Last night was the Tonys. (Or should that be ‘were the Tonys’? Sigh.) Don’t know if any of you out there caught them or not, but I watch the Tonys and Oscars pretty religiously. And last night was pretty okay, I suppose. On the one hand, they had microphone issues throughout the evening–especially on their opening number, where at times you couldn’t really hear what people were singing. (And while I suppose that’s understandable–it was a huge number, and there were tons of people to be mic’ed–I still would have appreciated a wee bit more semblance of professionalism on the audio. Especially since it kept coming up throughout the evening.) On the other hand, you got to see Bret Michaels slamming his head into a descending prop. This all seemed to give the show a sort of fly-by-night feel that didn’t totally sit well with me. Add to that the fact that the musical numbers they chose to put on all seemed to be a little . . . off to me, and the show was a bit of a letdown. For example, West Side Story’s scene was pretty much all dancing, although they emphasized the bilingual adaptation in the intro. Billy Elliot’s number was . . . disturbing? A kid randomly shouting and doing a tap number in front of riot police. Okay. Likely when you see it in context, it’s moving and emotional and what have you, but when you take it out of context . . . it did little to make me want to see the musical. And then you had all these productions from the touring versions of older Broadway shows, which again, were okay–although this is the third Tony’s that Jersey Boys have performed at, and I’d like to see the love spread around a bit more. Which brings me to my next point.
I’m getting tired of seeing remakes of previous works. Hollywood’s been doing it for forever, but Broadway really seems cemented in this right now. You’ve got adaptations of movies: Shrek, Billy Elliot, Legally Blonde(?), The Wedding Singer(?), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Spamalot, The Producers, Young Frankenstein and more. Adaptations of Disney: Mary Poppins, Lion King, Beauty and the Beast. Adaptations of music: Mamma Mia, Movin’ Out, Jersey Boys. And while I suppose I ought to be all over this adaptation trend, it leaves me wondering where the originality is. Yes, you have some original things pop up here and there, but it appears that by and large, they’re tapping into pop culture, trying to recreate previous success and ride its coattails to box office glory. That makes me sad. I’m not saying that all of these productions are junk. Some are very well done and highly enjoyable. It’s the trend I don’t like–remaking something because you want the money, not because you have something new to add to it. Anyone care to contradict me on this? Maybe I’m just being snooty–I’d love to hear some opposing POVs. Ditto that to the Tonys. Anyone blown away by last night and think I was totally out of it to not be?
And as always, people who agree with me are welcome to post, too. 🙂