Monday, June 10, 2013

Tony in Boots

Well well well, here we are again, basking in the glorious aftermath of arguably one of the most momentous nights of the year ... Tony's night! Evening o' Tony is truly larger than life. It's totally surreal. All the unabashed stage personas gathered in one small space (well, I guess Radio City isn't quite so small is it) at once -- it's like a girl slash gay guy's overdone dream come true.

Now I know you could feasibly substitute out the word "Tony" with "Oscar" throughout the paragraph above. I recognize the seeming ease with which one could do so. But, rest assured, my aforementioned assessment is not without deep thought into the matter. Yes, the Oscars are totally and utterly epic in their own amazing right. I mean really, who wouldn't give their left arm just to be a fly on the golden wall of the Beverly Hilton on Oscar night. Buttttt, the Tony's have some sort of different special something, that for which I am at a loss for appropriate words. Shocking, I know. But they possess a sort of childhood magic ... for children and adults alike. In fact, I would venture to say the Tony's are (at least for those theatrically inclined souls) the Magic Kindgom of adulthood. Or perhaps even Neverland. In any case, when Tony comes to down,  you better believe I'm clearing my calendar.

And suffice to say, this year's Tony's maintained their track record of pure awesomeness. Uncharacteristic as it may be, I am going to make this as short an evaluation as feasibly possible, focusing solely on those plays, musicals and "play-sicals" that tickle my fancy. Ahem. And what a perfect segway to arguably the most integral asset to Tony'13 ... Neil Patrick Harris, otherwise known to those who enjoy him as NPH. Simply put, NPH is an awards show god. Yes, I said it. God. If all his Tony openings to date have been great, this year's was incomparably fabulous. The actor formerly known as Doogie was literally born for the Broadway stage... er, Tony stage. Not once throughout his debonair entracte did he feel stale, recycled or what would be the worst mortal sin of all, predictable. Harris' fresh take on the slew of plays and musicals gracing today's Manhattan Broadway stages was quite simply, electrifying. He had me at hello. I also particularly enjoyed his 2013 iteration of mashups -- quite witty Mr, Harris -- with my hands-down favorite being "Cats on a Hot Tin Roof." Love the simplicity. And don't worry, ScarJo, you're still as dramatic and sexy in your damsel in distress role as you were pre-NPH-mashup.

Okay so yeah, let's now talk about the obvious... the amazing well-deserved fiercely brash obvious, that is. And in case you're living under a rock, er, didn't watch the Tony's nor consume any social media in the last 24 hours, that obvious that I speak of refers to the mashup love child of Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein: Kinky Boots. I have no other words than to say this. Absolutely. Fucking. Brilliant. I would venture to dub Kinky Boots as the penultimate musical. From every standpoint, it is pretty much perfect. Original lyrics and music from the incomparable Ms. Lauper combined with a soul-healing story of self love and acceptance from outspoken Mr. Fierstein, infused with quite possibly the best dose of talent I've seen to date. Billy Porter: you are truly an inspiration. This play-sical successfully somehow crosses human boundaries. Black, white, gay, straight ... none of those trivial nuances make a bit of difference once you've exited the KB theater. Have I said enough? Suffice to say, watching Boots rake in six Tony's including best score, actor (hearts Billy) and musical was magical. If there was ever a message, a cast and a show I'd choose to see rewarded, it is this one.  So a heartfelt cheers and rainbow flag raised to that.

I will abstain from delving into the abominable space of Monsenoir Tony's disgraceful snub to the Divine One, Ms-I've-transformed-Into-A-Hollywood-Legend-In-A-One-Woman-Show-While-In-My-Sixties Bette Midler. My only hope is that my previous much-too-long-even-for-a-hyphen-connection-run-on (oops, I did it again) adequately conveys my dismay at the matter. But enough said there. Ms. Midler is far too divine to require substantiation of her divinity from a third party... even Tony. So alas, as we were.

All in all, Tony'13 provided nonstop theatrical magic from start to finish. Even though, ahem, I had admittedly never heard the names Vanya nor Sonia nor Masha nor Spike combined into one phrase until last evening. A team of Russian mafia members perhaps? Of course I gest. But in all seriousness, now that Tony has come and gone and awards season is truly over, let's all make a toast and pledge to see absolutely as much Broadway theater as possible until Tony'14 rears his silver head. So with that, friends and folks,, here I come.


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