Tony Award night: the night where magic of the stage is broadcasted to our televisions, we get to play “spot the actor in the audience,” jokes are made and people’s favorites are recognized. Unless they’re not. Then Tony Award night becomes the night of divided fan bases, half of the fans upset, half of them overjoyed. There was no better example of this than when Kinky Boots was announced as Best Musical, when everyone was sure Matilda had the category locked up.
However, this article isn’t going to focus on who should have one Best Musical, because I personally believe that topic has been talked and fought about to the ground. Both — actually all four shows — were wonderful, which is why they were nominated. Instead, I’m going to talk about whom I personally believe got snubbed for award categories that may have been overlooked.
WARNING: Excessive Snarkiness Ahead!
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:
I’m Not Really Sure What Happened Here: Rodgers and Hammerstein.
What the heck?! These iconic music writers weren’t nominated. How did this slip everyone’s mind? Everyone has been so engulfed with Matilda and Kinky Boots that it feels like we didn’t bat an eye when, arguably, the best musical theater songwriting duo of all time didn’t even get a nomination! There has been controversy with the book, and yes it wasn’t all the traditional songs (some were added from other shows), but it was still Rodgers and Hammerstein! Once it was pointed out to me that they weren’t even nominated I realized how surprising that was. Perhaps I’m overlooking a matter of eligibility? But, even if they were nominated, would they have won? I’m not sure. But they deserved a nomination.
Don’t Worry, Your Songs are Still Clever: Tim Minchin
While I’m a firm believer that we should stop talking about who won Best Musical, this had my jaw dropping – and not necessarily in a good way. Don’t get me wrong, I love Cyndi! She’s…Cyndi! But Tim has great rhymes and catchy tunes in songs and in terms of cleverness, Tim takes the cake here. Matilda was one of the few shows that actually had me walking out of the theater singing the songs I’d just heard. But maybe some of his better lyrics went unnoticed if you’re not from Britain? I, myself, am a huge fan of the lyric “Or maybe your largeness/Is a bit like a TARDIS/Considerably roomier inside,” which is REALLY CLEVER! Unless you don’t know what the heck a TARDIS is because you don’t watch Doctor Who and then you’re confused. (And now my nerd is showing!)
But…It’s a Show about Cheerleaders! Bring It On: The Musical
Say what you want about the musical, but this choreography was killer. And we’d expect nothing less from a musical about cheerleaders. So the fact that this show with incredible choreography at its core lost to a show with very little choreography was a bit…confusing? I mean, come on, it’s closed but lets give closed shows some love where love is due!
You were the only show with a classic orchestra!! – Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Every show has an orchestra or some kind of musical instruments to help them out. However, when I think of orchestrations, I think of a big orchestra and classic theatre…in short, I think of Cinderella. I’m not saying Kinky Boots didn’t deserve this win, their music is wonderful, but in terms of best orchestration, I gotta give it to Cinderella. The large, traditional orchestra created magic in that theater and the intricacies it pulled off in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s score were beautiful
The odds were not in your favor – Kenneth Posner
This has absolutely nothing about which show deserved it, and more about the fact that Kenneth Posner was nominated for three out of the four spots (Kinky Boots, Pippin, Cinderella), and was still beat out by Matilda. The lighting in Matilda is lovely, but the win was a bit schadenfreude, you couldn’t help but laugh at how crazy that was…especially when the winning designer was no where to be seen. We also are still reeling over the nomination snub for best lighting that was Ken Billington’s design for Chaplin.
BEST SET DESIGN:
But…did you SEE the set?? No wait, you didn’t! – Anna Louizos (Cinderella)
Yet another category in which Cinderella was tragically overlooked. This set was fantastic, it helped tell the story, it was interactive with the story, using the trees to tell you time had passed, allowing places for transformations, so why was this amazing set, with pieces known throughout Broadway, not nominated?! I. Have. No. Idea.
I know you’re all waiting for me to get to the categories that everyone knows about Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Show, but I’m not going go into who should have won those categories, because these are the most subjective awards. They’re ALL talented, they ALL deserved to win, that’s why they were nominated. They were the top 5 five actors/actresses and the top 4 musicals/plays/revivals out of everything that played in between June 1st 2012 and April 30th 2013. It sounds corny but it IS an honor to be nominated!
As for Best Musical, which by far got the most talk in terms of what ‘deserved’ to win, here is my take on it. The Awards are fantastic to put on posters outside the theater, are great for publicity and may attract more ticket buyers, but most likely, it’s not going to change things too much. We don’t just see movies that one are up for Oscars, we don’t just watch television shows that won Emmys. Word of mouth is the best publicity a show can have, and in the end that’s all that matters in keeping a show open.
Another thing to think about is, all that matters in a show in how it made YOU feel. How did you feel at intermission? After the show? No Tony can diminish what you feel for a show that didn’t win, or make you feel as passionate about a show that did win. Shows are magic, absolute magic. Don’t let politics of a Tony’s committee stand in the way of how you feel about a show.