Tony Awards 2012 – Season Highlights

April 30, 2012

On this eve before 2012 Tony nominations are announced, I wanted to share some of my opinions on this theater season. I’ve managed to see a lot of new shows this year but alas, there are some major ones that have escaped me [ie, Newsies and Porgy & Bess]. This list is just a lovenote to some amazing actors and productions…

For me, musicals fell short this year. Lots of forgetables. As much as I love Spiderman [Be quiet, I will defend that show for eternity.] and would love to see it win and get some positivity, there’s one show that will knock down all others. Every season there’s that one show that wins every category it’s nominated for. Think Memphis. Think Book of Mormon. This year, it’s Newsies.

Best revival of a musical is where it can get tricky. As much as I loved Godspell let’s be honest, next to Evita and Porgy and Bess it doesn’t stand a chance. While I haven’t seen either of those shows, I’ve heard great things about both. I do have a feeling the award will lean a little more towards the Gershwins.

This was a stellar year for plays and this is where I have issues picking a favorite. There’s no clear cut winner for me here. I can narrow it down to 4 – Seminar, The Lyons, Venus In Fur & Peter and The Starcatcher. I have a feeling Starcatcher will win – amazing cast, magical, inventive, a show with heart. I have yet to see their Broadway run but caught the show at NYTW a few times. If it wins, well deserved. …Seminar is a witty, funny, well cast show. I saw it once with the original cast and loved it. Saw it with the new cast, liked it. I did like the casting the second time around but for whatever reason, I was not as engaged as I was the first time around, I think the show needed Lily Rabe back. …The Lyons, I loved. Linda Lavin livessss in that show.  Sorry but, Kate Jennings Grant annoyed me from start to finish. Dick Latessa was great even though his part felt small. For me, aside from Linda, Michael Esper was the one who was shining the brightest. I thoroughly loved his performance and found him to be the one I would relate with the most in some slight way. …Last but certainly not least, Venus In Fur. This show has changed me, I am absolutely in love with it. I have been singing the praises of Nina Arianda for a while now and if she doesn’t win a Tony for her performance, be prepared for my wrath. Brilliantly acted, Nina and Hugh are the perfect pair.

Best revival of a play without a doubt has to go to Death of a Salesman. I have loved Philip Seymour Hoffman for most of my young life and always knew he was something special. I felt beyond privileged to be able to see him on stage. I had box seats and hovered over all the action like a spirit. To me, there was no one else in that audience, I was fixated on that family. You could hear a pin drop. People didn’t dare to even cough. That show was a masterclass in acting and human emotion. PSH was outstanding. Andrew Garfield abolutely blew me away. I wasn’t sure what to expect from him but watching him spar with Philip was something I’ll never forget.

Tony Award nominations will be announced May 1st at 8:30am eastern by Kristin Chenoweth and Jim Parsons. Watch the live webcast on tonyawards.com

 

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