We gave it a B
If you were a fan of musicals while growing up, the Tony Awards were likely your lifeline to Broadway. You’d gobble the crumbs the telecast would toss your way — singing, dancing, trophy-nominated spectacles — and the five-minute, sequin-studded excerpts would hold you for another year. Those iconic (if out-of-context) performances are showcased in Broadway’s Lost Treasures 1 and 2. In general, the grander the dame, the better the bit: Angela Lansbury is smashing as Bea Arthur’s ”bosom buddy” (No. 2’s Mame), and Patti LuPone wows in two scorching Evita songs (No. 1). (Though George Hearn does steal the spotlight on No. 2 with his defiant ”I Am What I Am” — sure to whet appetites for November’s La Cage aux Folles revival.)
EXTRAS No. 1’s prize is a pre-One Day at a Time Bonnie Franklin leading ”Applause” — a genius ditty that references Hello, Dolly!, Cabaret, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma!, Oh! Calcutta!, Mame, and Funny Girl. (Whew!) And No. 2 has Katharine Hepburn in Coco. Nominated for her turn as designer Coco Chanel, the great Kate got the longest clip in Tony telecast history — nearly 15 minutes! So says Applause star Lauren Bacall. What she doesn’t say is that Hepburn lost the Tony in 1970…to Bacall.