Tag Archives: Tommy Kail

More Awards for the Tony Awards

12 Jun

I think we can all agree, this year Broadway’s biggest night was BAD. ASS. Back at Radio City after a few years at the Beacon, the Tony Awards managed to fill the gigantic space with pure theater joy. I was lucky enough to be watching from the orchestra seats (right behind Jesse Eisenberg! You can sort of see my left ear and shoulder in a really quick shot, so I’m basically a famous person now, FYI). The show was delightful from there too – no small feat considering you are sitting in your seat for four plus hours straight, and it’s hot under those lights, and so most people are just sweaty hangry spanxy messes by the end.

Despite all the awards handed out during the show, I felt that there were some awards left hanging. So, I thought I would step in to fill that void with some awards of my own. Thus, without further ado:

Best Avoidance of Misuse of Power: Neil Patrick Harris

Can we just agree that Neil Patrick Harris is the best host of anything ever? I mean, seriously, the dude did like seven things in the opening number that the vast majority of regular humans cannot do, and he did a lot of them at the same time. And yet the entire time he made it seem like piking through hoops and being lifted by cheerleaders while also singing and being incredibly charming was the easiest thing ever. At the end of that number (which made me cry with pure Broadway love upon rewatching), the audience in Radio City had so collectively lost their minds with the overwhelming face-melting joy of it all that Neil Patrick Harris could have commanded us all to do pretty much whatever he wanted, and we would have done it – crowd-surfed the cast out like we were a giant mosh pit, opened our wallets, stormed the barricade, murdered Michael Reidel. Instead he just kept on hosting the show, like a BOSS.

Tony Loss Most Personally Upsetting To Anika Chapin: Bertie Carvel

This isn’t to take anything away from Billy Porter, who is amazing and deserves prizes. But dang, Bertie Carvel created another species of human being on that stage, and it was one of my favorite performances of all time.

Tony Performance Most Representative of the Show Itself: Motown

Motown’s performance started out great – fun dancing and singing of songs everybody loves. And then, much like the show itself, it got to the point where you thought “well that was fun, I suppose it should be wrapping up now,” and there proceeded to be many more long minutes of performance, on a diminishing scale of funness. Motown, you’ve got some great stuff in you, but you are too. Fucking. Long.

Most Mystifying to an Entire Audience/viewing Public: The Rascals

What the hell WAS that?! Maybe I was distracted by Steve Van Zandt’s ‘I Am My Own Wife’ headscarf, but there was a distinct aura of confusion in the house when The Rascals did their performance. The show itself was a bit of a mystery – it just popped up one day in a theater like a strange psychedelic Brigadoon – and I don’t think the performance helped clarify anything. So it’s about… a band? It IS the band? There’s some trippy projections and someone from The Sopranos? Is the entire show an immersive experience to simulate an acid trip? Inquiring minds want to know.

Best Argument for Immediate Casting as a Comedic Character in a Comedy: Laura Benanti

That TV number was genius, and all four of its participants were great. But damn, Laura Benanti is HILARIOUS. And yet, she’s most often cast as the sweet, sort-of-ditsy female straight man. She’s a talented actress, so I’m not saying she doesn’t also do that well, but come ON, people. Just because she’s gorgeous doesn’t mean she and her genius comedy instincts couldn’t be the smart funny lead of her own show. Get with it, producers and TV execs.

Best Argument for Immediate Casting as a Batman Villain: Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson proved herself a legend with with her moving and dignified acceptance speech, and she proved herself a legend twice over by pulling off a dress no other human being on the planet could possibly rock:

But I can’t help but think that she would be triply legendary if she wore this exact look straight on over to Gotham City. Think about it: she could be the regal Lady Aubergine, capable of hypnotizing the good people of Gotham with her velvet voice and dignified dramatic pauses, only to kill them with poison darts from her ruffles.

Best Embodiment of the Full Variety of Sexiness: Scarlet Johansson and Alan Cumming

   Big props to both of these guys for being so funny and gracious about not being nominated, but also, dayamn!! With ScarJo in black and Alan Cumming in white, they were like the yin and yang of sexy: completely opposite types, one lush and voluptuous, one skinny and unusual, but both possessed of that ineffable juju that makes everyone in the world want to do it to them.

Best Visual Description of a Weird Problem with Broadway: the NINETY BILLION PRODUCERS onstage with every show. 

  Sweet lord jeebus, there were a ton of people accepting awards for the winning shows! I counted 26 people for ‘Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf’, a show that featured a cast of four people. I know the economics of producing Broadway are getting increasingly complicated, but it feels like if we keep going this way it’ll just be easier to put the camera on the audience and have everyone who DIDN’T produce the show raise their hands.

Best Accessorizing of a Tony: Fran Weissler

  She won a shiny silver Tony for the stellar revival of ‘Pippin’, and it happened to go perfectly with her awesome and gigantic necklace. Whether she had won or not, that is the necklace of a winner. Or a queen from an exotic kingdom on ‘Game of Thrones’, which is pretty much the same thing.

Just the Best: NPH, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tommy Kail, and Audra McDonald. 

   Just, blargh, you guys. This quartet – my brain can’t form worthy words. Between the opening number, the final rap, the sassiness with which Audra McD chimed in, there’s just too much goodness here, so I’ll let their final moment speak for itself:

My Lingering Thoughts on the Oscars

26 Feb

So, the Oscars happened last night. And I have thoughts! So let’s just dive in, shall we?

-First of all, did anyone else feel like they didn’t have a horse in this race at all? I saw a bunch of the nominated movies, more than I usually do, and my feeling on almost each and every category was ‘yeah, whichever is fine.’ Not because there weren’t great performances or great movies, but I just didn’t feel personally attached to any of them this year. Honestly, I think my favorite performance of the year was Hadley Fraser in Les Mis, because he managed to make the guy who sings “you at the barricades listen to this” into a character with a rich full inner life and history, and I didn’t think that was even possible.

-Renee Zellweger, what the hell?! I spend a good chunk of my life saying that we squinty-eyed folk actually do have functional eyeballs, and then you go and stumble around oddly and seemingly can’t read anything. Get it together, Zellweger!! We need you! The large-eyed Tarsier people are winning!!

-One of my favorite things about this Oscars was the fact that Quentin Tarantino’s date was a woman named Lianne Spiderbaby:

This is awesome for a number of reasons. First of all, because I adore that dress and always support messy sidebraiding. Secondly, because if you google image her a lot of photos of her with knives and blood come up, which leads me to believe that they are one of those ‘inevitable’ couples, like Bjork and Matthew Barney and Tim Burton and Helena Bonham-Carter. I mean, who else would they date? “So, what are you into?” “Oh, graphic violence. Blood spatter. You know.” “Oh my god, me too!!” See what I mean? And lastly, and most obviously, because her name is Lianne SPIDERBABY. I would like to imagine that many generations ago in a little village somewhere, a town elder said “John who mills we shall call John Miller. And Robert the barrel-maker shall be Robert Cooper. But whatever shall we call Sven, who midwives the arachnids?”

-How amazingly charming were Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron dancing? Who knew?!?! And Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe?! I mean, come on now. I think they should host the Oscars next year as a saucy song-and-dance team, and Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum can just glide on in whenever there’s a transition or a joke that doesn’t go well.

-What is with these otherwise fashionable girls choosing wan ill-fitting pink prom-y dresses to actually win an Oscar in? Between Gwyneth Paltrow in this:

And Anne Hathaway in this:

It’s like there’s something about the promise of an Oscar that makes ladies think that they must find some pink satin stat, but not invite any boob support to the party. And then pair the look with a necklace that doesn’t suit the neckline (Anne Hathaway’s necklace drove me nuts. No necklace with that neckline – long simple earrings! Arm full of bracelets! Rookie mistake!!)
Come on, ladies. If you want to do a pink dress that says THAT’S RIGHT, BITCHES, I AM WINNING A FUCKING OSCAR TONIGHT, take a look at Fan Bingbing:

Fan Bingbing is one of my favorites always, because she is a woman who knows how to wear a dress. Probably very few on the red carpet knew who she was, but I bet when she passed, every single head turned. Take notes, ladies – that’s how you win the evening, whether or not you win the Oscar.

-I feel like Kristen Stewart on the red carpet is the equivalent of those toddlers you see responding to having to go somewhere they don’t want to go by throwing a tantrum and then becoming dead weight that their parents have to drag; they’ll go, but they’ll make it as hard as possible and let you know that they are miserable the whole time. I always think when I see Kristen Stewart that she probably HAS to go to some events, but I doubt she HAS to go to the Oscars. And if she does HAVE to, please remember that your profession is being an actor, K-Stew. You could at least act like having to put on a dress and comb your hair isn’t the most miserable boring thing that has ever happened to you.

-For real, is Nicole Kidman wearing the Batman logo over her navel?

I loved this dress on camera (it’s so shiny she looks like a seal just coming out of water in the red carpet photos), but I honestly can’t figure out that belt. Is she signalling her willingness to take over the franchise when Christian Bale leaves? Is she telling us with the very Klimt-ian gold swirls at the bottom (which match the design on the floor of the stage) that she wants to be a new villain called ‘The Kisser’? Inquiring minds want to know.

-Speaking of those swirls on the stage, those are EXACTLY the doodles I used to draw all over the stage in high school. I even drew them on a lampshade when I was in my DIY phase in college.

-I love that they did a tribute to musicals, then did three musicals. You know, only those three musicals that they’ve made movies of. Good thing they could think of those three, because there certainly aren’t any other possible choices to include. I mean, really, if they were going to pay tribute to something, they really should have picked an industry with a rich full selection of options, not puny musical theater. And there’s definitely no other musicals on film. That must have been hard for them.

-Hey, remember when the Tonys had Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tommy Kail write a rap about the show for Neil Patrick Harris to do at the end of the evening? Remember how funny and perfect and awesome that was? Then remember last night when Kristen Chenoweth came out, and dueted on what was Seth MacFarlane’s maybe fifth unfunny song of the evening? Yeah.

-How adorable was it when Hugh Jackman came to Jennifer Lawrence’s rescue when she tripped on the stairs? Can we just declare Hugh Jackman to be officially the best human being ever? I mean seriously, I feel like if an alien race ever attacks, we should present Hugh Jackman as proof of what humans can be, and then I’m sure the aliens would be like “oh, good point, you guys have potential. Okay guys, back to the home planet.”

-Also in the running for best person ever is George Clooney, who is the only person who has ever called to mind both a beautiful Roman statue and a sexy young Santa Claus at the same time.

-And speaking of impressive hair, how about all the long blond-haired guys winning? It must have been a party in Lothlorien last night, is all I’m sayin’.

-Okay, if I don’t end now, I’ll go on forever. So until I remember the big huge thing I forgot to say tomorrow, I’ll say au revoir until next year!