Less than 7 million people tuned into the Tony Awards on Sunday, June 12, 2011 (we’re guessing most Nielsen families were watching Dallas trounce Miami) but it was still a great show overall, and great publicity for some of the best musicals and plays of the year. Many A-list celebrities showed up for the event including Al Pacino, Brooke Shields and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The Best Play Award went to War Horse, while the Best Revival of a Play went to The Normal Heart, it also picking up Best Actor and Best Actress. Anything Goes won Best Revival of a Musical as well as Best Actress, while Mark Rylance took home a Best Actor Lead Award for his performance in Jerusalem. Frances McDormand not only made news for her win in Good People, but also made media waves by showing up to the event looking intentionally “good”, by wearing a red-and-black striped maxi dress and a cropped denim jacket. She attended the event without makeup and with a rather “wash and wear” haircut. Frances McDormand is a smart woman; she’s married to director Joel Coen (No Country for Old Men), which tells us her “look” was an act of fashion rebellion.
All that said, the biggest winner of the night came from the least likely to succeed in Broadway, Matt Stone and Trey Parker. No one would have believed you in the year 1999 if you said that the South Park creators would go on to win Tony awards for Best Musical, Best Musical Book, Best Original Score (with Robert Lopez of Avenue Q fame), Best Director (Trey Parker with Casey Nicholaw), Best Orchestrations, best Scenic Design, and Best Actress (Nikki M. James). Not for South Park of course, but for The Book of Mormon, a similarly facetious satire inspired by the Mormon faith.
The biggest loser of the evening was no doubt the Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, a very troubled production that went home empty-handed, and bore the brunt of Neil Patrick Harris’ smarmy comments. (“Pretty soon they’ll be turning its name to ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Lawsuits.”)
Last but not least, we have to give a shout-out to Priscilla Queen of the Desert, a musical inspired by the movie, which took home a Tony Award for Best Costume Design of a Musical, credit going to Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner.
Which musical have you seen this year? Did the Tony Award go to right production?