Could anyone endure three hours of the tiresome shenanigans of Cristin Chenowith and Alan Cumming on last night's Tony broadcast? We fortunately recorded it so we could skip the endless commercials. It also allowed us to speed through the co-hosts. And why all those numbers from shows that were't up for any awards? The number from FINDING NEVERLAND sounded like it was plagiarized from LES MISERABLES. The number from SOMETHING'S ROTTEN certainly was a case of overkill, but someone forgot to write a tune for it. And GIGI? Really? All that hackneyed cancan stuff after the masterful dancing in ON THE TOWN and AN AMERICAN IN PARIS?
Of course I'm delighted that FUN HOME swept the major awards. It's not going to be a tourist attraction, at least not for families from Kansas or Mississippi, but it is far and away the best musical on Broadway. Much as I liked THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT TIME, I'd have voted for the daring, inventive HAND TO GOD, partly because it's an excellent American play and American plays on Broadway are rare birds indeed.
Which brings me to my major point. My ideal Tonys would be for American theatre artists on and off-Broadway, where most of the serious theatre is produced (FUN HOME was first at the Public Theatre, HAND TO GOD and DISGRACED, worthy contenders for Best Play, were first produced Off-Broadway and are both original plays, not adaptations like CURIOUS INCIDENT). Perhaps there could be a special category for British actors and plays. Richard McCabe? Really? I've seen the man act for a quarter of a century and have yet to be impressed. At least an award didn't go to Bill Nighy. Best play revival to David Hare's dreary, talky, dated SKYLIGHT? Really? What is with the American Anglophilia? Our actors are better and so our most of our new plays. I've seen just about everything on and off-Broadway this year and for twenty-five years saw just about everything in London, so I speak from experience, not blind prejudice. Let's have the one awards ceremony dedicated to New York theatre be a celebration of American theatre.