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One Day More: a Reflection on the 2014 Tony Awards

June 16, 2014

Musical theater is a cruel, cruel mistress. Seriously. She takes all of my money, my time, and my sanity, and still I come a-crawling back when she beckons. I don’t have cable, so I missed the initial Tony Awards broadcast, but thankfully, I was able to catch it online a couple days ago. I was not expecting to have some kind of big, emotional meltdown during my viewing. I was like, “Cool, let’s watch Jean “the Wolverine from Oz” Valjean sing some ball-busting high notes and make fake nice with Neil Patrick Harris for 3 hours.” The show started off very promising because I had no idea there’d be hopping. Mind. BLOWN. It wasn’t until the cast of the Les Miserables revival came out and sang “One Day More”, a song that I have freakin’ heard a bajillion times (Heck, not to knock their innovative new way of taking epic steps forward and backward, but a performance that I feel I’ve seen a bajillion times), that I had an unexpected burble of feelings. When they hit the climax of that number, I totally started weeping like a little girl. If my boyfriend hadn’t been in the room, it might have turned into quite the ugly cry. I am just one of those people who sees the magic in the musical, and unfortunately, they don’t write ‘em like Les Mis any more. At least, that’s what I thought until I saw the performance from the cast of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. SOME ONE IS STILL WRITING GREAT, COMPLICATED, CHARACTER-DRIVEN MUSIC FOR THE THEATER. Kudos to Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak. Kudos.

Now, about all of the controversy over the award for Sound Design being nixed and the “In Memoriam” segment not being broadcast: I do not agree with either of these moves by the Wing. Listen: sure, the same dude has won the Sound Design award for, like, 50% of the time the award has been in existence, but that’s because that dude is the SHIT at Sound Design. He doesn’t deserve to be recognized for his hard work? It’s not even one of the awards in the broadcast! It’s one of those little right-before-commercial-break “lookie who won these technical awards that the general public doesn’t give a hoot about”. The theater community, however, gives a hoot, and isn’t celebrating our community the whole point of the Tonys? All I’ll say about the “In Memoriam” segment being cut from the broadcast, is that those of us who don’t have the privilege to attend the Tony Awards in person look for that segment in the broadcast. I know I like to take the moment to reflect on the great work done by those we’ve lost, and there’s almost always someone that I had no idea passed because society doesn’t celebritize (I know, made up word) most theater actors who aren’t also Hollywood figures. If it was an issue of time in the broadcast and they truly didn’t think they had anything they could cut, wouldn’t the “In Memoriam” segment have been really lovely with the Wicked 10th Anniversary performance of “For Good” as the soundtrack? I just think it could have easily been included without adding length to the broadcast if a little creativity and thought had been put into it.

Before I close, I want to inform my readers that I was not chosen for the choreography competition. The day I found out was a pretty hard day to get through. Sigh…like Idina sings, we’re “always starting over”. I just have to look on the bright side: I now have a great video of one of my pieces for my reel, I got to work with some really great dancers, and I know about the competition’s existence much farther in advance of the deadline for next year. Onwards and upwards!

I hope you are all well. What are your opinions on this year’s Tony Awards?

To finishing the puzzle!

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