The Tony's are always my favorite award show, mostly because of the window the show lets us have into what is currently playing on Broadway. This years show was good, but could have been better. The opening number was big, but also rather spastic, trying to throw in everything possible to wow and impress. I know I am most likely the only gay man (or person in general) in America who does not love Neil Patrick Harris, but I don't. I won't bore you with my why reasons again, but I am not a fan. I am however still able to see his talent as a song and dance man, and as usual, Harris did a great job. My favorite number was his salute to actors who have left the stage for the tube with Broadway vets Laura Benanti, Andrew Rannells and Megan Hilty. (shown below)
My issue with this years Tony show was that with the exception of Kinky Boots, it was not an especially original or stellar year for the musical. In the past, the Tony's would showcase performances from both musicals and plays. This year, the show reduced showing excerpts from plays to a speed read introduction by Jesse Eisenberg. Jesse went so fast, you would have thought someone had a boiling hot cattle prod ready to poke him with if he didn't finish quickly.
Below Jane Lynch in Annie
Although I like the music from Pippin, there is something lacking every time I see a performance from the show. Patina Miller is great, but sometimes I wish that cattle prod behind Eisenberg might give her a poke to rev up her energy just a bit. Most of the other shows were more family friendly shows that although great, don't pack the same emotional musical punch a show like Next To Normal can. I missed that emotional punch this year. There just didn't seem to be the risky, more edgier shows that I am usually attracted to.
Reeve Carney and Spidermen
On the up side, I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed Jane Lynch. Glee doesn't really allow her to sing much, but she can belt with the best of them. Who can help but smiling watching Luke Spring dancing in A Christmas Story. I am really glad Kinky Boots won, it took me a few listens to love the Soundtrack, but the message, no to mention the production, was a highlight of this Broadway season.
Luke Spring & Caroline O'Connor A Christmas Story
It is funny, I still love to listen to old Soundtracks, but there is something a bit odd, and depressing, seeing older Tony winning show characters on the show. It is time to retire showing the cast of Jersey Boys, Mama Mia and Chicago on the show. It is like seeing someone that graduated high school walking down the hall at school. They deserve to be there, but you can't help wondering why they are doing there... These shows need to lay low for a bit in order for us to miss them.
Every year, there is at least one person who peaks my hunkdar when watching the Tony's. This year, it occurred during the performance from the cast of Pippin. In addition to Edith Prickley's second Tony win, there was also a man, large in frame, yet magical and light on his feat, who caught my eye.
Born into a circus family, Orion Griffiths has been performing since he was four. He hopes to compete in the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival.
'For his Broadway debut in the musical “Pippin,” Griffiths wears a skimpy vest and a pair of red leathery shorts that could make a Chippendales dancer blush. I had them put one more seam on the bottom,” the longtime Boston street performer said, laughing. Now they don’t ride up my leg so much.
Also a model, Orion has modeled for both Calvin Klein and Abercrombie Fitch. Even with his bulked up body, Orion floats on stage, using his circus skills to maneuver around the circus set. Although skilled at not getting in the way of the leads of the show, he is unable to fully stop drawing the attention of the audience members.
Orion was crowned the winner at the annual Broadway Beauty Pageant took place last month in New York. You can see more, and a video of the event over at Natural City Man blog HERE:
One of things that interests me about doing this blog, is the things I learn about myself, even when I'm not really looking. When I profile any photographer or model, one of the first things I try to do is put into words, what it is exactly I like about the images and work. With Southampton photographer Oakleigh, and his images of Marco, the reason was admittedly primal.
I think a stage of almost every one's sexual development and maturity is a flirtation with bad boys. There are hundreds of stories and movies documenting women and bad boys, but men are not immune from their allure either. Although we really can't ever change another person, even when we know it, we still often want to try. Many of us had relationships based on a guttural sexual attraction to someone who we knew was not right for us. Even so, many of us, dove in anyway. The funny thing about these relationships is that as hard as they can be, and as much as others try to warn us to stay away; they end up providing some of the best lessons, not to mention best memories, that we carry into future relationships.
One of the things that struck me about David's (Oakleigh) images of Marco, was the contrast in attitude between the images in which Marco was clothed, and when he was naked. It was almost as if the toughness disappeared along with the clothes. When shielded with a hat and clothes, the bad boy was every present. Without them, when naked, playing in the water pools in Brighton, he no longer needed to be anything but just himself.
Less than an hour from London by train, Brighton a popular destination for lovers of the beach and sun. The beach also has a nudist area which made it a great place for Marco to drop his drawers, and his tough guy exterior, and head into the water. Oakleigh says that most of his professional photographic work has been plants and gardens, but for fun, enjoys photographing the male form.
'The beach shoot was on the south coast, Brighton. After this shoot, we also did duo shoot with Marco and another model. It was a weekday so not really busy but just a few other guys around. Although bright, it was not such a warm day and Marco was brave to get into the water for the shoot. He is always great to work with, always fun and a natural. the lucky lad never works out this is his natural look and body! Oakleigh