Archive for the ‘TONY AWARDS’ Category

I got myself a 2018 New Year’s present now   Leave a comment

Chita and Tommy collage

Chita Rivera and Tommy Tune “Two for the Road” at the Parker Playhouse January 19, 2018

 She is 84–he is 78 and who knows when/if we’ll get a chance to see either again. I love the Parker Playhouse and even in the last row the acoustics and sightlines are perfect–the tickets range from $43-$173 –okay I wanted to get the $173 but Allen and Anthony outvoted me so we got the $58 which is fine. Tickets went on sale today and half the house is sold so far.

If you go to the box office tell Leland I sent you. No, I won’t get anything but he is one of the best at customer service!

Broadway legends Chita Rivera and Tommy Tune will hit the road this fall in a new concert act entitled Chita & Tune—Two for the Road. “I am thrilled to be joining my dear friend, the incomparable Tommy Tune on this concert tour,” said Rivera in a statement. “When we performed together in my benefit concert for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in 2013, we knew then that we had something special.” Tune added, “I love Chita Rivera. This is a dream come true!”

Chita Rivera has won two Tony Awards as Best Leading Actress in a Musical and received eight additional Tony nominations. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie, The Rink (Tony Award), Chicago, Jerry’s Girls, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award), The Visit, and the original Broadway casts of Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven, and Mr. Wonderful. She was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 by President Barack Obama. In 2002 she received the Kennedy Center Honors, becoming the first Hispanic woman ever chosen to receive this award.

Tommy Tune has been honored with 10 Tony Awards recognizing him as an outstanding performer, choreographer, and director: Best Actor in a Musical for My One and Only; Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Seesaw; Best Choreography for A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, My One and Only, Grand Hotel, and The Will Rogers Follies; and Best Direction of a Musical for Nine, Grand Hotel,and The Will Rogers Follies. In 2015 he was the recipient of the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. 



Chita in 2 roles she originated on Broadway: Anita in West Side Story and Thelma in Chicago

Tommy Tune tapping up a storm “Putting on the Ritz”

How do you expalin feelings/emotions that take you over completely?   Leave a comment

I came across this video by accident and was immediately transferred back to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1976, sitting on the couch with Johnny as we got ready to watch the Tony Award show as I did every year since they started being televised. What I watched today is the exact same thing I watched 41 years ago and I had the exact same feelings when it reached the 1:33 mark. I don’t think I breathed for the next 7 minutes back then or today or the 101 times I had seen it performed live on stage.

Not having a computer back then, and it being Sunday which meant the theatre box office was closed, I waited until Monday morning and immediately made arrangements to spend a week in September in New York to see “A Chorus Line”. The first time I saw the show sitting in the second row of the mezzanine I was as stunned for the 2 hours and 10 minutes I watched this show.

Every time I see the show, every time I see a video from it, I become overwhelmed with feelings and to this day, as it happened again, I can’t explain what the feelings are and why I feel those emotions.

The Tony Awards opening number in 1976 with the original cast


On June 11 there is a good chance that Bette Midler will win an award for Best Actress in a musical for her starring role in the “Hello Dolly” revival when this year’s Tony Awards will be presented on TV. Here she is 43 years ago explaining why everyone should go to the theatre.


The 70th Broadway Tony Awards will be broadcast next Sunday, June 12, 2016, at 8 PM (DST) on CBS. I don’t remember how many of those broadcasts I have seen but I do remember the Sunday of April 18, 1976 sitting in my townhouse in Memphis, Tennessee, with Johnny and watching the opening number exactly as you see it above!

It was that evening I fell in love instantly with the Broadway musical called “A Chorus Line”! I was stunned and couldn’t say a word even when Johnny asked me, “What’s wrong and why are you crying?” After I came back to earth I called my father who I hadn’t spoken to in quite a long time and asked him to get me tickets for the show. It would be 6 months before I would get to see the show but that would be the first of 101 performances I have seen in New York, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, Missouri, Florida among other States as I went through a long ‘groupie’ period with this show. And there isn’t a production that I have seen that I didn’t/don’t cry at certain times, even when the performances aren’t the best.

Seeing that first performance I couldn’t move when the show was over and thought that I would never see another performance of any show, including “A Chorus Line”, that would move me as much and I didn’t, including the end of act 1 of “Dreamgirls” when Effie stunned the theatre audience singing “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” (#1 on the video below) and Za Zadoing the same thing at the end of act 1 of “La Cage AuxFolles” singing “I Am What I Am” (#20) until September 29, 1983. On that day, at the same theatre I saw it the first time, the Shubert, “A Chorus Line” became the longest running show on Broadway and was completelyrestaged by Michael Bennett!

Buddy Vest, who played Zach on tour, was part of this celebration and he got tickets for Bob Kingsbury and me to be part of that audience. My hands would be sore from clapping and my voice was horse from shouting the whole week after. It exceeded in bringing up more emotions than the first time I saw the opening number on the Tony Awards and even the first time I saw the complete show.

Though I have seen many shows since then that have excited me none have reached the peak or touched my emotions as much as “A Chorus Line”.

Watch the videos below but BE SURE TO WATCH THE TONY AWARDS SHOW ON CBS NEXT SUNDAY JUNE 12, 2016!! (Get a taste of what “Hamilton” is all about!)

(Actually there are 30 performances!)

Posted June 6, 2016 by greatmartin in THEATRE, TONY AWARDS, Uncategorized

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