Tony Awards 2013 Recap and Review

Orrymain

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The 67th Annual Tony Awards began last night with a rousing opening number featuring host Neil Patrick Harris. With the theme of going bigger than ever, the song featured all types of circus and magic acts, not just on the stage but in the audience. Barbs and jokes were made throughout, including my favorite at the movie Les Miserables. "Can I have my Tom Hooper Les Mis close up, please" Harris asked at one point. With the camera in close, he stated, "See, on Broadway we don't need extreme closeups to prove we're singing live. We sing live eight shows a week. Check it!" By the end of the song, the audience were on their feet, bravos being shouted and the applause continuing for quite a while. As Zachary Quinto said after being introduced with Audra McDonald to present the first award, "That's the definition of a tough act to follow."

[video=youtube;7BraXq07kkM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BraXq07kkM[/video]

Held at the Radio City Music Hall, the three-hour broadcast included the usual slew of awards. One of my favorites was the Featured Actress in a Play honor. It went to Judith Light for The Assembled Parties and was her second straight win in this category. Many like myself remember Light from her early days on One Life to Live when she stunned daytime viewers with her cunning portrayal of Karen Wolek. It earned her two Daytime Emmys, in fact, in 1980 and 1981.

The great Cicely Tyson won her first Tony Award for the play, A Trip to Bountiful. She appeared quite stunned by her win for Leading Actress in a Play and made a long, heartfelt speech where she explained "I wanted one more" great role. The audience responded with a standing ovation, truly making it a memorable night for the actress who appeared in her first stage role in 30 years.

[video=youtube;Ki8MHPNm3I0]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki8MHPNm3I0[/video]

The presenter speeches for both awards and musical numbers were hit and miss, as is often the case, but there were some fascinating choices, like having two of Rock of Ages cast in their costumes introducing the musical presentation of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. It was actually both funny and ironic at the same time, to have rockers introducing a fairytale. The highlight of the Cinderella routine itself was when Cinderella's fairy godmother quipped, "You'd be surprised how many beautiful gowns have crazy women in them." I enjoyed the number and found myself reaching for my DVD of the 1965 TV event of Cinderella with Lesley Ann Warren and Stuart Damon. To me, Damon is the complete and only Prince Charming for that production.

Other personal highlights included Liam Neeson wearing a flower wreath doing a bit of a comedy routine Liam Nielsen presents at Tonys 2013, the MoTown the Musical medley complete with the Supremes and The Jackson Five ([video=youtube;7AbMyTLU8V8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AbMyTLU8V8[/video]), and the reaction when Cyndi Lauper won for Best Score for the musical Kinky Boots (Tony Awards winners list).

The one thing I was not as fond of was the In Memoriam segment. ****While Cyndi Lauper's True Colors performance on its own was very nice, I found it to be loud and distracting from the solemness of the moment. ****Dressed in bright red, she sat playing an instrument and singing while a large screen behind her displayed pictures of those being remembered. The screen was dark and too easily drowned out by the brightness of Lauper's presence and the set that surrounded her. ****The Tony's could have done this much better.

Harris was brilliant throughout the show. ****All of his bits were funny and presented with humor and style. ****I particularly loved the number he did with three others about TV verses the theater. ****The other three were all from canceled TV shows: Megan Hilty from Smash, Laura Benanti, and Andrew Rannells. ([video=youtube;whVVVAbHffs]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whVVVAbHffs[/video])

While it was a long night, the show was entertaining and moved rather quickly. ****Ultimately, it did run over about six minutes, but Harris, along with Audra McDonald, continued on with a super closing number that even featured clips of the proceedings.

[video=youtube;whlsf_hISP4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whlsf_hISP4[/video]
 

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