Tonight, The Tony Awards will be held at Radio City Music Hall here in New York City. The City will be awash in stars and glamour as the best in theater competes for the industry’s top honor – A Tony. Broadway is big business for New York City. The 2012-13 season generated some $1.139 billion dollars in ticket sales by some 11.57 million attendees, slightly down from last season. (Note to Broadway producers: Ticket prices have gotten too high.) The economic impact is enourmous for the City generating close to $12 billion and supportting tens of thousands of jobs. Tonight, millions of people in countries around the world will be watching New York’s theater elite strut the red carpet and witness incredible performances on stage live from The Great White Way.
No doubt we’ll see many faces we recognize and for many, be introduced to some new ones. Broadway afterall is a star maker and sometimes, a star fixer. Word of caution to all those Hollywood stars in need of some fixing and theater cred – it ain’t easy doin’ 8 shows a week, kid. Audiences and critics can be pretty tough and the results can be, well kinda lousey (see case study Katie Holmes). This season, quite a few Hollywood stars got the heave ho from Tony voters.. and plenty of A-list Hollywood stars showed up. Tonight’s Tony Awards will be celebrating the actors few know outside Times Square. The heave ho list is a whopper and includes no nominations for Bette Midler, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes, Jessica Chastain, Paul Rudd, Alec Baldwin, Alicia Silverstone, Sigourney Weavor, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Scarlett Johansson. Only Tom Hanks picked up a nod (his first time on Broadway, too). Message to movie stars, think twice before you come crawlin’ back to Broadway. All this dissing reminded me of a couple of Hollywood attempts at dramatizing “the theater” with Broadway themed flicks chalk full of drama and memorable lines. I’m talking about Valley of the Dolls and my personal favorite All About Eve, of course! I couldn’t resist so I included a couple of vidoes here for your enjoyment including a great trailer with Bette Davis. Think of these as Tony Award pre-show entertainment. A warm up of sorts.
So, be sure to tune into CBS tonight at 8PM ET/7CT for The Tony Awards hosted by the fabulous Neil Patrick Harris (my favorite award show host of all time). I’m not making any predictions but I’ll be rooting for Kinky Boots which has 13 nominations including best musical. New Yorker’s love an original, and I’m excited to see The Tony’s reward and celebrate originality and home grown talent, cause I’m all about New York.