YET ANOTHER UPDATE FROM "HETEROSEXUAL MUSICAL THEATRE GEEKS OF AMERICA:" Yes, I know someone's getting whacked over on HBO Sunday night, but I'll be watching the Tony Awards, especially since the whacking will repeat many times during the week. My U.S. theatre-going has not been that great this year--I've seen only four shows that are up in the major categories ("Boy From Oz," "Wicked," "Wonderful Town," and the now-closed "Big River.") But, to make your TiVoing quicker, a run-down of the production numbers you can skip and those you should watch.
Best Play/Best Revival of a Play snippets: Skip 'em all. The Tonys have never really been able to make these work, because plays (unlike musicals) don't tend to have big dramatic moments you can "pull out" of the show.
"Everybody's Got The Right" from "Assassins." Watch it. Doogie Howser playing a presidential assassin alert!
"It Sucks To Be Me" from "Avenue Q." Watch it. Sadly, "Avenue Q" is limited in what it can perform by those pesky FCC regulations. We won't get the classic "The Internet is for Porn" as a result. Especially given that "Q" may not wind up winning a single award despite being the most critically acclaimed musical of the year (not to mention the first show of the year to recoup its initial investment), definitely worth watching.
"Not the Boy Next Door" from "The Boy From Oz." Depends on your mood. At least they're doing a Jackman-centric number, but I'd prefer they do something a little catchier and flashier, like "The Lives Of Me" or "I Go To Rio." Then again, they may wind up doing "Rio" as a separate production number for Jackman as the host. If you can't get enough Hugh, watch it. If you've had enough, skip it.
"Lot's Wife" from "Caroline, or Change." Watch it, but only if Tonya Pinkins wins for Best Actress in a Musical. It's apparently depressing and devastating, but that's not what I want in a show on Sunday night.
"Tradition" from "Fiddler On The Roof." Skip it. I mean, we all know the song. I might be more interested if Alfred Molina were doing it in character and in costume as Dr. Octopus from Spider-Man 2, though...
"Defying Gravity" from "Wicked." Watch it. I'm not sure if it'll have the emotional impact divorced from the show that it does in the show, and I'm not sure if they'll leave in or cut out bits surrounding the song that give away key plot points in the show, but this is the strongest part of the score and features an excellent visual.
"Swing" from "Wonderful Town." Watch it. I'd rather they have done "Conga!" but this shows off Donna Murphy wonderfully, and is a great time.
Oh, and predictions?
Best Musical: "Wicked"
Best Book of a Musical: Tony Kushner, "Caroline or Change"
Best Score of a Musical: Stephen Schwartz, "Wicked" (mostly because he's never won a Tony before, despite "Godspell" and "Pippin" being certified classics, but there's a chance for an upset by "Avenue Q" here)
Best Direction of a Musical: Joe Mantello, "Assassins"
Best Actor in a Musical: Hugh Jackman, "The Boy From Oz"
Best Actress in a Musical: Tonya Pinkins, "Caroline or Change"
Best Revival of a Musical: "Assassins"
Best Play: "I Am My Own Wife"
Best Actor in a Play: Jefferson Mays, "I Am My Own Wife"
Best Actress in a Play: Phylicia Rashad, "A Raisin In The Sun"
Best Direction of a Play: Moises Kaufman, "I Am My Own Wife"
Best Revival of a Play: "A Raisin In The Sun"