As I anticipate June's coming and my first summer stock gig, another major event is about to commence: The Tony's. Given to Broadway's best each June, I will have actually seen a good chunk of these shows, as opposed to being a clueless spectator in isolated Indiana, all knowledge coming from heresay, blogs, and if you are above the age of 40 (or me), The New York Times. In the musical categories, the current revival of La Cage aux Folles and an original piece Fela! lead the nominations with 11-a-piece. As with the Oscars, I am presented with the monumental and tempting task of attempting to see everything before it closes or I leave for PA. But what to do about all those that have already closed? How could I have missed A View from the Bridge or Time Stands Still (thank God this is one slated to return for a limited run in the fall). And then there's all the shows I'm trying to catch from last year (and the year before and before, etc). I may have made my way to Next to Normal, but what about Billy Elliot? How about those recent big hits Jersey Boys, In the Heights, or Mary Poppins? I know the revivals of Hair, West Side Story, and South Pacific can only run so long. And how about those indomitable titans The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, or The Phantom of the Opera which has made Hal Prince and Andrew Lloyd Webber so much money they'd need to rent out another theater to hold it all? Oi vey! Don't people see I have things to do; I've got to get to the theater!Now being Broadway, we are also presented with the predicament that Broadway shows are much (and usually much, much) more expensive than movie tickets. After freeloading off of as many visitors, relations, and dates as possible, I still find myself with a huge list of "to-see." Now, "You are coming back to New York," you might say, which, as far as I know, is true. But who can foresee the tricky probability that is Broadway openings and closings? Will all the nominees make it to Tony night? And if they are shut out will closing notices immediately follow? Undoubtedly, The Addams Family, which received very few nominations and toilet reviews, will run much longer than even the Toniest of its competition because of its star power and commercial comic-strip appeal. These are the thoughts and decisions mostly running through my head these days. In the past week, I have caught last year's Best Play God of Carnage, Fela!, and Sondheim on Sondheim. Now of course, there are a few things I just have interest in seeing. What is Collected Stories? Why does Sherie Rene Scott have Everyday Rapture (and I'm sorry that's not the feeling her voice usually gives me). While I think a few categories are sure bets (Fela! for Best Musical, La Cage for Best Musical Revival, Fences for Best Play Revival), others are a bit more tricky. My favorite topic of conversation: Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Who will it be? It's a battle of the octogenarians, Lansbury and Cook, two sassy black ladies, one dancing, one singing, and one drunk, who will probably steal the award as she did the show (Promises, Promises). Though, after seeing Sondheim last night, the crowd's love for Barbara Cook, on Broadway for the first time in a long time (her bio reminds you she was a star in the 50's and 60's), may just lift the saggy songstress to Tony-dom. In the Best Actress in Musical category, I'm gunning for Catherine Zeta-Jones from Night Music but perhaps one of the unknown upstarts from Memphis, Finian's Rainbow, or Ragtime will take the Tony. Of course, there's always Sherie Renee . . . Let's just hope I have TV access come June 13, otherwise Millbrook may find they have a slightly grumpy Wilbur on deck. The 2010 Tony Awards will be presented live Sunday, June 13 at 8pm. Only on CBS.
Besides stalking the theatre elite, my life has been busy with work, late night munchies, and planning for my big trip. This week we had an unofficial read through of Hairspray which I am getting more and more excited about. I have been to a few auditions and even mozied over to Uncle Charlie's, singing an array of toons and forgetting my book. Despite an inopportune jackhammer, things have been going pretty well; the sun is (mostly) shining, and I feel I have finally fully shaken off my winter sleepiness and blues. The city, too, seems to be returning to life, our restaurant busier, tourists aplenty, and street fairs popping up on the street. Hungry and confused, I was recently a victim to Colombian street fair food, arriving in Astoria $15 poorer and full of tamales and rice. Let's hope my trip to PA sees me not only embrace my artistic side, but also locate the gym and vegetables, friends I seem to have lost contact along the way. No theatre tonight, as I am off to work, but who knows that next week's excitement may bring.