Sunday, August 12, 2007

Having delusions of grandeur

There's no Cara Joy here in Blogville this week, so it's me. IT'S MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! Random Wicked shout-out, I'm not really a fan but I enjoy some high powered belting every once in a while. Also, if you search Idina on youtube, you will find endless, endless bootlegs of her doing Defying Gravity, and people bitchslapping each other saying things like "Everyone knows that 7-12-04 was her best Defying, why did you even post this one?" There's also a very sad one where she did the show when she was clearly under the weather, and her last "Ah-ah-ah-ah-ahhhhhh" sounds like someone's letting the air out of an old balloon.

But enough about Kristin Chenoweth, It's August and while to some that means humidity, back to school supplies and the wimpering remains of Hollywood blockbusters (The Invasion, anyone? Anyone?), to me that means only one thing: who's gonna win the 2008 Tony Awards! Yes, it does seem like just yesterday that I watched Raul Esparza lose to David Hyde Pierce, probably because it was just yesterday that I watched Raul Esparaza lose to David Hyde Pierece. I try and watch it everyday, my DVR has had quite a work-out. But as the 2007-2008 season shapes up, so do next year's Tony races, so here's some early, half-informed, half-assed prognosticating, something I love to do this time of year.


As I predicted last August when I was predicting that The Coast of Utopia would win Best Play this year, Tom Stoppard's Rock N Roll is comin' our way, and it will most likely be comin' to that botched Best Play nominees clip montage come next June. Heralded in London and by the man himself, it's only liability is that it is apparently just a limited season, gone by Tony time. Probably means it can't win, but it should be remembered.

Oh, good. Another Conor McPherson play, The Seafarer, opening at the Booth Theatre this fall. It's not that I think zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz It's not that I think that Conor Mczzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Conor McPherson, he's not that bad. It's just that he really tends to put me to zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. He's in.

I'm dubious about The Farnsworth Invention. I don't see it having a great run, and I don't really see it being nominated for Best Play. Aaron Sorkin is a big star now though, and even though he was not nominated for A Few Good Men, he will definitely be on Tony's radar this time. It's got a shot, but I somehow don't see it. But it is has a shot. But only if it runs.

I'm even more dubious about November. Nathan Lane as the President of the United States? Don't see it. I think November will do OK at the box office, but I'm not sure that it will get a nod for Best Play. The Old Neighborhood didn't, and that had Patti LuPone giving a very good, quiet and understated performance. Oh, note to Patti: quiet and understated, you can do that. Style and comedy, yeah, not so good.

Is He Dead?, the new Mark Twain play, will present a curious challenge for the already challenged enough Tony Administration Committee. It has never been done before, so it can't really be grandfathered in as a revival under the classics rule. But Mark Twain IS a classic, so they might try to. But I would push for it as Best Play, because I think it might actually have a shot, for a nod at least. It might be horrific though, this one could go either way. But I could see ticketbuyers being attracted to its Twain-ness, and perhaps the Tony nominators as well.

I think the third and fourth nominees are most likely to be plays that haven't been announced or rumored yet. I don't see The Female of the Species getting a Best Play nod. Best Actress for Annette Bening, yes, but not Best Play. There must be something a-brewin' in London or off-Broadway that's still to come. Stay tuned. Someone might be thinking, hey, you forgot about Theresa Rebeck's new play, Mauritius. Yeah, I didn't forget. Snap!

I'd like to say a word here for Blackbird, a play with endless stunt casting possibilities that should have moved to Broadway this fall. That play screamed commercial transfer, I don't know what all these rich lazy transferrers were thinking not transferring it. Instant Tony nod, instant recoupment. Alas, it's apparently not meant to be. But come on, Natalie Portman and Liam Neeson for six weeks? The Star Wars fans alone would sell it out.


The early chat from Seattle seems to say that Young Frankenstein is a contender. It was a contender even if it completely crapped up the crappy Hilton Center for the Ford Performing Arts, though perhaps I shouldn't hint at crap in Broadway theatres considering what is rumored to have happened in the orchestra section of the Broadhurst Theatre last week. And for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, no, Lea Salonga did not fly off the turntable. Anyway, Young Frankenstein is in.

In the Heights is clearly moving to Broadway hoping to be this year's Urinetown/Avenue Q/Spring Awakening, i.e., the quality show that should win. It's even doing the smart thing and not reopening until the spring, choosing to skip the surely-would-be-difficult winter. It will definitely be nominated for Best Musical, though I don't know if it will definitely win. That is because there are other shows vying for the quality show title: A Catered Affair and Jason Robert Brown's 13, which I think is going to come in this spring. I definitely have my eye on 13 as the third nominee. A Catered Affair, the jury's still out on that one. I can't annoint it now. But I have my hopes up.

The Little Mermaid? I smell disaster. I'm hearing rumors of roller-skates and boredom. I think this one's gonna make Mary Poppins seem like My Fair Lady. No Tony nod for you! Cry Baby? Definitely has a shot, it should be better than The Wedding Singer and that got invited to Radio City. But it should also be better than Legally Blonde, and that didn't. And then there's the darkhorse of all darkhorses, Xanadu, a show I dreaded seeing but had a very good time at. Tony nominators will probably feel the same way. But will they nominate it?

So, at this point, I'm seeing, in alphabetical order, A Catered Affair, In the Heights, 13, Young Frankenstein, with Catered Affair most vulnerable to Cry Baby or Xanadu.

We shall see, we shall see! But for now, cue up the DVR. Raul's got some losin' to do. And do. And do. And do!

1 comment:

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