Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Tony Awards Central: Seattle connections

My name is Spencer Fairbanks and I am doing a special to the SGN in anticipation of Broadway's biggest night, The Tony Awards, broadcasting live from Radio City Music Hall Sunday June 11. I am an avid fan of theatre and a local actor who makes frequent trips to the Big Apple to see the latest plays and musicals. Here is my first preview leading up to the awards. We will look at the highlights and hottest contests in this year's race for the coveted prize.

Check back here for more Tony news and be sure to read the June 9th SGN for aTony Awards Preview!

What makes this year so exciting is the Seattle connection to the Tony's. Intiman Theatre has recieved eight nominations and has won the Tony for Best Regional Theatre in the country.
Director Bartlett Sher continues his winning streak, with six nominations for his production of AWAKE AND SING. And there are more Seattle connections. Former Spectrum Dance leader Donald Byrd is nominated for Best Choregraphy for THE COLOR PURPLE. And our own 5th Avenue Theatre has birthed another hit with THE WEDDING SINGER, garnering five nominations including Best Musical.

This year the category is a mixed bag of high drama, bubbly spoofs, tuneful retrospectives and old fashioned love stories. Anyone could win this one, however it is my opinion that it will come down to a duel between THE DROWSY CHAPERONE and JERSEY BOYS.

THE DROSWY CHAPERONE, starring Tony nominated Sutton Foster, is a frothy homage to the silly musicals of the 1920's. It came out of nowhere and captured thirteen nominations! It is a critical hit and a favorite of Broadway audiences. JERSEY BOYS has tremedous momentum, with prospects of a long NY run and a touring vehicle for the next few years. JERSEY BOYS, follows the rise of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, using vintage jukebox hits as it's score. Strong word of mouth has propelled this show to sell-out status, and gathered a total of eight nominations. Oprah Winfrey's name hasn't hurt the box office at THE COLOR PURPLE. Despite mixed reviews, the production has gone on to recieve eleven nominations, and a tour is already underwa, opening in Chicago this fall.

In a very unpredictable year, The Tony Awards may spread it's love over several productions.
A Tony win is a must for a struggling show trying to reach an audience, and usually an assurance of a healthy box office. Tony voters are made up from Members of the Academy and are spread out across the country. Members are actors, directors and producers of the American Theatre Wing.

Stay tuned for more on the 61st Annual Tony Awards.

No comments: