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Well, my "little vacation" ended up lasting two and a half years... funny how life steers your life in directions you weren't planning on. I'll start off with occasional posts, but I fully plan to resume this blog to full speed by the new year.

I hope you'll come back for frequent visits, to see new reviews, to share opinions, to take a survey (or two), and to celebrate the shows and show people that have made the TheatreScene!

Jeff

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Some Random Thoughts on the 2014 Tony Awards Nominations

Just like most of you reading this, I watched the 2014 Tony Award nominations with high expectations and a guarded feeling that no matter what happened there would be disappointments and surprises.  Just like every year.  But maybe more so this year, with no huge hits, but with tons of individual excellence.  (See the season stats I compiled HERE.)

By now, everyone with a real interest in this topic has either already blogged about it or given their two cents' worth, so as I now do the same, please forgive anything I repeat for myself here.  I have read exactly 1 blog on this topic and have purposely stayed away from the message boards in order to keep my thoughts as uninfluenced as I can.  Of course, I did chat with Mike about how our predictions panned out and that's where I will start! (HERE are our predictions, in case you missed them!)

JEFF AND MIKE vs THE TONY COMMITTEE

  • For the first time in years, I correctly predicted more of the actual nominees than Mike did (76%), but it was close - Mike got 69% - a difference of just 5.  
  • Our wishes came true exactly the same number of times. with 39 "should be nominated"s making to "will be" list - a nice 62%.  
  • I successfully predicted that the committee would not give all 4 musical revivals a nod.  Mike successfully recognized a near shut-out for If/Then, which we both loved.
  • Mike got the biggest category right - Best Musical.  I correctly guessed all of the nominees for Best Musical Revival, Original Score, Orchestrations, and Featured Actor in a Musical. 
  • The category we both did the worst at was Featured Actress in a Musical.
  • Although we didn't "officially" guess these, we did mention the possibility in our notes: Adriane Lennox for Featured Actress, Danny Burstein for Featured Actor, Julian Crouch for Hedwig's Sets and Arianne Phillips' costumes for the same, Steven Hoggett and Kelly Devine's Rocky Choreography, and Mary Bridget Davies' Best Actress nods.  

Overall, I think we did a pretty decent job. Way to go, Mike!


DISAPPOINTING!

  • If/Then getting only two nominations.  No, it was not perfect, but no show is, was, or will be.
  • The Bridges of Madison County not getting a Best Musical nod.  And what about Steven Pasquale?
  • What about Josh Prince's choreography for Beautiful?
  • No Zachary Levi or Zachary Quinto.  And for that matter, and to a much lesser degree, no Zach Braff.  What do they have against names that start with a "Z"?


SHOCKING OMISSIONS!

  • Two words: Alex Timbers. His staging of Rocky was a superb blend of theatre and spectacle.  Did you see the final match?
  • Two more words: Gregg Barnes. Aladdin has TWO whole numbers that are costume parades - and those clothes are dazzling!
  • Last two words: Michelle Williams. How dare she bring a new Sally Bowles to the Kit Kat Klub!?  Daring, tough and very affecting.
  • A few more names: Radcliffe (what does this guy have to do to get some Tony love?), Stewart, McKellen and Seibert.



THEY GOT SOME THINGS RIGHT!

  • Jessie Mueller, Jarrod Spector and Anika Larsen were the only really excellent parts of Beautiful.
  • Adriane Lennox did pretty much the only acting in After Midnight, and she was superb.
  • Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey's score. If/Then, will, I think, prove to be a much more important musical than people currently believe it to be.
  • Joshua Henry continues to be a breath of fresh air. What an actor!
  • Linda Emond.  Poised, low-key, brilliant.
  • Michael Mayer's direction and Kevin Adams' lighting for Hedwig were truly superlative.
  • Leaving Helene Yorke off the list.  There is a higher power.
  • Samuel Barnett, Mark Rylance and Paul Chahidi were brilliant in Twelfth Night.


SURPRISING INCLUSIONS!

  • Leigh Silverman's direction of Violet.  It was good, but better than Alex Timbers?
  • Mary Bridget Davies was the only really superb thing about A Night with Janis Joplin.  But did they really not like Michelle Williams that much?
  • Douglas McGrath's book for Beautiful? Part Wikipedia article, part sanitized VH1 Behind-the-Music, this has as much drama as a bowl of plain oatmeal.
  • Woody Allen?  Really, was that script significantly different from the film?  Maybe his inclusion is supposed to stir up some controversy?  Ick.


TWO BIG MESSAGES FROM THE TONY COMMITTEE!

  • If you are going to trot out big name movie and TV stars they better be really really good.  Just ask Denzel, James, Toni, Marisa, Daniel, Michael and Fantasia.
  • Easier is better than challenging.  Just as the folks at If/Then and The Realistic Joneses.


OK, so there are probably more things I could say.  But it won't change a thing.

Jeff
5.161

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