Bringing home the TONY can mean the difference between shuttering a show and extending a run.
There are plenty of other awards, keeping casts and creatives out late on school nights all through the spring each year. The Drama Desk and the Outer Critics add lustre to an artist’s or a show’s resume, but TONY is the ultimate Broadway party.
One Sunday in June–this year it’s the 12th, 8/7C televised on CBS and live from the Beacon Theatre— the theatrical community dresses up to cheer each other on. The Tony Awards celebration is Broadway’s Oscar night.
The five people and shows nominated in each TONY category are each a defacto winner, and will perpetually be labelled a Tony nominee. Anyone winning is, well, truly a winner.
Everyone loves a winner
TONY is the big get for producers, as well as for stars and the creative team. Having a Tony enhances your star power and can take your show into the next year. Subscription houses can turn a TONY into a larger patron base and the sale of additional regularly priced tickets.
The most coveted prizes in the TONY panoply are for BEST Musical, BEST Musical Revival, then for BEST Play or Revival. When a production snags one of these, it’s the producers– not the author, actors, crew or director– who take the bow, and make the speeches. The investors have had the foresight to back a winner.
Without at least a TONY nomination, shows fold their tents and make untimely exits from the Great White Way.
How long can a mere shadow mimic life or fill a Bway house?
Straight plays are less likely to fill 500 seats over the long-run, the way a musical can do. TONY is here to help, but it can only go so far. August Osage County lives on in a film version, as does Driving Miss Daisy, for instance, but how many plays have the years of success like the musicals Phantom or Chicago? For playgoers, and those involved in putting on the shows, the TONY for BEST Play and BEST Revival of a Play are still much anticipated.
All The Way, the 2014 winning BEST Play, which also won Bryan Cranston the lead actor Tony, has been turned into a much-anicipated HBO film, premiering on May 21st.
Who will win?
Your guess may prove better than mine, but I have made some predictions and invite you to compare notes now, and then again on TONY’s night, to see how I did, and how you did. Also, follow along on VevlynsPen.com to see what I think the contest will look like. That story will be up soon.
For now, get the nominee list for the 70th Annual Tony Awards from http://www.tonyawards.com/.