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Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I'm disappointed.

As a rule, I typically avoid reviews and other people's opinions about things I love. So, the more I think about the Tony Awards on Sunday, the more annoyed I feel. I was really looking forward to the Tony Awards because it celebrates theatre and I adore the theatre. Though I blogged during the show, I didn't have a good feeling in my stomach as the night went on and particularly the more I think about it. So...I went to the interwebs to find out what other people thought. At least I wasn't alone...I don't really know anyone who liked it either.

Last year, I was super excited about the shows and actors up for awards. Last year, I thought there was some competition and at least there were original musicals up for best musical or best book, right? This year, none of it was very good. As much as I talk about my interest in American Idiot, I know its not an original musical. I would rather a really good, thought out, well written original musical win for best new musical; one with substance. And yes, I realize what show won...but is it a next to normal or [title of show]? No. I'm not even sure what it is, but it does the very opposite that a musical typically does for me. It doesn't inspire or excite me. It bores me (sorry, it does). It makes me yawn and look for something...anything else that is better. Which leads me to...

What is happening to Broadway? I don't like to denigrate a show that I've never seen or really a season of shows that I haven't seen and don't interest me. Someone might tell me that I shouldn't criticize something until I've seen it (I certainly would). Maybe I don't understand. Maybe I'm just too critical or have unfair expectations. Last year I was more excited about the awards than I had been in the last few seasons. All because of next to normal? In part. This year, what were our choices? It was similar to the 1995 Tony Awards when there were only two shows up for best musical - Sunset Blvd. & Smokey Joe's Cafe (I believe) so they award for best new musical went to the only original musical up (Sunset Blvd.) and really, by default!

I recently read an article in the Village Voice about the state of NY theater and I really agree with it. There was a lot I saw wrong about this year's Tony Awards as a dedicated supporter of theater. I'm not a professional and don't pretend to be one either. I also understand the reasons why extremely random (but potential draws to the telecast) were asked to be presenters and I understand why certain performers/casts won (though I didn't agree) because its all political. I worked in an industry that was dictated by these politics and it was unfortunate, but it happened. I think that true fans of the theater are really disturbed because it feels like the state of the Broadway theater scene is changing. There has always been something so pure and so real about these people who create theater because they work hard based on the love of the art form. The successes of these folks is not to purely to become rich and famous and targets for the paparazzi, but because they believe in it. Yet when someone comes along and is nominated for a role that they did well enough in and are nominated against other professionals who work just as hard (if not harder) to succeed and gain the respect of critics and fans alike only to be crushed and taken down because they are not as well known or did not pay to campaign for an award as hard, how is that fair? How is it fair that some random "famous" person who happens to kinda like theater can present at an awards show based on achievement in the theater? Just for ratings? Why is the theater community giving away their awards show? For money? For an ulterior motive? Probably. I was almost a little offended at the big song and dance number from the Glee kids. I appreciate the show and I have long since been a fan and supporter of the folks that were cast in the show from Broadway. But to devote an entire number just to these two - for ratings I presume. Where was this publicity for these actors when they were just treading the boards back in the day? It just doesn't seem fair. There were just so many things wrong with the show this year. Its a shame too...because I was really looking forward to them, but I seem to cringe a whole lot more these days when I hear and read about the shows coming to Broadway. We need more shows that are original, creative and inventive by talented writers and composers.


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