The 2011 Tony Awards: An Unofficial Marketing Event for Book of Mormon Tickets

The 65th annual Tony Awards ran like a typical CBS comedy, few surprises but well produced with enough laughs to keep it interesting. The award show began with a hilarious opening number from Neil Patrick Harris and a few choice guests from the Beacon Theatre main floor declared (in song) that Broadway is no longer just for the gay anymore. Then the show officially commenced and the presenters began heaping Tony upon Tony in the Book of Mormon’s award basket (I am not sure this actually exists, but how else would you store nine awards during a live broadcast).

Standing at the podium to present the Tony Award for best musical, the last and most anticipated award of the Tony’s, Chris Rock aptly summed up the evening, “This is such a waste of time, it’s like taking a hooker to the dinner.”

The Book of Mormon, of course, had won the Tony Award, just as many had expected. The musical began the night as the favorite and rightfully so. The musical sprang forth from the minds of Trey Parker and Matt Stone from South Park and Orgazmo fame and Robert Lopez, the mastermind behind Avenue Q. Together they lovingly targeted religion and exposed its flaws, but embraced its powerful message. The lewd and crude brain trust did this so well that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a calibrated response, carefully chiding the musical but seemingly forcibly recognizing its comedic and entertaining value, while celebrating the actual Book of Mormon.

At the end of the evening the Book of Mormon won for the following:

  • Best Musical
  • Best Book of a Musical
  • Best Original Score
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (Nikki M. James)
  • Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Scott Pask)
  • Best Costume Design of a Musical (Ann Roth)
  • Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Brian MacDevitt)
  • Best Sound Design of a Musical (Brian Ronan)
  • Best Direction of a Musical (Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker)
  • Best Orchestrations: (Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus)

While the Book of Mormon celebrated, the producers and creative team of Spider Man cringed for two hours as they became the running gag of the night. Yes, Spider Man unveiled its latest number for the new and improved stage version, which opens June 12, 2011, but mostly Bono, the Edge, and the investors had to sit idly by as Neil Patrick Harris pulled a Tosh.O and put 30 seconds on the board to reel off as many Spidey musical jokes as possible. Bono and the Edge displayed a great sense of humor, noting that “In rock ‘n’ roll deadlines are just lies your manager tells you to get you back in the bus.”

In the end Spider Man Turn Off the Dark may get the last laugh. Despite over 150 preview performances and a book rewrite the musical is still earning over one million dollars a week. The latest Broadway grosses for the week of May 30 through June 5, 2011 show lauded Book of Mormon earning $1,173,580 at 102.4 percent capacity and Spider Man earning $1,150,208 at 95.8 percent capacity. It easily conceivable for Spider Man Turn Off the Dark tickets to sell at a near Cats level for years to come, while the Book Of Mormon tickets may be theater tickets for a musical production with a much shorter shelf life.

It’s a Girl for Madonna

Thanks to a little help from his friends, an ugly green ogre, Shrek and pal Donkey, from “Shrek the Musical”, Brett Michaels, from Poison, is doing ok after getting banged up during Sunday nights Tony Awards. After visiting the ER, Michaels received 3 stitches to his lip, and x-rays confirmed a fractured nose. That was quite a finish to his song “Nothin’ But a Good Time” that he sang with the cast of “Rock of Ages”.  Brett was a good sport and wasn’t angry about the incident but his reps are denying the fact the Brett “missed his mark” as was being said for the reason of the mishap. Luckily all is fine. Michaels may have to cancel his next performance, but they will just have to wait and see. He is on a solo tour right now.

Congratulations to Madonna and new family member Mercy James. Three judges have decided to allow the Material Girl to adopt the 4 year old Malawian girl after 3 months of deliberation. The holdup had been the 18 month residency ruling but now that has been approved. I wonder if the fact that Madonna has build a day care center in Malawi helped her case at all. Just kidding. It was a good thing that she did for the children there and the courts have ruled that she is a suitable mother. Hey, who wouldn’t want to be adopted by Madonna? Good for her for changing some many lives! Congrats also go out to “Gossip Girl” star Kelly Rutherford, who had her second child, a girl on Monday night. Kelly is currently involved in a nasty divorce from her husband.

And it is a new hairdo for late night talk show host Stephen Colbert. While doing his show for the troops in Iraq and speaking with General Ray Odierno, President Obama appeared in a videotaped message ordering the General to shave Colbert’s head. It was pretty funny and the troops deserve a bit of comedy while they are out there. Colbert is taping 4 shows in Iraq and wants to bring focus back to the war which he feels has lost the attention of the people. A few funny jokes that he shared with the troops went  like this “It must be nice here in Iraq because I understand some of you keep coming back again and again.” (Referring to the multiple tours the soldiers have had to endure). “You’ve earned so many frequent flier miles; you’ve earned a free ticket to Afghanistan.” The troops said their favorite part of the show though was the buzz cut Colbert received. When asked why he did it? The response was he had too much hair to be a soldier. And a nice head of hair it was too.

Could it be that love is really in the air again for Lindsay Lohan and gal pal Samantha Ronson? The two were spotted together hanging out in London and Lindsay even Twittered “Leaving London but with my favorite favorite!!” She also says, “Great news to share!!! Maybe… :) ” The girls stayed at separate hotels and were not seen out together but obviously they were both there. Lindsay is also wearing a diamond ring on her left hand. Could that be the exciting news she was alluding too? The two seem to be happy together and as of yet no big fights to report, so we shall see.

Last but not least, no big surprise here, but it is official…Adam Lambert comes out and says he is gay. He didn’t want to come out while on the show with so much media scrutiny but now he feels he is doing it on his own terms. It is what it is and he is not interested in being an activist or anything. You can learn more about the “American Idol” runner up in his new interview in “Rolling Stone” magazine when it hits the stands on Wednesday.        

Brett Michaels Hurt at the Tony Awards

The Tony Awards were last night and in addition to the excitement of the awards there was also unexpected excitement involving “Rock of Love Star” and Poison band mate, Brett Michaels. He was performing with the cast of “Rock of Ages”, when he missed his mark, and he was hit in the head while some scenery was being moved down from the ceiling area. At first it was thought the hit may have broken his nose but that was not the case. He did make a trip to the ER just to make sure he was fine and thankfully he was; now that was reality TV. It was a big night though for many of the great shows and plays. “Billy Elliot” came out on top as a true shining star winning 10 awards for the night which included, Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor, Best Choreography, Best Scenic Design of a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, plus Best Lighting Design of a Musical and a few other categories. “Hair” won Best Revival of a Musical and “God of Carnage” won Best Play.  Marcia Gay Harden won Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for her performance in “God of Carnage “and Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush won Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for “Exit the King”. “Shrek the Musical” won for Best Costume Design of a Musical. The amazing Angela Lansbury, who is 83 years old, won a Tony for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for “Blithe Spirit”. This was her 5th Tony Award. It was a fun show with some great musical performances and host Neil Patrick Harris from the show “How I Met Your Mother” did a fine job.

There was some frightening news for the sister of Lisa Ling and her friend who were arrested in N. Korea back in March for illegally crossing the border. The two women, Laura Ling and Euna Lee were sentenced to 12 years hard labor “for the grave crime they committed against the Korean nation.” The US government is working hard to get these 2 woman released but with the very poor relations we have with N. Korea it is very difficult. The families are gravely worried, Euna has a 4 year old daughter and husband in the states and Laura may be suffering from an ulcer that has most likely worsened since these events have occurred.
Exciting news for “American Idol” winner Kris Allen – the 23 year old has signed a record deal with Jive records and you can plan to pick that up sometime this fall. Kris currently has his Idol winning song “No Boundaries” at #23 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles. Not bad Kris! The American Idol summer tour starts in Portland on July 15th and Kris will be there.

NBC is not happy about the allegations that they tortured contestants from the show I’m A Celebrity Get Me out of Here”. Yes, I am referring yet again to Heidi and Spencer who have plans to sue NBC for all that they have been put through. ITV studio, which produces the show, had this to say about the torture allegations, “ITV has been producing this format around the world for many years and the health of the celeb participants are of the utmost importance. A medic and a doctor are present at the location at all times for all participants. All allegations of the celebrities being deprived of food and water are completely untrue”.  Come on people, of course they are untrue. Although perhaps what Speidi maybe have deserved for all their crazy antics…it’s NBC, they would never do anything so inhumane, even for rating. Where does this stuff come from? Crazy, but all the hoopla does make me want to tune in tonight for a good laugh. Forget reality TV I think this one has turned into a good old fashion comedy!    

Tony Nominations Announced

Elton John is smiling this morning…his musical “Billy Elliot” was nominated for 15 Tony awards, one of which includes Best Musical. Also up for the top award are “Rock of Ages”, “Shrek the Musical” and “Next to Normal”. The Tony Awards will air on CBS on June 7th at Radio City Music Hall. And in other breaking news…the controversial 4th American Idol judge, Kara DioGuardi, will be back next season. Simon Cowell actually shared the news with Ellen DeGeneres and you can watch it today, Tuesday, on her show.

Eminem has a candid new interview out in the June/ July issue of “Vibe Magazine”. Eminem shares details about his most recent battle with drug addiction. Although he has been clean for about a year he had been “downing as many as 20 Vicodin, Ambien, and Valium a day. He tells the magazine that “the numbers got so high, I don’t even know what I was taking.” Eminem, who is 36, has a new album coming out on May 19th, fittingly called, “Relapse”. He says he has taken care of himself and is ready to get back into the spotlight. He feels if he has his Rap music he won’t’ need the other stuff. Good luck Eminem, I love your new song, “We Made You” and I hope you’re right that Rap is all you need.  Revlon has a new spokeswoman…Jessica Biel is the latest beauty to represent the cosmetic giant. She will be in all the new 2010 advertising campaigns. She is in good company…past beauties include Jessica Alba, Halle Berry and Jennifer Connelly. Just like her busy beau, Justin Timberlake, she is branching out from acting as well.

The octo mom just cannot catch a break. I swear everyday it is something else with her. The latest and greatest issue for the mother of 14 is that Gloria Allred, an attorney, has filed a petition with the Superior Court of Orange County, California requesting that a guardian be appointed to protect the babies if they are filmed for the reality show that their mom is hoping to get. Allred feels that the babies are being exploited and that even child labor laws are being broken because the babies have been filmed late at night and without the presence of a “studio teacher”. In addition to this guardian watching out for the children, she also wants to make sure that any money earned through the show would not be wasted by the mother. Wow, I have never been a big fan of the octo mom because, well maybe she hasn’t  always made the best decisions, but wow, can strangers just get involved in her life and tell her how to spend and how not to spend her hard earned money? Last time I checked this was still America. I think people just need to back off a bit and let her settle in with her kids and let’s see what happens before we try and take away every freedom she has. The hearing is scheduled for June 22, so we will see what the courts have to say, but maybe for now Ms. Allred needs to mind her own business.