This is pretty much how we felt when we heard that "Matilda: The Musical" had earned 12 noms. (cast of "Matilda" photographed by Joan Marcus)
...and some of our favorite dance-y musicals racked up quite a few! (Not that we're all that surprised.)
Are we a little bit sad that Matilda's noms don't include any for the four extraordinary little girls who play the title character? Totally. But thankfully they'll receive their own special Tony Award. And the Best Actress in a Musical category is already stacked with talented dancers, including Pippin's Patina Miller and Motown: The Musical's Valisia LeKae.
Other highlights include nine nominations for Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, four for Motown: The Musical and two for the dearly departed Bring It On: The Musical. Click here for the full list.
[Sidenote: What could make Tony Award nomination day feel even more like Christmas morning? Broadway-babe-turned-TV-star Sutton Foster and best "So You Think You Can Dance" judge ever Jesse Tyler Ferguson making the announcements, that's what! Adorable.]
Patina Miller (center) as the Lead Player in "Pippin." Photo by Michael J. Lutch.
Once upon a time, about 35 years ago, a college guy fell in love with one of his classmates. She was not interested, which made him sad.
The guy, being kind of artsy-fartsy, was a member of an a cappella ensemble. One day, feeling inspired, he decided to arrange "Corner of the Sky"—a song from one of Broadway's biggest hits at the time, Pippin—for the group. It was (and is) a great song, openhearted and earnest, with lyrics about the challenges of finding one's place in the world.
The guy sang the song at his a cappella group's next performance. The girl heard him sing it, and suddenly she began to see the guy in a new light. She started falling for him.
A few years later, the guy and girl got married. And more than three decades after that a cappella performance, my parents are still going strong—and singing songs from Pippin.
OK, I'm sorry. That was a lot of non-dancey mushiness. But there wasn't any other way to explain to you why I'm so excited about the fact that a new production of Pippin just opened in previews on Broadway. Thanks to Mom and Dad, I grew up listening to Pippin’s Stephen Schwartz soundtrack over and over on family car trips. Then, once I started dancing, I got reaaaally into the show's choreography, by this dude Bob Fosse you've maybe heard of a couple of times. (You guys: Watch this, right now.) In college, I even toned down my bunhead-iness enough to perform in a production of it. It's one of those shows that's defined my life.
Not many people are familiar with Pippin these days, but my obsession with it isn't unmerited: As we told you a few weeks ago, it's a great musical. And the revival has a circus-y twist, with crazy acrobatics spicing up Chet Walker's re-imagining of Fosse's original choreography. I got a sneak peek at the new Pippin, directed by the amazing Diane Paulus, a few weeks ago, and it looked absolutely fantastic. (You CANNOT MISS Patina Miller as the Lead Player, a role originated by Ben Vereen.)
Anyway, all I'm really trying to say is: Go. See. This. Show. It's in previews now at the Music Box Theatre, and officially opens on April 25th.
I'll see you there—and so will my mom and dad.