Numbers are hot.
So here’s a few to spice up your weekend:
Let’s look at Tony Award nominees and winners of the two big categories, Best Musical and Best Play, and their corresponding reviews in the New York Times over the last 11 seasons (since 1997).
BEST MUSICAL NOMINEES BEST PLAY NOMINEES
Positive Reviews 40% Positive Reviews 68%
Mixed Reviews 30% Mixed Reviews 16%
Negative Reviews 30% Negative Reviews 16%
BEST MUSICAL WINNERS BEST PLAY WINNERS
Positive Reviews 64% Positive Reviews 82%
Mixed Reviews 18% Mixed Reviews 18%
Negative Reviews 18% Negative Reviews 0%
What does all this mean? Does the New York Times favor plays? Are Tony voters voting with The Times or because of The Times? Do reviews not matter for musicals looking to be nominated for a trophy, or is it just that the lower numbers of new musicals means easier nominations?
What does it mean?
That’s for you to decide.
Any accountant, comptroller or high school kid with a pirated copy of Excel can deliver you a set a good looking numbers.
It’s a Producer’s job to figure out what they mean. And when you do, it’s not hot. It’s beau-tastic.
(Oh, and in case you are wondering (and you should be, because data is only as good as its source), we used the Variety Pro/Con/Mixed meter to determine the status of the reviews.)