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TV Review: My Time At The 2006 Tony Awards

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This year's Tony Awards had its usual pageantry of all things theatre. Why shouldn't it? After all, the gala celebrates the best of Broadway. It also gives audiences a small taste of what they've been missing.

Some of the more popular ones are already at the tips of most audience tongues. Who hasn't heard of Jersey Boys, the story of the Four Seasons? While people liked it enough to see the show again and again, the theatre community recognized its artistic merit with four awards bestowed. John Lloyd Young won Best Actor in a Musical, and his costar Christian Hoff won Best Supporting Actor in a Musical. The show overall won for Best Musical.

The Drowsy Chaperone took home five awards, including one for Beth Leavel as a Featured Actress.

LaChanze of The Color Purple won the Best Actress Musical award.

In perhaps the nicest touch, the awards were not swept by any one play. The Best Revival of a Musical award was given to The Pajama Game , in which Harry Connick, Jr. has helped to draw in crowds on a nightly basis. It also won for Best Choreography.

The Best Revival of a Play went to Awake and Sing!

Does getting the Tony change anything for the plays and actors who receive them? I've never been quite sure, but those who watch the awards show just might put those winning productions on their list of ones to see when the touring company comes to town.

In the play category, the Best Actress award went to Cynthia Nixon for her work in Rabbit Hole. The Best Actor award went to Richard Griffiths of The History Boys. Griffiths's costar Frances de la tour won a Tony as Featured Actress in a play.

Since this was the sixtieth year the awards have been given out, there were a few surprises. Sixty stars were present to help hand out awards and make speeches introducing selections presented live. These happened to be mainly musicals, but snatches of dramas were also shown.

One problem I had: where was Hugh Jackman? It just didn't seem the same without his charming patter.

Tribute was paid to people in the theatre community who died during the past year. Wendy Wasserstein, the author of The Heidi Chronicles, was honored by Cynthia Nixon.

I enjoyed the knights from Spamalot interrupting the representatives from the American Theatre Wing, who are responsible for deciding who should get the Tony. Of course, the Knights Who Say Nih showed up, too.

The Directing award for a play went to Nicholas Hytner for his work on The History Boys, while John Doyle received the award for directing the musical, Sweeney Todd.

All in all, the hours flew by with lots of laughter. There was one touching moment, however, when Patricia Neal was given a Tony to replace the one stolen from her long ago.

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