×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Review: 71st Annual Tony Awards

Maybe it was inevitable that in the year after “Hamilton’s” triumph, the Tony Awards would seem to be lacking in pizzazz.

The 71st annual Tony Awards was, as always, a well-produced affair, stocked with incredible displays of talent and passionate winners. A highlight was actress Rachel Bay Jones, a winner for “Dear Evan Hansen,” saying that she finally forgave her parents for “cursing me with a love of the theater.”

The musical numbers were lively and engaging and the flow of the show was well-paced.

The biggest shortcoming was host Kevin Spacey, who just didn’t deliver the same kind of engaging effort as his recent predecessors. The contrast was especially sharp against last year’s emcee, “Late Late Show” host James Corden, who so memorably rose to the occasion when faced with the daunting task of pulling it off less than 24 hours after the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

Spacey’s big opening number was all about himself not being the first choice for the job. He also relied on his stock of celebrity impressions that just seemed out of place for the setting. There were groans in the audience at Radio City Music Hall when Spacey came out as Bill Clinton and took some dumb shots at Hillary Clinton. His Johnny Carson fell even flatter. Ahead of the best musical announcement, when he came out in his Frank Underwood persona from “House of Cards,” with his on-screen wife Robin Wright in tow, it was at least mercifully brief. “Hamilton” mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda, who presented the award, even quipped “It’s been a long night.”

Dear Evan Hansen” was the night’s big winner. That provided a nice showcase for the musical and the meteoric success story of star Ben Platt, who capped a huge Broadway debut with a Tony win on his first at-bat. Bette Midler provided another highlight with her filibuster of an acceptance speech, gushing about the enduring charm of “Hello, Dolly!” She went so far as to tell the orchestra “shut that crap up” when they tried to play her off.

But overall, it was a ho-hum night for the best and brightest of the Great White Way. That may have been the biggest surprise of all.

TV Review: 71st Annual Tony Awards

More Legit

  • Annette Bening

    Star-Studded Cast to Perform Live Reading of the Mueller Report

    Haven’t perused the Mueller report yet? A star-studded cast, including Annette Bening, Kevin Kline, and John Lithgow, can read it to you. For one night only on Monday, June 24, stars will perform a live reading of passages from the Mueller report for “The Investigation: A Search for the Truth in Ten Acts,” Robert Schenkkan’s [...]

  • Paula Vogel Never Expected 'Indecent' to

    Paula Vogel Never Expected 'Indecent' to Be This Timely

    When Paula Vogel began writing “Indecent” in 2010, she had no idea how resonant its exploration of immigration woes, anti-Semitism and homophobia in the past century would become in the current political climate. The Tony-nominated play, running until July 7 at L.A.’s Ahmanson Theater, traces the theatrical history of 1907 Yiddish play “God of Vengeance” [...]

  • Bitter Wheat review

    West End Review: John Malkovich in David Mamet's 'Bitter Wheat'

    How soon is too soon? Hardly a year had passed since allegations against Harvey Weinstein were made public before David Mamet announced that his satire on the subject, “Bitter Wheat,” was set to star John Malkovich in the West End. Six months later, we’re sat watching a corpulent, super-rich movie mogul — Barney Fein (cough, [...]

  • Batman Julia Roberts Spike Lee

    Batman, Julia Roberts, Spike Lee Among 2020 Walk of Fame Honorees

    Batman, Julia Roberts and Spike Lee are among the names selected to be inducted into the 2020 Walk of Fame. The full list of honorees was announced by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s Walk of Fame Selection Committee via an exclusive livestream by Variety. Chosen from hundreds of nominees during a selection meeting in June, [...]

  • Tracy Letts

    Tracy Letts' Comedy 'The Minutes' to Hit Broadway in 2020

    Playwright Tracy Letts’ comedy “The Minutes” will hit the Broadway stage in Feb. 2020. “The Minutes,” written by actor, producer and playwright Letts, is a comedy taking a look at the current state of American politics through the lens of a small, fictional town called Big Cherry. The play is set in a city council [...]

  • Jamie Forshaw Tapped as Executive Producer

    Jamie Forshaw Tapped as Executive Producer of MWM Live (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jamie Forshaw has been named executive producer of MWM Live, Variety has learned. The theater veteran most recently served as VP of production for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group. In his new role, he will oversee MWM Live’s slate of stage productions with an emphasis on expanding the division’s work on Broadway. MWM Live [...]

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream review

    London Theater Review: 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'

    “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” can be many things. There are earthy “Dreams,” airy “Dreams,” saucy “Dreams” and sweet “Dreams.” It’s Shakespeare’s most malleable play. Nicholas Hytner’s new staging strives to set itself apart, plunging its immersive audience into a festival-style fairy kingdom and casting the ethereal, white-blonde Gwendoline Christie (fresh off “Game of Thrones”) as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content