My Bologna Has A First Name…It’s O-S-C-A-R

3 Mar

Well, as they are wont to be, this year’s Oscars are over…though I was seriously starting to question whether they might go on all night. And…as I predicted…I am very pleased that “Frozen” won the Oscar for Best Animated Motion Picture and “Let It Go” won for Best Original Song! (Told ya so!)

Unfortunately, I was packing up the merch booth when the movie won, but I was back to the hotel in plenty of time to see Idina Menzel sing “Let It Go.” And to hear this:

I’m sorry…what did he say? Who did he introduce?? I have to give her credit where credit is due…in spite of being in rehearsals for a Broadway show, flying out to L.A., having a limited amount of rehearsal, being called “Adele Dazeem” in front of billions of people and clearly fighting off some massive (and understandable) nerves, I think Ms. Menzel gave a pretty great performance. A lot of people have been very critical of it, but honestly, I can’t imagine being in her shoes. Her studio performance of the song, which is heard on the movie’s soundtrack, has become a bit of a cultural phenomenon and would be nearly impossible to replicate live, and singing on the Oscars for the first time – or even the 10th time – must be terrifying. Here is her performance from last night’s Oscars.

Not too long after Ms. Menzel screlted for the world, it was announced that “Let It Go” had won the Oscar for Best Original Song. Not only did this make the song’s husband-and-wife team first-time Oscar winners, it also made Bobby Lopez the youngest EGOT winner in history. What is EGOT? It’s what happens when one person wins the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards over the course of their career. Including Mr. Lopez, only 12 people have won these awards in competitive categories: Richard Rodgers, Helen Hayes, Rita Moreno, John Gielgud, Audrey Hepburn, Marvin Hamlisch, Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols, Whoopi Goldberg, Scott Rudin and now…Bobby Lopez. There are three additional members of the EGOT Club who won one or more of the qualifying awards in non-competitive categories: Liza Minelli, James Earl Jones and my girl, Barbra Streisand.

When I worked as the merchandise manager at Avenue Q on Broadway, I briefly met the Lopezes a couple of times. They were both lovely to me and I am so happy for their continued successes. They wrote a very charming acceptance speech that ended with Kristen Anderson-Lopez sending a message out to the couples’ daughters back in Brooklyn: “…never let fear or shame keep you from celebrating the unique people you are.” I think that’s what resonates so deeply in me with this song – it’s about celebrating you, not in spite of what color or gender you are or what you believe or can do or who you love but because of those things. It was a beautiful speech and a deserved win.

While we’re on the subject of the Oscars…can we talk about Lupita Nyong’o and how devastatingly beautiful she is and how genuine she seems to be? She looked absolutely stunning tonight (as she has at every awards ceremony this year) and deservedly (and surprisingly) became only the 7th black actress to win an Academy Award, winning 75 years after Hattie McDaniel became the first black actress to win for her role as Mammy in “Gone With the Wind.” Really? Only 7 in 75 years? Ms. Nyong’0’s acceptance speech was flawless and heartfelt. Here’s a transcript of it:

Thank you to the Academy for this incredible recognition. It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance. And for Solomon, thank you for telling her story and your own. Steve McQueen, you charge everything you fashion with a breath of your own spirit. Thank you so much for putting me in this position. This has been the joy of my life. I’m certain that the dead are standing about you and watching and they are grateful and so am I.

Chiwetel, thank you for your fearlessness and how deeply you went into telling Solomon’s story. Michael Fassbender, thank you so much. You were my rock. Alfre and Sarah, it was a thrill to work with you. Joe Walker, the invisible performer in the editing room, thank you. Sean Bobbitt, Kalaadevi, Adruitha, Patty Norris, thank you, thank you, thank you, I could not be here without your work.

I want to thank my family for your training and the Yale School of Drama as well for your training. My friends, the Wilsons, this one’s for you. My brother, Junior, sitting by my side. Thank you so much. You are my best friend. And Ben, my other best friend, my chosen family.

When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from your dreams are valid.

Thank you.


If you haven’t seen Ms. Nyong’o’s performance as Patsey in “12 Years A Slave,” please do. The movie isn’t easy to watch, but I’m glad I pushed through and watched it to the end. It’s an important story told by incredible actors…and it’s the 2014 Oscar winner for Best Picture. Be sure to check it out.

Lupita Nyong'o on the red carpet at the 2014 Academy Awards

Lupita Nyong’o on the red carpet at the 2014 Academy Awards

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