Theater and the arts continue despite the coronavirus pandemic. Stephen Sondheim's 90th birthday was
commemorated with Take Me to the World, a spectacular web-based quilt of performances presented by Broadway.com on April 26 and now available on YouTube. Though live performances on or Off-Broadway may not return for months, the annual award-dispensing free-for-all goes on, in different forms. The only prize-giving entity not heard from as of yet is the biggest of them all, the Tony Awards. This shows the fundamental difference between the Tonys and all other awards. While the Drama Desks, Outer Critics, Obies and Lortels are voted on by relatively small groups of Gotham-based critics and some industry insiders who will have seen all the eligible shows, a significant portion of the Tony electorate is made up of out-of-town road producers who come into New York at the end of the season to view as many candidates as possible. With no shows on, these people can't vote for anything. (The rest of the Tony voters are NYC producers, the board members of the various theatrical unions and about 20 members of the New York Drama Critics Circle.) In addition, the Tonys are not only a ceremony to honor artistic excellence, they are also a commercial TV venture to push Broadway's product. Again if there are no shows to push, CBS and the producers have no reason to put on a show, even a digital one with presenters and winners Zooming in.
|Performers in Take Me to the World: |
A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration