Tony Recap - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Tony night has come and gone, dishing out awards for this season's best performances. While viewership was unfortunately down a reported 8% this year, that doesn't mean that last night's awards were any less entertaining or enjoyable than in previous years. Below is a list of all winners, courtesy of MSN. After the jump are our final comments on the show.

Complete list of winners for 2010 Tony Awards
List of winners for the 2010 American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards, announced Sunday.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY: Scarlett Johansson, "A View From the Bridge."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY: Eddie Redmayne, "Red."

BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY: Michael Grandage, "Red."
BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL: Terry Johnson, "La Cage aux Folles."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Katie Finneran, "Promises, Promises."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: Levi Kreis, "Million Dollar Quartet."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A PLAY: Viola Davis, "Fences."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A PLAY: Denzel Washington, "Fences."

BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL: "La Cage aux Folles."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Catherine Zeta-Jones, "A Little Night Music."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: Douglas Hodge, "La Cage aux Folles."

BEST MUSICAL: "Memphis."

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY: Bill T. Jones, "Fela!"

BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY: "Fences."

BEST PLAY: "Red."

BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL: "Memphis."

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (MUSIC AND/OR LYRICS) WRITTEN FOR THE THEATER: "Memphis"

BEST ORCHESTRATIONS: Daryl Waters and David Bryan, "Memphis."

BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A PLAY: Christopher Oram, "Red."

BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL: Christine Jones, "American Idiot."

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A PLAY: Catherine Zuber, "The Royal Family."

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MUSICAL: Marina Draghici, "Fela!"

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY: Neil Austin, "Red."

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL: Kevin Adams, "American Idiot."

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A PLAY: Adam Cork, "Red."

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A MUSICAL: Robert Kaplowitz, "Fela!"

SPECIAL TONY AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN THE THEATER: Alan Ayckbourn and Marian Seldes.

REGIONAL THEATER TONY AWARD: The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, Waterford, Conn.

ISABELLE STEVENSON AWARD: David Hyde Pierce.

TONY HONORS FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE THEATER: B.H. Barry and Tim Viola.



THE GOOD: "Red," "Fences," and "Memphis" were the big winners this year, with "Fela!" and "La Cage aux Folles" making strong showings in a year that was undoubtedly stronger for straight plays than it was for musicals. While Michelle and I were really rooting for "American Idiot" to take home the Tony for Best Musical, we're still happy for "Memphis" and its cast. Beyond the awards, there were several aspects of this year's telecast that deserve to be mentioned for being awesome:
  • Karen Olivo and Greg Jbara - before the Tonys even aired on national television, Ms. Olivo and Mr. Jbara presented the more technical awards on a live webcast. What was really awesome, however, was when they instructed audience members on proper Tony etiquette. The banter was hysterical, and Ms. Olivo looked both stunning and fierce in her dress while on crutches.
  • Sean Hayes - hosting the Tonys cannot be an easy job, but Mr. Hayes handled it with aplomb and humor. His opening monologue had me in stitches, and his jokes about Newsweek, BP, and right wing politicos were delivered with the kind of deadpan humor that made "Will & Grace" so funny. His Spider-man impersonation was the funniest moment of the night (although that may just be because Michelle and I think that show is and always will be a damn hot mess, and it's nice to see actual theater people poke fun at it as well.)
  • The performances - all of the numbers from the shows nominated for Best Musical were excellent, and the opening sequence was great as well. Special props to the ladies from the excellent "Everyday Rapture," who made the most out of their minute and a half of screen time. It was cool to see Green Day performing (special props to Billie Joe Armstrong for not pulling a Bret Michaels and getting decked by a set piece), and the "American Idiot" number performed by the show was my favorite performance of the evening (not that I'm biased or anything.)
  • "Glee" stars making good - Bitch all you want about how the cast of "Glee" is everywhere these days, or that they shouldn't have been included in the Tonys, but the reality is that not only do people want to see them (the ratings were highest amongst 18 - 49 year olds during the half hour Matthew Morrison and Lea Michele performed), but Mr. Morrison and Ms. Michele wanted to be there. It was great to see these two talented performers return to their Broadway roots and be received so wonderfully. Both of their performances were wonderful (note to TPTB at "Glee": Mr. Morrison's performance last night is a prime example of why he should NOT rap on your show. The man can do a song and dance with the best of them; please, let him), and as Michelle pointed out, it was much better than last year, when the dreadful touring cast of "Mamma Mia!" performed.
  • Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane presenting the Best Leading Actor and Actress awards - While "The Addams Family" was panned by critics and largely ignored for Tony consideration, having the esteemed Ms. Neuwirth and Mr. Lane present the awards for categories many expected them to be nominated for was an inspired choice. The wry delivery on part of the presenters was like being privy to a big inside joke amongst the theater community. Both Ms. Neuwirth and Mr. Lane were great sports about the whole thing, and it was great to see they didn't take it too seriously.
THE BAD: While the majority of the Tonys was enjoyable, there were some aspects we didn't particularly care for.
  • Sherie Rene Scott and Dick Scanlan getting robbed for Best Book - While I haven't seen "Memphis," I do know the general plot of the show, and I honestly cannot see why its book would win over the incredibly funny and heart-wrenching one written by Sherie Rene Scott and Dick Scanlan for "Everyday Rapture." That show is the funniest one I have ever seen, and the wit, humor, and storytelling employed by Ms. Scott was, I thought, a sure winner. You don't see a book like that every season. Well written theater like that deserves to be rewarded, and it is a shame that "Everyday Rapture" did not win for this category.
  • The Best Orchestrations Category: It's not even that we didn't want "Memphis" to win... the music is probably wonderful and sounds amazing live. We're just still bitter that Tom Kitt didn't get nominated for "American Idiot" and/or "Everyday Rapture," so we weren't going to be satisfied with whoever won.
THE UGLY: Things that were just dreadful, abysmal, and all around terrible.
  • The sound work: For the second year in a row, the sound work at the Tonys was incredibly shoddy. Microphones were clearly on when they shouldn't have been, the sound was alternately too low or the mics were turned up so high that every last tap of piano keys or tread on the boards was clearly audible. Most glaringly was the snafu that occurred while Chris Noth was introducing the nominees for Best Play, resulting in him unknowingly being on camera for awkward, torturous moments until a crew member (audibly) told him to look at the camera. Get it together, Tony people.
  • Whatever that thing was Cate Blanchett wore on the red carpet: It was grey. It was metallic. It was a pantsuit. Enough said.
Well, those were our high and low points for the Tonys. We'd love to know what your favorite (or least favorite) moments were as well.

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