April 23, 2024

b_tonyawardAll awards are subjective, let’s face it. And within the very small community which bands together to create what we commonly refer to as Broadway, they’re even more so. The nominating committee for the Tony Awards, whose nominations were announced yesterday, is made up of just forty-two theatre professionals – almost 850 people vote for the eventual winners – and if anybody told you they didn’t have an agenda or axe to grind, well, they’d be lying. Plus, there are the commercials interests of The Broadway League, the national trade organization for Broadway theater producers, general managers, theater owners, and presenters in over 250 theaters across America, to take into account. The Tony Awards are a joint venture of the League along with the American Theatre Wing, a non-profit organization which first created the awards to recognize excellence and now mostly supports education in the arts. So, while the theatre-going public might consider The Tonys to be the Oscars of live theatre, critics have long suggested they’re primarily a promotional vehicle for a few large production companies and theatre owners with an interest in getting prime-time exposure for their soon-to-touring productions. Me, I have no axe to grind; except that I – along with Bette Midler, Fiona Shaw, Seth Numrich, Alec Baldwin, Christine Jones, Yvonne Strahovski, John Logan, Joe Mantello, Sigourney Weaver, Doug Wright, and ‘Hands On A Hardbody’ - was snubbed once again. But the moral of the story: take the Tony Awards with a healthy dose of salt. We all know the biggest honor comes from simply being in the arena.

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