Tag Archives: Tony Award

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Of Tonys, Snacks, and Hamilton

IMG_4389So, that’s the 70th Annual Tony Awards in the books, and it was a great night! I spent the evening with about a dozen friends–several teens included–and we had a viewing party at my arts conservatory with the show projected on the big screen in our theatre. It was awesome! It was like we were in the Beacon Theatre, well, except that we had snacks and weren’t quite as dressed up as the Tony-goers were. And our ballots weren’t quite official.

We gathered around 7:00 PM with the red carpet arrivals playing on a monitor in our lobby, while a 60 Minutes episode featuring Hamilton coverage was streaming on the big screen. For only a dozen people, we had food enough to feed a small army. It’s so fun to see what people bring to a potluck! From roasted garlic chickpea snacks and chocolate-covered Oreo cookie balls to chili cheese dip and this crazy good grape salad (yes, you heard me, grape salad–with cream cheese, brown sugar, and pecans) and other healthy and not-so-healthy munchies. And to top it off, we had margaritas, Prosecco, and a chocolate fondue fountain — classy, eh?

So on to a quick recap (see complete list below). Hamilton didn’t break The Producers 2001 record, but it still won eleven of the sixteen awards including (as should have been pretty obvious) Best Musical. The Humans won four awards including Best Play. The four primary acting categories were all won by actors of color (three for Hamilton, one for The Color Purple)–a historic first for the Tonys, and James Corden was a terrific, charming, slightly silly host.  

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After a somber opening speech dedicating the evening’s show to those killed in the Orlando shootings late Saturday night, Corden in his delightful opening number spoke to something I mentioned in my previous Tony blog: that for many kids watching the Tonys every year, this was a chance to see Broadway in action and maybe even dream about being a Broadway star. Our little viewing gang of performers, parents, and kids in performing arts school agreed and cheered loudly when the number was over.

All of the performances were top notch–although due to a little glitch in streaming, we didn’t see all of the Waitress number–gonna need to find that on YouTube later. We were all thrilled to see a young student and friend rocking the house as part of the children’s cast of School of Rock, both in the main telecast number and the fun little bumpers they were doing out in front of the theatre throughout the night. Our kids (and a couple of adults) were all right down front on the floor for the Hamilton numbers and singing/rapping during commercial breaks. The grown-ups in the room gave a pleasant shout of surprise when Frank Langella won for The Father, and applauded loudly for Jessica Lange and her award for Long Day’s Journey into Night. And we all laughed when our youngest viewer, upon Broadway legend Angela Lansbury’s entrance, said, “Oh! That’s the lady from Mrs. Santa Claus!” It was a good reminder that Broadway always has its classy past to lean on, but the future, as demonstrated last night,  is wide open with possibilities.

Complete List of 2016 Tony Award Winners

Best Play: The Humans

Best Musical: Hamilton

Best Revival of a Play: Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

Best Revival of a Musical: The Color Purple

Best Book of a Musical Hamilton: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre: Hamilton

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play: Frank Langella, The Father

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play: Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical: Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical: Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play: Reed Birney, The Humans

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play: Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical: Daveed Diggs, Hamilton

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical: Renee Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton

Best Scenic Design of a Play: David Zinn, The Humans

Best Scenic Design of a Musical: David Rockwell, She Loves Me

Best Costume Design of a Play: Clint Ramos, Eclipsed

Best Costume Design of a Musical: Paul Tazewell, Hamilton

Best Lighting Design of a Play: Natasha Katz, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Best Lighting Design of a Musical: Howell Binkley, Hamilton

Best Direction of a Play: Ivo Van Hove, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

Best Direction of a Musical: Thomas Kail, Hamilton

Best Choreography: Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton

Best Orchestrations: Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton

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Broadway Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Simon Stephens’ The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a true gem and Broadway at its best.  It’s also a safe bet to win this year’s Tony Award® for Best Play.

Curious Incident of the Dog Set
Set of the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The story revolves around fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone. Christopher is a mathematical genius who either suffers from autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. Mysteriously, a neighbor’s dog is killed and Christopher is the prime suspect. In fact, Christopher was not guilty of the crime and he becomes obsessed with exposing the real killer.

As Christopher embarks on his journey to find the killer, we learn how difficult even the most basic tasks are for him. He hates being touched, he doesn’t know how to interact with people and he is barely capable of navigating the world around him. Further, his mom (played by Enid Graham) and his dad (played by Ian Barford) have split up. Christopher is living with his dad in Swindon while his mom lives in London. The only person who seems to truly understand Christopher is his special-education teacher, Siobhan.

Curious Incident is a whirlwind of sensual delight. The play moves fast as we experience a chaotic, scary world through the eyes of Christopher. The sets are beautiful designed and a modern musical soundtrack helps further move things along.

Alex Sharp is magnificent and Tony-worthy as Christopher. To see this kind of acting live, is truly a rare and and memorable experience.  Sharp is a nimble, physical actor whose athletic skills are almost equal to his mastery of character. Besides Mr. Sharp, the rest of the cast is superb. Ian Barford is stunning as Christopher’s frantic and exhausted father. Enid Graham does a wonderful job playing Christopher’s mom, who has run off to London to be with another man.

Ian Barford
Ian Barford, currently starring in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Alex Sharp
Alex Sharp, star of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

If you are lucky enough to visit New York in the coming months, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a must see!

To read our full show guide about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time with plot summary and character descriptions, click here.

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