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It was an entertaining and "Kinky" night on TV

By Alan Pergament

If you read my Sunday blog, you knew I had a game plan going in as the Tony Awards on CBS competed head-to-head with game two of the NBA finals on ABC.

ABC and the Miami Heat made it very easy to throw out my initial plan to watch the NBA game and watch the Tonys on tape later.

I discarded the plan in five minutes.

ABC takes too long to get into game action so I decided to head to the Tonys at 8 p.m. in time to see Neil Patrick Harris and a cast of thousands put on a mesmerizing opening number that deserved the prolonged standing ovation inside Radio City Music Hall.

Harris is so good at hosting awards shows that you wonder why the people behind next year's Oscars don't call him this morning.

Since NBA games are never lost in the first half and have 15 minute intermissions, I found myself switching back and forth between both telecasts.

Apparently I wasn't alone.

Miami's rout of San Antonio had a 6.1 rating on Channel 7. The Tony Awards had a 5.8 rating on Channel 4. When the DVR rating is added, the Tonys should even top the one-sided NBA game here.

The Tonys certainly were more amusing and entertaining. One of the many show highlights was a comic singing bit featuring Broadway stars who failed on the TV series "The New Normal," (Andrew Rannells) "Go On" (Laura Benanti) and "Smash"  (Megan Hilty) this season. Notably, they all were in NBC series. Harris, who has been in the long-running CBS series "How I Met Your Mother," also was in the clever bit that ended by changing the lyrics of  "What I Did for Love" from "The Chorus Line" to explain why the actors went to TV. (By the way, the Chicago Tribune reported that the bit was written by Michael John LaChiusa of Chautauqua).   

Why do they leave Broadway? As a supposedly bitter Benanti noted for "an obscene amount of money."

I also was watching the Tonys when Western New Yorker Pam MacKinnon won a best directing award for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf." I was waiting for her to mention her roots here and I'm still waiting.

But back to the NBA, where the stars really make an obscene amount of money.

I returned just in time to see Miami's LeBron James make one of the more incredible blocked shots in recent memory and lead the Heat to an early fourth-quarter rally that sent me back to Broadway in time to see a "Kinky Boots" rally.

As I wrote Sunday morning, I was rooting for "Kinky" big time. After seeing the musical in previews a few months ago, I turned to my girlfriend, brother and sister-in-law as we left the 8th avenue theater and predicted it would dominate the Tonys. It wasn't as tough a call as predicting whether the Heat or Spurs will win the NBA finals.

"Kinky" is lively, it is entertaining, the music is fun and the book in a musical about a transvestite who saves a British shoe factory by changing the styles of the shoes being produced has a great message of acceptance. The "Kinky" scene that was performed during CBS' telecast really didn't do it or stars Billy Porter and Stark Sands justice. Porter deservedly won as best lead in in a musical over Sands, who may actually have the more difficult role of making his character interesting.

If it was a NBA game instead of a musical, Sands would be Tim Duncan.

The NBA game was decided so early in the fourth quarter that I could see all the love for "Kinky" and watch Harris wrap up the show with Broadway star Audra McDonald with a brilliant rap song that highlighted the night's events.

Harris had a much better night than LeBron James and the Heat. And that's saying something.  

apergament@buffnews.com 

 

tagged

Drama | Sports | Sports on TV | Television | TV news
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About Talkin' TV

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament has continued to blog about television topics since retiring in 2010 as The News' television writer after 28 years on the beat. From local on-air personalities to ratings to the latest on network and cable programming, he keeps you informed.

@StillTalkinTV | apergament@buffnews.com

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