Riedel: Tony race heats up as Neverland fades, and Twentieth Century butts heads with King and I

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“Finding Neverland” is no longer guaranteed a Tony nomination for Best Musical. The sense around Broadway yesterday was that John Kander and Fred Ebb’s “The Visit” could nab the fourth slot, leaving “Finding Neverland” in the fairy dust.
The other nominees will be “An American in Paris,” “Fun Home” and “Something Rotten!”


As of today, I’d have to give the edge to “On the Twentieth Century.” And I think Chenoweth is likely to deny Kelli O’Hara, who plays Anna in “The King and I,” yet another Tony.


I still say don't count out Chita. And I don't agree that Twentieth Century has the edge for revival.


 


http://nypost.com/2015/04/16/tony-race-heats-up-as-neverland-fades-and-twentieth-century-butts-heads-with-king-and-i/

Updated On: 4/16/15 at 11:45 PM
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I don't see anything beating King and I for revival.


But I also don't think O'Hara stands a chance unless Rivera and Chenoweth really split the vote completely.


 

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Interesting in all this revival discussion is that On the Town has fallen off the radar entirely.

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Thanks for the share.  


Not having seen this revival of  "The King and I" I can't comment on that particular show.  


I was in NYC last week, but due to time constraints had to cut both TKAI and Gigi, even though I would have liked to see both.


I did see OTTC, however, and thought Kristin Chenoweth was awesome.  And that role required some serious razor-sharp wit and a command of some tricky, fast-paced lyrics and dialogue.


And I really enjoyed the show a lot.  I'm not sure how many times "The King and I" has seen a revival, but OTTC is something a little different from R&H fare.  Would be nice to see it recognized as revival.


As for "On the Town."  True.  Not much discussion on that one lately.  I loved it though and would like to see it get revival if not OTTC.  The way "The King and I" is being reviewed already though, wouldn't be surprised to see it win as a sentimental favorite that overpowers the other strong contenders.


Regarding new musicals, sorry to see Neverland "fade," as I did enjoy it too.   But regardless of the critics say, I'm glad I saw it and thought it was very entertaining.


And I will always love Chita and thought she really delivered in The Visit, as did the show, in general.   Would be more than happy to see her take it if not Chenoweth.


An interesting season!


 

Updated On: 4/17/15 at 11:59 PM
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O'Hara's reviews shattered this board's expectations. They are on par with Chenoweth's. Unless new adjectives are invented to describe Rivera's performance, I suspect it will be a bloodbath between Chenoweth and O'Hara for the Tony.


 


Sentiment is on O'Hara's side.

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I'd also give the edge to On the Town which got some of the best reviews of the season. And as Patrick Pacheco often theorizes, Tony voters often tend to vote for what they enjoyed the most.

Updated On: 4/17/15 at 12:00 AM
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If THE VISIT doesn't get the nod (and it should), it could go to HONEYMOON IN VEGAS.  NEVERLAND could possibly get NO  nods at this point.  And how could anyone leave out Chita in the Lead Actress category?

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EDIT: I now realize that was intentional


Did Riedel quote an Irving Berlin lyric as being written by Jerry Herman?

Updated On: 4/17/15 at 12:16 AM
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I think a lot of stuff is up for grabs at this point. Im sure when Fun Home, Something Rotten, and The Visit open, we will have a better idea

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^ A post from Philly that I actually think we can all agree with. 

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^^ So that's what? 1 out of 100'000?


Honestly, with those grosses that THE VISIT is pulling in and with the astonishing reviews Chenoweth and O'Hara received for high profile, better-attended shows, I think it is between the two of them. Of course, if someone can crack the race wide open it's Chita in a Kander & Ebb show, but in terms of the buzz this week, the power of that Times love letter for O'Hara can't be ignored.


I do feel ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY has no way of winning over THE KING & I.


EDITED, forgot to finish a whole sentence :-/

"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
Updated On: 4/17/15 at 01:29 AM
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everybody on here is dramatic as hell. People agree with me all the time

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"^^ So that's what? 1 out of 100'000?
Honestly, with those grosses that THE VISIT is pulling in and with the astonishing reviews Chenoweth and O'Hara received for high profile, better-attended shows. Of course, if someone can crack the race wide open it's Chita in a Kander & Ebb show, but in terms of the buzz this week, the power of that Times love letter for O'Hara can't be ignored.
I do feel ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY has no way of winning over THE KING & I."


 


Even with OTTC playing so strongly?   And one of the leads in TKAI not getting real great reviews?  


The show, overall, is getting great press (including O'Hara). I can also see it being a sentimental favorite, even though it gets "revived" more often than a show like OTTC does.


But will a Tony be awarded to a revival even if one of the leads isn't receiving very good reviews?  Especially a lead who is playing such an iconic role?  


And also in light of the fact that one of its fellow contenders (OTTC) is doing so well?


Just curious what the take would be on this since I really don't know what all goes into nabbing a Tony.


Again, an interesting season.


 


 


 

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When two revivals are neck and neck, the award usually goes to the show with the stronger material and that would be K&I.  Subsequently that show tends to suck up a few nominees with it and that would be O'Hara.

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We can all agree that this year has been very strong when it comes to revivals critically (with the exception of GIGI). I've never been this interested in a musical revival battle since 2008 when SOUTH PACIFIC and GYPSY pitted against one another.

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Watanabe got a very strong review from the Times. Brantley did point out issues with his diction (though he did point out the issue does add to the tension at the center of the show), but he clearly was into the performance, and he credits O'Hara, Sher *and* Watanabe for the production's incredible effect. I think it'd be very hard to beat THE KING & I. We have to consider Riedel's column was written before Brantley's review was out.

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"everybody on here is dramatic as hell. People agree with me all the time"


 You open your mouth---and then your foot goes in it , 'all the time'.

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We all knew Kelli was going to get raves. So, no real surprise here.


And with THE VISIT sure to divide critics, given it isn't remotely close to a heartwarming R&H show, Chita isn't likely to be featured in among solid rave reviews - though I'm sure she'll be singled out for praise in all of them.


I think the grosses will have a larger share to do with who takes Best Actress. Few mention it, but I think Kelli may have won last year had BRIDGES been a hit. She'd have been giving a glorious performance in a fat hit, alongside Jessie Mueller, giving her a run for her money. But she and the score were in an admirable show, contrasted by a wonderful Jessie in a big fat hit. So, Jessie for the win.


And this year, with KING AND I pulling in the grosses (and yes, those reviews), Kelli is starring in a big fat hit. Chita will get praise and a nod. But the industry knows THE VISIT is likely to shutter after the Tony's, they won't give her the prize.


Kristin could upset, but since everyone knows Kelli is due, I think this remains Kelli's year.

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The Visit - WTF - as reviewed by Ben Brantley - NYTimes


Specifically - Chita Rivera's performance:


"Both the actress and the character she plays demonstrate that waiting can be a fine art. How they do so defines the essence of that controlled charisma we call star power."


"Ms. Rivera is often required to stand stock still and radiate the sense that everyone will come to her. She must also make us believe that when and if she chooses to stir, it will not be an anticlimax. That she is not mistaken in either assumption makes this “Visit” an essential visit for anyone who cherishes the rare and endangered species of the Broadway musical goddess."


"And, yes, at 81, Ms. Rivera can still memorably flounce a skirt — and shake a leg and extend a gorgeous gam at a perpendicular angle. Every rationed gesture registers incisively, as does every withering put-down Claire utters with invulnerable assurance."


"The show’s contradictions are reconciled in Ms. Rivera. She is indeed hot and cold at the same time, a commanding force of arrogance fueled by love."


"When Claire dances wistfully with her younger self, it’s hard to feel too sorry for her. Who wants the girl that was, when the woman she’s become can rule the world with a single, perfectly chosen gesture?"


 

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Brantley gave Chenoweth a love letter in his review. He loved Kelly but it was more of a rave for the production, not her. Not that his opinion really matters or anything, but It's pretty clear that Cheno is out in front right now. We'll have to see about The Visit but just the nomination for best musical would be it's award. Chita will get nominated but I can't see her winning over the acclaimed Cheno and the "long overdue" O'Hara.


It does seem that On The Town has fallen completely off the radar. Hopefully the marketing team does something to revive it a bit. They were great in the fall with the
"New York New York" video.

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When two revivals are neck and neck, the award usually goes to the show with the stronger material and that would be K&I.


Yes, but the award for Best Revival of a Musical is never given for the original material, it's given for the revival.

Updated On: 4/17/15 at 07:21 AM
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I must say, Brantley's review thesis/focus is very much on O'Hara.  For him, this season has validated his tastes and preferences, with Chenoweth and O'Hara carrying the torch for the musical itself, reminting the most traditional performance values.  He seemed equally besotted with both, but of course the comedic role was touted with a different energy and vocabulary.  I'd say, the two are neck-in-neck in even his mind.  And frankly, that they are both stellar in the same season, on the boards at the same time, makes the concept of them "competing" all the more off point.  They are winners, as are we for having them both before us.

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"He loved Kelly but it was more of a rave for the production, not her."


 Read it again...

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It wasn't a love letter. At least not in the same vein as Chenoweth's was. Compare King and I review's to Bridges (which was a love letter) and you will see the difference.

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"But its presence wouldn’t count for nearly as much if it weren’t carrying such precious cargo. That’s the determined, hopeful, anxious woman in a hoop skirt who runs onto the deck, toward the ship’s prow, and into our field of vision as if in cinematic close-up. Her name is Anna Leonowens, and she is played, you lucky theatergoers, by Kelli O'Hara...One look at her face, agleam with intelligence and apprehension, and you suspect you’re in the hands of a guide you can trust. Then she starts to sing. And even if the familiar song she delivers ( “I Whistle a Happy Tune” ) usually makes you cringe, your confidence in her — and the Lincoln Center Theater production in which she appears — starts to soar. It will stay contentedly aloft for the next 2 hours and 50 minutes...That Ms. O’Hara, one of our greatest reinterpreters of musical standards, does so is not surprising. (You’ll feel you’re hearing “Hello, Young Lovers” for the first time.)...As played by Ms. O’Hara, she’s a smart, scrappy, willful pragmatist who also happens to know that love is often as strange as it is undeniable. That knowledge infuses every note Ms. O’Hara sings, and it is something wonderful indeed."


 


In what way is that not a love letter?  Let's call a spade a spade here.

Updated On: 4/17/15 at 09:16 AM