Over the past decade or two (possibly thanks to the titanic success of Wicked) the Tony Awards have returned to the fore as a viable and entertaining contribution to the world creative stage, and about bloody time many of us would agree. As we witness a growing sophistication of creative offerings on every front — except perhaps, cinema, unless the case can be argued for Marvel — it’s heartening to see the return of the stage as a respectable form of popular entertainment.
With the 72nd Tony Awards wrapping up only a few hours ago, it’s time to hit YouTube and binge on a steady diet of technicolour clips, be them live musical excerpts of the winning titles or the repeated coverage of Robert DeNiro’s Trump jibe. Hopefully it’s the former. And while you’re at it, familiarise yourself with the latest and greatest musical offerings from theatre and cinema in recent times.
Summer holidays bring on the nostalgia. Endless days of light and warmth, gangs of friends, sunburnt mornings at the beach, afternoon rides through shady streets, nights spent lying in fresh grass, counting the stars. These were the months of freedom and youth and invincibility, long before we understood how precious and rare and fleeting these privileges would be.
Along with the many books I devoured while swinging in hammocks, bookmarked with sand and dripped on by ice cream and mango, movies held a particular magic for me in those days. Narrative was still untainted by the poser’s need to be subversive. Adventures were pure and real and simple. Before the ubiquity of computer animation, never-ending franchises and much-hyped adaptations, movies were singular, fleeting and sublime. These are the stories that shaped my wonder, and still hold magic for me, even now.
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a list of fictional dads that doesn’t lead with Atticus Finch, so here he gets a category all of his own. This guy had it all. A lawyer raising two kids, teaching them to be real humans (the audacious character of Scout alone is testament to his fathering abilities) and defending the indefensible from the vilest aspects of human nature, all the while dispensing ageless advice to his children on the front porch of their Alabama home.