Friday, June 17, 2011

Tony Awards!!!!! (Part II: Revivals of a Musical)


This was a relatively good year for revivals.  There were only two put on all year (which is unusual) so there weren't four that performed as they usually do.  But the two that were nominated were fantastic and actually pretty similar.  They both had big stars in them, they both were dance intensive, and they both have had multiple revivals.  There performances were fantastic and the shows look like they are really fun.

How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
This looked like a fun show.  I had to opportunity to see Pebblebrook do it this January but didn't end up taking advantage of it, a choice that I now regret.  It's a fun idea of the underdog conquering all odds to become a great success.  The nice thing about revivals is that the whole soundtrack is available, and having listened to most of the soundtrack, I find that the music itself isn't really show stopping, but that's not really surprising since, from what I've seen, the strength of this show lies in it's choreography (unfortunately the same can be said for Anything Goes, which took the award).  I was nervous about Daniel Radcliffe playing the lead role, because sometimes I think that the movie stars sometimes get the role/award simply because they're so famous (I'm convinced that this is what happened to Cathrine Zeta Jones last year).  But from the few clips I've seen he really did do a good job.  Once I saw that he earned it I began to really root for him because I'm always excited to see talented movie stars who realize that theater is better (like Denzel Washington and Julie Andrews).  "How to Succeed" got to perform first at the ceremony and they really started the show off well:
How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying was nominated for 8 awards and won 1:
  • Best Revival of a Musical - nominated
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (John Larroquette) - WINNER
  • Best Direction of a musical - nominated
  • Best Choreography - nominated
  • Best Orchestrations - nominated
  • Best Costume Design of a Musical - nominated
  • Best Lighting Design of a Musical - nominated
After the ceremony, this was the first show I went to look up because it strikes me as a generally fun show.  I think it's one of those shows that seeing it is way better than just hearing the soundtrack because it is marketed as a (relatively) visually stunning show, so if you have the chance to go see it I would suggest it.

Anything Goes
I had heard a lot of songs from this show without even knowing it.  It is one of the most famous shows that I didn't really look into (mainly because I kept confusing it with South Pacific, which I didn't like).  So from the songs that I had heard I knew that it was a fairly good show, but what really caught my attention was the idea of Sutton Foster (possibly my favorite Female actor ever!  Known for her roles of Fiona [Shrek], Millie [Thoroughly Modern Millie], Janet [The Drowsy Chaperone] and many, many others) and Joel Grey (Emcee [Cabaret] & The Wizard [Wicked]) in the same show!  Once I looked deeper into the show, I was a bit surprised that it wasn't written specifically for Sutton Foster, it really complements her singing, dancing, and character talents.  It's always a joy to see Sutton in whatever role she's in, and this show was no different. However, I was disappointed that Joel Grey didn't have as large of a role as I had originally thought, but it was still an enjoyable show. Anything Goes had the last performance of the evening, and it was a ton of fun to watch.
Anything Goes was nominated for 9 awards and won 3:
  • Best Revival of a Musical WINNER
  • Best Leading Actress in a Musical (Sutton Foster) - WINNER
  • Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Adam Godley) - nominated
  • Best Direction of a Musical - nominated
  • Best Choreography - WINNER
  • Best Scenic Design of a Musical - nominated
  • Best Costume Design of a Musical - nominated
  • Best Lighting Design of a Musical - nominated
  • Best Sound Design of a Musical - nominated
As I hinted above, this show was strong in many of the categories that "How to Succeed" was strong, but in each category they were just a little better so that they won.  I must say that I was elated win Sutton Foster won best actress and not really surprised when the show won for choreography and best revival.  All in all, it was a good night for Anything Goes.

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