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Tony Nominees 2012: The Bad

Please Welcome to the Stage… Ron Raines…
What the what? Ron Raines is great, but his nomination is kind of a head-scratcher. His wooden performance as Ben in Follies left us feeling mostly unmoved — and like the fabulous Jan Maxwell deserved a better wall at which to flail herself. Which of course makes us wonder: Was the nominating committee so set against nominating Raul Esparza that Ron seemed like a good choice? Yikes. For all parties involved.

That Play Had a Great Score, You Guys!

How slim were the pickings for Best Original Score this year? Two are from plays and one is by Frank Wildhorn. No wonder they’ve relegated this poor award to the lame-o New-York-only “pre-telecast.” Paging Adam Guettel!

The Bone Thrown to Man and Boy
Frank Langella is a beast. But this show was the worst! A sleepy mellowdrama for the blue-hair set, it didn’t make our pulses pound once. It was so subdued that even Frank’s performance barely registered. Surely there was room in this category for Hugh Dancy. Or Stacey Keach. Or Paul Gross. Or…

Nice Work! Or… Not
In general, we’re not feeling infuriated with this year’s nominations. But seriously, Nice Work If You Can Get It? This lame-o, pandering show isn’t nearly as good as its 10 nominations promise. With a hopeless leading man and a charmless central romance, this feels like a bullshit vote for “classic,” “old-time-y” theater without regard for genuine substance. Give us a break, ye olde hoary nominating committee. And please remember that people under the age of 60 occasionally like theater, too.

Lysistrata Jones Gets One Tiny Thing
Sure, it’s great that this smart, tiny show picked up a nod for Best Book. But this really feels like the Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson Award of Too Little, Too Late Consolation for the Special, Precious Young’uns. It won’t win, and everyone knows that. But throwing half-assed accolades to young writers is a crappy way to engage a younger audience. Or to tell them that the shows intended for them matter.

Leap of Faith Is a Leap, All Right
Um… congrats, Leap of Faith? We guess? With its inclusion in the Best Musical category, we seriously had to ask: Is this show, with its wonky book and un-engaging characters, really all that much better than Bonnie & Clyde, or even Ghost? At least Bonnie & Clyde had great performances, and Ghost had a killer production design and some nifty direction. Even the ambitious, funny Lysistrata Jones, which is long gone, seemed a better fit for Broaway’s top prize than any of those.

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  • Linda May 1, 2012, 5:01 pm

    I’m under 60 and I enjoyed Nice Work If You Can Get It. Just throwing that out there.

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