Top 10 Weirdest and Worst Moments in Tony Award History

Is this is return? Maybe. Take a post from years ago that Tyus wrote when we first started the blog.

DISCLAIMER: Everything that we criticize in here, is solely based on the Tony Award performance, not the actual stage performances. Again, everything that we say about each actor and actress is ONLY based on the Tony Award performance. Don’t get angry. 

10. Spring Awakening

Watching this “Interesting” performance, you people may think how the *********** this won a Tony next to the masterpiece, Grey Gardens. Me too.

This performance was a bit too adult to be acceptable for a national broadcast on CBS…. It starts off from Lea Michelle (Glee star) hopefully not lip-synching, and touching herself, and a chorus of goth teenagers joining in. Then, we move on to a few goth boys jumping around, singing about the “**** of living” Then, we get to the climatic moment of “Totally ****”, or in this performance, “Totally”. So… What could go wrong?? For starters, the whole performance is shambolic. There are jumping around the stage and stomping and all that jazz. And I guess they wanted chaos to represent the minds of their “Awakening” as a sign of being, “Totally”. But, I feel that instead of a Tony award performance, I’m watching an explicit performance at the Grammys…

9. Sweet Charity

Du Du Du Du Du Du. Sweet Charity! No, not the juicy performance that was given by, the legend of Broadway, Chita Rivera. But, the nightmare-like performance given by Ms. Christina Applegate at the 2005 Tony’s. Let’s start at “Big Spender.” This rendition of Big Spender was decent, other than the costumes, which tone down the whole style of the song. “Big Spender” is supposed to be a song that is performed in a smoky place. In this performance, the costumes are bright causing the song to lose it’s mysteriousness, making it look like a Cell Block Tango done by Disney Princesses. I mean look at those dresses! UGH. Moving on, let’s take a look at Applegate’s, “If My Friends Could See Me Now”. I have never seen Applegate in this show, but judging on this performance, I feel she is terribly miss-cast. Sure, she sparkles in her dance… But she does not have the acting and vocal abilities to handle Charity. First of all, her facial expression barely ever changes, making me bored while watching this performance. Second, she takes breaths at the wrong times of the song; making Dorothy Fields’s lyrics not flow along with ease. Lastly, we have “I’m a Brass Band”. She dances terrifically, but the casts’ costumes, make them look like back-up dancers from Legally Blonde. I mean, I get that it’ a happy song, but, can’t you make a costume not so flashy? And again, Applegate’s facial expression. She looks like she is sleepwalking through a stage, or she doesn’t want to be there at all. So then comes the killer, last notes to make everyone in the theater go wild! Well… I’m not even going to go there.

8. The Phantom of the Opera 2008

Wtf? lol..

7. A Catered Affair

Can I just ask one thing?

Is Faith Prince trying to imitate a Japanese schoolgirl who just saw a purse in a store that was a thousand-yen cheaper, and is trying to scream, but can’t reach the note?

I like her enthusiasm, but I don’t think it’s right for the role. But I don’t know, this is just a performance at the Tony’s.

6. Grease (2008)

Where is Grease? I was looking for Grease.

This?

I don’t think so.

For starters, it looks Grease was dipped into glitter dust, and purified with crystal clear water. I said a thing about acting like a Japanese schoolgirl finding a purse, but it applies to this as well. It’s very laughable.

The part in “We go together”, where they do these weird karate noise, sounded like a special-power that some character in an Anime would use.

Also, Sandy. I understand that you are flexible. Please stop flaunting it everywhere, thank you.

5. A Little Night Music

You saw it coming.

The performance given by Catherine Zeta Jones at the Tony’s.

To be totally honest, I do not find this performance AS BAD as some say it is. However, she sounded like a frog was stuck in her throat. In fact, I think that she was sick that night, so give her a break. BUT, we are talking Sondheim’s possibly most-famous song, “Send in the Clowns,” and I’m afraid Zeta Jones had the concept a bit confused.

She looked sad. She’s supposed to look regretful. She’s supposed to look angered. On top of that, she should look sad. Not many can perform this song with all these emotions, and not get thrown off by the line, “Clowns.” The main trouble with the song is indeed the word, “Clowns.” It can make this song of regret, laughable. If done right, however, this song is truly a masterpiece.

Another problem she had, was her over-acting. Please, Ms. Zeta Jones. This isn’t the Walter Kerr Theater. This is the Tony’s, and cameras are going to get close to your face. You can tone down the over-acting a notch. What I’m trying to say is, what worked in your theater may not work on national broadcasting. In other words, she should kinda adapt to the concept of cameras in your face, just for this performance.

Like I said, though. I do not find this performance as THAT BAD. In fact, I’m sure she was great as Deseree, in the Walter Kerr. (Hey, she won a Tony) But we are ONLY talking about the Tony’s, so no matter how good you were anywhere else, I’m sorry, but you’re still on this list.

4. Golden Rainbow

OK. It ain’t bad, but it’s weird.

This already shambolic number becomes bigger and Bigger and BIGGER. SO BIG, to the point where you feel claustrophobic.

And can’t you just taste the almost-post-60’s cheese?

The choreography is plain awful (but funny), the score is… well, it is what it is… The costumes are the killer. They are so silly and wacky; you can tell that this show did not take itself seriously. I just can’t critique a show that mocks itself.

3. Runaways

To sum this performance in one word, it would be “Disturbing.”

This performance was simply not my cup of tea. I mean, if this thing came on while I was watching the Tony’s, I would run out of the building like it was on fire. No matter how groundbreaking or innovative the performance was (And it was), it’s just not something I would like to see on my TV screen. I’m sorry.

Starting off: the young boy in the beginning. Who the heck gave him the solo? He takes his breath in the weirdest of times. He has this weird angle with his head when singing. He has a very disturbing voice. (Which the scratching noises in the video aren’t much help in.) He makes me terrified. So writer, director, and young boy, you have done your job. AND WHOAH. WHERE DID THAT GUY WITH THE SKATEBOARD COME FROM!?

Secondly, the hippy girl and sign language people: They over-act to the point where they could appear in your darkest of dreams. The lyrics, too, are just as disturbing.

Then, we go into the weird marching dance. Everything becomes a bit too 70’s. And the choreography? I’m pretty sure it was by the same guy who did Spring Awakening, and “Starmites”, which we will meet soon.

Overall, from the makeups, to the actors, to the costumes, to the score, this was very weird, and should be on this list.

As I said early on, I don’t judge the performances out of the Tony’s, so no matter how many rave reviews it got for the show (Which it got a few), I only judge the Tony’s.

2. Starmites

“It’s hard to be Diva, Baby”

First of all, what have I just seen? In the beginning, they go all “Jersey Boys” on you, sprinkled with extra doo-wop cheese on top. They had characters including a group of 4-seasons wannabe’s and a weird “Groot from GOTG”-like thing with a tail. And from what I see, the tree-thing is attracted to the floor of a stage. (Don’t judge) There is also one girl who looks like she is not at all afraid of this pack of characters.

No, hold it. I think the tree-thing is actually the Scarecrow. Wait, now I see a lizard.

Well, at least the cast is energetic and presents the given material nicely. Speaking of material, who the heck wrote this score? It sounds like something you’d hear in a run-down karaoke bar than on a Broadway stage. But, at least they did their job. At least they made the performance very unique and different. However, Thanks but no thanks.

This performance goes on for about a hefty 7 minutes. 7 MINUTES?! It could’ve been preventable if the “Diva” song wasn’t so long and boring. I mean, I GET THAT IT IS HARD TO BE A DIVA, SO CAN YOU PLEASE BE QUIET. And dear lord: that instrumentation. It is so sickening. No joke, it makes me feel sick. However, you have to hand it to the Diva who was breathtaking in her performance.

The choreography looked like something you’d find in a community-theater production of “Hair”. It’s hardly even choreography, but more; Do what ever you want. The lighting was a two-colored disco-ball lighting up the wrong thing at the wrong times. The costumes looked like a costume for a performance of “Cats” made with clothes that don’t fit, combined with what looks like the costume for those human-knowing birds in “The Little Mermaid” morphed into crow costumes.

But guess what? I’m pretty sure this is what the creator’s wanted.However, it was pretty ….. And there is no mercy in the word, “Flak”.

1. Fela

Yes, this dismal presentation of the musical, “Fela” was a part of the (also-pretty) dismal opening for the 2010 Tony’s. (Though I do think that Sean Hayes’s piano playing is incredible.) But, you can’t really blame ’em, cause the season was also bad. 

Anyways, back to Fela. 

So what exactly is happening here? I see, um…, a head-banned tribe doing a “Lion King”-like dance, where you have to hunch your back, dangle your arms, and walk around the stage. Oh! I now see some people pirouetting. And… Back to the dangling arms dance. 

The number that they chose to represent the show in the opening, was a terrible choice, and probably made people who only watched the opening avoid the show. So producers or whoever’s selection it was; shame. This, however, applies to every other performance in the opening as well. Don’t even get me started with the La Cage part. 

So, let’s jump to the last part of the performance. Onstage, we see a woman that is swaying her arms whilst screaming and screeching at the top of her lungs. I remember saying something like this for the “Runaways” performance, but if I was going through channels on TV, and saw that clip when I got to the Tony’s, I would run out of the building as if it was on fire. 

Also, this is a note to the whole sound system and microphones for the 2010 opening: I loathed them. 

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