By Bob Hicks
Well, it’s celebration season again — and not just because the Puddletown rains are threatening to finally go away (although they’ll surely come another day).
No, we’re talking about theater awards season. The Tony Awards, Broadway’s commerce-driven annual extravaganza, are Sunday night. And on Monday night at the Crystal Ballroom, Portland’s far more laid-back and generally convivial version, the Drammy Awards, celebrates the past year’s best on stage. As the R&B hitmakers Tony! Tony! Tone! so memorably put it:
It feels good, yeah
It feels good
Ooohh it feels good
It sure feels good to me.
Maybe not so good to un-nominated shows and the non-winners in the Tony races, where a win or a loss can make or break a show and a well-placed victory can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars, both in the continuing Broadway run and the eventual national tours. Patrick Healy has a good handicapping in Friday morning’s New York Times; read it here. One guess: In the best-musical category, there’ll be a Most Happy Fela! Yes, the ceremony will be on TV. As they say, check your local listings.
Unlike the Tonys, the Drammys don’t announce any finalists: You show up for the party and wait for the winners — often a handful in each category — to be announced. Because almost all of the shows under consideration have already closed, the commercial pressure’s off and it’s more of a celebratory group hug. A couple of years ago Mr. Scatter was awarded a Drammy basically because he’d hung around a long time (like Peter Sellers, he was honored for Being There) and it felt like … well, check those triple-Tony lyrics above.
This is a good party, and it’s free, if you don’t count the drinks. Shmoozing starts at 6 and the ceremony at 7; the suave and funny Michael O’Connell will be master of ceremonies. The Crystal Ballroom is at 1332 West Burnside Street, just a jog away from the Best Big Bookstore in the Known Universe. See you there.