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I spent two days this holiday weekend helping out an old friend and manager and revisiting the job that I had for most of college: Broadway merchandise.
After venturing to suburban PA for a few days to see family friends and eat a lot, I had no huge plans and I knew I wasn’t planning on making any so why not make a little extra cash before the holidays?
I worked with another friend at Evita on Saturday night and during the day on Sunday and I was as good at it now as I was then. I can still convince people to buy things they don’t need or could definitely get cheaper elsewhere without much trouble at all.
I worked at a number of shows in college as you can see below (I plan on having a quilt made out of these… eventually):
(Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Die, Mommy, Die!, The Wedding Singer, Mamma Mia, Ring of Fire, Wicked, A Bronx Tale, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Drowsy Chaerone, The Seafarer, Curtains, The Lion King, Is He Dead?, The Country Girl, Macbeth, and Spamalot)
While taking this picture, I realized I had a ton of Spelling Bee and Lion King t-shirts. I have no idea why. Would I want this to be my full time gig again? No way. I like so much having my nights free (it also doesn’t pay THAT much). Unlike a number of my friends, I’ve always loved having a day job.
But was it fun to revisit for a couple of days? Totally. And I also got to pick out, wear, and keep this awesome, kind of cheeky shirt (which, if I hadn’t taken it in the mirror would easily read - Star Quality):
The New York Times critics released their picks for the Tonys quite early (so it seemed) which also included who they thought were snubbed. These are always fun to read.
I’ve seen almost all of the best musical/play nominees, except for Nice Work If You Can Get It which I still have yet to decide whether or not I want to pay nearly $40 to see it. Gershwin is an American legend, but he’s not anywhere near the top of my list of favorite composers. So everyone’s anticipation can be put to rest, as I now present to you with my opinions on who was nominated, who I think should win, and who I think was tragically overlooked.
Best Musical: The nominees include Once, Newsies, Leap of Faith, and Nice Work If You Can Get It. Who do I think should win? Once. It is an artistic masterpiece. It is visually stunning, emotionally moving, and the score is one of the best out there. What will win? If Once doesn’t get it, Newsies most certainly will. It has a worthy opponent, but there’s something about Once that strikes a deeper chord with me. I think it’s more universal, plus it needs the win to do well on tour. What should’ve been nominated? Hands down: Ghost. Ghost is visually stunning and I was never bored for one minute of the two and a half hours. Leap of Faith was, with all due respect, a visually horrendous bore.
Best Play: This category is going to be tough. Each nominee is fantastic: Clybourne Park, Venus in Fur, Peter and the Starcatcher, and Other Desert Cities. My first instinct is to say that Clybourne Park will take this one, but there is a chance that Other Desert Cities or possibly Peter and the Starcatcher might slide in. Although I absolutely loved Venus in Fur, I don’t think it has touring potential and it’s a limited run, so the award wouldn’t help it in any way. What should have been nominated was The Lyons. I find this show hilarious but maybe not all of the nominating committee has had a Jewish grandmother before. Or Theresa Rebeck’s Seminar definitely deserved a nod as well. (This snubbing was, I think, her punishment for writing Smash.)
Best Book of a Musical: The nominees are Lysistrata Jones, Once, Nice Work If You Can Get It, and Newsies. Given that Once and Newsies aren’t original books, so to speak, I’m going say that Lysistrata Jones has a pretty good chance of snagging this one much to everyone’s surprise. Is their book the best? No, not at all. The show didn’t work very well on Broadway. Or Newsies could very well start sweeping the awards and take this as well. What should have been nominated? Bonnie and Clyde. Sue me, but I really enjoyed that show and I thought the book was engaging the entire time.
Best Original Score: The nominees are Bonnie and Clyde, One Man, Two Guv’nors, Newsies, and Peter and the Starcatcher. I would love for Bonnie and Clyde to take this one, but it never will because the voters hate Wildhorn too much. Newsies will probably sweep it because the other two are plays and that would be kind of sad for a play to take Best Original Score. (Though the score in One Man, Two Guv’nors was quite good.) What should have been nominated? Wonderland. (No, just kidding!) I don’t think there were any other truly memorable great scores written in the past season. I don’t remember the music to Lysistrata Jones. But part of me remembers a lot of the music from Newsies being in the movie too, and in that case, Once should also have been able to be nominated for Best Original Score.
Best Revival of a Play: The nominees include Death of a Salesman, The Best Man, Wit, and Master Class. First a huge congratulations is in order to MTC for scoring two nominations in this category. Each one of these nominees was a pleasure to sit through (though you never quite believed that Cynthia Nixon was a scholar in Wit), but I’m going to say that Death of a Salesman gets this one, if the voters don’t decide to be total star-fuckers for ratings and award The Best Man instead. Although there are a fair number of stars in Salesman too, but I just thought Salesman was better than The Best Man. I don’t think there were any shows that should’ve been nominated in this category.
Best Revival of a Musical: The nominees this year are Evita, Follies, The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Jesus Christ Superstar and Follies were my favorites this year, and I’m going to put my money on Follies winning. It was a favorite this year, but Porgy and Bess was also a beautiful production, though it bored me to tears, and I could see it sneaking in from behind and taking the award.
Alright, the rest of these will be short…. Click through!