Sat 9 Jun 2012
Lost Cowboy fans know how much I love the theater. I have posted many times about my theater trips to London and New York and seeing shows at great regional and local theaters. As a fan of theater, this is a big weekend, with the Tony Awards – toasting the best of Broadway – being held tomorrow evening and broadcast live on CBS.
For many years I made a pilgrimage to New York in the spring to see a few of the newest shows, many of which were destined to be big Tony winners. Most notably in 2001 I was fortunate to see The Producers for the first time the week it opened and before it went on to a sold-out run and winning the most Tony Awards ever. Last year, I was thrilled to get to see The Book of Mormon at the start, right before it became a sensation and went on to Tony gold.
Unfortunately, it just was not in the cards for my Broadway trip this spring, but even with that, there are a few shows up for awards tomorrow night that I was able to catch in pre-Broadway runs or in London before transferring to the U.S.
The biggest show is the revival of The Gershwin’s’ Porgy and Bess, a production which had its world premiere at the American Reparatory Theatre (ART) in Cambridge, MA last summer. You may recall I was able to catch the show at that time and loved every minute of it.
The Gershwin’s’ Porgy and Bess has gone on to Broadway with great acclaim and has scored a slew of Tony nods including Best Revival of a Musical; Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (the wonderful Norm Lewis); and Best Performance by Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (the utterly perfect Miss Audra McDonald). I will be rooting for Porgy and Bess and Miss McDonald in particular – a very talented lady who has already won four Tonys!
Meanwhile, two plays I saw in London which transferred to Broadway with their original casts, End of the Rainbow and One Man, Two Guvnors, also received several nominations. Tracie Bennett, who portrays Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow is nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play – and she was great.
One Man, Two Guvnors’s James Corden, who is destined to be a major star on stage and screen, has been nominated for Best Performance/Actor in a Leading Role in a Play. His director, Nicholas Hytner of Britain’s National Theatre has also been nominated for Best direction of a Play.
I am looking forward to the Tony Awards telecast and joining my fellow theater fans celebrate the best of Broadway.