Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Burning Questions for the 2011 Tony Awards

The Tonys are coming! The Tonys are coming! Now that the day is almost upon, I'm actually pretty psyched. Besides the fact that I get to virtually watch it (and comment on it) with my siblings, there are a number of burning questions that the awards will answer. Here are a few, in no particular order:

Will Neil Patrick Harris have more to do than he did when he hosted two years ago? My best guess is "Yes" since he and (most of) the members of the New York Philharmonic concert production of Company are doing a number on the telecast.

Just how upset are people over the aforementioned number from Company? According to the This Week on Broadway podcast for this week, there has been some grumbling about the fact that Company, a show that isn't currently on Broadway, isn't nominated for a Tony, and is being shown in movie theaters later this month, is getting some precious airtime on the awards. While I sort of get the whining, all I can ask is:
How many times has the Tony Awards telecast subjected us to the horrors of Mamma Mia! and Jersey Boys? Seriously, at least this is fairly new. Also, it's Sondheim, who is, by his very nature, awesome. Now stop complaining or I'm going to make you listen to the touring cast of Mamma Mia! belt out a substandard version of "Dancing Queen" again.

Just how badly will the straight plays be treated this year? Every year, it seems like the straight plays are pushed into the corner in favor of the flashier musicals. However, given that this was a rather dismal year in terms of musicals (both original and revival) and an EXCELLENT year for straight plays, I'm hoping that the straight plays gets some much-deserved attention. With shows like Warhorse, The Normal Heart, Born Yesterday, and Jerusalem, the competition for the play categories is fierce!

Speaking of Warhorse, will we get to see those awesome horse puppets during the show? My money is on "yes."

Will Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark make an appearance? While I could not care less about this musical, I sort of want to see it on the Tonys because odds are that it would be very snark-worthy.

Will The Book of Mormon make a clean sweep of it? The charmingly irreverent (or is it irreverently charming?) musical from the creators of South Park is nominated for 14 Tony Awards, and some critics are predicting that they will make a clean sweep of things in these categories. While the musical sounds funny and charming, and is doesn't take itself too seriously like some past shows I could mention (ahem, Spring Awakening), I find myself rooting for other nominees in some of the categories. For one, I'm hoping that The Scottsboro Boys get some well-deserved love and attention. However, since the Tony voters tend to have a block mentality when it comes to voting, as evidenced by the sweep that the entertaining if unexciting and often pedestrian musical The Producers, so who knows what will happen?

Just how charming will Daniel Radcliffe be in the How to Succeed... number? Even though I'm not a huge Harry Potter fan, Radcliffe seems adorable and very grounded, so I'm rooting for him to blow the audience away with his performance.

Interested in finding out the answers to these questions? Do you have more questions (like: Will the set hit anyone this year)? Please feel free to leave comments below, and be certain to watch the Tonys on Sunday (and join us for the live blog if you can)!