NYT's Patrick Healy's has been doing more reporting on the Pulitzer Drama Prize drama (probably revving up for an article in tomorrow's paper), and reveals just how narrow minded the Board is. Turns out, that when faced with three jury-recommended plays that they didn't warm to, a bunch of board members went to check out Next to Normal on Broadway--and voted it the prize the next day.
None of the [jury-selected] three plays achieved a majority vote from the board, which is required to win the prize, Mr. Gissler said. Board members then reviewed the jury’s report, which accompanies the three nominees, he said. Of the approximately 70 plays and musicals that had been submitted for Pulitzer consideration, the jury’s report mentioned “Next to Normal” for praise, Mr. Gissler said. He would not say if other shows were mentioned in the jury report as well.I'll have more to say tomorrow. But for now I just have to ask: does the Board treat all the categories this casually? And imagine if they did treat any other, more "serious" category like this--and overrule its jury like this?
Even though “Next to Normal” was mentioned in the jury report, the show was not among the three nominees put forward by the jury, thereby requiring a three-fourths vote of the Pulitzer board to move “Next to Normal” out of the pool of entries and into contention for the prize.
Mr. Gissler would not say if that vote for “Next to Normal” happened on Thursday or Friday. But board members had the libretto and score of “Next to Normal” for their consideration, and on Thursday night, several members of the board – who were in New York for their final meetings – went to see “Next to Normal” on Broadway at the Booth Theater. Mr. Gissler declined to say how many of the 17 voting board members went to see the show that night. A second person familiar with the board’s deliberations, but who spoke about internal board matters on condition of anonymity, said that “a lot of them” – referring to the board members – went to see “Next to Normal” that night.
One thing we learn--it sure does still matter to be on Broadway.