2010 Tony Awards



Hockadoo! The 2010 Tony Awards were presented on Sunday night, dear readers! What an exciting night. Memphis and Red won big, with Red garnering the most awards of any show - the Best New Play walked away with six statuettes. (Skip down to the list of nominees and winners below to find out who won what. For the record, I got 21 of 26 predictions correct. I really should turn pro.)




I started watching the coverage via Tonyawards.com, where they were showing NY1’s red carpet coverage. They had some random groupings on the red carpet, but Donna Karger did speak with Gleeks Matthew Morrison, Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff, who all looked great. Next, Tonyawards.com streamed the Creative Arts Awards; these are the awards, mostly for design categories, that are - in my opinion - incredibly important to the success of a show, but because they lack notable names, CBS doesn’t broadcast them.



It was during this hour that American Idiot won its two awards - the two I thought it would and should win. Kevin Adams won for Best Lighting Design and Christine Jones for Best Scenic Design. (Both won for Spring Awakening back in 2007.) Both designers gave very lovely speeches; Kevin Adams made a point to thank all of his associates and technicians and light operators - very classy - and both Adams and Christine Jones made a point to profusely thank director Michael Mayer, who was grossly overlooked by the Tony nominating committee. I like that they spoke of his vision and leadership - it was a nice little “So there” to the committee. That’ll teach them to overlook brilliance in favor of mediocrity! (For what it’s worth, when Billie Joe Armstrong presented the American Idiot performance toward the end of the broadcast, he got his props in to Michael Mayer as well. Nicely done, Billie Joe!)




Finally it was 8pm - time to start the show. The broadcast began with a medley showing off all the pop on Broadway. The highlight, of course, was Johnny walking out on the stage with an acoustic guitar and singing “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” How beautifully apropos. I was filled with tears as I watched him do what he does: Give everything in his soul to the stage and sharing his energy with everyone watching. I would watch him read the phone book. Seriously. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, John was joined by his fellow lost boys and girls to finish out the song and introduce Green Day, who joined the Idiots on stage for “Holiday” and “Know Your Enemy.” It rocked - Broadway and Radio City Music Hall will never be the same.




And so on the night went. Sean Hayes was funny and everyone poked fun at the community and the nominating committee. (Like when Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane came out - full of smarm - to present the awards for Best Performance by a Leading Actor and Actress in a Musical. That’s the category in which they were eligible but not nominated - rightly so in my opinion.) Plus Kristen Chenoweth and Sean Hayes played a sloppy game of tonsil hockey out on stage as a big “F you!” to Newsweek.




So, at some point during the broadcast I stopped taking notes on all the goings on but here are a few more high/low lights:

  • Scarlett Johansson gave a very nice speech, but it was way longer than 1 1/2 minutes. (During the creative arts awards presentation, nominees were warned to keep speeches heartfelt and under 90 seconds. I guess when you’re a movie star and you look like Scarlet Johansson - in a beautiful green dress, I might add - you can talk as long as you want.)
  • Eddie Redmayne also gave a very nice speech, talking about Rothko and his feelings about the arts‘ role in society. I was very glad he won - I didn’t think he would based on buzz I’d been hearing, but I thought he was the most deserving.
  • Did anyone else notice that when Katie Finneran first started giving her acceptance speech, they flashed the wrong name? Hilarious!
  • Theatre aficionado Mark Sanchez? I know he’s been popping up backstage at various shows, but really? Oh well - maybe he’s a real life Finn Hudson and soon he’ll release an album of Journey covers...
  • Matthew Morrison is a dreamboat. Boy can sing and dance and he looks so sexy while he’s doing it. All he needs is the girl? Well, Matthew, I’m right here! (Critically speaking, though, his and Lea’s performances were totally unnecessary but from a ratings standpoint, I get it. And they do come from the theatre community - and they were great, so I’ll allow it!)
  • Speaking of Lea’s performance: Obviously, she was auditioning for the revival of Funny Girl. And did you see her stop in front of Hova and B? She sang to Sean Carter, he gave her the nod, then she kept singing “to” him and Ms. Knowles gave her a little look, as if to say, “Girl, you better back off my man!” B’s got 99 problems but Lea ain’t one.
  • The Idiots were wonderful! They performed the title song and 100% rocked the house. I like that they changed the song a little bit so that John, Michael and Stark were featured more prominently than they would have been had they kept the vocals as they are in the show. (Although I suppose there’s an argument to be made for featuring Gerard and Andrew and all the ensemble members more, but I liked this.)
  • Though Neil Patrick Harris’s final review song at the end of the Tonys last year was funny and entertaining, I thought it was a really nice touch to have Memphis give an encore performance after they won. The cast was so jazzed and it was a great way to celebrate and promote the show a little bit more. Hockadoo!



And now, the list of nominees and winners. Winners are bolded; I’ve also noted which nominee I think should have won as well as which artists should have been nominated!

  • Best Play - Red
    • In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play, Sarah Ruhl
    • Next Fall, Geoffrey Nauffts (I think this should have won, but I did think Red was great, so I’m not too bummed.)
    • Red, John Logan
    • Time Stands Still, Donald Margulies
  • Best Musical - Memphis
    • American Idiot (Duh - obviously I wanted this to win. And as much as I liked Memphis, I do think this should have won, but Memphis lives me so we’re cool.)
    • Fela!
    • Memphis
    • Million Dollar Quartet
  • Best Book of a Musical - Memphis
    • Everyday Rapture, Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott
    • Fela!, Jim Lewis and Bill T. Jones
    • Memphis, Joe DiPietro
    • Million Dollar Quartet, Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux
  • Best Original Score Written for the Theatre - Memphis
    • The Addams Family, Andrew Lippa
    • Enron, Adam Cork and Lucy Prebble
    • Fences, Branford Marsalis
    • Memphis, David Bryan and Joe DiPietro
  • Best Revival of a Play - Fences
    • Fences
    • Lend Me a Tenor
    • The Royal Family
    • A View from the Bridge
  • Best Revival of a Musical - La Cage aux Fail
    • Finian’s Rainbow (This definitely should have won. Actually, I would have been happy if anything other than La Cage had won. I liked Finian’s Rainbow the best, but A Little Night Music was good and Ragtime was a good reinterpretation of the original.)
    • La Cage aux Folles (La Cage made history with this win; it’s the only show to win for Best Musical and then win for Best Revival two times after that. La Cage was named the Best Musical in 1984, then it won Best Revival in 2005 and now it won Best Revival again.)
    • A Little Night Music
    • Ragtime
  • Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play - Denzel Washington
    • Jude Law, Hamlet
    • Alfred Molina, Red (Having not seen Hamlet or A View from the Bridge, I can’t say if either nominated actor was better than Denzel, but I would have been glad for Alfred Molina - he gave a very powerful performance.)
    • Liev Schreiber, A View from the Bridge
    • Christopher Walken, A Behanding in Spokane
    • Denzel Washington, Fences
      • Should have been nominated: Patrick Breen, Next Fall
  • Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play - Viola Davis
    • Viola Davis, Fences
    • Valerie Harper, Looped
    • Linda Lavin, Collected Stories
    • Laura Linney, Time Stands Still
    • Jan Maxwell, The Royal Family
  • Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical - Douglas Hodge
    • Kelsey Grammer, La Cage aux Folles
    • Sean Hayes, Promises, Promises
    • Douglas Hodge, La Cage aux Folles
    • Chad Kimball, Memphis
    • Sahr Ngaujah, Fela! (Well, at least it wasn’t Kelsey Grammer or Sean Hayes; of the nominees, I think Sahr and Chad were the only ones worthy of their nominations. Maybe Douglas Hodge deserved a nom, but I think - of the nominees - Sahr Ngaujah should have won. Though I probably wouldn’t have minded watching cutie Chad Kimball make his way through a speech.)
      • Should have been nominated: John Gallagher, Jr., American Idiot (I’ve seen John in several shows, both musicals and straight plays, and on film and this is the best performance I’ve ever seen from him.)
  • Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical - Catherine Zeta-Jones
    • Kate Baldwin, Finian’s Rainbow
    • Montego Glover, Memphis (Either Montego or Kate should have won, but as I predicted when the nominations were announced, the Tony voters went for movie star cache over what was truly the best performance.)
    • Christiane Noll, Ragtime
    • Sherie Rene Scott, Everyday Rapture
    • Catherine Zeta-Jones, A Little Night Music
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play - Eddie Redmayne
    • David Alan Grier, Race
    • Stephen McKinley Henderson, Fences
    • Jon Michael Hill, Superior Donuts
    • Stephen Kunken, Enron
    • Eddie Redmayne, Red
      • Should have been nominated: Brian d’Arcy James, Time Stands Still
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play - Scarlett Johansson
    • Maria Dizzia, In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play
    • Rosemary Harris, The Royal Family
    • Jessica Hecht, A View from the Bridge
    • Scarlett Johansson, A View from the Bridge
    • Jan Maxwell, Lend Me a Tenor
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical - Levi Kreis
    • Kevin Chamberlin, The Addams Family
    • Robin De Jesus, La Cage aux Folles
    • Christopher Fitzgerald, Finian’s Rainbow
    • Levi Kreis, Million Dollar Quartet
    • Bobby Steggert, Ragtime
      • Should have been nominated: Tony Vincent, American Idiot (I probably still would have rooted for Levi to win, but Tony definitely should have been nominated.)
  • Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical - Katie Finneran
    • Barbara Cook, Sondheim on Sondheim
    • Katie Finneran, Promises, Promises
    • Angela Lansbury, A Little Night Music
    • Karine Plantadit, Come Fly Away
    • Lillias White, Fela!
      • Should have been nominated: Rebecca Naomi Jones, American Idiot and Terri White, Finian’s Rainbow (If you read my notes about Promises, Promises, you know Katie Finneran was what I liked least about the show so I definitely don’t think she should have won - though I saw it coming. I can’t say that any of the other nominees (who I saw) were overwhelmingly better, which is why I think Rebecca and Terri should have been nominated. I would have voted for Rebecca. She has the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard.)
  • Best Scenic Design of a Play - Red
    • John Lee Beatty, The Royal Family
    • Alexander Dodge, Present Laughter
    • Santo Loquasto, Fences
    • Christopher Oram, Red
  • Best Scenic Design of a Musical - American Idiot (!!!)
    • Marina Draghici, Fela!
    • Christine Jones, American Idiot
    • Derek McLane, Ragtime
    • Tim Shortall, La Cage aux Folles
  • Best Costume Design of a Play - The Royal Family
    • Martin Pakledinaz, Lend Me a Tenor
    • Constanza Romero, Fences
    • David Zinn, In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play
    • Catherine Zuber, The Royal Family
  • Best Costume Design of a Musical - Fela!
    • Marina Draghici, Fela!
    • Paul Tazewell, Memphis
    • Matthew Wright, La Cage aux Folles
    • (Note that Santo Loquasto’s nomination for Ragtime was rescinded after his designs were deemed too similar to his designs for the original production.)
  • Best Lighting Design of a Play - Red
    • Neil Austin, Hamlet
    • Neil Austin, Red
    • Mark Henderson, Enron
    • Brian MacDevitt, Fences
  • Best Lighting Design of a Musical - American Idiot (!!!)
    • Kevin Adams, American Idiot
    • Donald Holder, Ragtime
    • Nick Richings, La Cage aux Folles
    • Robert Wierzel, Fela!
  • Best Sound Design of a Play - Red
    • Acme Sound Partners, Fences
    • Adam Cork, Enron
    • Adam Cork, Red
    • Scott Lehrer, A View from the Bridge
  • Best Sound Design of a Musical - Fela!
    • Jonathan Deans, La Cage aux Folles
    • Robert Kaplowitz, Fela!
    • Dan Moses Schreier and Gareth Owen, A Little Night Music
    • Dan Moses Schreier, Sondheim on Sondheim
      • Should have been nominated: Acme Sound Partners, American Idiot
  • Best Direction of a Play - Michael Grandage
    • Michael Grandage, Red
    • Sheryl Kaller, Next Fall (Because I liked Next Fall so much, I would have liked Sheryl Kaller to win, but I think Michael Grandage’s is a well deserved win.)
    • Kenny Leon, Fences
    • Gregory Mosher, A View from the Bridge
  • Best Direction of a Musical - Terry Johnson
    • Christopher Ashley, Memphis
    • Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Ragtime
    • Terry Johnson, La Cage aux Folles
    • Bill T. Jones, Fela! (Of the nominees, Bill T. should have won but...)
      • Should have been nominated: Michael Mayer, American Idiot (He should have been nominated and won. The entire success of the show can really be traced to his vision and careful, thoughtful, emotional, exciting and extraordinary adaptation of a record for the stage.)
  • Best Choreography - Bill T. Jones
    • Rob Ashford, Promises, Promises
    • Bill T. Jones, Fela!
    • Lynne Page, La Cage aux Folles
    • Twyla Tharp, Come Fly Away
      • Should have been nominated: Steven Hoggett, American Idiot and Sergio Trujillo, Memphis (Had Hoggett and Trujillo been nominated along with Jones and Tharp, I think it would have been a toss up, but if Michael Mayer was going to win Best Director - as he should have - then I’d vote for Jones for Best Choreography, to honor his vision, despite Hoggett being brilliant and creating an entire dance language for the Idiots and Trujillo making me want to dance ten seconds into the show.)
  • Best Orchestrations - Memphis
    • Jason Carr, La Cage aux Folles
    • Aaron Johnson, Fela!
    • Jonathan Tuck, Promises, Promises
    • Daryl Waters and David Bryan, Memphis
      • Should have been nominated: Tom Kitt, American Idiot (Tom Kitt is a genius. He should have been nominated and won. Seriously. Listen to Green Day’s record and then listen to the original cast recording. Tom Kitt is a genius.)


So, what did you think of the Tonys? Was the broadcast entertaining? What’d you think of the performances? Did you agree with the Tony voters? Leave your comments below.


Thanks for a great season, Broadway! And remember, don’t ever let anyone steal your rock and roll!


Here are some links to photos and video from the big night:


And visit Tonyawards.com for even more photos, video and information about the shows.



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