Tony Awards: High And Lows

Robert De Niro got the media’s attention for introducing Springsteen with “Fuck Trump!” but it was the more nuanced, heartfelt speeches that made the 2018 Tony Awards memorable. There were Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane’s emotional talks for their “Angels in America” wins, Ariel Sta’chel’s story in his win for “The Band’s Visit,” and John Leguizamo’s rambling, hilarious stand-out about how he began his career. As for the awards themselves, “Band’s Visit” won 10 out of 11. Does this mean it’s a memorable show on the order of “Hamilton” or even last year’s big winner, “Dear Evan Hansen”? Not at all: in fact, it’s Tony show number, featuring Best Actress winner Katrina Lenk, isn’t likely to sell a lot of tickets. But “Band’s Visit” didn’t have much competition among the new stuff. Otherwise, I enjoyed Glenda Jackson‘s brief but stirring speech upon collecting the bauble for Best Actress/Play for “Three Tall Women” and Lindsay Mendez’s plea for diversity — a big theme of the evening — when she won Best Featured Actress/Musical for “Carousel.” And the “Rent” number from the high-school kids of Parkland was heart-catching.

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