All of America ('all' equals six million in this case) was glued to the Tony Awards Sunday, waiting with baited breath to see what show they haven't heard of would beat what other show that they haven't heard of. Once a show had been validated, by the largely ancient Tony voting block, they rushed to Ticketmaster On-Line to purchase a two-hundred dollar ticket to spend three hours in the theatre watching a musical they've been told was the "best." Oh, the magic of theatre.
Despite my Tony cynicism, there are some great things to see in New York.
The Broadway musical Passing Strange is a totally rocking autobiographical piece by Los Angeles' Stew. Told in an uniquely episodic way, Strange chronicles the travels of a young man from LA as he explores Europe and finds himself. The show received Best Book at Sunday's awards, but was too unconventional in it's execution for the main prize. It's performing at the Belasco Theatre and is my favorite musical currently in New York.
The trendy downtown theatre group Waterwell has free summer park performances of their fantastic musical The King Operetta. This rock musical follows Martin Luther King's last few activist years, focusing on his outrage over Vietnam and his Poor People's Campaign. Check out their site for performance schedules.
I finally saw the 1979 film The Jerk last week (it's very funny) and was amused to see Jackie Mason in a featured role. His Off-Broadway show, Jackie Mason: The Ultimate Jew, is playing in New York until July 20th. It's very funny and there is a great discount available here.
If you're looking for some zany (very) liberal political satire - check out Happy Sunshine Kungfu Flower, the absurdest show plays at various New York venues monthly. You'll either be turned on or put off by their bizarre brand of humor, but I find it invigorating to see theatre artist who are willing to go there. They've developed a nice cult following as well.
Anything playing you think I should see? Let me know.