5 Reasons why we shouldn’t have gotten rid of Special Theatrical Event this season.
Immediately following last year’s Tony Awards, the Admin Committee decided to strike the “Special Theatrical Event” Tony from the list of trophies that it would hand out in the future.
The Special Event kudos was created following the bizarre Best Musical win in 2000 for Susan Stroman’s dance piece, Contact, which lacked an original score and a live orchestra (and was even billed as a “dance play”).
I wrote about my disappointment over the demise of this category when it happened. Now, almost a season later, I’ve come up with five more reasons why the Special Event should have stuck around.
Those five reasons are:
1. Wishful Drinking
2. Burn The Floor
3. All About Me
4. Come Fly Away
5. Sondheim on Sondheim
(And could Fela! have lobbied for Special Event, rather than try and go up against Addams Family or American Idiot? It would have lost the lobby, but it would have been interesting.)
While I understand the theory of cutting the category, I’m not sure I understand why it couldn’t continue on an “as needed” basis. Surely there was enough “specialness” this year to warrant at least three nominations and one trophy. Otherwise, is it really fair for Wishful Drinking to have to compete against Enron for a nomination for Best Play? And what about the reverse? If Come Fly Away pulls a Contact and gets nominated for Best Musical (despite using Frank Sinatra vocals and being primarily a dance piece), another more conventional and maybe even original musical may get snubbed. I know if I were a producer of a snubbed original, I’d be pretty peeved. And this specific example could very well happen, as I hear Fly Away is fantastic. I smell trouble, with a capital T and that stands for Tony.
If the Admin Committee does really want to do away with the category, there is another way to prevent the above nightmare from happening.
Expand the number of nominees for Best Musical when needed, as I discussed here.
Awards are about celebrating our community’s artistic achievement first, and about marketing second. I’m not sure how setting this amount of artistry aside accomplishes either.