The Tony Awards nominations have been announced and we think we should be pleased. Why? A couple of “smaller” shows (read: transferred from off-Broadway and/or have no stars in them) received a lot of attention, such as “In The Heights” and “Passing Strange.” Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” – or rather, “Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein” as it is officially known – received only 3 nominations, and none in the Best Musical category.
Are you asleep yet?
In case you haven’t guessed, we sort of don’t care much about this. But why not? Small is better, small is the new big, blah blah blah. The truth is, you don’t get to Broadway without a crapload of cash behind you. It’s a little bit like being so excited about Barack Obama’s “outsider” status. Do you really believe that someone can run for President without tons of money and connections? How “outside” could he possibly be?
When “Urinetown” was nominated and won lots of awards, that was a little different. This was a couple of guys who toiled on tiny stages for years, had no intention of making a run at Broadway, and got there anyway. I’m not knocking “Passing Strange”, which has a little bit of that pedigree. “In The Heights” seems like just more of the same. Regardless, it’s all Broadway, it’s $100+ for a ticket, so screw ’em.
Two quick thoughts:
– Ellen Degeneres should’ve said “This is ironic that I’m the host, because my drag name is Oscar Brunch.”
– When they started playing music to get her off the stage, Jennifer Hudson should have said “I AM TELLING YOU I’M NOT GOING!”
This is the FringeNYC awards, and also the shows that will get a little more viewing time via the new FringeNYC Encores series.
A little bit of trivia: the first year of the festival, the awards were called BIFFs – Best In Fringe Festival. Overall Excellence sounds a little bit like something from a ‘Simpsons’ episode (specifically this one), but at least it isn’t named after a guy you didn’t want to talk to in high school.
FringeNYC 2006 Overall Excellence Award Winners
What is the ITA Award, you ask? The Improvisational Theater Association, you dummy.
Look, any show that makes theater out of Brat Pack-era stuff is okay by us. And what they (the ITA) say makes sense: “The ITA created these awards in celebration of the unique form of interactive or ‘reality theater’ that has been a part of the legitimate theatrical landscape for decades and has produced some of the longest running shows in New York City and around the world, including Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding, The Donkey Show, De La Guarda, and The Awesome 80s Prom. Despite the length and success of these runs, prior to the ITA, there has never been an organization that has recognized and honored the achievements of these unique productions.” And besides, if the film industry can have a separate award for every film that gets made, why can’t the thee-tah add a few more statues to the industry’s mantle?