Thursday, October 15, 2020

The Tonys Are Happening?

I don't usually update my blog anymore except for my annual Tony nomination post.  I wasn't going to do one this year because it's hard to care about the Tonys this year when we don't even know when Broadway will be back. I think if the Tonys announced nominations in April or May when we knew that the shutdown would last much longer than a month, as other theater awards did, I would have cared more. What were they waiting for? Why now? Especially when it's so close to the election. Who can think about awards? But I did tune into the announcement and it turns out I have some thoughts. I'm not going to go category by category this year, so if you want to see the complete list of nominees, you can find it here.

The main thing that jumps out is that there was only new musical with an original score that opened before the shutdown and that was The Lightning Thief, based on the Rick Riordan book. Though it got some positive reviews Off-Broadway, the Broadway reviews were overwhelmingly negative. It was not nominated in any category. In the best original score category, five plays were nominated. Though I did like the music for some of those plays, particularly The Sound Inside and The Rose Tattoo, I couldn't tell you right now what those scores sounded like. In the best performance by an actor in a leading role in a musical category, only Aaron Tveit was nominated, though Chris McCarrell who played Percy Jackson was also eligible. I'm not saying that The Lightning Thief should have been nominated in every category it was nominated in, but to not nominate it at all feels like a deliberate snub. The Tonys are not a participation award, but this year they sort of are. If the March and April shows had opened, those categories would look a lot different. 

Everybody is out of work. This was supposed to be a way to celebrate the industry. Why exclude one show in this way? Especially one with an original score. It's also a show with a very young base, so to leave it out reeks of elitism. Shouldn't we be telling young people that the art they love matters?

OK. Rant over. On a more positive note, I am happy that some shows like The Sound Inside, which might have been forgotten in another year, were recognized. And I look forward to Adrienne Warren getting her much deserved Tony award for Tina, whenever that will be (a date for the actual awards has yet to be announced).