Meanwhile, Steve Martin isn’t much better, essentially serving as Short’s straight man until strapping on a banjo to play a medley of his own songs. I defy you to tell when one tune ends and another begins in the medley — until The Stone Canyon Rangers come out to join him. They’re a pretty good bluegrass band, but listening to Martin pluck his banjo without them is merely tedious. Bottom line: I’m glad I didn’t pay to see them, and now you don’t have to, either.
Speaking of theatrical events, seeing Bruce Springsteen do an excerpt from his Broadway show on the Tonys last night made me want to see the entire thing. I’ve seen him perform many times with the E Street Band, but the intimacy of this performance looks pretty special. Unfortunately, I don’t live on the east coast and won’t be able to get to New York anytime soon. Even if I did, I probably couldn’t get tickets to his show without spending a thousand bucks. I sure hope he makes a deal with HBO or Netflix to record the show so the rest of us can see it after the “Springsteen On Broadway” run ends in December.
I can’t comment on any of the plays or musicals that were up for Tonys this year because I haven’t seen them, but unlike a few years ago when a single song from “Fun Home” (“Ring Of Keys”) made me buy tickets and post a rave review, nothing in the 2018 crop of nominees gave me that impulse.
But there was one moment in the telecast that was a true highlight, and I’m not talking about Robert DeNiro’s anti-Trump outburst (which CBS censored because it included the f-bomb). I couldn’t care less about it, but knowing how cable news and talk radio works, I’m sure those ten seconds will become the ginned-up-controversy-du-jour, sadly distracting from the most moving segment of the evening.
That was the theater kids from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, getting a standing ovation from a room full of theater pros after singing “Seasons Of Love” from “Rent” on the Radio City Music Hall stage (where their teacher, Melody Herzfeld, was given an Excellence In Theater Education Award, as well). I bet that exposure gets one or more of them a shot at an audition — at least — with a producer or director impressed by how well they did.
My advice to them is simple: don’t bring a banjo.