I watch the Oscars because, B.L. (Before Lydia), I would have seen at least 70% of the award nominees in the major categories (movie, director, 2 actor, 2 actress, and 2 screenplay categories.) I root for my favorite shows on the Emmys. I like to watch the Grammys to hear the artists I’ve read about in magazines but never actually heard, usually in the minor categories.
("I like to watch." I sound like Chauncey Gardiner (Peter Sellers) in Being There, a 1979 movie that is one of my favorites.)
But I watch the Tony Awards because it is generally all I know of the shows on Broadway. I mean, there usually ONE show I’ve heard of (this year’s winning musical Spamalot, The Producers from a couple seasons ago), but that’s it, except for the revivals.
I like to discover that a number of actors better known from other venues are on the boards. In the "featured actor (play)" category, Alan Alda (West Wing), Gordon Clapp (N.Y.P.D. Blue) and winner in his Broadway debut Liev Schrieber (the remake of the movie The Manchurian Candidate) all were in a revival of Glengarry Glen Ross. The "actress (play)" category was filled with women best known for film (Laura Linney, Mary-Louise Parker, Kathleen Turner) and television (Phylicia Rashad), though most (or all) have been on Broadway before. Rashad won last year for A Raisin in the Sun; Cherry Jones (winner a decade ago for The Heiress) won this year for Doubt.
And I don’t watch ANY of these shows to find out who won. In fact, I've seen only the first hour of the show Sunday night, but I already know the results. I like to see HOW they won, how the people react, so I’ll watch the tape at my leisure.
I STOPPED watching the Tonys on Sunday because it was Lydia’s bedtime, and the quietness of the house seems to maximize the possibly that she’ll actually go to sleep and stay that way. By the time she was in bed, I flicked through the channels and ended up watching the Mets beat the Giants. (Incidentally, the musical The Light in the Piazza apparently has nothing to do with Mets catcher Mike Piazza.)
My buddy Fred Hembeck has been extolling the wonderfulness of one Mark Evanier for some time, and Mark has a lot to say about the Tonys that I found interesting on June 5 and 6, and even on June 4, when he predicted most of the winners correctly. He also writes about medical marijuana (6/6) and Deep Throat (6/3), topics covered recently in this page, and how the rich get richer and the myth of the “death tax” (6/6), which I would have written about had I had something cogent to say.
While I’m plugging other pages, let me mention the upcoming reintroduction of the NEW Comic Book Galaxy by long-time FantaCo customer (and big booster of this page) Alan David Doane, starting Monday, June 13. I’ll be honest: I don’t know WHAT to expect, but ADD has a lot of heart, so if you’re into the comic medium, it should be good. (And now the pressure is on, Alan.)
Music, August 1971: Concert for Bangladesh
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