Overlooked Honors: Twelve 2017 Tony Categories We Wish Existed
Each year, the Tony Awards honor Broadway's best and brightest from the current season. And though the awards are many, each year there are a few shows that bring a little something new and different to the stage that deserve their own brand of recognition.
From gorgeous gowns and fabulous felines to fair ground fun and scene stealing breakfast foods, check out our recommendations for Tony's most overlooked honors of the 2016- 2017 Broadway season:
All the ensembles. Anywhere, at any time.
The Tony Awards have retired and re-instated many categories over the years, from the now defunct Best Producer awards to the recently reborn Sound Design categories, but in recent years, the Broadway community has grown restless for the a Best Ensemble Tony. Ensembles work hard, full-stop. Filling out the world of a show while inhabiting any number of roles along the journey, they carry us through a theatrical experience with their smiling faces, synchronicity and individual pathos. While we wait for the powers-that-be to gift us the official category, all we can do for now is acknowledge the implicit value ensembles bring to our stages and thank them whenever possible for being the beating heart of Broadway.
Most Magical Onstage Tilt-A-Whirl
Broadway has made excellent use of turntables over the years, from Les Mis all the way through Hamilton, but set designer Rob Howell cooked up something new for the citizens of Punxatawny, PA this year. Using two interlocking wheels, the designer creates an impressive onstage tilt-a-whirl that transports audiences from NYC to the perfect small-town setting for Phil Connors to find his humanity and capture true love.
Best Draping in a Musical
Annaleigh Ashford's Bustle in Sunday in the Park with George
Though all of the nominated costumes this year are undeniably deserving of the honor, there was on bustle on Broadway this season that deserved a category all its own. Swishing around an artist's emotional fits of mania and solitude, the draping on this full-skirted dream lifted straight out of George Seurat's most famous work was the real star of this musical revival,
Most Earnest Tenor in the History of Time
The Ben Platt Disney movie is coming. You know it. I know it. We all know it.
Best Dumplings in a Musical
Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812
The world of The Great Comet is a decadent spectacle. With its immersive staging and dazzling surroundings, audiences who pay a visit to the Imperial will themselves truly transported to a 19th century Russian supper club. Adding to this atmosphere are the simple (yet hugely delicious) potato dumplings cast members hand out at the top of the show. Who doesn't love a snack, amirght?
Most Underrated Show of the Year
Though its run on Broadway was short-lived, this dramedy, led by a heart-winning performance from Gideon Glick, was one of the most well-loved offerings of this season. Telling the story of a young gay man learning to navigate his love life and evolving friendships, the show won the hearts of audiences before shuttering prematurely on April 23rd. Regardless of its Broadway lifespan, however, this play by Joshua Harmon deserves special recognition for its humorous and heartwarming examinations of life and love in New York City.
Best Performance by a Hard Boiled Egg in a Play
Danny DeVito's Hard Boiled Egg in The Price
It takes a truly special performance to steal the show from a cast that includes Tony Shaloub, Mark Ruffalo, and Jessica Hecht but with the help of Danny DeVito this hard-boiled egg makes a brief, yet hugely comic appearance onstage and leaves with top billing. (Danny, if you happen to scoop up an award on Tony night, give the egg a shout out, man.)
Cast Who Survives the Most Potentially Hazardous Staging
Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812
Raise your hand if you watched this whole show waiting for someone to fall into a hole.-- Navigating any stage is a task unto itself. but for the hardworking ensemble (and insurance) of Great Comet, it's a tougher job than usual. Taking audiences on a high-energy Russian romp through Mimi Lien's swirling, sprawling board game-like set design, the inhabitants of the Imperial teeter on the edge of potential disaster at nearly every moment. Yet through precision staging and impeccable talent, the young cast of the show navigates all manner of stairs, ramps, rows, and gaps to deliver flawlessly each night without maiming themselves and/or any elderly matinee ladies. Nazdarovie!
Most Coveted Cartoon Gown Come to Life
Blue Opera Gown, Anastasia
When the animated film Anastasia hit the big screen in 1998 it brought us lovable characters, infectious songs, and some of the best costumes ever afforded an animated princess. But out of Anya's entire impressive wardrobe, there was one gown that topped them all. Her royal blue opera gown (complete with translucent cape) was the envy of every 90's girl and has transcended the confines of animation this year through Linda Cho's stunning interpretation, which includes a dreamy new embellished bodice.
The LuPone Award for Upholding Theatre Etiquette
Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard
Stopping the show with your talent is one thing, stopping it to reprimand an audience member is entirely another. But as theatregoers and actors alike learn to naviGate Theatre etiquette in the tech age, sometimes folks need an extra reminder to unplug for the evening. Which is why this year, we believe there should be special recognition for Ms. Glenn Close who took one for the team and made a mid-show statement regarding phone usage during a performance of Sunset Boulevard. (Turn the phones off or know the wrath of Norma, people.)
What is there to say about the Divine Miss M that isn't already covered by YAASS? Though her appearances on Broadway have been limited, her presence is undoubtedly formidable around these parts. Whether she's dishing insider Hollywood gossip as Sue Mengers or leading a line of chorus boys through a cakewalk, her visits to Broadway always prove to be record-breaking spectacles that bring out even the most infrequent of theatregoers. Outside of that? She is simply divine.
Best Cats Now and Forever