Home Theater Tony Awards Get Short Straw with Beacon Theater Choice

The 2011 Tony Awards have drawn the short straw for their June 2011 broadcast.

Yesterday it was announced they’d been forced to take the Beacon Theater on Broadway and 74th St. for their annual show. It turns out that Radio City has a Cirque du Soleil show that can’t be moved or shut down already set for June 12, 2011.

Yikes! This comes as “Spider Man: Turn off the Dark” would likely be a Tony nominee and have to reproduce a scene or two in the tiny Beacon. The Tonys may wind up having to let “Spider Man” do their thing live from their own Foxwoods (I hate that name) Theater on 42nd St.

The Beacon also has half has many seats as Radio City, which means there will be a lot of fighting over who gets to attend. The Beacon is also not near any place for an official Tony after party–miles from Rockefeller Center, where the party always is set in the skating rink.

What’s even more complicated is that, for the performers involved, the Beacon backstage is a disaster area. It’s a cramped, narrow, vertical place with tiny dressing rooms. and a very small elevator–very small. Let’s not forget that the warrens of the Beacon backstage are where the legendary Ahmet Ertegun fell and hit his head during the filming of the Martin Scorsese documentary about the Rolling Stones– putting him in a coma that turned out to be fatal.

Certainly there must be a better choice in all of New York City for the Tonys. They deserve better.

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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