The Playgoer: Tony Lowlight

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tony Lowlight

"The theater lovers who tuned in to the telecast might also have been puzzled to see Julie Chen introducing a segment devoted to the season’s straight plays. They might have wondered, as I did, who Ms. Chen is, and what her connection to the theater could possibly be. Ms. Chen may have popped into the celebrity spin cycle that is “Chicago” at some point, but if she did, I missed it. I also missed her introduction, so only the next morning, when I read news coverage of the ceremony, did I learn that Ms. Chen is a “television personality” associated with CBS shows like 'Big Brother' and 'The Early Show.'

I also learned that she happens to be married to Leslie Moonves, president and chief executive of CBS. It is hard to avoid concluding that Ms. Chen’s presence was primarily a way of currying favor with the man who can snap his fingers and exile the Tony Awards to the Siberian wasteland of PBS.

But, really, would that be such a bad thing?"

-Charles Isherwood, in his bemused reaction to last week's Tony Awards.

So, so right on that last point. I mean, with broadcast "rabbit-ear" tv being practically outlawed next year...who needs CBS.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I have never understood the obsession with keeping the Tony Awards on CBS. The end result is a broadcast embarrassing in its desperation. Leslie Moonves probably doesn't even know what a play *is*.