Monday, June 14, 2010

Speechless ... part 2

So ... here's a bit more on my Tony Awards show experience. I really wish they would have broadcast the Creative Awards that took place from 7-8pm prior to the nationally televised show. For me, those were some of the most priceless moments of the evening actually.

Anyhoo, a few thoughts ... in no particular order ... well, EXCEPT ...

Given the name of this blog post, I had to start with what was truly the most speechless moment of the show ... when the incomparable Marian Seldes was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Dramatic, magical and stunning are just a few words to describe Ms. Seldes, who I sometimes would see in the halls of Juilliard. She is without equal in the theatre world, that's for sure. She came to the stage last night, accepted her award and simply said so much by not speaking a word ... in the way only SHE can ... looking from the audience then to the side of the stage, to the floor, back to the audience, and then exiting the stage. It truly WAS speechless.

Speaking of Juilliard, one of my classmates from school also won a Tony last night -- the fantastic Viola Davis, who is starring in "Fences" with Denzel Washington. Many people don't realize that the school has one of the most prestigious drama programs in the country. The list of people who have come out of the Drama Division is staggering -- from Kelsey Grammer, Kevin Kline and the late Christopher Reeve to Christine Baranski, Marcia Cross, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Laura Linney (also nominated last night.) And, if you're a WingNut like me, the dashing Bradley Whitford (who played Josh on The West Wing) is also a Juilliard grad. (As an aside, someday maybe I'll write about the funny conversations I used to have with Robin Williams when he would call the school and I was doing work-study on the switchboard. Damn, he is a funny man.) But in any case, back to Viola. I saw her in a production of The Cherry Orchard when we were in school together. It was always one of my favorite plays and she was absolutely unforgettable. That production -- and her performance in it -- blew me away. It haunted me for weeks. Needless to say, I let out a big shout when she won. :-)

I will say that one of the times I was also left speechless was when Montego Glover didn't win for Best Actress in a Musical. (Since this is my blog and I can say what I want ...) I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one who was completely shocked. You could feel it in the audience. Montego and Catherine Zeta-Jones had tied for both the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle awards, but I ... like most ... was convinced that Montego would win the Tony. I mean, seriously -- she has created the next great American musical female character. The mark she has made on the field with this role is unquestionable. THAT is what the award is supposed to be about.

No doubt, even better than David Bryan and Joe DiPietro winning their "individual" Tonys (this sounds like the gymnastics competition at the Olympics. LOL) was the win for Best Musical. I love love LOVE Bernadette Peters ... so when she came out to introduce/announce the category I had a good feeling. But given what happened with Best Actress I wasn't going to assume ANYTHING. If, by chance, you didn't watch the broadcast ... here is how it all went down ...

I do believe I can hear myself scream in that clip. Haha. As I tweeted last night, our section of the theatre was very MEMPHIS-centric. Most of the people around us were rooting just as hard as T and I were. Seated in the first mezzanine, the ceiling above us sort of created a cave-like feeling and totally amplified the sound of our cheers. And boy did we cheer! I don't think I've even yelled that loud at a Bon Jovi show (sorry Jonny.) Needless to say, I've been sucking on lozenges most of today. ;-)

Okay ... that's all for right now. I need to get this posted before I fall asleep. There will be more later ... "Promises, Promises" LOL.