While we’re talking about the Times . . .

In a recap and coal-raking of this year’s Tony Awards, New York Times reviewer, Charles Isherwood, said:

The pleasure of the Tony Awards, for me and probably for most theater lovers (and, seriously, who else watches?) is a chance to see artists we admire rewarded for their work, to see them acting joyous, excited, flustered, grateful, maybe a little foolish – in short, human, divorced from the stage personality, without the mask of character to obscure them.  The glow of that kind of happiness is always touching.  The highlights of all Tony telecasts, for me, are the acceptance speeches . . .

Huh. You guys are theater lovers. Is that why you tune in?
I wasn’t sure I agreed with him . . . so I did a poll on BroadwaySpace. Here are the results as to why a few hundred Broadway lovers tune in to the Tonys:

45% To See The Performances

30% To Find Out Who Wins

10% To Hear The Acceptance Speeches Of The Winners

6% To See The Host

9% To See The Celebrities

The Tonys took a lot of knocks this year for recycling past Tony winners, including non-nominated show performances, presenting awards pre-telecast and showing edited acceptance speeches.

We have to remember, the Tonys are a television show, and the biggest branding opportunity Broadway has every year. If we want long speeches and catered egos, then let’s hand out the hardware of a catered lunch.

No, the ratings didn’t go up, but the quality of the experience for those same number of viewers did.

  • Esther says:

    I thought Isherwood was unfair. I loved seeing the casts of The Lion King and Rent perform, as well as all of the other musicals. Sure, the acceptance speeches are nice, except when they’re like Mark Rylance’s and they’re bewildering. But one great thing about seeing the performances on tv is that you get a really great up-close view, even better than if you’re sitting in the first few rows of the orchestra.

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