Tony Awards: Live Chat

Tony Awards: Live Chat

Join the Times' entertainment staff for a live analysis of the Tony Awards.

  • 6/9/2014 4:47:42 PM Stacey.Leasca
    This event is now closed.
  • 6/9/2014 4:50:12 PM Stacey.Leasca
    Joining us this morning is Times theater critic Charles McNulty. Thanks for joining us Charles!
  • 6/9/2014 4:50:41 PM Charles.McNulty
    Thanks, great to be here after last night
  • 6/9/2014 4:59:27 PM Stacey.Leasca
    Let's start off with the host of the evening, Hugh Jackman. How do you think he did, and what did you think of all that hopping?
  • 6/9/2014 5:00:22 PM Charles.McNulty
    There’s no doubting Hugh Jackman’s passion for the theater. He belongs in front of this theater crowd. He has so much respect for the talent out there and they respect him both for his talent and his appreciation. That said, I don’t think he was always well deployed. Probably not such a wise move to start him off hopping – a reference too obscure for 99.9% of the viewers. Most people assumed it had something to do with him being Australian—some kind of kangaroo reference, as though those marsupials are always on our Aussie friends’ minds. I thought he got better as the evening progressed. The rap number was a real dud, but his crooning to the lead actress in a musical nominees was touching and fun. I loved it when their talent showed – can Sutton Foster or Kelli O’Hara do anything without uncanny grace.
  • 6/9/2014 5:02:13 PM Charles.McNulty
    Not sure about the beard, as I noted today in my column. Any thoughts? My friend Charles Isherwood thought it might be a homage to the HBO series "Looking."
  • 6/9/2014 5:03:34 PM Stacey.Leasca
    How about the rest of the presenters and attendees? What did you think of this year's Tony crowd?
  • 6/9/2014 5:07:49 PM Charles.McNulty
    I don't always get the personnel, I must say. Vera Farmiga? Fine actress but not exactly a Broadway trouper. Fran Drescher -- OK, a TV star who's now in "Cinderella" -- but I mean is she really a ratings draw for CBS? And then all the people who have shows coming in next season. It turns into a very strange infomercial and public relations campaign for the Leighton Meesters of this world.
  • 6/9/2014 5:09:14 PM Stacey.Leasca
    What surprised you the most about this year's Tony winners?
  • 6/9/2014 5:13:47 PM Charles.McNulty
    I predicted that “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” and “All the Way” would win, so no surprises there. “Hedwig,” Neil Patrick Harris, Bryan Cranston were all locks. I expected Jessie Mueller to win. She deserved it, as her performance on the telecast bears out. Audra McDonald won – but then she collects Tonys the way Rafael Nadal collects French Open championships. I didn’t expect “A Raisin in the Sun” to win, not because I didn’t think it deserved it – I loved this revival—but because there was so much fanfare for “The Glass Menagerie,” which I had mixed feelings about. “Twelfth Night” was a miraculous revival –but, like “Glass,” it’s been closed now for some time. That led to “Raisin’s” unexpected win. I was thrilled. The actresses on that stage gave some of the finest performances I’ve seen this year. Wonderful.
  • 6/9/2014 5:14:42 PM Stacey.Leasca
    We're you pleased that "A Gentlemen's Guide to Love & Murder" won the Tony for best musical?
  • 6/9/2014 5:19:20 PM Charles.McNulty
    It’s a clever musical and deserves to win for its ingenuity. But it’s an uneven show. I reviewed it in San Diego at the Old Globe and thought it needed work . When I saw it in New York (on a Christmas Eve matinee), I thought the show looked like a million bucks. But many of the old problems were still there. “Beautiful” to me is a much more moving experience. But it’s a jukebox musical, with a book that often seems rudimentary and a song catalog that, however genius, isn’t mean to advance a dramatic story line. So “Gentleman’s” win makes sense. But I hope we can respect work without falling into idolatry. The flaws are transparent.
  • 6/9/2014 5:19:42 PM Stacey.Leasca
    Which award made you happiest? Which made you grumpiest?
  • 6/9/2014 5:22:22 PM Charles.McNulty
    Michael Ritchie dropped a hint at the panel discussion I did with him that "Gentleman's Guide" is likely to be headed to the Ahmanson -- so L.A. audiences will be able to make up their own minds in a year or two. It's a show that tends to inspire either love or amiable indifference.
  • 6/9/2014 5:23:38 PM Charles.McNulty
    "Raisin"'s victory made me happiest. Also Jessie Mueller, Mark Rylance and Sophie Okonedo.
  • 6/9/2014 5:27:51 PM Charles.McNulty
    Grumpiest? None really. I liked Lena Hall quite a bit in "Hedwig," but it's a small role. I didn't think it deserved to win the Tony. But she's so good. I had tears when Audra won--her talent is nonpareil. But she should have been competing as a musical performer. I want Audra to win everything -- but in the right category. I would have liked to see LaTanya Richardson Jackson win for playing the mother in "Raisin." One of the most moving performances of the year. I went with my mother to a matinee and Jackson and company left us devastated by the end of the show.
  • 6/9/2014 5:28:15 PM Stacey.Leasca
    Most moving speech?
  • 6/9/2014 5:31:53 PM Charles.McNulty
    I loved the speeches Mark Rylance and Sophie Okonedo gave. So eloquent – and heartfelt. I love Audra McDonald’s raw emotion – and the way she was connecting to her family on stage. (Making clear what really matters to her.) Kenny Leon’s speech was inspirational to everyone making theater across the country. Darko Tresnjak’s words to his mother touched me -- I didn’t understand the language but I felt the genuineness of the sentiment.
  • 6/9/2014 5:32:43 PM Stacey.Leasca
    How many awards do you think Audra McDonald will win before her career is over?
  • 6/9/2014 5:38:29 PM Charles.McNulty
    Let's see, Rafael Nadal has 14 Grand Slam championships--well, that seems like a reachable number for Audra. I think what's nice about her pile of accolades is that it makes clear that we have a legend in our midst. When I regret that I wasn't around to see Kim Stanley or Laurette Taylor on stage --- the two greatest American stage actresses of the 20th century--I console myself with the knowledge that I have seen Audra many times. I can tell you I would never pass up the opportunity to see her act, sing or even juggle, if she develops a new sideline. What a prodigiously gifted human being. I just feel grateful to be alive in the same Broadway period as her.
  • 6/9/2014 5:40:19 PM Stacey.Leasca
    Which show are you most looking forward to seeing in L.A.?
  • 6/9/2014 5:46:51 PM Charles.McNulty
    Unfortunately, the revivals aren’t likely to travel. So I guess “Beautiful” and “Gentleman’s Guide.” I hope CTG produces “The Bridges of Madison County,” which closed already but won for best score. I especially hope it comes to LA with Kelli O’Hara. I wonder if “All the Way” will be produced here. The Broadway production is so large – and so perfectly cast. This three hour play needs a very strong company for it to work. Mostly what I’m looking for next season is new work to begin here and make its way to New York. I’m seeing “The Country House” at the Geffen Playhouse on Wednesday. That’s Donald Margulies’ new play starring Blythe Danner. After its run here, it will travel to Manhattan Theatre Club’s Broadway stage. That’s the cross continental direction I prefer.
  • 6/9/2014 5:49:23 PM Charles.McNulty
    Well, thanks for joining us today. This Broadway season has officially come to a close.
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