And there were some nice speeches (particularly Steve Kazee and Judy Kaye’s tributes to parents who have recently died. Click here to listen to them and to other speeches, here to see the entire broadcast and here for the official list of all the winners.
But very few of the performances came off well. What explodes on the stage can sometimes come across as a whimper on the TV screen. The dynamic dancing in Newsies has people cheering in the theater but you wouldn't have known that from what came across on TV.
Maybe it’s the fault of Glenn Weiss, who directed the telecast, but the dancers looked as nimble as Newsies' crippled character Crutchie as the camera zoomed in and panned out on them in a herky-jerky fashion.
Evita's producers put their money, yet again, on the allure of Ricky Martin and pointedly did Che's "And the Money Kept Rolling In" number so Evita didn't get to sing at all in the Evita sequence.
Some critics didn't like that approach but I thought the segment played like a smart movie trailer and I bet it would have paid off at the box office even if P&B hadn’t won the Best Revival prize. As is, the show, which had been chugging along at three quarters full, reportedly saw its ticket sales jump 50% on Monday.
Meanwhile, Once, the winner of the Best Musical honors, saw its ticket sales multiply five-fold even though it had already been playing to full houses. As it ever was and ever will be, success sells.