Monday, May 19, 2008

Not Caring About the Tonys

People have been asking why I have not posted a commentary on the Tony nominations -- something Musicals101 used to do religiously. Well, my reason for not doing so this year was simple. After a truly craptacular season for Broadway musicals, I cannot work up much enthusiasm one way or the other for the current crop of nominees. When the only interesting race of the evening is whether Gypsy or South Pacific will win Best Revival, its a sad commentary on the lack of new musical magic on Broadway. As it is, I will skip watching this Tony telecast.

A long time ago, I wrote on Musicals101 that musical theatre is bound to develop in ways no one can possibly foresee, and it will doubtless evolve in ways some of us are not going to like very much. This year, the Tony committee resolutely overlooked some big-budget traditional musicals of dubious merit (like the bloated Young Frankenstein and the tasteless Little Mermaid) and aimed most of their nominations at musicals that took a more innovative approach. While I applaud this apprach in theory, I cannot pretend to care about the "innovative" shows in question. I found Passing Strange to be deafening example of "sound and fury signifying nothing," a self-indulgent performance piece. In The Heights is a pleasant little show, but I can't say it really moved or delighted me. I will mercifully refrain from commenting on the other nominees, who are more or less on hand to fill out the category.

Am I really itching to see numbersfrom any of the new musicals performed on the Tony telecast? Frankly, no. One hopes we will get great scenes from the revivals, but beyond that, I have no qualms about not watching the Tonys this year. That night happens to be when the York Theatre is closing a weekend-long revival of the 1985 musical Grind. Sure, I will record the broadcast (for clips to show during classroom lectures), but I am not going to rush home that night to view the results.

I miss caring about the Tonys.

1 comment:

avalonreina said...

Dear John . IM a young producer (meaning young into the business)I keep reading and reading week by week your post and I couldnt agree more about caring about the Tony´s . I was raised in Britain but I was born in Mexico City been working into the show biussines now 20 yrs ago! I made several original childrne productions and jump into the big scene acquire the "Saturday NIght Fever " where we got granted by the BEe GEES , that all the songs where singing in spanish( I can tell the adaptation was fabulous (certanly never like the so fantastic lyricist who made the original ones , However I produce also "SELENA" the stroy of the life of the infamous tex mex singer wih was kileed by her fan club president in cold hand ,in 95, I made it in Mexico and in Tour, I was part of several other major productions such as Starlight Express and Cats in Mexico , IM working on the launch f a new project hpefully will have all teh "qualities Needed to be presented in Broadway , who knows ?
Im a fan of Broadway and seen mostly all shows , been iving in Utah but now im in Mexico .
thanks for your time
Silvia Castro

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