Watching college baseball, I missed much of the Tony Awards Sunday night. The few musical numbers I caught lumbered with the worst excesses of Broadway, making me glad that I'd mostly remained at the ballpark.
The lackluster and disjointed Tonys show did have the surprise of "Hadestown" winning seven more awards than "To Kill a Mockingbird."
On a night where "Network's" Bryan Cranston beat out "To Kill a Mockingbird's" Jeff Daniels for the aging white male leading man award, "Hadestown" dominated the musical field. It looked more interesting than productions based on Cher, the Temptations, Tootisie and Bettlejuice.
The legendary Elaine May's wry and gracious acceptance speech for her best leading actress award increased my desire to see her performance in Kenneth Lonergan's "The Waverly Gallery." But then I discovered the play had already closed.
I liked host James Corden's collection of jackets, but his cloying, overeager performance wore out its appeal. After mocking the Tonys' low TV ratings in a promising opening production number, he generated more groans than laughs. Corden should remain in the steppes of late night TV.
Oh well, Broadway is booming, according to The New York Times, and the "Hadestown" bonanza and best play recognition for Jez Butterworth's "The Ferryman" indicated an approval for imaginative theater over commercial, crowd-pleasing productions.
Too bad that Broadway couldn't put on a better show for its shrinking national TV audience.