The Tony Awards are my Superbowl.
I spend the months leading up to it, reading, learning, watching, soaking up everything I can find. And we live in a time of YouTube and Twitter and Snapchat (I’m embarssed by that last one), so there is so much to soak up.
And it all cumulates with the Tonys.
And this year has been special. The level of talent, creativity, and diversity that steps out on the stage eight times a week is so rare.
The sense of camaraderie and community among these actors is so special. They cheer for each other, they celebrate each other. Imagine if every industry – entertainment and otherwise – worked that way.
It all overwhelms me.
And I could write so much about this year’s Tonys.
I could write an entire post about the opening number, where all the acting nominees stood together and told kids that “this could be you”. Kids whose only exposure to live theatre is this broadcast. Kids who may not feel included know that there’s a place for them in theatre.
I could write an entire post about the Spring Awakening revival. A show with hearing and deaf actors beautifully telling a story together. A show with the first ever Broadway actor in a wheelchair. A show that closed, but crowdsourced funds to perform at the Tonys so that people of all abilities could see themselves on a stage.
I could write an entire post about the commercial bumpers – where current casts sung numbers from classic shows outside the theatre to crowds that couldn’t afford the ticket inside the Tonys. An idea based on Hamilton’s new #ham4ham tradition. Brilliant.
I could write a few posts about Hamilton. About the attention it’s bringing to theatre. About Lin finishing his number with tears in his eyes because he’s not once taken for granted all that he is doing and all that is happening. About how, because of the shooting in Orlando the night before, they decided not to use muskets in their Tony performance. About Lin’s acceptance sonnet.
I could, and have, written a post about Waitress. And how oh so special that show is. About Jessie Mueller and her talent and what she represents, and how when she sings ‘She Used to be Mine’ all I can do is close my eyes and breathe in her voice.
But really, all I want to say is this.
I’m so grateful for theatre. I’m so grateful to have discovered something that gives me so much joy.