Wednesday, May 14, 2008

'Heights' and 'South Pacific' are tops with Tony

As a famous Siamese king once said: "It's a puzzlement." Usually, I have very few quibbles with the Tony nominations. Yet yesterday, around 8:37 a.m. at NYC's Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, when Tony winners — and former Spamalot costars — David Hyde Pierce (left) and Sara Ramirez (a.k.a. Grey's Anatomy's Dr. Torres, right) revealed the contenders in 26 categories, I saw more than a few oversights.
First, I'll give you the big news. The show with the most nominations? In the Heights which netted a staggering 13 nominations, including two for star/writer Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Best Revival of a Musical Nominee 'South Pacific' had a big day as well with 11 nominations including Best Actor, Paul Szot and Best Actress, Kelli O'Hara pictured below. Much deserved for an amazing powerful production!

The four Best Play nominees: Tracy Letts' August: Osage County (the 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner, just named New York Drama Critics Circle's Best Play and my favorite to win a few Tony's), Tom Stoppard's Rock 'n' Roll, Conor McPherson's The Seafarer,both of which have now closed and finally Patrick Barlow's extremely entertaining and my Cinderella favorite to win, The 39 Steps which has just moved to the Cort theatre by popular demand. Best Musical Nominees are as follows: Cry-Baby, In the Heights, Passing Strange, (NYDCC's Best Musical), Xanadu. (A full list of nominees is available at the Tonys' website.)

So who was crying in their corn flakes? Well, surely Mel Brooks. In 2001 his Producers received 15 nominations — and won a record-setting 12, including Best Musical. This year, his Young Frankenstein received just 3 (for featured performers Andrea Martin and Christopher Fitzgerald, plus best scenic design)... and no one's forecasting any wins. It's a shame, because I believe the show deserved better, but Mel put himself in a big hole when he came up with his $450 premium ticket and this Tony committee apparently hasn't forgotten, even though the show is extremely entertaining and now offers many discounts which can be obtained with the Applause Insider Deal. The Catered Affair company no doubt had their fingers crossed for a Best Musical slot, but the chamber piece was passed over for the flashier Cry-Baby. Even Disney's The Little Mermaid deserved a better fate! To over look Sierra Boggess and Sheri Rene Scott who gave two outstanding performances is a crime! It's a musical extravaganza that the whole family is sure to enjoy and remember forever!

It's anyones guess who'll win this year! It could be an In the Heights and South Pacific(the only sure winner in my book) sweep, but my guess is that as in years past, the Tony voters will spread the wealth! It has been the year of the play with so many outstanding performances that come Tony night, we're sure to have many surprise moments! Don't miss it on CBS, Sunday evening June 15th at 8pm with your host(Oops), I meant "Narrator" Whoopi Goldberg!

Please call an Applause Theatre Service sales expert to get your tickets now to all of these celebrated Musicals! 800-451-9930 or 212-307-7050

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