Sunday, June 15, 2008

Awards Watch: Tony Awards 2008

It was "some enchanted evening" tonight at Radio City Music Hall as South Pacific swept this year's Tony Awards. The acclaimed revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein stage classic won seven trophies, including Best Musical Revival. In the Heights, the Best Musical winner, won four Tonys, while August: Osage County dominated on the drama side, with five wins, including Best Play. The swinging 60's comedy Boeing-Boeing rounds out the top categories with two wins, including Best Play Revival.

The other big winner was Gypsy, which saw wins for its three main actors, Laura Benanti (the first actually Gypsy to win), Boyd Gaines (his fourth Tony win) and a hilariously outspoken Patti LuPone. And speaking of Gypsy, its lyricist, Stephen Sondheim, was the recipient of the Tony's lifetime achievement award ... but didn't bother to show up.

Perhaps the biggest winner of the night was the viewers, thanks to the hostess with the mostest, Whoopi Goldberg, who was -- in a word -- fabulous. Whether it was appearing onstage as the high-flying Mary Poppins or in pre-taped segments as the high-kicking cast of A Chorus Line (plus Mario Lopez), she kept the show lively and entertaining from curtain to curtain.

Finally, on the From Screen to Stage front, The 39 Steps was the only winner, taking home two technical trophies. And although Cry-Baby and Xanadu went home empty-handed, at least their high-energy production numbers (led by their respective hunks, James Snyder and Cheyenne Jackson) actually made their shows appear, to me at least, as something worth paying Broadway ticket prices to see.

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