Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

A Taste of Broadway on the Tony Awards

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

A Taste of Broadway on the Tony Awards

Article excerpt

Behind the Scenes

For many years, I made sure to get to New York each spring to see most, if not all of the shows that were likely to be nominated for that year's Tony Awards. It gave me, perhaps, an unfair advantage in a Tony ballot pool, but mostly it made the awards ceremony a bit of dessert after the filling meal of seeing all those shows. The scenes performed (mostly) live at the ceremony were a pleasant reminder of the joys of a recent visit.

That dessert has turned into something of an appetizer for the last couple of years, because the Tony Awards have provided me with a kind of entree to what's new. Last fall, I saw three of the shows that turned out to be Tony nominees, including the play I'm sure will be named the year's best, the inspiring and captivating "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time." It may have some impressive competition from "Hand to God," "Wolf Hall Parts One and Two" and the Asolo Rep-bound "Disgraced," but there's something about "Curious Incident" that I think makes it something of a sure bet. It's the one show I've recommended to everyone who has asked me what to see in New York, and no one has complained yet.

I've also highly recommended the winning revival of "On the Town," which I fear won't last long after the awards ceremony, when it will likely lose the best musical revival award to Lincoln Center's acclaimed production of "The King and I" or possibly Roundabout Theatre's well-praised revival of "On the Twentieth Century," which stars Tony nominee Kristin Chenoweth, who is co- hosting this year's ceremony with another Tony winner, Alan Cumming, most recently the star of a revival of "Cabaret."

I'm not sure there are many sure bets in this year's award competition, though I suspect "An American in Paris," the new stage version of the classic Gene Kelly-Leslie Caron film, will triumph over "Fun Home," "Something Rotten" and "The Visit." That last show brought both theater legend Chita Rivera and the composing team of John Kander and the late Fred Ebb to Broadway for perhaps the final time, at least with a new show. …

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