Why You Should Watch the Tony Awards (If You Don’t Already)


The 71st Annual Tony Awards airs on CBS on June 11, 2017, at 8/7c.

Every year I have a hard time finding people to watch the Tony Awards with my husband and me. For those living under a rock or not a former theater kid, the Tony Awards are basically the Academy Awards of Broadway theater. Every year the best in plays and musicals are honored and celebrated in a live televised event, giving the average Jane a glimpse of the glory that is the performing arts right in their living room. It’s exhilarating. It’s joyous. It’s entertaining. Haven’t sold you yet? Here are the top reasons you should be watching the Tonys:

Celebrate the arts, dang it!
It is undeniable that the arts help make our society great. They both reflect and craft culture. Regardless of your political persuasion, you can always get something out of a theatrical performance. The Tony Awards showcases lots of talented dancers, singers, actors, costume designers, writers, directors, and more. Without art, humanity would be pretty boring and a whole lot less innovative. So take the time to celebrate it!

There are celebrities…
I often use this argument for my non-theater friends. For me, nearly everyone on stage at the Tonys is a celebrity. But for those with a less niché palate, you can often see plenty of famous movie stars and musicians take the stage to present or receive awards.

The live performances, baby!
Most of the time I have to live vicariously through YouTube videos and original cast albums to get even a snippet of what a show is like. And that’s just for musicals – it’s even harder to get details on Broadway plays! The Tony Awards let you see some truly ground-breaking performances from actors who live their roles every single day.

The energy is palpable.
Last year, a friend of mine watched the Tonys for the first time. Her response was simple: it was the happiest place on TV. The energy and excitement of everyone in the room are beyond anything you’ll see at a typical awards show. The Broadway community is truly something to behold – everyone is one big family.

You get a preview of the movies of the future.
Okay, maybe you don’t see a lot of stage shows. But if you like movies or movie musicals, watching the Tonys is like a giant trailer for the ones you’ll see in the future. Since musical movies are expensive to make, producers consider using an already popular show less of a risk. For example, Hairspray, Les Miserables, Grease, Chicago, and Phantom of the Opera all started as Broadway shows before showing up on the big screen. Plays also get the Hollywood treatment. Denzel Washington (see the point on celebrities) recently brought Fences to the screen after previously starring in and winning a Tony for the leading role.

You get a preview of the movie stars of the future.
Many movie stars got their start on the Great White Way. Julie Andrews. Dick Van Dyke. Sarah Jessica Parker. Lea Michelle. Hugh Jackman. Anna Kendrick. If you keep an eye on the Broadway scene for long enough, you get to see people’s careers skyrocket. I remember watching Eddie Redmayne win a Tony for Best Actor before anyone knew him as a movie actor. It’s like following an athlete from his high school days to the big leagues.

Disney(ish) Songs That Don’t Get Enough Credit


We all have our favorite Disney songs. Heck, most of us know at least one complete song by heart. But, I feel like we often play favorites with our animated musical repertoire. Maybe it’s because they don’t highlight the main characters. Maybe it’s because they aren’t love-songs. Who knows? Regardless, there are many brilliantly written and beautifully scored songs that are often overlooked, under-appreciated, or forgotten completely. This post is dedicated to the songs that I find irresistibly amazing, even if they are on the bottom of the animated musical totem-pole.

1. “The Mob Song” – Beauty and the Beast (Disney)

Lyrical Highlights:

“It’s a beast! He’s got fangs,
Razor sharp ones!
Massive paws, killer claws for the feast,
Hear him roar! See him foam!
But we’re not coming home ’til he’s dead.
Good and dead!
Kill the beast!”

“It’s a beast! One as tall as a mountain,
We won’t rest ’til he’s good and deceased,
Sally forth! Tally ho!
Grab your sword! Grab your bow!
Praise the Lord and here we go!”

Hands down the best song in the entire movie. HANDS DOWN. If you ever are anywhere near me when this song comes on the radio (songs like this come on my radio all the time…), be warned. I will not only be able to quote the entire song by heart, but I’ll simultaneously turn into a crazed villager with hand motions and all. Yes, this song is borderline violent (well, okay, not so borderline), but the heart-pounding rhythm and incredibly clever lyrics make me want to up and join a mob. Or maybe The Occupy Movement.

2. “Be Prepared” – The Lion King (Disney)

Lyrical Highlights:

“I know that your powers of retention,
Are as wet as a warthog’s backside…”

(I don’t know what this means, but I love it.)

Scar ranks as my #1 favorite Disney villain. Oh, stop crying about Mufasa already. Get over it. Scar is clever, manipulative, heartless, and spends his extra time in an elephant graveyard. He even managed to turn a bunch of idiotic hyenas into a fully functional, well-oiled machine–with great shadow dancing skills. But, what makes him the most fabulous villain of all? His impeccable vocabulary:

“I know it sounds sordid,
But you’ll be rewarded,
When at last I am given my dues,
And injustice deliciously squared,
Be prepared!”

3. One Jump Ahead – Aladdin (Disney)

Lyrical Highlights:

“[Random Citizens:] Oh it’s that Aladdin’s hit the bottom.
He’s become a one-man rise in crime.
[Lady:] I’d blame parents except he hasn’t got ’em.”

“[Aladdin:] Let’s not be too hasty.
[Ugly Lady:] Still I think he’s rather tasty!”

Alan Menken is a lyrical genius (and is responsible for most of my favorite Disney lyrics). He even manages to fit in the phrase “nom de plume” in this song – that takes talent! This, too, is another song that will have me reenacting running through the streets of Agrabah. And believe me, when on a road trip, that can be pretty entertaining.

4. “In The Dark of The Night” ­– Anastasia (Non-Disney)

Lyrical Highlights:

“I can feel that my powers are slowly returning!
Tie my sash and a dash of cologne for that smell!
AS the pieces fall into place
I’ll see her crawl into place!
Dasvidanya, Anya, your grace, farewell!”

Non-Lyrical Highlights: The adorable demon-bugs.

I don’t care what you say; this song is awesome. I want my own bug-chorus. A Broadway musical adaptation of this movie is in the works, which I’m very excited about. However, I’m a bit curious how they are going to pull this scene off. Regardless, I’ll be first in line to wear a girly, demon-bug costume.

5. Mine Mine Mine – Pocahontas (Disney)

Lyrical Highlights (there are far too many, but here’s a few of them):

“Oh, with all ya got in ya, boys,
Dig up Virginia, boys”

“Hey nonny nonny,
Hey nonny nonny!”

My dear friend, King Jimmy,
Will probably build me a shrine


Although Radcliffe is a lame villain and rivals Rasputin for the ugliest, he has several one-liners in this song that get me every time. Side note: apparently, my Mayflower-pilgrim ancestor (whose relation to me may or may not be real) makes an animated appearance in this song. So there’s that. Side side note: Radcliffe is uncommonly nimble for such a top-heavy man. And he rocks the color purple. Side side side note: John Smith is played by Mel Gibson. Mel Gibson sings in this. Another reason why I love him.

6. This Is My Idea – The Swan Princess (Non-Disney)

Lyrical Highlights:

“[Derek:] She tries to talk me into playing dress-up,
She’s always flirting with the castle guards.
[Bromley:] I think you really sorta like her, ‘fess up,
[Derek:] I’d like her better if she’d lose at cards.”

“[Chorus:]At least we’d get a holiday to rest our ploughs and axes…
…And with some luck their marriage may result in lower taxes.”

This movie is one of the older non-Disney animated musicals (in the same group as Thumbelina and The Pebble and The Penguin). Although, I can say with confidence that this movie is not nearly as fun to watch now as it was when I was little, it still holds a special place in my heart. Plus, watching young versions of Princess Odette and Prince Derek go through the perils of puberty is highly entertaining. Add in the ridiculous political ideals of the parents and a frustrated citizenry and you’ve sold me.

These songs may not Academy Award-worthy, but they are all definitely Haley’s iPod-worthy.

What’s your favorite underrated Disney(ish) song?