Episode 1

June 22, 2024


Broadway Shows, Community Theater, and the 77th Tony Awards Results and Reactions

Hosted by

Brian Kitson
Broadway Shows, Community Theater, and the 77th Tony Awards Results and Reactions
The Cosmic Curtain
Broadway Shows, Community Theater, and the 77th Tony Awards Results and Reactions

Jun 22 2024 | 01:05:31


Show Notes

The biggest and brightest night for Broadway has finally arrived, with the 77th Tony Awards! Hosted by Ariana DeBose, The Tony Awards pulled out the red carpet and was ready to celebrate all the fantastic theater from the past year. With so many incredible shows up for many awards, the excitement was never higher in the Cosmic Circus Broadway stratosphere, so of course, we had to jump on a podcast and share our thoughts with you!

Join hosts Brian Kitson and RJ Miller-Zelinko in the first official The Cosmic Curtain podcast since moving to our new home for all things Broadway! In this episode, our hosts share their highlights from the award ceremony and what left them scratching their heads. Did their favorite shows win big? What were their biggest shockers? You'll have to listen to the podcast to find out! Kitson and Miller-Zelinko also discuss some recent local productions from Michigan and what you can expect from the Box Seat Babes, Cosmic Circus Broadway, and The Cosmic Curtain in the near future! Thank you so much for listening, enjoy!

Did you watch the Tony Awards? What did you think of the performances and winners? Let us know what on social media @mycosmiccircus and @boxseatbabes! If you enjoy this podcast, please consider sharing it with friends and following us on social media, or joining our Discord.

Podcast credits and show notes

  • Brian Kitson
  • RJ Miller-Zelinko
Executive Producer/Editor
  • Lizzie Hill

Recorded on 6/21/2024

A companion article for this podcast is available at broadway.thecosmiccircus.com

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Welcome, one and all, to the greatest show in our ever expanding circus tent. That's right, the cosmic circus has had a bigeneration of its own with the new Cosmic Circus Broadway, a site focused on all things theater. For those who don't know who I am, I'm Brian Kitson, head writer at the Cosmic Circus and Cosmic Circus Broadway, and one of the hosts of the Cosmic Circle podcast. For a while now with our new Broadway home, we, of course, needed a new podcast. With the format switching up just a bit. No longer will there be only one host. I have someone else in the pilot seat with me on this new journey through the cosmos. RJ Miller, Zelenko, and those who have watched our other Broadway podcasts or listened to it might be familiar with who this is. Together, we're the box seat babes, and we're so excited to share our love of theater with all of you. RJ, introduce yourself to the masses. [00:00:52] Speaker B: To the masses. Well, hello again to anyone who may have previously heard my voice, I'm very excited to partake in this new venture of the cosmic circus box seat babes, and bring you the most recent up to date ventures of Broadway. [00:01:19] Speaker A: Absolutely. I mean, what's exciting about this is that we are covering so many different levels of theater now. You know, before it was always the, the highest level, you know, Broadway and Broadway in Detroit, which we've had a long partnership with and we've gone to many shows with them. But thanks to you and your love of Broadway and theater and stuff, we've really expanded to more local Michigan productions and community theater in that aspect. So I think it's going to be really exciting to see where we go with this and what we're going to do. [00:01:51] Speaker B: Yeah, I think it's an exciting opportunity. I think anytime anyone has a platform, no matter what degree it is, to be able to expand that to folks who may need it, as particularly on the community end, it's kind of hard to do so. [00:02:13] Speaker A: Absolutely. And so tonight we will have a little bit of that community theater aspect in the very end. But we are here to break down the most exciting night in Broadway, the Tony awards. The 77th Tony Awards were just this past weekend and hosted by Ariana Debose, who brought down the house at the David H. Koch Theater, if I do say so myself. But what are your general thoughts of this show, especially because you have watched the Tonys for quite a few years, or you've seen clips of it and stuff? What do you think of this one? [00:02:45] Speaker B: Yeah, I mean, the Tonys is, you know, a theater nerds Super bowl. So it was. I was in my element. It was one of the few times that I've watched it consistently live. I would say, like, you know, all 3 hours. But, I mean, we love Ariana Debose. I think based on a little bit of an interview that I saw with her or just some commentary around her hosting this again, I think she's ready to be done. I think she's had her fill. I think she's ready for new opportunities. But she still did a fabulous job. [00:03:35] Speaker A: I missed this. Is there some discourse about her ready to go? [00:03:39] Speaker B: Yeah, I mean, it might have been like a pre show interview. I can't remember who it was through, but they kind of said, you know, how is it to be hosting it again this year? Obviously, the feedback she's gotten in previous years, particularly last year, I think because due to the writer strike and a lot of her kind of playful, just completely off script personality, lent itself very well to the show. And this year, weirdly, maybe because it was so scripted, it felt a little less energized, but I think it also could kind of be playing into this. Someone asked her, you know, would you be willing to do it again? And she basically, in the nicest way possible, said no. So I think she's ready for. For new opportunities. And I know that, I mean, the Tony's, the show itself. I mean, you have one dress rehearsal, and that's about it. So I can't imagine the. The pressure that goes on to the host to learn all of those pieces. I mean, obviously, you're not presenting a ton, but you have probably, I mean, the opening performance, the closing piece, and typically some type of other performance piece in between. So it's a lot. [00:05:07] Speaker A: Yeah. She actually mentioned in the show at one point of, like, look at what they put together in just under a day. And I thought she was kidding until you just said that. I didn't realize that, like, it's, like, intense. [00:05:19] Speaker B: Yeah. And you don't really. I mean, they have their dress rehearsal. I think it's a day maybe or two beforehand, but. And that's just, like, very. For anyone who's ever been through a dress rehearsal or tech rehearsal, I'd say it's more so attack rehearsal, where you're just bringing things in, you're bringing all the pieces together, but you're not really getting the feel for what the show will actually be because it's more so. Okay, we're the sound cues, where the light cues, where are people coming on and off stage, more of the logistics side. So I can't imagine just, like, learning a song and dance, you know, with minimal practice, with, who knows, people you've probably never seen before. But that is much of the way that the Broadway world works, so I can't say it's much different. [00:06:11] Speaker A: I just watched a TikTok, actually, of someone who was in Lake was auditioning for Elphaba and wicked there, and she was like, this is music that I've known for 20 years of my life, but to learn it differently. And apparently the tracks are different when you're, like, auditioning and you have to. You can't have the riffs, apparently. And she was like, it's the craziest, like, 72 hours of your life. So I could only imagine how the transitions to the Tonys, you know. [00:06:39] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah. Very much, though, because it's all about direction, right? So if someone doesn't like a way that something's particularly being portrayed, or maybe they just don't like the choreography that was originally planned, and they say, you know, to the last minute, oh, we're changing this, and just hope and pray that you remember every change that's been made in the last 72 hours. [00:07:03] Speaker A: Brutal. That's absolutely brutal. I mean, yeah, I think maybe it's time for her to move on. I know after the baftas, she took a lot of heat for her hosting because of that rap. Um, she even addressed that in the show. But, you know, I was also really impressed with how it went, and I think part of why I liked this one is that the show itself felt a little bit tighter. It didn't feel like there was as much droning on or in the middle pieces. I felt like we were moving kind of quickly. Even though it was still 3 hours like that. That's still crazy amount of. There was. I don't want to. I want to say, like, eight performances, and there was all the awards. There was so much going on. Did you think it moved a little bit better? [00:07:42] Speaker B: Yeah, I think they're running a little bit of a tighter ship, even. I mean, obviously, there are a few speeches that tend to go on a little bit, and you cannot clearly see when they're trying to kind of shove someone off the stage. But even the in between transition pieces, like people were sprinting to get on stage, off stage, to the side of the stage, you could tell it was just a brisk time was a factor, which, of course, anything on tv, that it's going to be the case, but, yeah, it felt like they crammed as much in as they possibly could. [00:08:22] Speaker A: There was quite a few times that people were getting kind of shuffled off stage with their speeches, with the music playing. But I did note, not that it's a conspiracy, but I do think it's funny to mention it. But the big stars were not rushed at all. Jonathan Groff got to say his old speech, Daniel Radcliffe got to say his little speech. And I think that feeds in to the next part of, you know, there was a lot of big stars in this and they all had like, this shining light on them. What is your take on this? [00:08:52] Speaker B: Yeah, um, I think. I mean, we're just in this era of crossover between Hollywood and Broadway and it's very interesting. And maybe this is because also, like, West End stuff is becoming a bigger thing. Producers. I mean, how many big name producers? Off the top of my head, I can think of at least five to six that previously, like, maybe you did have producers who were big name, but you just didn't know it. And now you're having these folks be the ones, you know, being in the show, whether that's in whatever capacity, just introducing it or just being on stage for the award or just, you know, name dropping them. It is. It is interesting, but also kind of encouraging because that means that this crossover between the arts is kind of happening, which gives me hope for the future because as we know, everything costs money and, uh, we need. We need people to fund that. [00:10:04] Speaker A: Absolutely. I mean, it was. They were rolling them out like, it's just, you know, you had Hillary Clinton, you had Angelina Jolie, you had Taylor Tomlinson that you mentioned. You know, you had all of these big names, some of them with CB's, some of them with the shows. But it does kind of show that, like, theater itself is very universal and also probably a good ploy to bring a lot of younger generations into. Into theater. [00:10:35] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah. I mean, and when you open with Hell's Kitchen and Alicia Keys, I mean, obviously you cut. You have to in the capacity of what that show is. But I think I feel like that almost lends itself to the fact that everyone else had to follow that. And so that could have even also played into, well, this, you know, they're gonna be bringing so and so. Who do we have? [00:11:04] Speaker A: Sure. Absolutely. And speaking of that performance, I did not find this out till after, but the Jay Z part was pre recorded. That was not actually live at the show. [00:11:16] Speaker B: I knew it. I mean, I didn't know it and I didn't look it up, but I was waiting just because of the way that he was even just his body language. I was like, yes, this feels not live. But then I doubted myself when she came into view, and I was like, okay, weird, but that's. That's fun. Glad to know my instincts were right and I didn't. [00:11:48] Speaker A: Like I said, I didn't notice it at first, but when I went back and watched, I was like, oh, yeah, you can kind of feel that. It feels a little shoehorned in there. Like it was. Yeah. He was apparently busy, so he couldn't be there. But they did want to celebrate the. The accomplishment because Hell's Kitchen was up for 13 awards, which was. It's pretty unheard of that a show runs away, and we had two of them this year that ran away with 13 nominations, which is just crazy. [00:12:13] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:12:15] Speaker A: And with that, the first, the big winner of the night, you know. Drumroll, please. Except that maybe not a drum roll because maybe we don't understand, was stereophonic. What is going on with that? [00:12:30] Speaker B: I truly. I mean, congratulations, obviously, to the stereophonic team. Absolutely. From what I saw and from my understanding of the show in the way that it was portrayed on the show, I don't get it. I think what's confusing is I get it, but I don't get the. The appeal, comparatively to so many of the other shows. [00:13:04] Speaker A: I think what makes it so interesting, too, is that it is not a musical, but there is a lot of music in it. In fact, they had a performance on stage which was usually reserved for all the other shows that are winning for best musical. [00:13:21] Speaker B: Yeah. And I even looked into this because I was like, what is the logic? There has to be, as we know, there's, like, rules and regulations for everything. Right. So I'm not even sure explicitly what the Tonys are looking at, aside from the fact that in order, typically, for something to be considered a musical, the music has to move the plot or the plot has to be spoken through the music, whereas with this, I feel like the music was. Just happened to be what the play was about rather than like, if you were to take the music out of it, the play could still probably stand as its own 2ft. It wouldn't be as effective because you wouldn't be, you know, seeing all of. So much of what the show is. But does it actually move the plot? I'm not 100% sure. I haven't seen the show, but sure. [00:14:29] Speaker A: It'S probably not going anywhere now that it's one for best play, so we probably have time to see it. But I do know that the creator of the show mentioned that he wanted it to feel like a documentary unfolding on stage. And so, um, it is like you said, that kind of the story is unfolding as a drama. I think the people are going to be throwing off. I think it's one of those things like, kind of like how Wonka didn't tell people was a musical, or like, mean girls didn't tell it people. It was a musical. People are going to go into it thinking it's a musical and will be maybe a little shocked when it's probably more acting than not, I guess. What the. Wait and see. [00:15:11] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah, it's definitely obviously now gonna get some. Some good representation in redoing all its lovely billboards to kind of help guide folks in. And, you know, I'm sure that there are folks out there that this is exactly what they are looking for. They are. They want something that's close to a kind of documentary but still incorporating enough music or kind of that storyline with. [00:15:45] Speaker A: It winning so many awards, because it did win five for best play, best feature actor, best direction, scenic design, sound design. Does that any of that make you want to see it more? [00:15:58] Speaker B: Not really. I mean, because, I mean, best scenic design and best sound design. So sound makes sense to me, especially considering the fact that this is literally about the production of sound. You have to have good sound, scenic design. Once again, from what I saw, I. Not something that would particularly sell me. Um, but, you know, best play, maybe that would be, like, the only thing that I'd be pulling the trigger on in regards to just saying, like, hey, I saw this. I saw this thing. [00:16:48] Speaker A: Yeah. I have to say, we don't see a lot of plays, especially in tours. You know, last year we only saw, um. I guess it was actually this year, but last season we only saw how to kill a mockingbird, which won all kinds of Tonys for its portrayal. So I do wonder if this is eventually going to add on to that and we're going to see more plays start to tour, because obviously musicals are the more. The bigger draw for a lot of people. [00:17:12] Speaker B: Yeah. Because of it being unique with the music in it, I can 100% see this being something that ends up touring because you have that appeal of, yeah, it's a play which might not be what everyone would originally go see, but because of that music aspect, that that'll draw people in. [00:17:33] Speaker A: Absolutely. And, you know, out of all the shows, it wasn't it. There was two, like, clear runaways for plays themselves, the other one being appropriate with Sarah Paulson. And I will say just a little bit. We saw of her performance when they were talking about best actress in a play, which she won for. I was down for that one. I said, I don't know. Like, I don't really know what the show's about, but she can act, and I do want to see her on stage with this part. And I think it's closing, so unfortunately, won't be able to see it. But, like, it just. That looked good to me. [00:18:05] Speaker B: Yeah. I mean, love her as an actress. I don't think there's anything that she's been in that I have not enjoyed in some way. So it doesn't shock me at all that. That she came away with that. [00:18:20] Speaker A: Absolutely. And that play also got best revival, best lighting design. And then there was a few scragglers like Purell victorious. We had best performance from a featured actress in a play, which. That speech was beautiful. Carrie Young moved me to tears, saying about how this was for her family, who sacrificed all these things. I. And then, enemy of an. Enemy of the people, Jeremy strong won for best actor. I mean, like, so really, it was clearly stereophonics and appropriate that just cleared out the plays for this year. For the musical side, though, it was a little bit more of a mixed bag. Did you expect it to be a little more spread out. [00:19:10] Speaker B: A little bit? I think because many of these shows were not super well known. Like, there was no mega show that truly outweighed the other. Just in regards to kind of, like, if I can even use the word clout, like, going in, it was like, okay, like, we've heard some things about this one. We've heard some things about that one. And I mean, merrily we roll along. I think that one got every. Just. It was expected how that one went. [00:19:50] Speaker A: Yes. [00:19:51] Speaker B: But everything else felt a little bit more like toss up. [00:19:58] Speaker A: Merrily we roll along. Which one for best revival of a musical? And as you know, I was a Gutenberg purist for so long here. But we had a friend who has seen merrily roll along, who loved it. It has the big names in it. But I also knew nothing about this. I'll be honest with you. I didn't know any difference from death of a salesman or how to succeed in business without really trying. I couldn't tell you what this play is about with the exception of when I researched my Tony articles to know what it was about so I could write about it. But it was drawing young people in. [00:20:38] Speaker B: Yeah. I mean, once again, you have those. You have those big names in there and word of mouth because it's a revival. I mean, I knew of the title of the show probably for years, yes. But I have never understood the excitement around it. And so even now, I mean, now I would be interested in seeing the show in general. [00:21:09] Speaker A: Sure. [00:21:10] Speaker B: Just to get. I mean, I think I have a generic grasp of. Of what it's about, but I would have loved now, looking back, to see, obviously, Jonathan and Daniel in it, just even based on their speeches, I mean, obviously their performance, too. But so, clearly, there is such a massive true friendship slash level of care for each other that just, like, they were both so emotive during their speeches, I was like, well, that's adorable. And just how pure and excited they were for each other within itself, because that lends itself to the chemistry of being friends, of course, within the show. So, sure. [00:22:09] Speaker A: Yeah, I 100% agree. Like, the emotion, which I think I put down a little bit on the sheet and stuff, but my thoughts were, some of the best moments were their two speeches, because Jonathan Groff was crying for Daniel. Daniel is crying for Jonathan Groff. Lindsey is in Medinas, who plays the third role in the musical. She was just as emotional. It wasn't like that. I lost, and they won. It was very much, we are a family. This is a win for everybody. And Jonathan groth, this was a long time coming that he has been nominated three times now, and he's. He's not one. So this was, like, a crowning achievement for him and for Daniel, like, congratulate, like, to all these shows. Honestly, congratulations to everybody who won, but this one felt very vindicated for some reason. And I, um. I don't know why. [00:23:02] Speaker B: Yeah, I mean, everybody loves an underdog, right? And when you've been a multi nominee and you've been so visibly successful, like, he. Jonathan's been so successful from everything from tv to movies to Broadway, and just feels like not a ton. Aside from his general success, not a ton has come from it, award wise. And so to see that gratification, of course, happening in real time, you're like, yes, this feels. This feels right. [00:23:36] Speaker A: What was your introduction to Jonathan Groff? I got to know. [00:23:41] Speaker B: Spring awakening way back. I did not see him in it, but I was aware of spring awakening when I was probably too young and listening to that, and I didn't know. I mean, obviously knew his name at the time, but I didn't know his career was still very much growing because that was, you know, pre glee. So then, of course, seeing him in there and then with his Broadway career kind of launching after that, and even, I mean, I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch of shows slash movies that he was in that I have seen. But way back, way back in the spring awakening days, I was gonna say. [00:24:26] Speaker A: My introduction to Jonathan Groff was Glee. And so I didn't know that he was, like, a. Like a Broadway person. I just, like, when everybody was going crazy for him, I was just like, who's this twink that's on stage? Like, you know, there's. There's no indicator in that show who he is. And so then when I found out after he was, like, a big star, I was like, oh, that's why people were freaking out. Like, it was a big deal. And then, of course, we have frozen and frozen, too. And I've seen him in a few other things, and this was truly well deserved. And I know Danny Radcliffe has been working his tail off on Broadway for years, post Harry Potter, and, um, I hope people remember him for this more so than anything else, because he's. Did it. He did it. He. He earned it. He. He's. He's a star. I mean, he was always a star, but you know what I mean. [00:25:17] Speaker B: Yeah. I mean, as we know, Broadway versus movies, two very different beasts. And I think. And he even kind of said a little bit in his speech about how much work he has put into Broadway and even, like, vocally singing and working on his voice. And Lord knows that's no easy feat, especially when you've spent your entire childhood and even into adulthood, kind of in one particular very niche area of movie making. And now you're in, you know, the biggest stage, live theater. [00:26:03] Speaker A: Absolutely. And I'm so excited to see the. The recording, because they just announced recording. I feel like that is going to be super awesome. I think, like, that's going to bring in a lot of. I think that there's going to be. Be a lot of investment and things like this. I think people are going to start to realize that, like, oh, these names are bringing people in. They're winning awards. Let's make it a little more accessible. I'm. He's. He's great. I'm excited. If it's going to theater, I hope you know that we are going to see it, because I have to see this play. I have to see this. And I'm almost sad we didn't see it when we went into New York. [00:26:45] Speaker B: Yeah. It's one of those things. You look back and it's hard, though, because, like, like, we've been saying there were so many stars. I mean, and, and if you get too wrapped up in the fact that it's just star power, you miss out on the other amazing things. So it's just, you know, this for that. [00:27:05] Speaker A: And I think that part of the star power also showed in that it, it doesn't always work. And that's unfortunately going to be with what I thought was probably the biggest upset in, like, just like, pure amount of nominations to war, to wins where it was hell kitchen. It had 13 nominations and it only won two, which felt crazy. Like, that was asinine to think about. Like, you have 13 nominations. What happened that, like, it came crashing down and this just shows that, like, that star power didn't carry it being the Alicia key story. [00:27:40] Speaker B: Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, not shocked at all by the wins that it did get because, of course, those two roles are just central to the show itself. Like, that is the show, but, and maybe that's exactly the detriment of itself is there was so much sustenance around the lead and the featured role that everything else kind of fell away, whereas with a more kind of spread out, maybe less biographical style show, you might get a little heavier on the characterization or on the staging or what have you. [00:28:28] Speaker A: Mm hmm. Absolutely. And, you know, growing up, I didn't understand, like, how do you win, like, best academy award for movie? Like, you're the best movie, but you don't have the best actor. And I think that this just explains, like you said, there's these roles that are fantastic, but then the other aspects of the show just maybe don't hold up or like, because those are so fantastic. Everything else just kind of doesn't seem as impressive. [00:28:56] Speaker B: Yeah, it's really, and in situations like that, when you do have that many nominations, you have to know that you're not. Well, I guess you can't say not going to get everything because there have been years when people have been completely swept. But I think it was a good, its wins were a good representation, probably of the comparison of. Versus all the other nominees. [00:29:29] Speaker A: Sure. How about Sus, the musical? What about those wins? Do you feel like those were fair? Just. Are we, are we going to go march now? Are we marching? [00:29:41] Speaker B: Oh, I was so sad that they didn't air or, you know, you have the, a lot of the wins that just don't get broadcast because there's not enough time in this world. But was thrilled to see best book, which was. Is very interesting to me because of her conversation around the fact that she adjusted the book so much between off Broadway and on Broadway. So that was interesting to me. And then, of course, original score doesn't shock me at all. The music is just. Even from the Tony's performances, I don't remember anything else. I don't remember any other song. And granted, like, I know the songs, the suffs more than I know the other songs, but it's an earworm. Like, you walk away, and it's easy to remember and catchy. [00:30:40] Speaker A: But very awe inspiring. Like, I keep saying that about the show. I said that in my review. It's, like, a very inspiring show. And part of that is from the music that is just, like. It transports you to something that's. That is truly. Broadway is a good way to put it. [00:30:57] Speaker B: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, couldn't be more excited. I can't even imagine how she felt getting those with so much of her life spent on writing and rewriting and then obviously being the lead. And really, the whole time, I was thinking, because I think she received the original score award and then was basically the next performance after that, and I was like, I'd be an absolute mess. So it was entertaining to see those backstage shots and videos of that happening, but. But in a very unique. I think I just read something like, she is the only person in Tony's history to be, like, only female. To win both of these as a individual, like, individually, which is insane because it tells you how much time and effort it takes to. To do those. [00:32:03] Speaker A: I didn't know that the book had changed so much from off Broadway, but I guess that, you know, that's a logical step that when you're going to Broadway is probably gonna change because you're going to a bigger audience or the show links gonna change or whatever. So I would be interested in knowing, like, how that changed so much. I'm gonna have to look into that, because the show. I can't imagine what you take out. [00:32:25] Speaker B: I think what I was hearing was that there were more. It was more song. It was very similar to Hamilton, which I feel is already very similar to Hamilton in the sense that there's basically no talking in the. In the previous. Right. So when it moved to Broadway, the feedback they got was, you know, you're gonna have to pull a couple songs and. Or make some. Some scenes in here, make some writing, rather than just having it be back to back to back, which, honestly, from what I remember of it, it still feels very much back to back. Maybe one or two scenes. But, yeah, something I would definitely be interested in seeing the. The comparative difference. [00:33:13] Speaker A: I was going to say when you were talking about scenes, I said, the only scene I can think of was the one I brought up today to somebody at work, which was when the one girl first gets called a bitch and they talk about it. It's the only talking scene I can think of in the entire show. So I don't know if there's any other dialogue. [00:33:32] Speaker B: Same. Same literally great american bitch. That scene is basically the only thing, aside from maybe one liners here or there for, like, transition purposes. But, yeah, I. I guess I don't. I'm not sure what constitutes as a scene versus a song. [00:33:59] Speaker A: I guess so. But I would like, maybe one day there will be a book about the changes that were made on that, kind of like Hamilton did after the fact. But there was one musical that did surprise you because you. You texted me about it. Do you want to talk about outsiders? [00:34:20] Speaker B: I mean, let's go see it. Best musical, best direction, best lighting, best sound design. Um, all. All of which were very clear in their performance. Like, immediately when that. That was probably, I think, the best performance of the night, actually, hands down. And in my opinion, um, just because it was entertaining, it was different, it was new, it was engaging, there was enough choreography, there was enough singing that you got, clearly, a medley of what is happening in that show. And that is what I think I actually missed from a lot of the other performances. Flash was a little bit disappointed because I was like, one song is not gonna tell me what this show is. It's not a good representation. But when they came out and they kind of started with a more, like, acoustic feeling that lent itself into basically a full choreographed fight number in the rain, all of the things I was like, now I have to see this, because now I'm just curious, like, what? And, I mean, I read outsiders, gosh, way back when. I can't remember much about it, but I absolutely can see why it did win the four awards that it did. [00:35:54] Speaker A: I was. When you texted me, because up to that point, I've had. I've known people that seen it, and they're all like, it was okay when we were waiting for in line of water for elephants. The people that came out of that theater, though, were, like, energetic. They loved it. They were eating that up. I remember standing in that line as we. Or as we were coming out, and they were lining up for the next show on their side, and I was like, damn, we should have went to that show because people are eating it up. But again, I was thinking, this is west side Story. This is, you know, this is two gay rival gangs. We know this story. Like, we've seen this story. What is different about this one? That performance. I cried when I did not cry because it was sad, but I cried because it, like, took my breath away. The. The part where it's like the rain and there's, like, the. The. [00:36:44] Speaker B: The. [00:36:45] Speaker A: The police sirens in the background and the lights and the, like, it looks like the punches are going on in the back wall and they're all moving in like that. That, like, that uniformed way. I was like, what is going on? This is so beautiful and powerful, and at the same time, they're not saying a word. That was crazy. [00:37:07] Speaker B: And that's when, you know, I mean, that. That entertainment value is, I think, exactly why I won best musical. Because you didn't need. You could have all of those things individually and you were still entertained and then obviously all of them together. But yeah, yeah, just super well done and very, like, put you on the edge of your seat in regards to what's next. [00:37:36] Speaker A: Yeah. From that. That performance alone, I. As soon as I saw that, I said, oh, they are. They're winning. There's no way. As much as I love suffs, as much as I, you know, you know, I merely roll along had best revival. So if that wasn't going to be in the same category, obviously Mary Lee roll along was going to win. But when that happened, when that, I was like, there's no way they're not walking away with the win. And it was absolutely deserved. I haven't even seen the show, and I know that was deserved. Yep. That's going to the top of our list next time we go to New York. So I don't care what else we have to see. We have to see the outsiders, and then. [00:38:16] Speaker B: Sounds like a plan. [00:38:19] Speaker A: And then, of course, rounding out the last three awards are our scragglers. So Illinois, which won for best choreography, do you like interpretive dancing? I think that's a valid question when going into the show. [00:38:33] Speaker B: So I find it super interesting. Like, I respect dance in general a lot because it is not something I can do. [00:38:44] Speaker A: Sure. [00:38:44] Speaker B: I have zero dance ability or even, like, choreography. I just can't remember. And so something so specific I could definitely respect and. Or see why, of course, it won the award that it did. I just. The whole feel of the performance, though, like, kind of threw me off a little bit. Like I didn't know what I was watching completely. Like, I thought I did. But then, you know, a stage left, you have, like, the band, right. And then the scene basically happening, I just didn't know what was happening. So I can. Yeah, I can respect their. The clear ability that it takes to be in this show, because I'm sure if the whole thing is probably like that. [00:39:51] Speaker A: It's interesting, because having listened to, uh, Stefan Stevens work before, um, I was wondering how they would do a show, because it is a lot of, like, odd instrumental music and, like, a lot of, like, um, like, electronic beats and stuff like that. And so when I saw that it was interpretive dancing, I said, oh, that makes. That makes a lot of sense, because how do you tell a story when there's not a lot of words? You're gonna dance it. And so it wasn't my favorite. It would not make me want to see the show, but I do respect that they won that, and it makes sense that they won for best choreography. [00:40:27] Speaker B: Agreed. [00:40:30] Speaker A: And then the next one is the great Gatsby, which won for best costume design, which. This show was one that we kind of sort of missed. And then we got to New York, and we're like, oh, we could have seen the great Gatsby. It was opening that weekend, and we didn't. And I don't know if that was a bad decision or a good decision. [00:40:49] Speaker B: Yeah, I am still not sure costuming. It makes sense to me because it's clearly, like, a period type piece. I'm not at all familiar with the story, which is hysterical, considering most people read it in school. But I. I would still be intrigued. I would probably be less intrigued once the original cast is not there, as we know. I'm a Jeremy Jordan fan, so that would be a large poll to go see that. But, yeah, I mean, it seems like it looks pretty right. So I just. I haven't heard anything about it regarding the music, which, for musicals, you typically would like to hear something, but sure. [00:41:46] Speaker A: Do you think that it come. That it. With it coming out so late in the season, that was what kind of damaged it in its run? [00:41:53] Speaker B: I think so. And I think even. I think it was even mentioned. The amount of shows that just got dropped in that last, you know, order before the before now made it really hard. Sure. And they were all shows that, like, are new, and, I mean, aside from, of course, revivals. But I think if it maybe had been a little bit more known or people had more of an opportunity to see it, I mean, potentially could have. Could have played a part. [00:42:31] Speaker A: Yeah. Because when we went to New York, right before we went there, like, right as we were getting there, we had, you know, water for elephants, the notebook. We had the outsiders which had just opened and the great Gatsby was opening. It was having its previews. I don't even think it was. It had its opening night yet. So, like, there was. And also like, Tommy, you know, that was just opening around that time, too. And it didn't win anything as well. It didn't really get any recognition, which I think. I think it does when you. We're so late in the game, you're not building the momentum that people want to remember you by. [00:43:05] Speaker B: Yeah. Yeah. Um, Tommy, water for elephants. I can't say that I am shocked about either of those just because of, I mean, that being a factor, but also maybe somewhat waterfall elephants relying a little bit too much on star power to try to pull it through, for sure. And Tommy, that performance, and this may be an unpopular opinion, I would probably not be interested in seeing. [00:43:49] Speaker A: I was just going to ask you that any of the musical numbers that we had that turned you off from seeing it or just were like, did nothing for you. [00:43:58] Speaker B: Oh, God. Well, our last. Our last win. Best scenic design. Cabaret. [00:44:06] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:44:07] Speaker B: That was total transparency. Cabaret has never been, like, my bit. Like, I've seen it a few times. I think the storyline is very unique. I think everything about it is very unique, but it's just not like I wouldn't go see that on repeat. And so then to have this, I don't know if I want to say interpretation or the direction in which it was presented was just a little too much for me. I think also the camera like angles and just the way the whole thing I was like, that kind of solidifies that. I will probably not be going to see that one. [00:44:56] Speaker A: Do you remember how much I wanted to see it when we were in New York because of Eddie Redmayne. And I talked about it, like, multiple times. [00:45:03] Speaker B: Yeah. Yeah. And I. I get it. Once again, star power. Um, and honestly, I feel like my expectations and it. And it's not that they did a bad job. I think exactly what it was supposed to be was very well done, but exactly what it was supposed to be was just very bizarre to me. [00:45:24] Speaker A: Very bizarre. I know nothing about cabaret. This could have been the performance that Liza Minnelli was in, and I would not know the difference. I just want to throw that out here right now. I have a new sleep paralysis demon. Eddie Redmayne freaked me out. [00:45:37] Speaker B: I. There's a level of, like, creepy, if that's even the right word, that I think is appropriate for the role. But it just, I think, like, the animatronic feel. [00:45:51] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:45:52] Speaker B: It was giving me like, chuck e. Cheese vibes. [00:45:54] Speaker A: Yes. [00:45:55] Speaker B: Yes. So I was like, or like, what's that? What's that? Like horror game Friday night at Freddy's. Yes. That truly was the feeling that I was getting. And I was like, to someone who doesn't know what this is, I cannot imagine that they would then want to go see it. But to people who are hardcore fans, maybe that was the opposite. Maybe it was like, this is everything. So, I mean, as we know, theater is all in the eye of the beholder and all very unique in perspective. But, yeah, can't say I'm letting you. [00:46:37] Speaker A: Know right now, if we would have saw that in New York, you would have stayed up all night with me because I wouldn't have been able to sleep. There's no way I was making through that night after seeing 2 hours of. [00:46:46] Speaker B: That well and honestly of, of what I do remember of the show that is like the least dramatic piece. Like, there's a lot, there's a lot of statement. It is a very good statement show, actually. And I can understand why it's going, why it's running right now. There's a lot of good kind of parallels to the lives in the world that we're in today. But I can, I can't imagine what those look like, knowing what his performance looks like, because just on a normal, I think the last time I saw it, it was done at a, at a college. And just like a normal level, there were people walking out. There were people walking out of the show because it's just that kind of show. So I can't imagine. Obviously on Broadway, you usually know what you're getting into, but if you didn't with that show, hundred percent there, there are people a little, a little miffed. [00:47:52] Speaker A: Yeah. I mean, like, obviously if we would have paid for the tickets, I would have stayed. But, like, I'm almost glad we avoided that one. So much so that I didn't even realize it won an award. And I had to be told by one of my clients that it won an award and I was like, did it for what? There's no way. And they're like, no, yeah. And they're like, when you understand what award, when you see what war they won, you'll understand why. Because that part was good, even if the rest of it is just completely wonderful. And so I'm going to give it that. [00:48:22] Speaker B: Yeah. Yeah. [00:48:24] Speaker A: And one final moment that I, of course, want to address is just my love for Bud and Doug from Gutenberg the musical. And if those of you who haven't seen it. I am so sorry that you don't get to witness the greatness that it was, because that whole show is that bit, the entire thing. It's one of the greatest shows ever, I've ever seen. I laughed through the whole thing. Um, and if it ever comes back with those two, everybody should see those two on stage. Um, Bud and Doug, we love you. Did that make you want to see it at all? Like, did. Did that make you laugh at least? Please, please let me know. Don't break my heart here. [00:49:05] Speaker B: I mean, I would, I would definitely. I mean, I love those two in as individuals and as. As actors, so I definitely would be interested in. In seeing it. [00:49:16] Speaker A: That's what I like to hear. So while we are done talking about the Tonys, we do. I do want to talk about our, what we're going to call our community corner. And if we had music, I would play it. Probably a sad trumpet noise, but we don't, so. No, not a sad trumpet noise. We love community theater. It's fantastic. Our first show, though, is actually not community theater. It is a. It is a professional theater in Michigan, Meadowbrook Theater. And we were invited to see Ella first lady, a song. I'm gonna let you take this one away. This was your venture. This was what you wanted. You were like, let's do more local Michigan theater. And I was like, do it up. And this is our first show, so congratulations. What'd you think? [00:50:00] Speaker B: Yeah, first show. I mean, I have been a patron at Meadowbrook Theater for on and off for a lot of my life. And so it was really awesome to be able to kind of partner with them and go see this show right off the bat. Definitely a jukebox style musical, which we know it's not my favorite style musical, but, um, they did bring in their own, their own star power, um, to really take lead on this, um, which I thought was, it can always be beneficial because you have folks who are going to obviously come in for that, for that name, um, but then you're going to have folks who have no idea, you know, who that is. But I thought she did a very good job. The show itself, I think it was the premiere, if I remember, right, on the Michigan. [00:51:07] Speaker A: It was indeed. [00:51:08] Speaker B: And I mean, Meadowbrook's really awesome for the fact that they do this very frequently where they do premiere shows, which is just great because, you know, I can't imagine, I'm not a playwright, you know, I don't do any of those things. But to know that your show is being produced and being out there and, you know, to the masses is awesome. And so I was really just kind of impressed with the talent. I mean, it was a very small cast, but the talent on stage was very good. And most of them, aside from the lead role, took on multiple roles. And of course, live band on stage, always super fun. And I thought the set and the lighting were done very well. So overall, super exciting. Definitely. I mean, Meadowbrook, I think, in the Michigan or southeast Michigan world, is relatively well owned or well known. I can talk, but, um, I think our show runs for like three weeks or maybe four. Yeah, it's wrapping up soonish, but yeah, yeah, definitely. Um, you know, if you are, I mean, just how can you go wrong with Ella Fitzgerald? Like you really can? So if you're a jazz lover and you love a lot of scatting, a lot of kind of freestyle jazz music, I know that's not for everybody, but for those that are into it, that is a skill I do not have when I sing. So absolutely, if it's still running, go take a peek. [00:53:02] Speaker A: Yeah. Frida Payne, who was our Ella Fitzgerald, is a Michigan born and raised singer. I mean, there's. This was really a great way to kind of learn about some of, you know, our roots in Michigan because learning about, you know, this fantastic singer. But also, I didn't know much about Ella Fitzgerald, other than I recognize the one song from that's O'Raven, believe it or not. But then also, some of the music was the stuff that my grandma played and she talked about Ella Fitzgerald, but, like, it was just a name. It wasn't a person. And now this story is brought to life on stage. And it was cool to see it in such an intimate setting, too. It's, it's, it's not a small theater, but it's, it's not, it's more intimate than, let's say, you know, a Broadway show or the Fisher Theater, which we, where we see a lot of our Broadway shows that tour, you get a little bit more up close and personal with these, these actors. [00:54:08] Speaker B: Yeah, it's, it's that bright mix of you still feel like you're in a obviously professional theater setting, but almost a black box theater. Number of seats. [00:54:28] Speaker A: Sure. [00:54:29] Speaker B: So that you're so close, I mean, very frequently, even in this show, you know, actors coming up and down the aisles or engaging with the audience, which is always just, you know, puts a little, little more fun spin on it. [00:54:43] Speaker A: Sure. And I will say this, not maybe necessarily with this show, but we've seen two other shows there now, together, we saw the Sherlock Holmes one, which was actually one of our first shows together, and you were like, hey, I think you'd like to see Sherlock Holmes. Let's go see it. And then we saw a Christmas carol. And these sets that Battlebrook puts on are incredibly impressive. Like, compared to some of the takedown sets that we see for other Broadway shows that come to Michigan. These sets stay in place for a longer time and you just get a better feel for these environments. I mean, the Christmas Carol one is, like, impressive as all hell. It is beautiful. [00:55:22] Speaker B: Yeah. Yeah. And they are. When that time comes around, they are very well known for that show explicitly. I know they run it for a good amount of time because of that. And, of course, just. We love a good tradition. Right. But, yeah, they have that. That timeframe where they can just truly build into the stage rather than just building up on it. [00:55:53] Speaker A: Yes. And when we were speaking with someone from Meadowbrook, she had mentioned that they are the largest in house production theater in Michigan, and that's why they can do some of those things. She also mentioned, it's funny you say tradition, because she said that at one point they tried to change Christmas Carol a little bit and people were upset and actually they had to change it back because you don't mess with tradition. And the fact that you said that this shows how much this theater and the shows that they put on mean to people. [00:56:22] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah. The artistic director there just has such a good pulse on his audiences and his patrons and subscribers, and so it always feels very interactive, even, you know, pre show, post show. They do a very good job at having, you know, talk backs, which is very engaging and fun for every show. So, yeah, they. They do an awesome job. [00:56:53] Speaker A: Okay. Yeah, I love it. And what is your experience? Like, have you been to a show before at St. Dustin's, which is where we saw the sound of music just a week or so ago. Have you taken shows in there before? [00:57:07] Speaker B: I have not. That was my first. That was my first St. Dunstan's great greek theater. [00:57:15] Speaker A: Yes. [00:57:16] Speaker B: I had seen, you know, I'd seen promotions before. I'd seen folks on Facebook or Instagram or what have you, and I always kind of. It piqued my interest, but I just never, you know, pulled the trigger on it. And so this is my first time around. [00:57:34] Speaker A: Okay, what was your impression? You know, let's. Let's just talk about the show. This is a show that we all know very well. In fact, you wanted to go to this because it's my favorite show. And you were like, we have to go see this. And you'd been keeping me updated for a while. I remember us in New York at one point, walking, and you were like, these are the dates we're going to see. Sound music. What do you think of their rendition of it? [00:58:04] Speaker B: Yeah, very well done. I mean, the cast was very talented. I think it was very unique. I mean, you don't see outside of. I think, back in the days of COVID like, you don't see too many shows put on by theaters outside, especially in Michigan, because, as we know, the weather can be absolutely insane. So even just walking in and seeing their setup, the way from the lighting and sound to the set to the fact that they had a live orchestra was incredible. And those musicians alone were very impressive, but overall, was super impressed by just the level of musical talent. And I enjoyed the, once again, the close knit. Like, I mean, there's only, I think, four riser style, for sure, type placements to sit. So you were very close to the actors, of course, with. With being outside that has its own trials and tribulations. We were lucky that the weather cooperated. It was interesting, though, to see the show, the first act in the daylight and the second act basically at nighttime. That was an interesting take. [00:59:45] Speaker A: I do. I noticed that at first, because when we went to intermission, it actually wasn't super dark yet. That 15 minutes changed. And also, I was like, oh, we are. We're at nighttime. And this is a lot of the scenes in that actual second act felt better at nighttime, especially the ending, where, as we know, they escape in the night. So it's kind of cool for them to use the environment that was around us to their advantage. [01:00:12] Speaker B: Yeah. And I'm curious. I'd be curious to know if that planned, like, when they look at shows, if they analyze. Okay. What will lend itself to our surroundings when we do this show? Knowing that, I think they do. They utilize this outdoor theater once a summer? [01:00:31] Speaker A: I believe they do, yes. [01:00:33] Speaker B: And so, clearly, there's. There's some. Some thought process behind how that operates. [01:00:40] Speaker A: I. Absolutely. Next year is Greece, so I think that would be interesting just to see how that is operated, because it's not a super big stage, you know. Uh, but it did lend itself pretty well to sound and music. And they use, like, the grassy area in. In front of the risers. They do use the stairs. Uh, it was, again, a little more of that interactiveness. Um, I've never seen a play outside. Uh, I know that, like you said, they did it during COVID I know that you actually, one of theaters that you were associated with did Freaky Friday outside when we had first started talking and being friends, but again, because of COVID and you were trying to, like, get entertainment for people, but, like, at the same time, you have to be safe. But this has been established there for a long time, I'm assuming. [01:01:26] Speaker B: Yeah, like, this is just a part of their regular season. It's the way that it's planned. It's where they built it. I think it's in collaboration with Cranbrook. [01:01:38] Speaker A: Yes. [01:01:38] Speaker B: And so, yeah, it's a, it's a unique experience. And I think that is also kind of what the organization is building it on, too. Like, hey, come see the show outside. And also the fact that you can, you know, you can bring snacks, you can bring drinks, you can kind of make an experience of it rather than just, okay, come sit down in the stuffy auditorium, wait for the curtain to go up, watch the show and leave. Yes. I mean, there were people in front of us with, with full spreads that had looked like they've been camped out there for a while. And they were absolutely loving it. I mean, it was just like a whole, you know, a whole evening rather than just a one, you know, two hour show. [01:02:30] Speaker A: They were thriving. They look, they were eating it up. And I can understand, again, it was very immersive and being outside in the, the nature when you're in the, you know, the sound of music and the hills are alive, like, that was the. The right call to have that show be the one that was outside. And so I think that was just like, that was so smart. They used it to their advantage. And I am interested in seeing what goes on with some other future shows, especially out in that greek theater. It'll be really cool to see. [01:03:01] Speaker B: Yeah, I'm looking forward to some future performance performances there. [01:03:06] Speaker A: And speaking of future performances, before we go, as always, we have a ton of shows coming up. You know, we're going to be seeing Dracula, a comedy of terrors, which I got to see in New York. And so this is going to be a local production of that. We're seeing what's nicely, theaters putting on guys and dolls. Guys and dolls, which I know nothing about that show either. [01:03:31] Speaker B: A classic. [01:03:33] Speaker A: Yeah, I've heard of it before, but, like, I can't tell you what it is, so I hope it's. I hope that it knocks my socks off. No, it will. It's gonna be a great time. And then starting in September, August, we got our big shows rolling out again. Do you remember which one we're going to first? [01:03:56] Speaker B: Wow. Putting me on the spot. [01:03:59] Speaker A: You don't remember a big green ogre? [01:04:02] Speaker B: I thought it was Shrek, but I wasn't sure if something came before then. [01:04:06] Speaker A: No, we got Shrek. [01:04:07] Speaker B: No, that was August. Yeah. Yeah. [01:04:10] Speaker A: And this weekend, we actually have beauty and the Beast, which we will be having a review put on Cosmic Circus Broadway as well for that. So. Yeah, no, we got Shrek, we got Moulin Rouge, some like it hot mean girls, lay Miz that they just announced for December. So we have some fantastic shows coming up. Are you ready for this? [01:04:31] Speaker B: Ready for the sprint. [01:04:33] Speaker A: All right. And with that, Broadway lovers, we are out of here. Thank you so much for listening to another episode of the Cosmic Curtain, the official podcast of Cosmic Circus Broadway. Don't forget to, like, follow and subscribe to us at broad seat Bay at box seat babes. Not Broadway babes, at box seat babes or our website at cosmic circus. And if you're interested in finding us outside of our box seats, please check us out on Instagram. I have a twitter. I know you don't, but you can find me at Kitson 301. RJ. Where can the people find you? [01:05:10] Speaker B: Check me out on Instagram. That's my primary station at journey through the past. That's journey. Underscore. Through. Underscore the. Underscore. Past. Underscore. [01:05:24] Speaker A: Perfect. So, yeah, follow us, and we can't wait to see you again till next curtain call. Bye.

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