As the 2012 Tony Awards approach (just two weeks from tonight!), I thought it might be fun to see where we've been, and how the past informs today...
5 YEARS AGO
COMPANY - 2007 Best Revival of a Musical
Raul Esparza sings "Being Alive" - The winner of Best Revival featured the direction of John Doyle (coming back soon with Merrily We Roll Along?) also featured the Tony-nominated performance of Raul Esparza seen in this clip from the awards show in 2007. He did not win that night, egregiously in my opinion. This year, he won't win either because he was snubbed for his star turn in Leap of Faith.
SPRING AWAKENING - 2007 Best Musical
The Company sings a medley of "Mama Who Bore Me," "The Bitch of Living," and "Totally Fucked" - Fun to watch because it is still THAT exciting, and fun to listen to, since they changed the lyrics. Funny, too, that while they obviously couldn't sing "fucked," they were allowed to sing "bitch" (repeatedly) and not the word "breast"! Notice a pre-Glee Lea Michele who naturally knows how to deal with the camera... a preview of Rachel Berry! And Awakening's Tony-winning director, Michael Mayer... his Clear Day was all but forgotten this time around...(Bonus: Notice the energetic Kimberly Grigsby conducting in the background. Do you think she's that bouncy at Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark?)
10 YEARS AGO
INTO THE WOODS - 2002 Best Revival of a Musical
The Company sings a medley of "Into the Woods" and "Children Will Listen" - Poorly filmed - did the director attend rehearsals? - it is still cool to see some pre-fame folks: Laura Benanti, Christopher Sieber, and a few veterans: Gregg Edelman and the legendary John McMartin, currently in Anything Goes. And isn't Vanessa Williams a beautiful witch? (And she stayed on pitch unlike Phylicia Rashad on the 1988 Tonys...) Will Into the Woods be on the 2013 awards show?)
THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE -2002 Best Musical
Sutton Foster and Company sing "Forget About the Boy" and "Thoroughly Modern Millie" - The controversy that surrounded the Best Musical win by old-fashioned, traditional Thoroughly Modern Millie over the avant-garde, edgy Urinetown: The Musical, reared its ugly head a couple of years later when the avant-garde, edgy Avenue Q beat out the traditional Wicked. So, this year, which will it be? Old-fashioned, traditional Newsies or avant-garde Once? Ann L. Nathan was in Millie... does that improve the odds for Once? Will Millie Tony-winner Rob Ashford win for Evita? And Millie's nominated director, Michael Mayer... his Clear Day was all but forgotten this time around...