Sunday, June 9, 2013

Crazy Women in Beautiful Gowns? The Tonys 2013

My favourite line from a Broadway musical (as interpreted on tonight's Tony Awards) is uttered by Cinderella's fairy godmother: "You'd be surprised how many beautiful gowns have crazy women in them."

Indeed tonight was a night for women in gowns.  But especially for women who won non-gender-designated awards, like Pam MacKinnon, who directed the best play revival, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, or Diana Paulus, who directed the best musical revival, Pippin.

Or Cyndi Lauper, who won for best score. To be fair, she wore crazy hair (and Kinky Boots). Martha Lavey, Steppenwolf's artistic director and winning producer of the Woolf revival, also had what I'd call crazy hair, billows of crinkly gray piled atop her head.

from ChicagoMag
 And all these women brought their articulate game--no crazy speeches here. One of the best lines from a speech was delivered by Billy Porter, for his Kinky Boots leading-actor win. He insisted on sharing it with his co-star, adding, "But I'mma keep it at my house." He plays what HuffPost calls a "fierce drag queen," so maybe there's a bit of crazy in one of his gowns. Go see the show and find out.

Finally, there was also a beautiful woman in a crazy gown: Miss Cicely Tyson inhabited an architectural, deep purple garment that looked like a field of wild irises in bloom.

But she owned it and by the end of her thank-you speech, the audience was reminded that the colour purple has a special significance for women who want to be articulate, to say something truthfully. And I am thankful that NPH did not follow her with one of his running-gag Mike Tyson jokes. (I don't think Mr. Tyson, sitting in the audience, "got" them.)

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