Post Mortem: ATC party (kudos) and what audiences were cheated out of at the Tonys
Posted by: fredfrankg (fredfrankg427@gmail.com) 10:14 am EDT 06/10/19

Firstly, thank you again to Ann and all responsible for the annual soiree at Iguana. Lovely to meet some people I'd never met before (Jesse, Matthew, Leslie, Page), though missing a number of regulars I so looked forward to seeing (Wayman, Martin, James, Bruce & Bill). But all in all, a fine time, and thank you again.

As for last night's broadcast, I admit that I was lucky enough to attend the rehearsal, which went very smoothly. I thought Corden did a fine job again, and his enthusiasm and talent were completely infectious. The broadcast was focused more on the commercial viability of the current season as opposed to honoring outstanding achievement(s). On that level, it was a very mixed bag, reflective of a season that was its equivalent. There were no scenes from any of the plays, just a few remarks from the authors (then why bother?). And the scenes from the musicals left a great deal to be desired: the features from Beetlejuice, Tootsie, and even Hadestown (which I definitely want to see) were not the best of Broadway. And that dress parade of Cher was just that; it belongs in a Debbie Reynolds museum or Caesars Palace, but not on Broadway. Ain't Too Proud's number was better live than on TV, but I thought was still rousing. Ditto the best production number of the evening, the terrific Too Darn Hot from Kiss Me, Kate!

On a more definite note, many of the acceptance speeches were heartfelt and terrific, reminding us what it is to dedicate a life to the arts. And here what was sorely missed: the lack of a full broadcast of Judith Light's acceptance speech for the Isabelle Stevenson Award for her service to the LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS communities. The powers that be at the Wing (and CBS) did Light and other recipients, including Terence McNally, Rosemary Harris, and Harold Wheeler, among others (AND the audience) a great disservice by not broadcasting their acceptance speeches for their lives in the theater. Ms. Light attended the rehearsal and gave her speech it its entirety, and it was the highlight of the entire ceremony.

That being said, where were the luminaries and of years past, and even a few performances from previous seasons reminding us why we continue to attend? Aside from reminding us of the standards future artists need to achieve and surpass, it would be plain entertaining (and help the ratings).

'Nuff said.

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