Thanks to Ball State University Singers alum Luke Meyer, who has over ten years remained a constant and dear one of my ‘kids,’ I attended the 72nd annual Tony Awards on Sunday.
Luke knew one of the cast members of Carousel who had over-purchased his block of tickets, so we had seats four rows from the top of Radio City Music Hall. And except for distance from stage, there’s not a bad seat in the house.
I’ll add some photos at the end of this post, but will share a few thoughts first:
- The emotional high point of the evening was the appearance on stage of students from Florida, singing “Seasons of Love” from Rent.
- For me, the first big “I’m so glad I’m in this room moment” was witnessing Ari’el Stachel’s acceptance speech. The room was in rapt attention as he spoke of no more being ashamed to be of Middle Eastern descent.
- DeNiro stopped the show. And got bleeped on television. Twice. He appeared on stage without any big announcement. In fact, we were still focused on stage left and the end of the previous acceptance speech, and suddenly he was there, using the F word, and exalting in his moment. The room was electric.
- Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Chita Rivera both accepted their honorary Tony Awards prior to live air-time, and both delivered lovely speeches. They were each perfect in their own way. But that strange tribute montage during the broadcast was, well, a disaster.
- And The Band’s Visit? I’m surprised it cleaned up, but the Tony voters seem to be voting against the commercialization so apparent in the other three nominated new musicals, and they certainly seemed to celebrate this lovely, beautiful, perfect little show.
- Springsteen. Wow. Just wow.
My holiday ended in wonderful fashion, and I’m so grateful to Luke for procuring tickets!
And here’s the New York Times review of the broadcast: