Tony Awards Recap

The-Tony-Awards-will-air-on-June-9th-this-year_event_mainThe day every theatre lover looks forward to, The Tony Awards! This year the 68th annual Tony Awards were held on June 8th at Radio City Music Hall. The show started off with the host Hugh Jackman bouncing… for the whole opening sequence. I give him mad props because I’m sure that wasn’t easy but I would have loved a more entertaining opening. However, I did love seeing some of the nominated shows and the hilarious encounter with Neil Patrick Harris. After Midnight was the first show to perform and despite the slight nip slip the three leading ladies sang beautifully and had me snapping my fingers the whole song! The energy sky rocketed as the chorus members came out and danced beautiful choreography by Warren Carlyle who is also the director of the show. I love Dule Hill and was happy to see him back on stage. I love a strong dance show so overall I was very pleased with After Midnight’s performance.

I found Hugh’s transitions in between each performance and nomination to be slightly dry but it’s hard to top Neil Patrick Harris’ hosting skills. I’m not going to give my opinion on any award winners unless I’m educated in their performance or what the show is about and unfortunately I’m not as familiar with the shows of this season as I would like to be.

Next to perform was Les Mis. Ramin Karimloo and Andy Mientus’ voices were absolutely magical and quite the way to start the performance. Nikki James is a very talented singer and actress but her voice just does not seem to fit eponine whatsoever. This cast has amazing vibrato and I’m actually pretty jealous. The ensemble is very focused and their voices blend beautifully. The energy in the very last “one day more” made me want to get off the couch and join the revolution. Great job Les Mis!

I’m so glad Hugh gave the camera operator a big shoutout, it’s a tough job to do and I’m glad he got some credit for his great work. The next award was for best featured actress in a musical. I’m not sure what’s going on with Adriane Lenox’s hat but that’s alright, you do you. The Tony went to Lena Hall and rightfully so! Her acceptance speech was so adorable and quirky and I loved seeing a deserving actress get such an honor! “Friendship is magic”- Lena Hall

I have to admit I was most excited to see my favorite Disney movie Aladdin take the stage in the newly adapted musical. I knew James Monroe Iglehart from the musical Memphis and was elated to see him play the genie. They performed “friend like me” with flawless comedic timing and outstanding energy! Adam Jacobs is a very attractive Aladdin and was definitely pleasing to watch. I love the costume designs and was surprised they didn’t get nominated for best costume design. I loved  the choreography as well. The Disney medley was hilarious and I LOVED the chorus line reference. “Can your friends do tap?” YES THEY CAN! The tap number was a big surprise and actually fit very well in this number. I’m a sucker for a good tap number and this performance had just that. I wish Adam Jacobs would’ve gotten to sing but as long as I got to look at him I was satisfied. I loved the huge classic broadway styled big finish. All in all Aladdin did NOT disappoint and was easily my favorite performance of the night.

Jonathan Groff introduced Idina Menzel and made a “John Travolta Fail” reference which I knew was going to happen, the Tony writers couldn’t resist! Idina performed “always starting over” and while it sounded beautiful, the singing seemed a little forced and the acting unnatural. But hey she’s a Tony winner so I can’t judge her.

Clint Eastwood presented the best direction of a musical and was very off while presenting but he made Jersey Boys the movie happen so I honestly don’t care how he did.

Rocky performed next and was my least favorite of the night. The lighting was pretty cool though. Was it just me or was there hardly any singing going on? Also, If I wanted to watch boxing I would watch a boxing match, just saying. This may be a decent show but in my opinion they picked a very poor song (song?) to perform. To all the Rocky lovers, don’t shoot me.

I feel like Hugh managed to fit a song in every transition but if I sang like him I would probably do the same. Fran Drescher (love her) helped present the next award for best performance for an actor for a featured role in a musical and it rightfully went to James Monroe Iglehart. I’m such a big fan of him and was even a bigger fan after he thanked God in his beautiful acceptance speech. He was so poised and then BAM PRAISE SHOUT! Congrats James!

I was SO excited when Hedwig and the angry inch started performing. Neil has been known from Barney in HIMYM and Dr. Horrible and I’m glad he has gotten the chance to switch things up and return to the stage.  The man’s in 5′ heels and is STILL more fierce than me. Neil’s energy was amazing and the crowd interaction (which can be hard to pull off) was hilarious and sexy! I couldn’t forget about Lena Hall now could I? It took me a while to realize that she was the raspy voiced guy and that is why she deserved her Tony! Effortless! The energy throughout the entire performance was outstanding and I’ve had “Sugar Daddy” stuck in my head all day!

Can we get a quick shoutout to the dressers of the Tony Awards?! Between Jefferson Mays and the Aladdin performance, they were hard at work tonight!

Next to perform was “Gentleman’s guide to love and murder” The voices of the trio were phenomenal and left me questioning my own vocal abilities. The comedic timing throughout the entire performance was spot on as well as the energy.

Leading Actress in a play went to Audra McDonald who got a standing ovation! She looked stunning and gave a beautiful acceptance speech while tearing up  the whole time ( I would be too!)

I loved the way they presented the nominees for best play. Sadly I haven’t done much research on the nominees for plays this year but after they were presented I felt I had a good amount of knowledge on them! Congrats All the Way!

Violet’s performance was touching and beautiful! So many people are fans of Sutton Foster simply because of the iconic roles she’s played but this just confirmed my love for her! Her singing seemed effortless, her acting natural, and can I PLEASE look that good with no makeup on! The mood changed when the gospel choir took the stage and man can those ladies SING! One question however, did they get whiplash? I loved every second of this performance and it was one of my favorites of the night!

Wicked performed in honor of their tenth anniversary which I was a little hesitant about at first. I thought the production would be watered down after ten years but I was proven wrong by this stellar performance. The two ladies brought something new to the classic song “For Good” while still staying true to the characters. The singing was great and I was very impressed.

Anyone else get REALLY happy when they see the Jersey Boys trailer?!

Can we just take a moment to talk about the music man rap. It was slightly amusing but didn’t fit in at all and I was left very confused. I feel like the network brought LL Cool J and T.I. in to boost views and get a wider variety. Nice try CBS. Although it did get the crowd on their feet and the energy up so I can’t complain.

Next, Audra McDonald presented the award for best leading actor in a musical. Ramin Karimloo hushing the crowd might have been the cutest thing of the night…besides Adam Jacobs as Aladdin.The award went to Neil Patrick Harris (shocker, he’s outstanding!) I loved Neil’s speech, it was professional yet personal and the shoutout to his kids was adorable!

Beautiful’s performance was (excuse the pun) beautiful. So much raw talent in that show and can you IMAGINE getting to sing with Carole King? Congrats to the cast!

Bullets over Broadway performed next. I love basically any musical about the 20s so I knew I was in for a treat. Nick Cordero started off the performance with a bang (again, excuse the puns) his voice was empowering and great to listen to. Can I have a fierce tiger print costume please!? If you know me at all you would know I love a good tap number and this was BEYOND good. The chorus of men delivered outstanding  energy and a flawless tap dance with perfect pauses, formations, and arms. Susan Stroman created fabulous choreography and this piece was definitely my favorite dance of the night. Take note guys, there is nothing hotter than a guy in a suit and tap shoes! After that high energy all skate everybody managed to sing seemingly effortless which is the magic of musical theatre!

Of course Hugh sings to introduce the nominees for best leading actress in a musical. This time however I didn’t mind. The lyrics introduced each nominee with humor yet told why they were nominated and what for. After much anticipation they finally announced the winner. Now I’m sure there were many band wagon fans very upset about Idina or Sutton not winning but just because they are more known does NOT mean they were better than any of the other ladies in the category. Congrats Jessie on a well deserved win!

At the end of the night the award most anticipated was presented. Best musical went to “Gentleman’s guide to love and murder” I was pretty surprised by this but I’m very happy for the cast and creative! Hugh Jackman ended the night by singing (shocker) the song “On Broadway” and inviting all the Tony winners up on stage. I was slightly disappointed and wished they could have done something a little more entertaining as the big finish to a big night.

Overall the Tony Awards were magical and I loved (most) of the show. I love the unity that the Tony brings into the lives of every theatre lover and the fact that it keeps the art of theatre alive. Thanks for reading my Tony recap (if you got this far of my rambling mad props!) Share this with any and all of your Tony loving friends! Also follow me on twitter @MLew1996 and watch my YouTube videos

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