It was a lackluster year for musicals and a great year for plays, but, alas, the gay prom must go on. Last night's televised Tonys event (yes, they still televise the Tonys) was star-studded, upset-filled and full of enormous and pretentious egos. Host Sean Hayes was funny for the most part, and overall it was a fabulous way to spend a Sunday evening. But there were lowlights, of course. Read on as I list the best and worst parts of the show.
Way to bring the kids in, guys. Schuester was boring but fine, but the Tonys audience needs another tyrannical karaoke version of "Don't Rain on My Parade" in their lives like a damn hole in the head, and Lea Michele knows it. That girl is out of control.
Best: Mark Sanchez
Let's forgive the quarterback's decidedly less-than-stellar taste in musicals (Memphis is his favorite show? Ugh) and just be thankful that he's hot, straight and a theater fan. J-E-T-S!
Worst: The Movie Stars Sweep
Yes, Broadway is very grateful for the money that employing a record number of famous actors brings in and they wanted to express that, but c'mon -- ScarJo beating Jessica Hecht? Catherine Zeta-Jones besting Sherie Renee Scott and Kate Baldwin? And though Denzel Washington was amazing in Fences, his entire category was populated by film greats, or stage actors who are also famous for big-ass movies -- Jude Law, Christopher Walken, Liev Schreiber and Alfred Molina. They were all good -- Molina in particular -- but movie stars aren't the only people working on Broadway, and it just seemed sad that actors without a prolific SAG resume were shut out by the money makers.
Best: The Celebrities Show Up
Ryan Reynolds! Ricky Martin! Harry Potter! Michael Douglas! Beyoncé! Will Smith! It was almost like watching a real awards show.
Worst: Sean Hayes and The Cheno Make Out
With tongue! With egregious tongue! The controversy over gay men not being able to play straight has been thoroughly addressed and dismissed as ridiculous. No need to watch Sean Hayes's tongue being jammed into Kristin Chenoweth's mouth on national television to further disprove the point, thanks.
Worst: American Idiot
It's Rent with strobe lights, people. It's time to stop making such a big deal about it.
Best: The Not-So-Bitterly Snubbed
Kristin Chenoweth was rightly snubbed for her miscast, disaster of a performance in Promises, Promises, and Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane were overlooked for the joke that is The Addams Family, but at least they all had a good sense of humor about it. Kristin's fake acceptance speech got laughs and Nathan Lane calling the night "Passover" while drinking from a flask on stage showed a rare bout of humility while still being pretty funny. No joke here, I just liked it.
Worst: Ragtime's Performance
No "Your Daddy's Son"? No "Wheels of a Dream"? Why choose the least memorable and least engaging song from the entire show? Is Audra McDonald's legacy that intimidating? Though I do have to say, if you've never heard Christiane Noll's version of "Just Around the Riverbend" from Pocahontas, you should. It is hilarious.
Fela! was supposed to win everything, La Cage aux Folles wasn't supposed to win much and Memphis wasn't supposed to win anything. By the end of the night Fela! had only won one televised award (for choreography), La Cage had won three, and Memphis had taken home best musical. Looks like Jay-Z (producer of Fela!) and Beyonce came out for nothing. Delicious.
If you are also lame enough to record the premiere of True Blood just so you could watch the Tonys live, discuss your thoughts about the show below! No shame here!
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