Wowwee wow wow wow
That’s my Christopher Walken impersonation. It loses a lot when its set down in writing. Wow is what I actually said out loud tonight as I watched the Tonys – more specifically I said it during Patti Lupone’s performance of Everything’s Coming Up Roses from Gypsy. I hope you got to see it. I actually felt lucky to have been able to see it. Usually, while watching t.v., I feel a vague sense of regret for wasting my time (but oh, don’t get me wrong, I still sit there with my big bag o’ chips and waste time). Ms. Lupone’s performance made me wish I could get tickets to Gypsy when I go to NYC but after that performance its going to be impossible. She was phenomenal! Ethel Merman is probably beside herself in heaven or where ever it is Ms. Merman landed (altho’ I think there probably is a theater heaven and she’s up there belting out show tunes every night). Watching a performer give the type of performance Ms. Lupone presented is the equivalent of standing in front of Michelangelo’s David – you stand in awe of the mastery, the ability to use the medium with such force and honesty so much so you feel the power emanating from it. Okay… sorry, I’m getting carried away. As a disclaimer I should state, I have a BFA in Theater – Set Design (which I’ve not used professionally – aka I’m a wannabe or better said a neverwas).
The lowest moment of the show in my opinion came when Tony winner, Tracy Letts made this comment while accepting his award “They did an amazing thing: They decided to produce an American play on Broadway with theater actors.” Now you know, I will admit I was the first one to cringe in pain when they cast Clay Aiken in Spamalot (I think that is the theatrical equivalent of “jumping the shark.”) But, that kind of snooty comment about “theater actors” and “American play” is what gives theater that haughty reputation that keeps people away in droves. The theater has been for the masses since its inception – the Greeks, the Romans, the Elizabethans produced theater works for the common man, not for kings or the elite, but for the rest of us. An actor is an actor no matter where his stage. Granted, “movie stars” are not necessarily actors – but they can be. Its all in the training I suppose.
P.S.: The best ad-lib (Potter-dork alert) of the night came from Richard Griffiths who after Daniel Radcliffe freed his finger from the sticky seal of the envelope quipped “as if my magic” and then went on with his presentation. … never mind I guess you had to be there.