That's right. I was conceived because of the musical Hair. I wouldn't exist without it.That's Plimpton sandwiched inbetween Broadway's Hair boys: my fellow BYU alum Will Swenson, who we've been drooling on for awhile and Gavin Creel (Love the... tie? scarf? tarf?). Plimpton was actually speaking the truth to the reporter. Her parents Keith Carradine (yes, the star and composer of one of the greatest song scenes in all of cinematic history, "I'm Easy" from Robert Altman's Nashville) and Sheila Plimpton met while performing Hair on stage in the late 60s.
I bring up this pre-show red carpet moment because Martha Plimpton is a handy human symbol of how much the mainstream media, and by extension the public, misses out on because they ignore theater and great actors who work in it. To the general public Ms. Plimpton isn't recognizable or, if she is, it's in a vague... hey, she looks like that 80s actress from The Goonies! The sad thing about the movies giving up on her is that she's not just a fine actress but a terrific celebrity. She is easy with the laughter and quick witted with reporters. My favorite Plimpton interview quip came last year when asked to describe what she does for a living, saying something like 'i put on a wig and shout at strangers for two hours'
Martha lost her category at the TONY Awards last night ...that's three consecutive losses, poor thing. But a lot of good people lost. That's nothing new.
Who won? Billy Elliott, Stephen Daldry's adaptation of his own 2000 movie, won nearly everything it was nominated for including Best Musical. Next to Normal, its only real competition, beat Elton John's Original Score and tied Elliott for orchestrations. The Norman Conquests and Hair were chosen as the best revivals and God of Carnage was named Best Play.
Random wrap up thoughts from the evening:
- <-- Harold and Kumar 2's add campaign asked "What Would Neil Patrick Harris Do?" In the case of the TONY Awards he would wear some sort of pleather (?) tux and be an amiable, funny but low key host. Some of his quips seemed to go unnoticed in the cacophony of the show (god, it was a mess). The structure of the ceremony didn't showcase his musical chops until the credits were rolling. What a waste. But give him another go at it, please.
- Lots of tech problems. Why can't they get this together? Broadway is in the business of live events. Why is live television such a hurdle for them?
- Geoffrey Rush's win for Exit the King makes him the the first new Triple Crowner since Al Pacino won his Emmy in 2004 for Angels in America. Rush now has the Oscar (Shine), Emmy (Peter Sellers) and TONY (Exit the King). He also gave an awesome acceptance speech which made me more fond of him that I'd ever been (which is to say I've never been)
- Marcia Gay Harden was also prepared, funny and articulate. Why can't more actors be like that when they win prizes? Marcia needs only the Emmy to become a triple crowner and the Emmy is the easiest prize to win. She could even get it for Damages in September. If she gets nominated that is... loved her on that show. As I announced on a Twitter, Marcia and I are to be married as soon as she is thrice crowned.
- If you got as confused as I did when they showed Oscar nominee Janet McTeer (Tumbleweeds) and you thought "my god, what happened to her?!?" you're forgiven. They just had the name wrong names typed up under the wrong faces. McTeer has not entered a witness protection program nor has she had a face transplant. She looks pretty much like she did in 1999.
- Shrek looked single handedly bad enough to destroy my faith in musical theater forever. It looked like something that belonged on the stage for free at a theme park. You know those hour long shows were you rest your feet and get some air conditioning before hitting the rides again? It should not be a high price Broadway show! Naturally, it's a box office hit.
- Sutton Foster and other unfortunates are wasting their talents to act-along with the Shrek movie onstage. Shouldn't this be left to children in the nation's living rooms with their worn DVDs? Still, Christopher Sieber's "Lord Farquad" got one of the biggest laughs of the evening... albeit from the mouth of Neil Patrick Harris hours later
Chris Sieber, please. Dancing on your knees? That only works to win Golden Globes!No, NPH didn't shy away from ribbing his fellow gays.
- <---Angela Lansbury is now to the TONYS what Katharine Hepburn is to the Oscars (though she shares that distinction with Julie Harris and Hepburn doesn't share). She's now won 5 competitive acting TONYS. Lansbury was definitely feeling the love in the room and gracious enough to admit to her fellow nominees that it wasn't a fair contest. Her last trophy was in the 70s for creating Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd! (oh and we wish she'd let her hair go gray or white. Go the Judi Dench / Helen Mirren route, Angela)
- When I see Liza Minnelli in the same black sequined pant suit she's been wearing for years in front of a tacky set sign that says "BROADWAY' my heart leaps and I have to supress squeals of delight. It's true. "I am what I am".
- You know how I know I'm a musical theater geek? Whenever I see Alice Ripley (Next to Normal) I start singing Side Show's siamese twin ballad "I Will Never Leave You" at the top of my lungs. Every time. When is Glee coming back on?
- Anne Hathaway is rapidly becoming my favorite young movie star. She always seems so happy to be in showbiz... like 'these are my people' happy. There's none of that obnoxious: 'I'm too cool for this' attitude that plagues some members of Young Hollywood -- you know who I'm talking about. Translation: Hathaway isn't just in it for the fame and fortune and she's most definitely in for the long haul. You'll be hearing her name until you're dead, mark my words.
- Alice Ripley's best actress speech was... um, unhinged. Was she channeling her unraveling Next to Normal mom? She prompted my room of friends to start quoting Sandra Bernhard's classic routine "...don't you just love theatahhhhh people!"
- Frank Langella was hilarious whilst making fun of himself, his Oscar loss, and his TONY snub. Why can't more stars have a sense of humor about the whole awards show / campaigning / losing thing? This reminded me of reviews of his charisma during the Oscar campaigning for Frost/Nixon. Dracula still can work a room. I imagine if he's ever up for an Oscar again post Nixon he's going to nab it.
- I haven't seen Billy Elliott on stage and don't really have a desire to (the movie is great but that came out in 2000. It isn't even dust covered yet) but while I was watching the performances I was thinking how difficult that show must have been to cast. You have to find not one but three young boys who can act, sing and dance a very demanding lead role. Jamie Bell only had to do two of those three things. But he nailed them, so...
- Susan Sarandon is still a sex on a stick.
- Yes, the revival of Hair is as awesome as it looks. Go see it.