For me, the annual Tony Awards are synonymous with the Seinfeld episode where Kramer – as a seat-filler – accidentally gets whisked onstage to accept an award. But I digress.
What’s the significance of the Tony Awards to people in Ohio? Put it this way, it’s the Broadway equivalent of watching the NCAA basketball tournament to see who the top NBA draft picks will be. It’s a glimpse of what the future holds because the shows nominated and performing at the Tony Awards are often the ones that will soon be on stages across the country.
It’s the brightest night of the year for the Great White Way. The stars come out, and what’s cool is that international stars are plugging into Broadway. Nominees include big name performers (Denzel Washington, Scarlett Johansson, Kelsey Grammar, Jude Law, Christopher Walken, Catherine Zeta-Jones) or producers (as Jay-Z, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are for FELA!). The Broadway industry is the beneficiary of slimming Hollywood budgets and the reality TV trend that has top list talent flocking to delve into the gripping and entertaining work of live theater.
To get a taste of the originality and diversity of the current Broadway scene, look no further than the Best Musical category:
FELA! – the true story of the legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, whose soulful Afrobeat rhythms ignited a generation.
Memphis – a fresh musical about radio DJ whose love of music transcends race lines and airwaves in 1950’s Tennessee.
American Idiot – Green Day’s electrifying punk rock sound delivers the story of a new generation of young Americans struggling to find meaning in a post-9/11 world.
Million Dollar Quartet – inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time.
There’s plenty more to see and hear. Visit our site or the Tony’s site to enter plenty of the fun Tony Awards contests.
And of course, watch the Tony’s on Sunday, June 13th at 8PM on CBS…and give us your scouting report.