Highlights of the Tony Show

Tony Awards   Highlights of the Tony Show
 
Here are some of the highlights of the 50th annual Tony Awards ceremony, broadcast June 2 on CBS-TV from Broadway's Majestic Theatre.

Here are some of the highlights of the 50th annual Tony Awards ceremony, broadcast June 2 on CBS-TV from Broadway's Majestic Theatre.

* The show opened with the voice of the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera warning everyone, in this controversy-scarred year, to behave -- presumably at the price of a chandelier on the head.

* Nathan Lane opened his monologue by appearing in an approximation of Julie Andrews Victor/Victoria costume. Alluding to the fact that Andrews was boycotting the awards he said, "Oh come on! You really expected her here tonight? You all know that's as likely as the Pope hosting Madonna's baby shower!"

* Lane went on to say "Welcome to the tabloid Tonys," promising that if Andrews won, her Tony would be accepted by "a very grateful" Susan Lucci, a soap opera star who has lost the Daytime Emmy 16 times.

* Andrews had been expected to win the Tony anyway, but Tony voters appear to have boycotted Andrews back by giving the award to Donna Murphy for The King and I. * Despite her boycott, Andrews appeared in two clips on the show, from Camelot and My Fair Lady -- the last two times she was nominated for, and lost, the Tony.

* Most (14) of the awards were given in the hour before the broadcast, and the winners shown on edited videotape, to help keep the show within its allotted two hours. Lane cracked, "We're on CBS. They killed Angela Lansbury -- they can kill us."

* The other seven awards were given on live TV, but winners were still asked to keep their speeches under 40 seconds. Among luminaries forced to shout the end of their speeches over the orchestra were Best Play author Terrence McNally and Best Actress in a Musical Donna Murphy.

* Andrew Lloyd Webber, who gave the Best Musical award, pointed out -- perhaps a bit too tartly -- that "this year there are some nominees to read" -- a pointed reference to the fact that there was only one other show running against his Sunset Boulevard in 1995.

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* Among those accepting the Best Musical award for Rent were the brother and sister of composer/lyricist/librettist Jonathan Larson, who died in January at age 35. They said "It took Johnny 15 years to become an overnight success.

-- By Robert Viagas

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