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Tony Award Time Machine: 1992

May 25th, 2012

"Crazy for You". Image via Google.

In prep for the upcoming Tonys, we’ve been taking our time machine out for a spin and doing a little decade hopping. We saw those damn hippies take over Broadway in 1972 and Jennifer Holliday tear down the house in 1982. So what will we find on Tony night in the glorious year of 1992

…oh, sorry, I nodded off there. Sure, there are some solid and quite moving things from 1992. The Irish drama Dancing at Lughnasa kicking up its heals as Best Play. Another showdown between scrappy underdog and tourable crowd-pleaser in Best Musical (Falsettos vs ultimate winner Crazy for You.) And who can we fault any year when the grand dame Glenn Close gets some hardware (Best Actress in a Play for Death and the Maiden). So why does it all feel a little, ho hum? I suppose because as great as the performances are nothing cries out to be watched again and again at a gay bar on music theater mondays. None of this year’s clips have that train wreck quality or transcendent brilliance that makes them unforgettable.

But I have to spice this up somehow so as we watch the clips, I’ll reveal a little personal dirt. Yeah, now you’re hooked…

During a college Christmas break trip to New York, Falsettos and the revival of Guys and Dolls were the first two shows I ever saw on Broadway. I can’t look at these clips without having very vivid and emotional memories…

The two person standing ovation we gave the cast of Falsettos back in the days when people didn’t get up just to celebrate actors finishing a show in one piece. The face-aching glee as I leaned into the railing for my standing room only tickets at Guys and Dolls, certain I had to be a part of this world. The giggling joy of meeting back at an old theater haunt, Sam’s, to share our thoughts on the different shows we had seen while a friend’s Dad bought us contraband drinks. The heart-pounding fear/joy as I waited outside an Off-Broadway house to meet a certain to remain nameless semi-famous actor who I had spent time with a few weeks before and who’d flirtatiously invited me to come see his show. Knowing that I was determined to lose something that night–and I don’t mean the mix-tape of “sex” songs I had in my backpack to score the evening I was sure was to come. The desolation as I stood on the street corner 10-minutes later after said actor shook my hand, said “thanks for coming” and then disappeared laughing into the night with his cool New York friends.

Yeah, you all can get back in the time machine but I may hang in 1992 a bit longer. There’s this college friend whom I’ve had a crush on that seems to want to console me after my romantic disaster. Go on, it’s ok. I’ll be fine. I’m dancing and I can’t be bothered now…


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