I was torn between Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. These are two completely different productions. Being a fan of Carole King, I thought I would slide that way. It had a wonderful score with all of her top hits. Then I considered A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. It was a great comedy with a creative storyline unlike anything I have ever seen on Broadway. All of the music was original and well orchestrated. So in the end, my vote went to A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.
BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
For me, this was no contest. I had to go with my favorite musical of all-time: the modern-day classic Les Miserables. I could sit through this production every week for the rest of my life.
BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL and BEST ORIGINAL SCORE WRITTEN FOR THE THEATRE
These categories are separate, but I think I made my case in the BEST MUSICAL section. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder won my vote in both categories.
Here is where I paid homage to Beautiful. Jesse Mueller as Carole King was astounding. Her performance made you feel like you were listening to a concert by Carole King herself. She completely embodied the character, and she deserves this award.
BEST PERFORMNCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
There were some excellent nominees in this category. Andy Karl in Rocky and Jefferson Mays in A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder were phenomenal in their roles, but Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch was a clear stand out. What a performance! Neil Patrick Harris gave an hour and fifty minutes of non-stop talent that I will never forget.
I won't go into the technical awards this time, but I will point out one sin of omission: I think the nominating committee for this year's awards did a disservice to Disney’s Aladdin by not honoring the show with a nomination for Best Costume Design. There must have been 500 costumes in that show, and all of them were spectacular.
All in all this was a pretty good year for the industry. There were a number of good productions, a great list of stars that we don't normally get to see on Broadway, and what appears to be a nice crop of shows that will go out on tour - shows that might just make a stop at the Orpheum Theatre!
President and CEO
Tune in for the Tony Awards on Sunday, June 8th at 7:00 PM Central on CBS.