The Playgoer: No Sex, Please, We're the Tonys

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

No Sex, Please, We're the Tonys

A number from Passing Strange just got axed from the Tony broadcast.

Ok, not the awards show itself (airing June 15) but a sneak-peak "Special" scheduled for the week before to drum up for the wider television audience interest in (i.e. any knowledge at all of) the nominated shows.

The details, in Variety-speak, are as follows:

CBS' flagship O&O in Gotham has nixed a musical number from Broadway tuner "Passing Strange" from its pre-Tony special after the net's standards and practices department declared the song "We Just Had Sex" inappropriate for broadcast.

Producers of "Passing Strange" feel they cannot prepare a new number in time for a taping skedded for Friday.

[...]

Post-coital subject matter of "Sex" seems to have raised eyebrows at WCBS, although the actual content of the tune would likely strike many auds as relatively tame.

In a statement, a WCBS spokesman said station execs felt "the lyrics in the song offered by the musical's producers are inappropriate for broadcast television, especially for a 7 p.m. audience, when children are watching."

A spotlight on the tube could prove valuable to "Passing Strange," which earned critical praise from its February opening but has since struggled at the box office. Weekly sales receipts rarely hit $300,000 and sometimes sink below $200,000.

So, yes, they may not get on the show at all, now.

This pisses off not only the Passing Strange peeps, but also Oskar Eustis and the Public, which is a shareholding producer in the B'way run.

Eustis said the "Passing Strange" production team has been told there is no recourse to the WCBS decision. Currently, the show will not be featured in the special.

"We're kind of hosed," Eustis said.

Careful, Oskar. Better not say "hosed" on CBS either.

2 comments:

RLewis said...

My gf and I still sing that chorus to eachother - love it - but if I were going to pick the song most likely to offend middle-America, that one's a no-brainer. In fact, it's probably the only kinda-controversial song in the show. Whoever picked that song and 7pm national tv as the time/place to push boundaries should lose his/her job. What purpose could that possibly serve? (Courting the huge swinger demo'? lol) There are so many terrific songs in the show, I can't believe there isn't another, better choice. Someone was asking for it.

Anonymous said...

Think maybe The Black One was more appropriate? It is a brilliant song...