#FlashbackFriday: NY1’s Frank DiLella Recalls His 10 Ultimate Tony Moments
May 30th, 2014
by Frank DiLella
BroadwayBox’s Ultimate Top 10 Tony Performances Series continues this week with our fourth guest blogger, NY1 On Stage reporter and producer and host of On Stage Across America Frank DiLella. Below, the charming on air personality charts his favorite Tony moments (in no particular order!) spanning from his time as a Pennsylvania youth to becoming the face of NY1.
1. “The Human Heart”/“Mama Will Provide,” Once On This Island, 1991
The 1991 Tony Awards. My mom sat me and my brother Chris down in our living room and said, “Boys, we’re watching the TONY’S tonight!” I was 7 years old, and my brother was 3. We had no idea what was in store for us. To this day, my brother and I can reenact every musical number from that year: The Secret Garden, The Will Rogers Follies, Miss Saigon… and you should see our Once on This Island medley.
2. “Kim’s Charleston,” Show Boat, 1995
A Hal Prince revival with choreography by Susan Stroman and an appearance by Elaine Stritch. What more could you ask for?
3. “That’s How You Jazz,” Jelly’s Last Jam, 1992
I used to tape all the TONY AWARDS growing up. I wore out this part of my 1992 tape. I was so enthralled by Gregory Hines and his talent. A true song and dance man!
4. “Where You Are,” Kiss of the Spider Woman, 1993
Chita + Kander and Ebb. Need I say more?
5. “As If We Never Said Goodbye," Sunset Boulevard, 1995
I’m a sucker for a lush Andrew Lloyd Webber score. To this day Sunset Blvd. remains on my list of the top ten moments I’ve experienced in a Broadway house. The original Broadway production was just thrilling!
6. “My Body,” The Life, 1997
Lillias White? Yes, please.
7. “You Can't Stop The Beat," Hairspray, 2003
What an exciting year! It was the first time I sat in the audience at the TONYS. My friend John Johnson produced the show with Liz McCann and he got me in. I literally sat in the front row (in fact – if you look closely you can see my head in this number). The original cast/creative team of Hairspray was something special. True Broadway magic.
8. “La Vie Boheme”/“Seasons of Love,” Rent, 2008
Again, when Broadway works, it works. The original cast of Rent was supreme! I remember seeing the show a couple of times when it first opened on Broadway. When the company reunited on stage at the TONYS in 2008 it was very moving to watch.
9. “In the Heights”/ "96,00,” In the Heights, 2008
The genius that is Lin Manuel Miranda. I remember watching this number and the electricity that shot off from the stage at RADIO CITY was palpable.
10. Opening Number Starring Neil Patrick, 2013
Neil Patrick Harris opening – 2013. The greatest TONY opening in TONY history! Hands down. Can Hugh top this in 2014? We shall see…
Click here to see each previous bloggers' top picks, and check back next Friday as an Olivier Award winner looks back on her favorite 10.