Theatre Awards Shows: Tony Awards 2017

It’s been a few weeks since the Tony Awards, but I thought I’d make a quick post about this year’s ceremony.

I did enjoy the ceremony this year. I wasn’t sure about Kevin Spacey hosting going in to it but I was pleasantly surprised. I particularly enjoyed the opening number. I liked how it embraced the fact that Kevin wasn’t necessarily the obvious choice for host and that he’s not a big “musical theatre person” like Neil Patrick Harris or James Corden but he still did a big, entertaining production number with all of the references to the shows of the season. I particularly liked when they moved the Evan Hansen cast to Kevin’s leg for the Groundhog Day part. I also thought it was good that they focused on Kevin Spacey’s strengths (ie impersonations) and that they worked to embrace what they had, which I think was a good way to go about it.

One thing that had me really excited about this year’s awards was that there was some real competition, as opposed to last year when I don’t think anyone was surprised by a Hamilton sweep. (Not that it was bad that Hamilton won so many awards, but it is also fun to have more unsurety this year.) There were a couple of categories I was fairly certain about (Best Leading Actor being one of them) but there were also a lot that seemed up in the air to me. It was also exciting for me because I had actually seen a few of the nominated productions and performances this year and ones that actually stood a chance of winning! That also meant that I had my own favourites to win in certain categories, even if it wasn’t likely that they would actually win. Of the wins I was hoping for, I was really happy to see Great Comet win for both Set and Lighting Design (both incredibly deserved, in my opinion), and I was so happy that Andy Blankenbeuhler won for Choreography for Bandstand (1 of its only 2 nominations).

Those two winning shows also had two of my favourite performances during the ceremony (Great Comet with a medley of “Dust and Ashes” and “The Abduction,” and Bandstand with “Nobody”), both of which I have watched multiple times since the broadcast. Ben Platt’s performance of “Waving Through a Window” from Dear Evan Hansen was (not surprisingly) beautiful and it was nice that he was well enough to perform. I can only imagine what was going through his head leading up to Tony Day, which I’m sure would have been stressful anyway! (If you weren’t aware Ben had to miss a few shows of Dear Evan Hansen on June 9th and 10th as he was put on vocal rest, but he was able to perform on the Tonys on the 11th). Come From Away also had an excellent performance which, again, just made me want to see it more and regret missing it in Toronto. I think one of the funniest moments in a performance was the fact that Christian Borle was wearing a wig for the Falsettos performance, one that did look like his hair before he shaved his head.

I liked the way they had the playwrights of the Best Play nominees introduce their own plays. To me, it made sense as a way to get a good summary of/introduction to the plays, since they clearly know what they’re talking about when it comes to their own shows! Speaking of the plays, another highlight occurred during the acceptance speech for the Best Play winner, Oslo, when there was a shoutout to the front of house staff at the theatre! (As someone who works in front of house, it’s always great to see that side of things get some recognition!)

What can I say, I love Tony night! And this year I was able to actually watch the broadcast live (hooray for friends with cable!) and had a small Tony party with a couple friends, complete with Tony ballots and Tony bingo. I think my final count for accurate predictions on my ballot was 14.

I said this last year too  but I do still think there needs to be another alternative for watching the Tonys (live). As I said, this year I was able to watch it on TV at a friend’s house but if I had been at home (where I do not have cable) I wouldn’t have been able to. In Canada, CTV was airing the awards and they do offer a streaming service on their website, BUT in order to access that streaming service, you have to sign in with your TV service provider information. If I had a TV service provider I wouldn’t be needing to stream it online! (Thankfully I was able to rewatch clips from the awards online on the CTV site afterwards without singing in!)

With the Tonys and the end of the Broadway season, it also gets me thinking about the upcoming season and I can’t wait to see what it has in store! From everything I’ve seen and heard so far, it’s certainly shaping up to be an interesting one!

(And thank goodness they’re bringing the Sound Design Tony Award back next year!!!)

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