Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Tony snub

I have to join the outrage over Cry-Baby receiving a Tony nomination for Best Musical. Cry-Baby? Excuse me? Not very funny, not very memorable. I guess Chris at Everything I Know I Learned from Musicals is right when he says that the nominators probably felt Cry-Baby would tour better and would look better on television.

It's just so sad that this year, when there have been so many different styles of musicals - from the hip hop and salsa influenced In the Heights, to the rock 'n' roll influenced Passing Strange, to the pop influenced Xanadu - that the nominators snubbed A Catered Affair. It's such a sweet, heartfelt slice of life, a small gem. Passing Strange, In the Heights and Xanadu all received Best Musical nominations. A Catered Affair should have been the fourth. While I haven't seen Xanadu, to me, those four shows evoke the range of new musicals on Broadway.

But I'm excited that the shows I loved most over the past season, including August: Osage County, Passing Strange, In the Heights, Gypsy, South Pacific, Thurgood and The 39 Steps, received so much recognition. I'm also excited that actors I enjoyed, like Christopher Fitzgerald in Young Frankenstein, received a nomination, even if I didn't think the show itself was so hot.

And I'm especially looking forward to the Featured Actor and Featured Actress in a Musical categories, because those are the two categories in which I saw every performer! I just wish that Mandy Gonzalez from In the Heights had gotten a nomination.

So many wonderful, memorable performances were recognized. So much great music and awesome sets and evocative costumes and inspired sound and lighting. When I think back on all of those shows, it really makes me realize that Broadway truly is a feast for the senses. (Well, maybe not touch, but certainly smell. I saw an awful lot of cooking and eating on stage).

While I fell far short of seeing every show, I did manage to get to quite a few of them this season, so watching the Tony Awards on June 15 will be a pretty special experience for me. I'll have plenty more to say later, but for now, I have one question: What's up with The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein? Is that actually the official name?

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