The Tony nominations were announced yesterday morning, and I turned on NY1 in time to watch it live. David Hyde Pierce! Sara Ramirez! Eat your heart out, NBC!
This was a rebuilding year for Broadway, as they say, so there were not a lot of shocks or thrills on the list of nominees. And since I slacked off in my theatregoing earlier this season (what with the wedding and all), I missed my chance to see a number of the nominated performances. So I'm getting most of my kicks out of what wasn't nominated -- like the conspicuous absence of Mel Brooks's and Disney's latest offerings in the Best Musical category. (Not to mention Glory Days, which, after all that scrambling to rush it to Broadway before the official end of the season, was deemed ineligible for Tony consideration. Ouch.) Now I don't feel any compunction about dismissing The Little Mermaid and Young Frankenstein without actually seeing them, and I'm absolutely thrilled I won't have to watch a number from either during the awards ceremony. [ETA: So much for that.] Mermaid got a nom for its score, which I suppose I have to allow, considering my third-grade devotion to the song "Part of Your World." (Sing with me: "Betcha on land / They understand, / Bet they don't reprimand their daughters..."). And Frankenstein did get a couple of supporting-actor nods. But that's not enough to get either one a performance slot, unless they change the rules. It will be bad enough having to listen to the announcers refer to the latter show by its official title: The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein. (That's better than the original title, which I believe was The New Blockbuster Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein Sponsored by American Express Buy Your Premium Tickets Now!, but it's still undignified.) Meanwhile, Cry-Baby was nominated for Best Musical and, more gratifyingly, got nominations for its book, score and choreography. So I'm glad to see good work was recognized.
I'm determined to see as many of the nominated shows as I still can between now and June. Among those I'm hoping to catch: August: Osage County, Top Girls, Passing Strange, In the Heights, Xanadu. If I can, I'd love to see South Pacific; if I still have time and money, I'll consider trying Gypsy again. Obviously I have my work cut out for me. Am I leaving anything out? Do you have your own list of things to see before Tony Sunday? Do tell.
Most intriguing moment of the announcement itself: David Hyde Pierce getting choked up as he announced that Stephen Sondheim would receive a lifetime achievement award. I can only assume he was imagining the American Idol medley of Sondheim's least challenging songs that is likely to accompany the presentation of said award. I'm not looking forward to it either, Dave.