Robin Williams had one of those careers where you forget just how many momentous films he was in.
Of course, there are always the immediate ones that come to mind, a list that I’m sure varies from person to person. For me, it’s Aladdin, Hook, and Good Will Hunting. But then I scroll through his IMDB filmography, and I’m suddenly going down memory lane as I remember and realize how much my childhood was influenced and filled by his talent, humor, and presence. From watching FernGully on repeat, to Mork and Mindy, to Jumanji scaring the bejesus out of me with those enormous plastic spiders, to the iconic Mrs. Doubtfire, Robin was a constant in my young life.
And as I continue to sift through IMDB, I recall Dead Poets Society. Patch Adams. The Birdcage. Awakenings. One Hour Photo. And then there are the ones I have yet to see like What Dreams May Come, Toys, and Good Morning Vietnam (I know, I know. Maybe now I’ll finally get around to it). And that list doesn’t even touch half of the films he made – films which influenced audiences all around the world.
I don’t know how many of you watched his recent CBS show, The Crazy Ones (obviously not that many being that it didn’t get picked up for a second season). Nonetheless, I watched all of it and believe it was canceled prematurely. It was quirky and weird and maybe a little too out there, but it was hilarious and knew exactly what it wanted to be. Kind of like Robin.
I couldn’t fall asleep last night because I fell down the wormhole of watching clips and kept crying. As much as I’ve been saddened by some of the great actors we’ve lost in the last few years, this hits closer to home, as I imagine it might for many of the folks in my generation. We grew up with Mr. Williams. He shaped us. He taught us comedy, improvisation, voices, joy, and how to do an impression of a hot dog.
After I saw the news last night, I called my mom and said that I can’t believe we’re getting to a point where the generation of actors I grew up watching is dying. But we shouldn’t be there yet. Robin, you left us too soon. We will miss you and will continue to watch your films for years to come. Whenever we’re looking to be uplifted. Whenever we want to be inspired. And most importantly, whenever we’re in need of a laugh.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
So I know I’m beyond behind on my reviews, but I figure we should take a moment to discuss Sunday night’s Tony Awards. Did you watch? DVR it for later? I got comfortable in my pajamas and sat back to enjoy an evening of theatre. Here’s a brief look at my take on some of the highs and lows of the evening.
Jessie Mueller! Carole King! A wonderful performance and a much-deserved win for Miss Mueller as Best Leading Actress in a Musical. I haven’t even seen the show, and I love her! I do admit that I was also deeply rooting for Kelli O’Hara as it was her fifth nomination and she certainly deserves it after all these years. Perhaps next year for The King and I? Nonetheless, Jessie has been taking the theatre community by storm ever since On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. I’m stoked for her and can’t wait to see Beautiful.
Three words: Idina. Effin. Menzel. Well, let me back up. First there was Jonathan Groff’s brilliant introduction, and then the house was subsequently brought down with her If/Then 11 o’clock number. And yet, people haven’t been talking about it! I did not see my Facebook or Twitter feed freaking out afterward. Weren’t you watching, theatre fans? Honestly, in my eyes, this may have been the performance of the evening.
Also, let’s rejoice for Best Musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder – a fantastic performance and an even more hilarious introduction by Jefferson Mays. Let’s hear it for the underdog of the season actually getting its due with its multiple wins.
Cabaret and Alan Cumming? Solid of course.
James Monroe Iglehart’s praise shout.
Lena Hall’s heartfelt speech.
I also want to give a shout-out to Sutton for always being glorious.
And that Hedwig performance?? Yes! I’m so excited to see it in a few weeks!
And perhaps the ultimate highlight of the evening: Audra. Tears. Will Swenson. Tears. Standing ovation. More tears. Making history in two ways. For those of you who don’t know the momentousness of Audra’s win on Sunday for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, she is now the winner of the most Tony awards. She had five, tying with Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris, and now she has a whopping six, on top of the fact that she is now the only person who has won in all four performance categories! Audra McDonald = Queen of Broadway. Can she host next year?
Clint Eastwood and whatever that presenting was supposed to be.
The opening? I’m sorry, I just wasn’t into it. I do like how so many shows had cameos, and the awkward elevator ride with NPH was delightful, and I understand that they likely didn’t bother with a “traditional” opening number because it could never compete with last year’s. But seriously – Hugh Jackman just bouncing the whole time? Yes, I know it refers to something specific, but we’re really going to take an obscure reference and make it the centerpiece of a four-minute opening number? C’mon Tony writers, you can do better than that. You want more people to tune in? Don’t lose them in the first few minutes!
Sting, I’m bored.
Aladdin’s Friend Like Me was like watching a seizure on stage. And listen, if the funniest part of the song is when the Genie stops to sing from different Disney movies, then I think there’s an inherent problem with the show. People out there who want to spend money on Aladdin? I’m just saying – that’s the best you’re gonna get. They played their best hand on Sunday, so if you didn’t enjoy that number, you might want to reconsider your options.
Zach Braff’s hair.
I thought ROCKY was a musical. Also? Shortest fight ever.
This has been a common rant on Facebook and everywhere else so I won’t digress too long, but I will say I too am tired of the out-of-place Hollywood actors presenting. I love you Tina Fey, but why are you up there and not a Broadway vet? It’s all to improve ratings and get viewers, right? Well, ratings were lower this year. Maybe they should focus more on the theatre community and what we do best and feature more performances from the current season instead of a Music Man rap with LL Cool J and T.I.? Sure, The Bridges of Madison County closed, but couldn’t we get a song with Steven and Kelli? Anyway, more on that and the recent Tony Award Administration Committee ruling in a later post.
All in all, it was a relatively smooth evening without too many hitches, and we got to see some great numbers (go here to watch the rest of the performances). Here’s to another season of theatre!