The Playgoer: Tepid "Tuners" still Triumph at Tonys

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tepid "Tuners" still Triumph at Tonys

Well, might as well throw any last pretense of the Tonys saluting "excellence" out the window now.

In a break from Tonycast tradition, eleven of the season’s new tuners will perform Sunday during the 62nd annual Tony Awards ceremony on CBS.

Usually only the musicals nominated for the top tuner trophies get a performance slot, which comes with the marketing benefits of a segment on national network television.

This year, however, “The Little Mermaid,” “Young Frankenstein” and “A Catered Affair” -- all of which received Tony nods, but not in the best musical category -- will join the lineup of nominated new tuners (“In the Heights,” “Passing Strange”) and revivals (“South Pacific,” “Gypsy”) doing numbers during the ceremony.

(From Variety, of course.)

One might also add the low, low esteem in which Mermaid, Frankenstein, and Catered are held in the artistic/critical community. (Okay, maybe some grudging respect toward Catered Affair for at least not being just a cynical theme-park enterprise.)

Then again, in the adding insult to injury category...

Only musical offering from the 2007-08 season to go missing is “Glory Days,” the short-lived flop that closed last month on the same day it opened.

I hardly interpret this as a sudden bout of taste. It was just Glory Days' misfortune not to have powerful producers.

Expect Mr. Riedel to have a fit tomorrow!


Dave said...

Well, honestly, does anyone look to the Tonys (or any award show, for that matter) for credibility?

It's a commercial for Broadway shows, period. It's always been that. If the awards coincide with shows and artists whose work you like, they're fine. If not, you throw your hands up and question their criteria.

Don't get me wrong; I enjoy the show every year, but certainly don't look to it for artistic excellence.

Bluelyric7 said...

I agree with Dave. Anything on TV is a marketing blowout anyway. Like that ridiculous Elle Wood show...integrity is most certainly cascading down the drain. So I'm not surprised that Mermaid is making its way to the stage...I still can't wrap my brain around the fact that the same man who wrote I Am My Own Wife wrote the book for it.

I've been kind of randomly checking peoples' blogs, because I blog for If you feel compelled, we'll be live-blogging the Tonys. So you might be able to get a dose of snark if you're looking for it.

Take care!