Who To Root For At The Tonys In A Post-Hamilton World

Congrats everyone who decided to enter the Tonys this season and not last season – Hamilton will not be dominating the awards this year. But will another show take its place instead?

The 71st Annual Tony Awards nominations were announced yesterday, and coming out on top was Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 with 12 nominations. For those of you reading this that may not be Broadway fans per se, but more of a “Hamilton changed the way I look at musical theater” type of person, I’m guess you’re less likely to watch the Tonys this year because Ham won’t be as featured as it was in 2016. But let me tell you, there are still plenty of fantastic shows that are worthy of your support, both on Tonys day and in the theater year round. Here are just some of our top picks for who to root for, and who’ll dominate come June 11th.

Dear Evan Hansen

9 nominations, including Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical (Ben Platt), Best Score (Oscar winners Benj Pasek & Justin Paul)

What it’s all about: “All his life, Evan Hansen has felt invisible. But when a tragic event shocks the community and thrusts him into the center of a rapidly evolving controversy, Evan is given the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to be somebody else.” {x}

Starring: Ben Platt, Laura Dreyfuss, Rachel Bay Jones

Why: Let’s just say it’s the Hamilton of 2017. Dear Evan Hansen has been winning acclaim ever since it premiered in D.C. back in 2015. When it was Off-Broadway, the show won five various awards, including an Obie for its star Ben Platt. Just for a second – we need to talk about TONY NOMINATED Ben Platt. The Pitch Perfect star may just be adding some hardware to his name come June because this is a freaking breakout role for him. If you haven’t yet, listen to the soundtrack, or at least listen to For Forever, which legit gave me goosebumps and made me cry in its 5 minute span. Another actor to look out for is Tony nominee Rachel Bay Jones, who plays Evan’s mom, a woman who just doesn’t know how to connect with her son. Her emotions pour out on So Big/So Small, and if you get to this point in the soundtrack/show without crying, this track will be the breaking point.

Speaking of which, the soundtrack debuted at number 8 on the Billboard chart, which is the highest debut by a cast recording since 1961. Hamilton didn’t even do that! It’s also worth noting that a number of notable Ham creatives are also behind DEH, including Alex Lacamoire (Music orchestrations and arrangements), David Korins (Scenic design) and Nevin Steinberg (Sound design). The first two also got nominated, but not Nevin because the Drama League is dumb and the category was taken out a couple years ago (but is being reinstated next year!). 

Come From Away

7 nominations, including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score

What it’s all about: “Following the 9/11 attacks, 38 planes and 6,579 passengers were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, doubling the population of one small town on the edge of the world. Based on interviews with locals, Come From Away is about how hosting this international community of strangers spurred unexpected camaraderie in extraordinary circumstances.” {x}

Starring: Jenn Colella, Rodney Hicks, Kendra Kessebaum

Why: Making a 9/11 musical is toeing a fine line between tacky and offensive and honorable. But Come From Away has gotten positive reviews that lean towards the latter, and in fact suggest that this story is what needs to be told in this shitshow of horrific times. Peter Marks of The Washington Post even noted Come From Away “an antidote for what ails the American soul.” And while the actors may not be household names, the ensemble is a mix of both veterans and newbies, who are all worthy of a Tony, including Jenn Colella, who is up for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical.

Miss Saigon

2 nominations, Best REvival of a Musica, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

What it’s all about: “Set in 1975 during the final days of the of the Vietnam War, Miss Saigon is an epic love story about the relationship between Chris, an American GI and Kim, a young Vietnamese woman. They are separated when the country falls, until she returns to his life years later, in this musical inspired by the opera Madame Butterfly.” {x}

Starring: Eva Noblezada, Alistair Brammer, Jon Jon Briones, Rachelle Ann Go

Why: This 25th anniversary production earned rave reviews when it opened in London in 2014, and finally three years later, it has made its way across the pond with most of its original revival cast, including Eva Noblezada, who plays the lead of Kim and earned her very first Tony nom yesterday. It’s no easy feat playing a role that Filipino royalty Lea Salonga originated, but 21-year-old Eva made the role her own and is set to become a star much like Lea did years ago. In fact, like Lea was discovered at just 18 (this video will never get old), Eva was 17 when she performed at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, and a casting director pegged her to play Kim for the London revival. The rest is history. But it shouldn’t be a surprise – here’s a vid of Eva at 14 giving Sutton Foster a run for her money .

War Paint

4 nominations, including Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Patti LuPone & Christine Ebersole)

What it’s all about: “Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden defined beauty standards for the first half of the 20th Century. Brilliant innovators with humble roots, both were masters of self-invention who sacrificed everything to become the country’s first major female entrepreneurs. They were also fierce competitors, whose 50-year tug-of-war would give birth to an industry. From Fifth Avenue society to the halls of Congress, their remarkable rivalry was ruthless, relentless and legendary—pushing both women to build international empires in a world dominated by men.” {x}

Starring: Patti LuPone, Christine Ebersole

Why: Um, Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole? Diva-off. 

Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812

12 nominations, including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, Best Direction 

What it’s all about: “Natasha is a beautiful ingénue visiting Moscow while she waits for her beloved fiancé Andrey to return from the war. In a moment of indiscretion, she is seduced by the dashing (but already married) Anatole and her position in society is ruined. Her only hope lies with Pierre, the lonely outsider whose love and compassion for Natasha may be the key to her redemption… and to the renewal of his own soul.” {x}

Starring: Denee Benton, Josh Groban

Why: I’ve heard nothing but great things about this show, and every clips I see makes me want to see it even more. The intimate setting, the creative blocking, the overall fanciful atmosphere might give it the edge over Dear Evan Hansen, which has long been considered a front runner for months.  Also worth noting – both its stars Denee and Josh Groban made their Broadway debuts with Natasha, and they’re both nominated for their first Tony awards. The girl from UnReal and Ally McBeal star Josh Groban could be Tony winners, y’all. 

Hello, Dolly!

10 nominations, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Actors (Bette Miller, David Hyde Pierce, Gavin Creel, Kate Baldwin)

What it’s all about: “A meddlesome matchmaker brings together the young clerk of a wealthy Yonkers merchant and his assistant with a widowed milliner and her assistant, while making sure she herself gets to marry the merchant, in Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart’s musical adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker.” {x}

Starring: Bette Midler, David Hyde Pierce, Gavin Creel

Why: We are bad musical theater nerds. Molly only saw the movie of Hello, Dolly for the first time recently, while I have seen neither stage musical nor movie. What I do know is that other more well-educated theater nerds have been v excited for this revival, mainly because of the return of Bette herself to the Broad-way. An established show with revered actors is bound to get some love from the Tonys, and with 10 noms it’s clear someone’s gonna go home with that trophy. 

Falsettos

5 nominations, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Actors (Christian Boyle, Andrew Rannells, Brandon Uranowitz, Stephanie J. Block)

What it’s all about: William Finn and James Lapine’s musical combines their Off-Broadway works The March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, which tell the story of a gay man named Marvin, his lover Whizzer, Marvin’s wife Trina and their extended family from the early ‘80s through the early days of the AIDS crisis.

Starring: Christian Borle, Andrew Rannells, Stephanie J. Block, Brandon Uranowitz, Tracie Thoms

Why: The OG version of this show premiered nearly 25 years ago, but its themes of gay relationships and the AIDS crisis are still hot topics of conversation today. In addition to the fact the story itself is so relevant, the stellar cast tells the Falsettos tale in a whole new way, and it’s definitely one to watch out for on Tonys night.

Kevin Spacey

2 nominations, 1 win

What it’s all about: Kevin Spacey is hosting the Tonys for the first time. Kevin Spacey! It seemed like kind of a random choice but I’m here for it! #MaybeHeWillAdmitHisLoveForTheaterGoesBeyondJustTheToeTappingMusical

Movies That Will Help Restore Your Faith In Humanity Again

So the state of the world is kind of a real big bummer right now, huh?

Missiles are being shot left and right, the plots of Homeland and Scandal are becoming more like non-fiction with every passing day, and Kendall Jenner somehow thought she could save society with one can of Pepsi. If you’ve been feeling downtrodden over the past few days (weeks/months), use this weekend to regroup and remind yourself that there are still good people in the world. There is most certainly humanity left – but we just have to remember where to find it.

Here are some movies to make you feel better about the world, or at least escape from reality for a few hours.

Amélie

Maybe it’s because it takes place in Paris. Maybe it’s because the dreamy color scheme. Maybe it’s because it’s all in French and you have to really pay attention to the subtitles. But watching Amelie is being awake in an amazing dream for 2 and a half hours. The charming Amelie, played by the even more charming Audrey Tautou, secretly helps people who are living not-so-happy lives. As a result of her do-gooding, she is ultimately rewarded with love of her own, and it reminds us a little kindness can go a long way.

Up

Excluding what’s arguably the saddest ever Pixar opening scene ever, Up is actually one of the most UPlifting animated movies ever. Anytime an elderly person befriends a young nugget, it really gets to me. Carl and Russell are generations apart, but a once-in-a-lifetime adventure changes their lives forever, and teaches us that we can always learn new life lessons, no matter how young or old we are.

Little Miss Sunshine

For months now, it feels like America has been split into two sides, with very different views on how to make the country “great”. That divide isn’t just between strangers, co-workers, and neighbors, in a lot of cases, party lines are drawn within families, and it’s often hard to reconcile that these are the people you share a bloodline with. In Little Miss Sunshine, we are taken into the world of a gay and self-harming uncle, a silent son, a drug-addicted grandpa, a failed dad, and and impulsive mother, who all rally around the youngest daughter who has dreams of winning a beauty contest. They don’t get along all the time and fight constantly, but at the end of the day, they’re all still family who may not necessarily win, but it’s the fact that they do it together that counts.

Hidden Figures

When the impossible seemed just that, these ladies made it possible. These real life women were literal geniuses who shaped the history of America and astroscience (is that a thing) as a whole, and have been greatly underappreciated for years. But they persevered through racism and misogyny to become some of the greatest scientists/mathematicians the world has ever seen. Basically any story that centers on overcoming adversity should give you hope that things will always get better.

The Shawshank Redemption

It wasn’t until recently that I watched Shawshank for the very first time, and let me tell you – it lives up to the hype. Tim Robbins plays a decent man who is falsely charged with murder, and while in prison, he befriends Morgan Freeman’s character Red, and they form a lifelong (and tender) friendship spanning years. The movie not only makes us realize that we have more in common with each other than we think, but that you should always have hope, even in situations when hope seems unattainable.

Movies to Watch on a Rainy Day

There’s been a streak of rainy days here in Los Angeles, in fact there’s even been HAIL, so naturally everyone is freaking out. On weekends when it’s much easier to stay in than deal with the crazy people on the roads, here are a few of my favorite flicks to view and drink a steaming hot cup of ho cho with!

Garden State

Garden State was one of those movies circa 2004 that everyone loved. Or at least everyone at my college loved. It was insightful, funny, relatable, and had a killer soundtrack. It also marked the first time I think anyone took Zach Braff seriously outside of being JD on Scrubs. Plus, Natalie Portman pre-Black Swan proves she’s always been talent to reckon with.

Andrew Largeman: You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your shit, that idea of home is gone.

Sam: I still feel at home in my house.

Andrew Largeman: You’ll see one day when you move out it just sort of happens one day and it’s gone. You feel like you can never get it back. It’s like you feel homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist. Maybe it’s like this rite of passage, you know. You won’t ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it’s like a cycle or something. I don’t know, but I miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that’s all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place.

Blue Valentine

Contrary to the word ‘valentine’ in its title, this is not a love story. There is a story about two people who fall in love, but ::spoiler alert:: there’s no happy ending. And sometimes that’s what you want from a movie. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams have that kind of chemistry that makes you think you shouldn’t be in their “robot vagina looking” hotel room. Also, it has the best song – You and Me by Penny and the Quarters.

Away We Go

When I first heard John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph were going to be a movie together I freaked my bean. But the end product was so much more than I could have ever imagined. They play a couple expecting their first child and basically travel all over the place to find one spot to call home. With the right mix of humor and heartbreaking drama, it’s perfect to match your rainy day blues. And with a supporting cast that includes Allison Janney, Jeff Daniels, Catherine O’Hara, Chris Messina, Maggie Gyllenhaal, etc. there is not a single scene that misses a beat. (check out this soundtrack too!)

Verona: Burt, are we fuck-ups?
Burt: No! What do you mean?
Verona: I mean, we’re 34…
Burt: I’m 33.
Verona: …and we don’t even have this basic stuff figured out.
Burt: Basic, like how?
Verona: Basic, like how to live.
Burt: We’re not fuck-ups.
Verona : We have a cardboard window.
Burt: We’re not fuck-ups.
Verona : I think we might be fuck-ups.
Burt Farlander: We’re not fuck-ups.

Melancholia

Listen guys, I’m not gonna lie to you: this movie is a downer. Like a real bummer. So what better time to watch a movie that will make you depressed than on a rainy day?

Justine: Life is only on Earth. And not for long.

Amelie

One of  my favorite quotes of all time is from this fantastical French romcom: “We pass the time of day to forget how time passes.” Not only is that a great depiction of the movie itself, but for life in general. And if you’ve never been to Paris or have been and want to relive it, this movie will make you feel like you’re running the rues de la paris just like Amelie. Also, soundtrack:

Harry Potter

I don’t think you can really go wrong by choosing a HP movie, but my favorite, next to the HP&TDHP2 is the Prisoner of Azkaban. As opposed to some of the movies on this list, I feel like Harry and his adventures at Hogwarts make me feel happy and warm inside, which is a stark contrast to the weather outside.


ok i found this random fan video, and although it’s more snowy and christmasy, it’s fantastic!