The other day, I named 42 winners in 40 categories covering non-performance achievement on Broadway. Today, will do the same (42 winners in 35 categories) in performance related achievement on Broadway. This year's awards cover all 25 productions I saw, including some multiple times. I am not considering Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark for this year's performance awards because there is too much still in flux at this point. I will consider the cast's performances for the 2011 performance awards.
If you can think of a snazzier name for these awards or some interesting categories to consider for next year, send them in!
Best Chemistry: Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes in Promises, Promises
Best Cast Chemistry: The Scottsboro Boys (ABOVE)
Best Rise-Above-It Moment: TIE Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane presenting at the 2010 Tony Awards (it was funny because it was all true), and Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes making out at the 2010 Tony Awards. (ABOVE)
The Grin-and-Bear-It Award (Cast): The Addams Family (BELOW)
The Grin-and-Bear-It Award (Individual): Kristin Chenoweth in Promises, Promises (BELOW)
Best Change of Heart: Despite a leak of a brochure advertising a closing of January 2 for next to normal being so widely publicized, the producers closed on their own timeline - January 16. That's 16 more chances to see brilliance on Broadway.
Best and Worst Last Minute Change: The new "Good Riddance" curtain call at American Idiot. Best because it is Green Day's most recognizable hit to the general public; worst because it really is a sell out in a show about not selling out. Not to mention a real mood/tone breaker.
Best New Song Written for a Broadway Musical: TIE "Ten Little Indians" from Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and "Model Behaviour" from Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (BELOW) and "The God Song" from Sondheim on Sondheim.
Best Complete Score Written for a Broadway Musical: The Scottsboro Boys
Best Song in a Broadway Musical Not Originally Written for a Broadway Musical: TIE "Holiday" from American Idiot. Amazing performance and staging. "Say a Little Prayer" It really does add to the character and it is beautifully sung by Kristin Chenoweth.
Best Overture: The Addams Family
Best Staged Overture: Promises, Promises
Best Show I Missed: RED. My most regretted non-purchase.
Best Graceful Exit from Broadway: Next Fall. I don't think the standard statement, "We are so proud to have brought this piece to the Broadway stage" has ever sounded or felt more sincere. (ABOVE)
Best Understudy - Male: Billie Joe Armstrong in American Idiot. He didn't just do the rock star thing. He actually created a character. See him this winter; you won't be sorry. (ABOVE)
Best Understudy - Female: Sara Jean Ford in A Little Night Music. She left the show to join Phantom, but when they needed her to go on, this super trouper came back and did a smashing job at the spur of the moment.
Best Replacements: TIE: Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley in next to normal. Utter brilliance. (ABOVE) The "New Jets" in West Side Story. They got rid of the weak links and added some of the best male dancers on Broadway - kudos to John Arthur Greene and Wes Hart, especially.
Best Debut - Play: Justin Bartha in Lend Me a Tenor (ABOVE)
Best Debut - Musical: Justin Guarini in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (ABOVE)
Most Under-appreciated Actress: Ruthie Henshall in Chicago. Any part, any time she plays it on Broadway. (ABOVE)
Most Under-appreciated Cast: The Alternate Cast of Come Fly Away.
Best Kiss - Straight: TIE: Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth in The Addams Family (romantic!); and Adam Chanler-Berat and Meghann Fahey in next to normal (aww).
Best Kiss - Gay: Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge in La Cage aux Folles (the most poignant moment of the superb second act). (ABOVE)
Best Kiss - Period: Sean Hayes and Katie Finneran doing that tongue thing in Promises, Promises.
Best Non-musical Performance in a Musical: Stephen Sondheim in Sondheim on Sondheim.
Best Broadway Cast Performance Not on a Broadway Stage: The Cast of Glee. (Two years in a row!!) (ABOVE)
Best Theatre Performance Not Performed in a Theatre - Film: Donna Murphy as Mother Gothel in Disney's Tangled (ABOVE)
Best Theatre Performance Not Performed in a Theatre - TV: Bobby Steggert on The Good Wife.
Best Surprise Show: Elf: The Musical. I went in with no expectations and left flying high.
Best "Hit" Show: next to normal
Best "Flop" Show: Come Fly Away
Best Challenging Show: The Scottsboro Boys
Best Broadway-related Web Series: Playbill Online's Avenue Clue. The subversive brilliance of Avenue Q meets Agatha Christie. Click HERE to see part one of three. CAUTION: NOT work safe!
("Hit" and "Flop" as defined by Variety.)
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