The Tony Awards will not be broadcast live on June 11 as of now because of the strike by the Writers Guild of America, which on Friday declined to grant a waiver requested by the Tony management committee,. That committee is meeting this morning to decide what to do. Options reportedly include postponing the broadcast until the strike has ended, holding a non-televised event, or announcing the winners at a press event. (And try to convince the WGA to change its mind.)
As the New York Times points out; “For Hollywood, the Tony Awards are not a front-burner issue …But for Broadway the stakes are enormous.”
To illustrate the dilemma, and the importance of this premier annual marketing opportunity for Broadway shows: The play “Leopoldstadt” and the musical “Kimberly Akimbo” have been doing worse box office business than “Bob Fosse’s Dancin’,” which closed Sunday. The difference is that Dancin’ was shut out of Tony nominations, while “Leopoldstadt” has been nominated for six, including Best Play, and “Kimberly Akimbo” eight, including Best Musical. Musicals in particular are known to get a “Tony bump.”
Would the struggling shows be able to survive until the strike has ended, which could take months?
Update: The Tony broadcast has been uncanceled; it will go on as scheduled on June 11, although in (unspecified) altered form, the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing agreeing to changes requested by The Writers Guild of America.
The Week in Theater Awards
The Week in New York Theater Reviews
he opening number of this resurrected musical from the late Elizabeth Swados is so lively and inviting that it reminded me of “Comedy Tonight” in “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum”…although the characters are dead Russian poets and their song might as well be called Poetry Tonight…Thanks to the score, Anne Bogart’s engaging, energetic direction, and some memorable performances, the show rewards a broader audience than might normally be drawn to ninety minutes of poets and poetry. Full Review
The Week in New York Theater News
First Tony casualties:
“Bob Fosse’s Dancin’,” which received no nominations, closed May 14th, having played 17 preview performances and 65 regular performances
“Bad Cinderella,” also shut out of the Tonys, announced it will close June 4, having played 30 preview and 85 regular performances on Broadway. It will mark the first time in forty-four years that Lloyd Webber has not had a show on Broadway.
Jeremy Strong, who appeared on Broadway in 2008 in “A Man for All Seasons” but is best-known for his role as Kendall Roy in the series “Succession,” is returning to Broadway in a new version of Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People”, sometime early in 2024. Adapted by Amy Herzog (who just adapted Ibsens A Doll’s House for Jessica Chastain) and directed by Sam Gold (Herzog’s husband), this will be the eleventh production of the 1882 play about Dr. Thomas Stockman (previously portrayed by Fredric March and most recently by Boyd Gaines), the medical officer who exposes the toxic pollution of a recently opened spa in a small town that depends on the spa economically.
Playwrights Horizons new season features work by David Adjmi, Milo Cramer, Michael R. Jackson in collaboration with Anna K. Jacobs, Abe Koogler, Alexandra Tatarsky, and Ikechukwu Ufomadu
“Runts,” a play “loosely based” on the Sarah Lawrence sex cult scandal, written by Melvin Jules Bukiet and Finnegan Shepard, a writing instructor at Sarah Lawrence, and one of his former students, begins a three-day run today a Teatro Lateo as part of the New York Theater Festival. Some of the victims object.
Broadway is not always kind to mothers, but Mother always makes an impression. On Mothers Day, let us recall the season just ended….
“Spoilers” don’t actually spoil one’s enjoyment of a show, according to psychological research, writes psychology professor Anna-Lisa Cohen, because we as viewers get caught up in what the psychologists call “narrative transportation” whether or not we know what’ll happen.
The Week’s Theater Video
Celebrating 50 Years of Broadway’s Best | Great Performances on PBS, with host Sutton Foster performances by (among others) André De Shields, Chita Rivera, and Vanessa Williams (Click on arrows for full screen)
(You can also check
The host gets to perform as well:
A day before they announced that it will close, “Bad Cinderella” live-streamed for free the opening of Act 2. Another creative use of digital theater!