The Playgoer: Tony Award Bizarro Logic

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Tony Award Bizarro Logic

Did the role of Eddie Carbone's wife Beatrice in A View from the Bridge somehow get smaller in the last twelve years?  According to the folks at the Tonys it apparently did:

[S]ome of the producers on “View [from the Bridge]” are said to be a little frustrated that a Tony Awards committee decided last week to place the actress Jessica Hecht, who plays the wife of Mr. Schreiber’s character and the aunt of Ms. Johansson’s, in eligibility for a nomination in the best featured actress category instead of the leading actress category.

The producers had hoped to give Ms. Johansson a clear shot at a featured actress Tony nomination for her performance, and Ms. Hecht a shot at leading actress, which was the category that Allison Janney was nominated in when she played Ms. Hecht’s character, Beatrice, in the 1997-98 Broadway revival of “A View From the Bridge.”
Yes, the producers are of course "gaming" this to maximize possible awards and avoid having actors cancel each other out.  But still, with the 1998 precedent, they have a case, no?


followhowardsopinion said...

The Tony Award Committee is clearly following the example of our confused and ill functioning government.
The role of Beatrice is without doubt the leading female role.
Miss Johansson has done fine and sensitively nuanced acting as Catherine.
However Ms Hecht has played the role of Beatrice with power and dramatic excellence.
Acting in so balanced and creatively endowed intimacy with both the power of Mr Schrieber and the painfully evolving maturity of the of Ms Johansson's Catherine it is Ms Hecht who anchors the play and sets the stage for its elevation to timelessness.
The Tony Award committee has placed faux politics before dramatic and artistic truth.

Anonymous said...

The decision of the tony awards committee is indeed bizarre. How Does a committee switch the leading role of Beatrice to featured actress when in all previous productions including film Beatrice was the leading female role and Catherine the featured one. Something is rotten in Denmark!!! If you are not consistent and do not even follow the intention of the now deceased playwrite you diminish the meaning of the award. How can you be trusted by the public? Ms Hecht was Leading and Ms. Johansson was featured. The marketing gave the wrong impression but that does not change the basic fact stated above. The entire cast was excellent. Do not distort the truth.