Arts News

Village Theatre Alum Wins Tony

Awards broadcast leaves Out Post slack-jawed

By Steve Wiecking June 8, 2009

Issaquah’s Brian Yorkey, who workshopped his Broadway hit Next to Normal at Village Theatre, last night won a Tony Award for his lyrics to that show (it also took home awards for orchestrations and for Alice Ripley’s lead performance as a woman with bipolar disorder).

Intiman’s Bart Sher didn’t get another award for directing, though his lauded if controversial staging of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone picked up some trophies, including one for featured actor Roger Robinson.

The Tonys broadcast, however, was often dismaying and frequently horrifying, Neil Patrick Harris’s cheeky hosting duties notwithstanding. I LOVE Broadway but, man, has everything turned plastic or what? Almost all of the nominated musicals looked distressingly packaged and without genuine spark. I know that Billy Elliot, The Musical wowed The New York Times and everyone else who’s seen it; the numbers on the show looked straight out of The Max Fischer Players in Rushmore. Was I high, or did they actually dangle Billy from a wire and send him spinning up into the ceiling? (It was nice, sure, to see the three actors who share the lead role get their award. All kids should be that happy.)

And there must be an Emmy waiting for the guy who took on the dual role of Stockard Channing and Liza Minnelli. What a quick-change artist. The makeup was a little off but it was still almost like watching the real thing. I think he did Elton John, too, but don’t quote me on that. That could’ve been another queen.

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