Should we have more than 4 nominees for Best Musical?

The Academy Awards went ol’ school this year when they went back to their roots of having 10 nominees for Best Picture, a practice that was discontinued sixty years ago.

Why’d they do it?

The President of the Academy, Sid Ganis, said, “Having 10 Best Picture nominees is going to allow Academy voters to recognize and include some of the fantastic movies that often show up in the other Oscar categories, but have been squeezed out of the race for the top prize.”

That’s certainly true, but there are other reasons for widening the field, including making the run for the gold more suspenseful (and making it more likely for an underdog to win) and giving more films additional marketing power.

So, should we do it?  Should the Tonys widen their field of Best Musical and Best Play nominees to five?

The answer is Yes.

Sometimes.

The Tony Committee should have the authority to widen their choice of Best Musical and Best Play nominees to more than four should they feel that the season demands it (especially since they nixed the Special Event Tony – where are all those folks gonna go?).  We’ve all seen snubs in the past four years that just didn’t make sense, and this would be a way to recognize shows on the fringe, give them the marketing power of the Tony Award (plus the performance on the telecast – which is what the audience tunes in for), and make it more of a nail-biter of a race.

Awards are about two things: recognizing excellence, and marketing the industry that they are awarding.

Right now, we’re not taking full enough advantage of either.

Comments
  • MrProducer says:

    I wholeheartedly agree. If the people doing the nominating feel that more shows deserve recognition, then let them do it. We all know that concessions are made every year with regards to other categories and producers of shows NOT nominated are always looking for ways to get their shows featured…
    Brilliant idea

  • Ed from Connecticut says:

    Makes perfect sense, Ken.
    Great call.

  • Hunter P. says:

    This makes complete sense! The removal of the best special theatrical event category was bad to do, especially with such a season as we’ve had with such events. I did think last year that there should be other nominees, seeing as we nominate five for others.

  • I agree, Ken. Depends on the pool of nominees each year. It should be more flexible. Your posts are great thought starters, as always. Cheers, Julie

  • Jeff says:

    What about REDUCING the number of nominees in some categories certain years? It is ridiculous that for the last several years all you had to do is open a musical revival – and you’d get nominated because they needed to have 4 nominees. Where’s the the “artistic” quality there Ken? ALL OF ME and SONDHEIM are revues – and revues belong in BEST MUSICAL CATEGORY. COME FLY WITH ME purports to have a storyline – the dancers even have character names – so hello? It’s rightly belongs in BEST MUSICAL. As none of these three are really good shows it doesn’t matter. They have about as much a chance as Sarah P. of Alaska does becoming President. COME FLY may sneak in there as 4th Musical nominated – only because it is marginally better than ADDAMS which is really, really dreadful – but it hasn’t a chance of winning – and choreography is going to MEMPHIS or FELA (If PROMISES P doesn’t snatch it). COME FLY is this season’s CRY BABY. Rehash/Remix of a previous hit. They’re “slot” fillers and never win.
    Carrie Fisher and Roundabout sold WISHFUL DRINKING as a new play – not a stand-up comedy performance. So it should be judged in the BEST PLAY category. You can’t have it both ways.
    The special event Tony was intended for things such as LENA HORNE, LIZA at PALACE, etc. that don’t fit in regular categories. Producers have abused it to win a Tony (not sure why as the Special Event Tony means zilch at the boxoffice – the public isn’t that stupid) and the choice of nominees this season scant at best – so good, rightly so, to it.

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Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

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