The Tony Awards, 2008
Monster assembly line musicals got the Tony kiss-off last night. And the biggest turkeys were: Young Frankenstein and The Little Mermaid. Other tuners completely ignored: Cry Baby, A Catered Affair, Xanadu. Having seen the latter -- a disco roller romp that skids off the rink long before final curtain, I think sound judgement prevailed.
That left two new musicals to battle it out, In the Heights and Passing Strange. And what a strange outcome. Heights took four Tonys (Best Musical among them -- I thought it would sweep the awards, not realizing that both new shows and revivals are now lumped into the same category for production awards).
Strange landed one Tony, for Best Book. Hard to make sense of that. Some of the reviews as well as patron comments pointed to scripting problems. What I loved most about Heights was its finely crafted and very affecting book.
Along revival row, South Pacific was the big winner, and deservedly so, with seven Tonys. Gypsy garnered three.
The only play to triumph was August: Osage County -- 5 Tonys.
Sunday in the Park With George, another revival critically endorsed, got nothing. Neither did Grease.