Saturday, April 26, 2014

2014 Tony Awards Preview: Best Revival of a Musical

While this year is fraught with new plays and musicals, and plenty of play revivals, there are only two eligible productions for Revival of a Musical to be determined so far, while two late releases will most likely (unless something strange happens), joins their ranks. We assume there will be four nominees, but with so few productions qualifying, I do wonder if there will be less. Anyway, these are the four below:

1. Cabaret -Alan Cumming has already won a Tony for Cabaret back in 1998. Now he returns for the revival of the revival, this time opposite Oscar nominee Michelle Williams in her Broadway debut, also including Tony nominees Linda Emond and Danny Burstein. The same duo (an impressive one at that), that brought Cabaret back in 1998, Rob Marshall and Sam Mendes, are back again. This could spell good news for its Tony chances, as the last time they brought it to the stage it racked up four Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical. The reviews so far have proven that Cabaret is still as vibrant as ever, and Williams is apparently fantastic (she could follow in the late Natasha Richardson's footsteps and win a Tony). With only a few productions this year, it is sure to do well in the nominations, but it faces some big-time threats in its attempt to return to Tony winning glory.

2. Hedwig and the Angry Inch -  There is a lot of press about the revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, first because it features Neil Patrick Harris. But then he cussed out an audience member while staying in character, and the entertainment media just lapped up the story. All the buzz surrounding it is really a boost because it is getting a bunch of free press that is most likely boosting sales. But behind the buzz is also apparently a great show, if the reviews are correct, and the show is definitely in here for a nomination, and despite some stiff competition, Harris is a real contender here. Not only is he getting rave reviews as well for his performance, but after he brought so much energy and positive buzz to the ceremony the last several years, don't discount his popularity, and the tons of goodwill and credit the Broadway community owes him.

3. Les Miserables - After the film adaptation earned 3 Oscars and a butt load of money at the box office, Les Mis is hotter than ever. That being said, you can tell that some reviewers have become a bit burned out of the production. They admit that it loses some of its power this time around, but overall, it is grossing well at the box office, and most reviews agree it is still an incredible show to see, and that the two leads this time around (Ramin Karimloo and Will Swenson) are fantastic and knock it out of the park. Expect Tony buzz for the two leads, lots of tech nominations, and probably an easy nod here in revival.

4. Violet - Sutton Foster, for me at least, can do no wrong. She is a Broadway darling who has knocked it out of the part several times in her short career, most recently in the revival of Anything Goes, for which she won her second Tony award. I was so sad when ABC Family cancelled Bunheads. I don't give a crap about ballet, but I miss seeing Foster (and Kelly Bishop) light up the small screen every week. While the overall productions is garnering some mixed (mostly positive) reviews, it is clear that once again Sutton Foster has knocked it out of the park. This isn't surprising to anyone familiar with her work, but it's nice to have my hopes confirmed.

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