08 June 2009

Notes from the Tony Awards

In the "surprise" opening number, which considering it was merely a medley of things presently on the Great White Way and so hardly was surprising at all, Stockard Channing sang "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" from the revival of Pal Joey, and, while it was far from a great performance, at least she was performing a song worth hearing – especially when paired with (and compared to) “I’m Alive” sung by some guy from Next to Normal. Why is it that most songs from contemporary musicals are so repetitive? I believe the only thing he sang was -- wait for it -- yes, “I’m alive.” There’s more wit and lyricism in any one line of almost any Rodgers and Hart song than anything recent I heard last night…and we won’t even mention the music.

Liza Minnelli looked and sounded terrible (to be polite). As my wife explained to our girls, “Like her mother, she’s had a very hard life which has included drug abuse, etc…” To which I added, “But her mother was smart enough to die before she turned into this.”

9 to 5: The Musical.
Shrek the Musical
Rock of Ages (was that really “Don’t Stop Believing” I was hearing?)
And these are the ones the American Theatre Wing chose to put on stage to highlight itself. Broadway’s not dead; it’s simply gone senile…

From the vaults: Elton John writing an Aida is akin to Neil Simon offering his own Macbeth. Not saying they can’t do it, but, man, they really shouldn’t.

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