Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Why Grease Was The Word This Morning...

Why Grease Was The Word This Morning...

If you were like me, you may have wondered whether the Tony Nominating Committee had blinders on or a different set of glasses altogether when the current revival of Grease was on the lips of those announcing this year's nominees in the otherwise rarefied category of Best Revival of a Musical.

Earlier this morning, it was announced that Grease was nominated alongside such breathtaking and deserving efforts as Gypsy , South Pacific and Sunday In The Park With George.

As it turns out, the nominating committee had no choice.

Thanks to one of my in-the-know friends, who is far more knowledgable than I, I now know that if there is an insufficient number of candidates -- or just barely enough -- to fill out the obligatory number of spots in any particular category, then all candidates in that category must be nominated.

Thankfully, that usually matters only in a very few categories.

But this year, since only four revivals of musicals were produced, all four are nominated regardless of merit. I've been told that this is done so that the commercial theatre won't be embarrassed by the impression that there's an insufficient number of quality shows.

Instead, however, it results in shows of dubious quality being nominated. But since those are the rules adopted by the Administration Committee by which the Tony Nominating Committee must abide, we can't blame the latter group. Yet it's an arcane rule that diminishes the import and integrity of the process itself, not to mention the awards and the more distinguished nominees.

Thus, we get a Grease stain to further sully the reputation and honor of theatre's most prestigious awards.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Related Stories:
And The Tony Nominees Go To... (May 13, 2008)

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At 13 May, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not forget, however, that the Tony Committee makes rules as they go along. For example, the no best musical nomination = no TV performance rule will probably once again be flouted if YF is shown on the telecast.

The road producers make a significant block of Tony voters. To appease them, the Tony broadcast HAS to show Grease on the telecast. Grease is definitely going on tour and will make the tour/road producers and the regional theatres that will host them gobs of money. Let's face it- Broadway is first and foremost about business and not art.

At 13 May, 2008, Blogger Kevin Daly said...

Well, as much I appreciate reading this Steve, I can't say it's helped stop the agita...

I guess if 'Cry-Baby' is Best Musical material, then 'Grease' is a fitting parallel in the Musical Revival territory...?

And I thought how nice it would be to get through the Tony telecast without a single hand-jive or a "chang chang chang-it-ty chang shoo-bop" (What does that even mean?)

And that's the evolution of the musical today... *sigh*

At 13 May, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Drat! Now I'm going to have that song going through my head for the rest of the night!

At 13 May, 2008, Blogger Kevin Daly said...

My response to that:

check your email... ;)


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