We’re going to be the ones that just say it plainly, the Tony Awards were a big disappointment this year. Yes, it was always going to be impossible to top the Hamil-Tonys from last year, but did we have to regress so much? From the somewhat insensitive and archaic jokes about men wearing dresses to showing impressionable Tony watchers that coming out is something to joke about, this year felt completely regressive and tone-deaf. Kevin Spacey was completely disappointing as a host. We weren’t fans of his weak singing and dancing (especially in a roomful of phenomenally talented people) and his out-of-touch humor alongside the tedious, frequent impressions made us miss James Corden so much. But, we truly believe that #TheatreInpsires and is a tool that can change the world, so it was nice to be able to come together and celebrate theatre with others. Here’s a list of the best of the best from the 2017 Tony Awards.
The Show Itself
The one bit that worked featured Sara Bareilles and Willy Wonka hawking their Broadway-themed food wares and plugging their Broadway shows. It was really the high point in the night’s humor.
James Earl Jones
In addition to the fact that anything sounds great in his famous and majestic voice, he gave such sweet praise to his wife in his Lifetime Achievement Award speech, that we were utterly charmed.
His joy was palpable and truly made you smile. While he gave one of the shorter speeches of the evening and certainly the shortest from the Hello, Dolly! cast, it was still a highlight of the evening.
The best speech of the evening without a doubt came from the star of Dear Evan Hansen. In urging people, especially young people, to be themselves and not waste time trying to be others. He sent out a positive and encouraging message that was missing from an otherwise dismal evening.
We were SO disappointed in the disastrous choice of selection by the producers of Hello, Dolly! to feature only one cast member in a weak performance of a lackluster song. Overall, the performances were somewhat disappointing. (Did Groundhog Day give away, way too much information, we think so.) Here’s what stood out to us.
Come From Away
While we had been touched by the true story of the Newfoundland people who had welcomed displaced travelers on September 11th, it had yet to truly capture us. After seeing their passionate performance last night, we want to see more from this show. The music is so beautifully under girded by folk instruments and the cast so refreshingly real! They really took us back to that memorable morning.
Everything from the powerful intro from Dr. Jill Biden to the energetic singing and dancing, we adored everything about Bandstand. We just wish that it had been up for more awards. It was especially thrilling to see Geoff Packard, whom we had the pleasure of interviewing a couple of years ago, performing on the Tonys. And now we both want swing wardrobes and dance lessons, too.
Dear Evan Hansen
“Waving Through the Window” has been stuck in both our heads all night. I think that’s a pretty good sign that a performance was powerful.
Did you see the jewelry? Don’t even look at the dress, just look at that beautiful jewelry.
Rachel Bay Jones in Christian Siriano
Step over Cinderella, this blue ball gown from was one of the most beautiful gowns of the evening.
Cobie Smulders in Schiaparelli
How can you not love a gown that contains both elegant construction and inspired use of patchwork?
It was definitely a great night for blue for the ladies of Dear Evan Hansen. The tiers, the color and shape make this dress one of the best of the evening.
The throwback color of this coat is one of the more inspired men’s looks of the evening. It’s fresh and feels like something Cornelius would wear if he were on the red carpet today.
In a sea of men’s blue suits, this one stands out as far as perfect fit and looking the most debonair of the evening.
Christopher Jackson and Veronica Jackson
This is hands down the best-dressed couple of the night. Chris’s electric brocade jacket and Veronica’s ruffled gypsy-style gown give them a look that is elegant, creative and unique.
Results for Awards
We always mark our ballots to see who gets the most awards correct. This year Kari won 12 to 9 over RJ.
We look forward to learning more about some the shows from the 2017 Tony Awards. What did you love most about the broadcast?