I did not get to see the Tonys this past weekend, but it hardly matters since I haven’t seen anything nominated so I had very little stake in them. And I am still recovering from the horror I felt when the three Billy Elliot kids won best actor over my beloved Gavin Creel, the title role in ‘Hair’, which I saw last year. I also saw/ fell in love with Gavin in 2006 when I saw him as Jimmy in ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ which I believe he was either nominated or won a Tony for. I saw Billy Elliot as well, and I saw the blonde kid who’s supposed to be the best, and I was AMAZED at his dancing. He outdanced the older Billy, who is a New York City Ballet dancer, but I don’t remember who. However, his acting was a bit stale and his singing only tolerable. Since when does the wonder of youth trump a stellar performance? Of course Creel was supported by an amazing ensemble. I remember pegging this very pretty brunette as the ‘hot girl’ int he cast who must have been good, but really only cast for her look. I figured I could be her, no problem. She finally had a few solo lines in the song ‘Black Boys’ and dissolved my stupid assumption faster than Ali’s stardom will (hopefully) last. This girl who was just ensemble had such an incredible voice, as did every single person in the cast. Where is her oscar? I hope she gets a breakout role soon- she deserves it.
I am thoroughly horrified by the list of movie/ tv actors on the tony list this year. Kelsey Grammer and Nathan Lane don’t count, I consider them credible performers. Even Catherin Zeta has an ok, even if she did marry Michael Douglas, which I will never forgive her for. But Denzel? Scarlett Johanson? Can’t they stick to the silver screen and rely on their nice looks and leave the theater to the people who work so so sooo hard to get there?
I get the appeal, people want to see celebrities. When I was in London with my family and we were choosing shows to see, I kept pushing for some play that didn’t get spectacular reviews that the actress who plays Mrs. Weasley in the Harry Potter movies was in (We didn’t see it). I think there are some people out there who would even go to shows where a celebrity gets bashed for a poor performance simply to see someone famous stinking on stage (like how we all love talking about the bad ones ‘Dancing with the stars’- see earlier posts for more on that topic). I hate how much celebrities are creeping into/ crossing over worlds of art.
In either dance or Pointe, there was a feature on an ABT dancer who designs leotards. Somehow the cross over of a dancer designing dancewear is perfectly acceptable to me, while the preview for Emily Blunt (Hollywood actress from Devil wears Prada and the complete flop, ‘the Wolfman’- thanks Katie for suggesting that one!) who will star in a new movie where she is supposed to be a dancer with the AMAZING Cedar Lake Contemporary Dance Company is not ok by me. Reading the article, she apparently practiced for months..wow, I’m so impressed miss Blunt. I’ve been practicing about 20 years and I wouldn’t even bother auditioning for that company. What is going on with the world of performing arts? I think if theater and dance are being celebrity-raped then music needs it’s fair share as well. How about we bring in Jimmy Kimmel to plink down a note or two on the piano with the London Philharmonic, let’s allow Rachel Ray and Paula Dean to blast out a brief operetic duet at the Met, and have Betty White bang it out with the exclusive Kodo Taiko drummers (actually I’d probably go see that).
The arts are exclusive for a reason- please, everyone come sit in the audience, but get on stage- over and instead of people (no-names at this point) with credible talent and years of hard work? Go back to Hills, Hollywood celebs, and tell the lackluster reality stars to crawl back to the seats where they belong, and put the Tonys in the hands of those who deserve them. Tony sounds like an Italian name to me, so if the corruption doesn’t end, I’m going to start corrupting the name of the ceremony and award as well- how do you cheapen the tonys? I think I’ll call them the fast-food version of Italian cuisine-
Thanks Broadway for the nice shiny Fazoli.
Of course, I say this and one of my favorite NY moments was at the end of seeing ‘Hair’ when I along with the other attention-crazed members of the audience, got up on stage after the curtain call to dance and sing with cast. So I’m as bad as the rest. I just hope if I’m ever onstage during the real show, that I will have EARNED my spot through talent, not ticket-selling ability.