Thoughts on The 68th Annual Tony Awards

Let me lead this off by saying two words: Hugh. Jackman.

Hugh Jackman can do no wrong in my book. Some people were complaining that his opening number was not flashy enough. But I thought it set just the right tone for the rest of the show. And he did say that he didn’t want to compete with last year’s opening extravaganza. His tap dance routine was also enjoyable – how can he make it seem so cool and effortless? Also, he just seems like a genuinely nice guy. I want to be his friend.

Glad to see that Fantasia is still going strong, and that she got to sing with legendary Patti Labelle and Gladys Knight. But, was that a nip slip?

Also: I had no idea Dule Hill could do a split like that!

It was great to see Idina Menzel again, and with full voice.  I’m currently listening to the If/Then cast recording and I’m already in love with “You Learn To Live Without”.  Her song number was sparse, with no backing performers or sets – just the wickedly wonderful Idina and her voice. (For the first time since the Oscars, I actually felt sorry for John Travolta when Jonathan Groff made that dig at the whole Adele Dazeem fiasco.)

What would’ve been great though, was if Idina and Kristin Chenoweth joined the current Elphaba and Glinda when they performed For Good to celebrate Wicked’s 10th anniversary. How awesome would that have been? And also: Wicked is 10 years old?!? To be honest, I got goosebumps hearing For Good tonight.

Carole King was another highlight. I would love to get my hands on the Beautiful cast recording, just to see how they arranged her songs.  Also to hear Jarrod Spector again.

I’m very optimistic about Sting’s upcoming musical.  I hope his songwriting style translates well to a play, but judging from the subject matter, it looks like his signature offbeat and ethereal music might actually work.

All in all, there were no real musical standouts for me from this year’s show. Usually the Tonys is where I hear about all the new musicals coming up. This is how I discovered Wicked, Avenue Q, Spelling Bee and In The Heights, after all. But the thing with the Tonys is, even if I don’t really fall in love at first listen with the musical numbers, they’re still so good. The production is always pitch-perfect (sorry for the pun!). 

Hugh Jackman was the real star of the show for me. His closing performance of On Broadway was the perfect bookend, and he didn’t really need to do anything flashy.  All in all it was a decent show and it left a very pleasant taste in the mouth.

How about you, what did you think of the show?