Tony Awards: What I Thought

So Bette Midler performed after all: no, she didn’t sing, and her show, “Hello, Dolly!“, had to make do with a piddling before-the-show-curtain solo by David Hyde Pierce. But Bette pulled an Elaine Stritch during her acceptance speech, telling the orchestra trying to play her out to shut up. Then Bette proceeding to use profanity (bleeped out by the tape delay) and make a “smoke up my ass” joke redolent of her Bathhouse Bette days. And thank God she did persevere, otherwise she would not have gotten to thank Carol Channing and Pearl Bailey. Most

of the evening’s other winners were predictable: 6 Tonys for “Dear Evan Hansen,” including Best Musical and Best Actor/Musical to Ben Platt, who performed at the awards beautifully; lead-acting awards to Laurie Metcalf and Kevin Kline and Cynthia Nixon and Gavin Creel and Rachel Bay Jones, all of whom were expected to triumph. The evening kicked off with a surprise: my pal Michael Aronov winning Best Supporting Actor/Play when Danny DeVito had been predicted by everyone. Kevin Spacey was an okay host, though his enjoyable opening number was too insidery for the folks at home. As for what musicals came across well on TV, boosting their sales: “The Great Comet,” “Come from Away,” and “Bandstand.” Oh, and a special shout-out to the lovely Jane Greenwood, who, on her 21st nomination, finally won a competitive Tony for her work on “The Little Foxes.”

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