians from a variety of shows honored. Meanwhile, Doubt was the dominant play of the night, but honorees also represented best-revival of a play Glengarry Glen Ross, the re-staging of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Pillowman, and The Rivals. Sunday was a great night for the Great White Way and definitely for this Broadway baby.