7 June 2009

“O-oh, say can you see . . . my eyes—if you can, then my hair’s too short!”

I must confess, we had another wonderful Sunday of relaxing time spent together, Kyle and I, at home!  It is remarkable for this to happen two weeks in a row, at any time of year.  And, boy, am I loving it.

We slept in a little, and eventually, joined forces in the kitchen to prepare scrambled eggs and hash browns and . . . Bloody Marys!  We watched a couple of movies and some recorded TV (sound familiar?) and around five o’clock had a light meal of crackers and cheese.  By that time, Kyle was thinking soccer thoughts ’cause he had a game to go play. 

I stayed home and changed the channel on the TV to watch the 63rd Annual Tony Awards.  I really can’t adequately describe how much I enjoy this show.  Having been a theatre person for a long time, and still missing it so, this is a tiny glimpse of a life I once lived in my dreams.  I danced around the edges of performing professional theatre, and I enjoy few things more than attending live theatre.  Of the big awards shows, this is the one with the most heart; the most feeling of community and the most . . . class.  Nobody in a gown cut down to her navel or up to her “oh, no!”  Nobody in jewels it looks like they put their mansion up as collateral to be able to rent.  No crass jokes or unwanted politics.  And certainly  no live performances that leave the audience wishing that artist would stick to the studio. 

Angela Lansbury won her fifth Tony Award, and Liza Minnelli her fourth.  Amazing women both of them and I adore them.  I cried.  In a beautiful memorial tribute to all those Broadway stars we lost this year, a choir sang “What I Did for Love” while the giant screen showed stills of those greats like Paul Newman and Bea Arthur, and dozens more.  I cried.  One of my favourite awards at any presentation event is the Lifetime Achievement Award, and tonight’s was no exception.  Jerry Herman, best known for his music and lyrics on such little projects, as “Mame” and “Hello Dolly,” was charming and gracious in accepting this beautiful gesture of appreciation for his contribution to the medium of musical theatre.  His body of work speaks for himself, and he appropriately quoted from it in his acceptance speech.  He said, “I will hold this moment fast . . . for the best of times, is now!”   I cried again. For more on Jerry Herman, I found this great article about him and his musical theatre style.

It wasn’t long then, before it was time for the Best Male in a leading role award, and history was made as three charming little boys were each presented with the award for their title role of Billy Elliot—the story of a young boy who bucks the system and pushes for dance shoes instead of football boots.  They were just about the cutest thing ever, and I couldn’t decide really, which was more adorable—the three of them tag-teaming their thank yous, or the obviously touched-to-the-heart men in the audience in tears watching it.  I cried, too. (Billy Elliot ended up taking Best Musical!)

And, although it didn’t make me cry, it did make me get up and dance around my living room when the entire cast of the revival of Hair took the stage and performed the title number (quoted above).  These talented young people started on stage, but didn’t stay there!  During the number, they swarmed the house, and danced on chair arms and straddled the aisles of the Madison Square Garden theatre.  The audience was totally involved and loving every minute of it!  And, whether it was the perfect embodiment of the spirit of the age of Aquarius, or just the spirit of Broadway—who can say?  Either way, they seemed to be completely worthy of the honour later bestowed upon them— winning Best Musical Revival.

When the show was over, and the impromptu dancing in the living room ended, our dogs settled back down to wait by the door for Kyle to come home from his game.  That’s when I realized the day was nearly spent and I hadn’t taken a photo, yet.  So, I used the dogs as my subject!  Good thing no one was home to take a photo of me dancing like a fool!