Live Tweeting the 67th Annual Tony Awards

See July 11, 2013 update at the bottom

OK! Blog break over, and as a way back into the blogging groove let’s take a break from social media and get to one of the real treats of living in the New York city area – Broadway. And what better way to write about NY Theater than by live tweeting the 67th Annual Tony Awards.

NPH Tony OpenLast night, the annual award party that celebrates the actors, producers, directors and others behind the scenes on Broadway took place at Radio City Music Hall  with host extraordinaire Neil Patrick Harris, or just NPH as we call him. Some may know him from “Doogie Howser, MD” and others from the current  CBS hit ‘How I Met Your Mother“. But I first realized his musical theater talent when I saw him sing “What You Own” from ‘RENT’ when he was in the L.A. production. Since then I’ve seen him as the MC in ‘Cabaret’ and as Lee Harvey Oswald in ‘Assassins’. But he really shines as host of the Toy Awards. This year was his fourth time hosting– do let’s get to it.

Jun 09, 8:07pm @ActuallyNPH killed the #tonyawards opening – as usual! Bravo!

Jun 09, 8:10pm Featured Actor in a Play up first include the ones I saw: Billy Magnussen and Courtney B Vance #tonyawards

Jun 09, 8:11pm And the winner Courtney B. Vance! Loved him in “Lucky Guy”  #tonyawards

Jun 09, 8:14pm “Matilda” has four young actresses who rotate playing the lead role. Had to get a waiver to be nominated as a group  #tonyawards

Jun 09, 8:15pm ‘Matilda’ reminds me of ‘Spring Awakening’ for the grammar school set  #tonyawards  Read more of this post

My New York: Live Tweeting The 2011 Tony Awards

 I love Broadway, so for me the best entertainment awards show is the Tony Awards for excellence in American theater. The 65th annual awards were held June 12 at New York’s Beacon Theater with the ultra-talented Neil Patrick Harris as host — and he killed (as they say). From an opening number that spoofed Broadway’s reputation as being less than manly to a closing rap that  recapped the highlights of the  night, NPH showed why he is today’s best awards show host (highlight video –>).

And, of course, Broadway fans nationwide were tweeting their comments as the awards were announced. Here are mine plus additional comments.

  • roncasalotti: Nice @ActuallyNPH killed the Tony Award opening. FTW 8:05 pm
    Neil Patrick Harris can do it all. I saw him on Broadway as the MC in ‘Cabaret’ and Lee Harvey Oswald in ‘Assassins’. But my first “Aha!” moment of his post Doogie Howser career, when he sang on a Broadway TV special from ‘Rent’ (he was in the L.A. production) Who knew?!?!
  • roncasalotti: Ellen Barkin wins Featured Actress in a Play for ‘The Normal Heart’ Well deserved, she rocked that role. 8:09 pm
  • roncasalotti: The Normal Heart is a great play; very moving; great performances; and I think more impactful than likely when it first ran in 1985…. 8:13 pm
  • roncasalotti: General consensus holds than Daniel Radcliffe was greatly deserving of a Tony nom (but overlooked) 8:14 pm
  • roncasalotti: Nice ‘Equus’ reference by @ActuallyNPH re: Daniel Radcliffe poking out ‘War Horse’s” eyes. 8:23 pm
  • roncasalotti: Best Performance by Featured Actor in a Play goes to John Benjamin Hickey of ‘The Normal Heart’ 8:28 pm
  • roncasalotti: John Benjamin Hickey’s performance in ‘The Normal Heart’ brings both cheers and tears. Well deserved award. 8:29 pm
  • roncasalotti: Performance by the cast of ‘The Scottsboro Boys’ mainly for the road tour (as it closed in December after a short run) 8:53 pm
  • roncasalotti: Best Actress in Featured Role in a Musical goes to Nikki M. James for ‘The Book of Mormon’ She rocked that role 9:00 pm
  • roncasalotti: The song ‘I Believe” from ‘The Book of Mormon’ is great, but I think its opening number ‘Hello’ should’ve opened the show 9:04 pm
  • roncasalotti: Hah,, funny “Host-Off” between @RealHughJackman and @ActuallyNPH 9:16 pm
    Clever bit, and it shows that both Hugh and Neil are consummate entertainers. Loved Hugh in ‘The Boy From Oz’
  • roncasalotti: Best Featured Actor in a Musical to John Laroquette for ‘How to Succeed…’ He’s hilarious in it – much better than expected.9:20 pm
  • roncasalotti: Jennifer Damiano (‘Spider-Man’) is the 2nd ex-cast member of ‘Next to Normal’ on tonight with Aaron Tveit (‘Catch Me If You Can)  9:27 pm
  • roncasalotti: Whoopi Goldberg, who starred in the movie ‘The Sister Act’ is the producer of the B’way musical of the same name  9:41 pm
  • roncasalotti: Best Revival of a Play goes to the touching, moving, disturbing, powerful and simply great ‘The Normal Heart’ 9:51 pm
  • roncasalotti: Best Play goes to ‘War Horse’ (the safe, expected choice)  10:04 pm
  • roncasalotti: Best Revival of a Musical goes to ‘Anything Goes’. A nod to old-time Broadway. 10:27 pm
  • roncasalotti: Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Play to Frances McDormand for ‘Good People’ 10:37 pm
    Who apparently stayed in Southie character when she decided to wear a denim jacket to the show.
  • roncasalotti: Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical goes to Sutton Foster ‘Anything Goes.’ Saw her in a cabaret last year – big talent; nice person 10:41 pm
  • roncasalotti: Best Actor in a Play goes to Mark Rylance for ‘Jerusalem’. Loved in him ‘Boeing Boeing’ & ‘La Bete’. He’s certainly, umm quirky 10:53 pm
  • roncasalotti: Best Actor in a Musical goes to Norbert Leo Butz for ‘Catch Me If You Can’ loved him in ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels 10:55 pm
  • roncasalotti: Quelle surprise, ‘The Book of Mormon’ takes Best Musical. My review: Often offensive; frequently obscene; always hilarious. 11:03 pm
 Finally, here's NPH's great ending rap of a Tony Awards presentation that was well hosted, and well done.                                                                                                                                                    See you at the theater!

In Defense of Women, or “Another Day, Another 77 Cents”

Women don’t need me (or any other man) to defend them, as they are quite capable of doing so themselves. But they do deserve my support and that of all men in their long and ongoing effort to achieve equality when it comes to treatment in the workplace, today earning about 77 cents for every dollar a man earns for similar work.

Married to a top corporate executive with two daughters working in the education and government fields, I have witnessed first-hand the challenges each face in pursing their careers. Two events last week got me thinking once again about this issue. The first, was the celebration of Equal Pay Day (Apr. 12) which strives to increase awareness of the discrepancy between male and female wages. The second was attending the “Shine On: Celebrating Women Making a Difference” awards at Radio city Music Hall (Apr. 11).

Despite the emergence of women as keen, capable business leaders the latest info shows they still only make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns for a similar job. To quote the Department of Labor,

While women hold nearly half of today’s jobs, and their earnings account for a significant portion of the household income that sustains the financial well-being of their families, they are still experiencing a gap in pay compared to men’s wages for similar work.” (Dept. of Labor, Equal Pay Day Toolkit)

Yes, progress has been made over the years, and certainly,  there has been a fundamental change in the role of women in the workplace. While Stay at Home Moms (SAHM) remain a vital part of society wage equity has certainly lagged behind the realities of today’s workforce where men are not necessarily the family’s main wage-earner.

Portrait Monument image via WikipediaCongress as well has hampered equal pay progress by failing to pass HR:1519 The Paycheck Fairness Act in both 2009 and 2010 (although reintroduced last week with 168 congressional representative sponsors). Ironically, Congress itself is an equal-pay workplace, mandated to pay senators and representatives specific salaries regardless of gender. Of course, Congress also kept the Portrait Monument (left), dedicated to the pioneers of women’s suffrage Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony, in the basement of the Capitol for 76 years before restoring it in the Rotunda in 1997, and even then said it’d only be there for one year (though obviously extended).  Hmm…

On a brighter note, Good Housekeeping — a “main stream media” magazine publisher that has remained relevant for over 125 years — celebrated women making history with its Shine On awards. This year’s winners were:

  • Christy Turlington Burns – For her work as an advocate via her Every Mother Counts
  • The sOccket Girls – Four Harvard grad students for combining  soccer with enlightenment
  • Elizabeth Blackburn – Nobel prize-winning scientist whose work may unlock a cure for cancer
  • Michelle Rhee – Controversial forward-thinking educator for her Students First organization
  • Lisa Switkin – Urban planner of green space including the High Line park in NYC
  • Indra Nooyi – Chairperson and CEO of Pepsico, Inc. also active in

Amazing people all, I was impressed with their intelligence, eloquence and passion to improve society.

Oh, and they just happen to be women.

My New York: Live Tweeting: The 2009 Tony Awards

Neil Patrick HarrisThe 2009 American Theater Wing Tony Awards were issued Sunday, June 7. Neil Patrick Harris was a great host, and his closing number was legen…. (wait for it)….dary! Below are my Tweets while viewing the event (in reverse chronological order, of course):

  • Love Neil Patrick Harris! Saw him on Broadway in “Assassins” and “Cabaret” and hear he was great in the LA prod of “Rent”- kudos! Sunday, 07 June 2009, 11:05 pm
  • No surprise, Billy Elliot” takes Best Musical Sunday, 07 June 2009, 11:00 pm
  • With five leads from “Jersey Boys”, I guess you can call this number “The Big Valli’s” Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:54 pm
  • “The BIllys” win best actor! Add their ages together and they’re only 33! Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:51 pm
  • For me, Alice Ripley truly did give the best performance this year in “Next to Normal” Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:47 pm
  • YES! Hair! Well deserved! Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:39 pm
  • Well, no hat or boa now — red hair, though. Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:34 pm
  • At “Hair” I sang and danced onstage at the finale with the the actress in the hat and red boa (Megan Reinking) Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:33 pm
  • I am in a Tony pool where the tiebreaker is the length of Jerry Herman’s speech 🙂 Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:31 pm
  • RT KarenWaldkirch – Based on the commercials, the Tony TV audience is chronically ill. Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:22 pm
  • Best Play winner “God of Carnage” has gotten the best reviews for a play in 20 years. Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:20 pm
  • “Norman Conquests” three separate full plays — some on different nights, and at other times back-to-back-to-back Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:18 pm
  • Lest you forget for a moment that the Tony awards are staged to make money for producers, I give you Legally Blonde Sunday, 07 June 2009, 10:16 pm Read more of this post

The Emmys, or Patting Themselves On the Back

Catching up after falling behind (wish I had a $1 for every blogger that started an entry with words to that effect), the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (what an intellectually sounding name for something that produces mostly dreck), held its 60th Primetime Emmy Awards a couple of weeks ago. I just want to comment on two things.

First, under the category of “the right things get done for the wrong reasons,” ‘Mad Men’ became the first basic cable show to win Best Drama — and well deserved, indeed. Of course, the writer’s strike led to less network product, which led to less viewership, less episodes, less to enter in the Emmy race. But, the winner was ultimately, the best of the bunch. As was ’30 Rock’ for Best Comedy, and the acting of Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin for comedy; Brian Cranston and Glenn Close for drama. All deserving winners.

Second, why all the fuss about winning an Emmy? Doesn’t everybody have one?

Emmy and Me

Emmy and Me

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