HomeReviewsTony Awards 2024 Best & Worst Moments, Snubs And Surprises – Assessment

Tony Awards 2024 Best & Worst Moments, Snubs And Surprises – Assessment


No awards present makes it to the top with out a few surprises, and tonight’s Tony Awards on CBS had a whopper: It went off with out a hitch.

The Pluto TV pre-show, not a lot. But extra on that in a bit.

With Ariana DeBose returning to host for the third time, the 77th Annual Tonys was like a how-to for awards exhibits, with almost all the performances by the Best Musical nominees (and the yr’s Best Play winner Stereophonic) showcasing every manufacturing at its finest. (Which one fell a bit brief? Read on.)

DeBose kicked issues off with a made-for-the-show musical quantity, sounding terrific even when a efficiency from one of many precise Broadway exhibits might need been a wiser choice. DeBose has said this might be her remaining Tony internet hosting gig, at the very least for some time, and he or she’ll be missed: She is aware of the best way to maintain the highlight, and he or she is aware of the best way to hand it off.

The ceremony, which appeared beautiful in Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater (a first-time venue for the Tonys), moved alongside at a terrific clip, with acceptance speeches concise with out seeming rushed, various poignant moments (and even more tears shed, and that’s just from Jonathan Groff), and a few distinctive and surprising wins to go together with the distinctive and anticipated ones.

Here’s my tackle tonight’s excessive factors, surprises and, after all, a number of the lows. Thankfully, the previous outnumbered the latter.

  • Alicia Keys and Jay-Z kicked the show into high gear with a rousing rendition of her “Empire State of Mind,” even when Jay-Z’s look didn’t seem like truly going down in the identical venue; it appeared like he was outdoors Lincoln Center, and possibly even pre-taped. Still, to TV viewers it probably mattered little: Hell’s Kitchen couldn’t ask for a greater showcase to get it observed coast-to-coast.
  • Jeremy Strong, profitable for his main efficiency in An Enemy of the People, thanked, amongst others, the ushers and workers at Circle within the Square. He didn’t point out how these very ushers effectively dealt with local weather protesters when the group Extinction Rebellion interrupted a preview efficiency some months again. But those that knew, knew.
  • Stereophonic‘s Will Brill beat out two of his forged mates – Eli Gelb and Tom Pecinka – for the Featured Actor/Play trophy, and graciously requested them, and the play’s Best Featured Actress nominees Juliana Canfield and Sarah Pidgeon, to face and share within the second. As I wrote in my Predictions column, I’d have given Pecinka the slight edge right here, however we’re speaking hairsplitting. The total forged is phenomenal.
  • Kara Young, the primary actress of shade to attain Tony nominations in three consecutive years, gained tonight for her Featured Role/Play efficiency in Purlie Victorious, and her acceptance speech was as charming as her Purlie efficiency was hilarious. She thanked the late greats Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, who, respectively, wrote and initially starred within the play a long time in the past, and gave a candy Fathers Day shout-out to her dad Klay Young, a longtime server at New York’s Rainbow Room the place Kara’s 2022 nomination for Clyde’s was introduced. Even sweeter was her point out of her great-grandmother Hazel, who “made it a degree to return to Purlie Victorious two weeks earlier than she transitioned.”
  • Both the tribute to the late, nice Chita Rivera and the In Memoriam sections have been fantastically dealt with, with Brian Stokes Mitchell, Bebe Neuwirth and Audra McDonald joined within the former by DeBose (who did a high quality rendition of Rivera’s signature music “America” from West Side Story). The In Memoriam phase ought to be studied by each awards present producer from right here on in: Put a high quality performer onstage (tonight’s was Nicole Scherzinger, singing “What I Did For Love” from A Chorus Line), however be certain to point out the large, unobscured footage of the parents you’re honoring so everybody at residence can see them.
  • Stereophonic playwright David Adjmi gave props to Playwrights Horizons, the Off Broadway non-profit theater that first staged the play. In reality, tonight was just about a tribute to town’s non-profs, with Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage and Manhattan Theatre Club answerable for birthing an inordinate variety of nominees, together with Stereophonic, Jaja’s African Hair Braiding, Mary Jane, Prayer for the French Republic and Mother Play.
  • The musical numbers: The performances from the casts of The Outsiders, The Who’s Tommy, Suffs, Merrily We Roll Along, Illinoise, Water For Elephants and, to a barely lesser extent, Stereophonic gave everybody watching a good suggestion of what theatergoers have been speaking about for months. Stereophonic‘s “Masquerade” was too abbreviated, and Pete Townshend may have caught round longer on “Pinball Wizard,” however by and enormous the numbers did what they’re purported to do.
  • Appropriate‘s Sarah Paulson gave a nice shout-out to her chief rival for Best Leading Actress/Play, acknowledging Mother Play‘s “nice Jessica Lange”; and Merrily director Maria Friedman spoke for a lot of when she addressed the late Stephen Sondheim to inform him “Merrily‘s widespread!”
  • Hell’s Kitchen‘s Maleah Joi Moon, at 21 the night time’s youngest Tony nominee, took residence the trophy for Lead Actress/Musical in what was, except for Maria Friedman’s loss to Danya Taymor, the ceremony’s largest shock, and a welcome one.
  • Merrily‘s Jonathan Groff and Daniel Radcliffe have been shoo-ins for the Leading Actor and Featured Actor/Musical trophies, however their tearful acceptance speeches and clear affection for one another have been among the many night time’s sweetest moments.

And now, for the worst moments of the night time:

  • Act One, the Tony pre-show, kicked off 90 minutes earlier than the ceremony correct, however I can’t be the one one who found out at the very least a number of minutes too late that Pluto TV’s streaming web site shouldn’t be the identical because the Pluto TV TV channel. If you’re going to place a good portion of the night – 11 awards were announced on the pre-show – on a barely watched vacation spot like Pluto, at the very least make it simple to get there.
  • The opening quantity. All respect to Ariana, however the present did her no favors handing her a lackluster new music (composed by Next To Normal‘s Tom Kitt) to kick off the present. The quantity got here off as weirdly generic, as if it have been designed to open any and each awards present.
  • Fortunately, a lot of the musical numbers have been significantly better, “most” being the operative phrase. The massive exception: Cabaret. Not solely did the revival’s producers hold Gayle Rankin away from the mic — I imply, doesn’t Cabaret sorta belong to Sally Bowles? — however Eddie Redmayne’s herky-jerky efficiency because the Emcee (he sang “Willkommen”) appeared much more, let’s consider, eccentric with TV cameras in his face than it does on the August Wilson Theatre. I’m very curious to know the way it performed to the uninitiated;.
  • Some of the digicam angles didn’t serve different exhibits effectively both, notably the efficiency by the forged of Stereophonic. Part of the play’s visible attraction is observing the fictional Fleetwood Mac-like band’s recording session multi functional massive, encompassing huge shot, no close-ups vital. Tonight’s presentation was not as off-putting as seeing Redmayne underneath a microscope, however that’s not saying loads.

As for snubs, not many actually, although I suppose Maria Friedman’s loss might be thought-about as such. And whereas Hell’s Kitchen gained solely two of its 13 classes, the victories have been two of probably the most memorable of the night time: Maleah Joi Moon and Kecia Lewis for Leading Actress & Featured Actress in a musical. I’d have preferred Illinoise to take extra awards (and its sole win, for Justin Peck’s lovely choreography, was introduced on the Pluto TV pre-show), however for a dialogue-free dance manufacturing, the present’s presence on tonight’s broadcast was just about a triumph in itself.

Content Source: deadline.com


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