Saturday, June 21, 2008

About the Tony Awards Telecast

Charles Isherwood blasts this year's Tony Awards TV show in a feature in today's New York Times.

His complaint, in a nutshell, is that the show featured too many musical numbers and too little time devoted to acceptance speeches. He writes

The pleasure of the Tony Awards, for me and probably for most theater lovers
(and, seriously, who else watches?) is a chance to see artists we admire
rewarded for their work...

Mr. Isherwood is out of touch with America on this one, I fear. I lived outside NYC for much of my theatregoing life, and I can aver that when I was somebody who only got to see Broadway shows up-close maybe once a year (or, after the fact, on tour), the Tonys were a lifeline to the one-of-kind excitement that is Broadway theatre. The chance to see live musical numbers from the new season of shows--including the ones that didn't get nominated for Best Musical of Best Revival--was and is the best part of the Tonys.

Does the show amount to a kind of commercial for Broadway as a result--a way for potential consumers to get to sample the wares for free? You bet. It's the only commercial that theatre gets in the American cultural landscape; it's a darn good idea and all of us in the theatre community should be grateful for it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with your comments about the Tony's 100%. I come to NYC at least 2x a year to see most of the musicals. The more the merrier on the Telecast!