The Tony Award© nominations dropped yesterday, and there were a lot of cheers for shows that were struggling like, For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow Is Enuf,* and a few snubs like Beanie Feldstein and most of Funny Girl. However, this is a time to reflect on what was exciting: a bold return to the theater.
Although COVID has changed the theater going experience entirely, it still has not stopped the shadiness, the nastiness, the joys, and the tears of those involved in storytelling, and the fans that love it. I watched an instagram message from Tony Award© winner, Stephanie J. Block, and she paraphrased something that Savion Glover said to her: It’s our job to tell the story and not sell the story. Sadly, in this current incarnation of show business, storytellers are being forced to gin up their social media game and be herded like cattle to and fro to promote whatever project they happen to be representing. In addition to that, they are supposed to be en pointe and ready by curtain and the call of “places” 8 shows a week.
The great Ossie Davis said that award shows are basically trade shows. It is an opportunity to shed a light on industry, and give people something to look at and possibly engage with a ticket purchase. In any case, the nominations and the show give us mere mortals an opportunity to peek into the world that we love and sometimes covet. It also makes some of us great armchair quarterbacks (only time a sporting reference will ever be used).
After a 2 year hiatus, please enjoy my conversations with 2 of my favorite Tony Award armchair quarterbacks, Gregory Allen and Paul Winkler. Match your predictions with ours and maybe look for some light, because I know shade will be thrown. LOL.