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Monday, May 28, 2012

Looking Back: The 1992 and 1997 Tony Awards

What were the Tony Awards up to 15 and 20 years ago?  You'd be surprised at just how relevant they are to the upcoming 2012 edition!  (5 and 10 years ago were yesterday.  Click HERE.)

15 YEARS AGO


TITANIC - Best Musical 1997


Michael Cerveris and Company sing "There She Is," "The Boarding," and "Godspeed Titanic" - 2012 Tony nominee Michael Cerveris leads the cast of this stunning musical, and current Follies girl Victoria Clark can be seen as Second Class passenger Alice Beane.  (Off-Broadway side note: Titanic composer Maury Yeston returned to the New York theatre scene this past season with the ravishing Deat Takes a Holiday.)  The RMS Titanic sank 100 years ago this past April.



CHICAGO - Best Revival of a Musical 1997


Bebe Neuwirth, Ann Reinking and Company sing (and dance) "All That Jazz" and "The Hot Honey Rag" - Walter Bobbie directed this little show.  This season, he directed Best Play nominee Venus in Fur.  Bobbie had his own moment in the Tony telecast 5 years earlier, too.  See below!



20 YEARS AGO


CRAZY FOR YOU - Best Musical 1992


Harry Groener and cast sing "I Can't Be Bothered Now" - This season features not one, but two Gershwin-filled shows, Porgy and Bess and the catalogue show Nice Work If You Can Get It.  Crazy for You shows just how great a catalogue show can be.  This number isn't even close to the most exciting in the show, but even so, it is better than any number in this season's Gershwin musical.




GUYS AND DOLLS - Best Revival 1992


Walter Bobbie and Company perform "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" - This revival ushered in the era that continues today - that of the "revisal."  That is, the revival of a musical NOT staged as a copy of the original.  All 5 revivals this season represent various degrees of the "revisal," from complete rewriting and character changes (On a Clear Day You Can See Forever) to deconstruction/reconstruction (The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess) to creative new stagings (Follies, Godspell, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar).  1992 pitted Frank Loesser's Guys and Dolls against Frank Loesser's The Most Happy Fella, just as this season it is Webber/Rice against Webber/Rice with Evita vs Jesus Christ Superstar.  Oh, yes, and Walter Bobbie singer in the following video is the director of this season's Best Play nominee, Venus in Fur!




Jeff
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