Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Designer Series, part 3

Today's Tony update is going to continue my series on the designers, and will be my second-to-last discussion of my thoughts on each category.  After that, I will just be providing updates as the buzz changes in relation to each show.  Today's design category is Costume Design.  My general thought on this award is that the shows that tend to get nominated for it are either period pieces (especially on the play side) or the major hits (particularly on the musical side).  There is a saying that often comes up, usually in reference to the Oscars, that the more hoop skirts there are in the final product, the more Costume Design awards the show will win -- and this applies to the Tony's as well.

That being the case, I have picked four period piece plays, two of which are decent hits and two of which are sentimental favorites -- Present Laughter, A View From the Bridge, The Miracle Worker, and Brighton Beach Memoirs.  The first two in this list are the hits that I think will be nominated for a large number of awards, but particularly the design awards, for being period pieces that were executed strongly.  Miracle Worker received mixed reviews, but was complimented more or less unanimously for its costumes (in addition to taking place in a part of history more distant from the present than any other new offering this year).  As for Brighton Beach Memoirs, this period drama taking place in the 1920s was a well received production that closed early based on low ticket sales, so I'm thinking this may get the show a sentimental nomination, even if a win is unlikely.

As for the musicals, I've many of this year's musicals fit the mold of commercial and critical hit, and many are also period pieces.  One thing that made this category easier is that Ragtime is ineligible for this award because the costume design for this show was recycled from the previous production.  The costume designer of the original production, Santo Loquasto, was credited again as designer, many of the costumes for the revival were simply pulled out of storage from the previous production and whatever couldn't be re-used was rebuild based on the original designs.  That being the case, there are five remaining major contenders for the four slots available in the category -- Fela!, Finian's Rainbow, Memphis, A Little Night Music, and The Addams Family.  The first four are already hits, and the last is likely to become one once it opens next month.  So far, I have excluded The Addams Family only because it hasn't opened, but I think that, as a fantasy piece, it could easily unseat Memphis (or maybe even Fela!) based on the fact that makeup design is often included under the guise of costumes for the purpose of awards here.  Though the Oscars have a separate award for makeup design (and I think the Emmy's may have one, though I'm less sure about this one), the Tony's do NOT have a separate design for makeup, so this may give The Addams Family an edge over one of the other shows.

No comments:

Post a Comment