Broadway is in a muddle, and no one seems to know what’s going on.
Today the Broadway League announced they were planning a digital Tony Awards for sometime this fall. This may be news to CBS, which broadcasts the Tonys in June but couldn’t this year since there was no season.
Is this going to be on Zoom? And who is nominated? From what shows? We never had a real season. Many shows never opened. A few did, and then closed with all the others. The group of shows and people who were eligible was pretty slim. Of them all, I’d say the biggest calamity was not getting to see Adrienne Warren pick up a Tony for the Tina Turner musical.
Maybe the Broadway League announcement was a panicked response to the previous day’s story that NBC wants to do a special in the fall highlighting Broadway shows. They don’t know which ones, and so far no one wants to do it. It wouldn’t be easy to produce since all the shows are in storage and the theaters are closed, and the casts are all social distancing.
Meantime, the theater district and the Broadway world are losing hundreds of millions of dollars. Some shows– as I’ve reported — have announced opening dates for March and April. A couple have said they’ll go for May 2021. But Broadway houses are 95% very cramped with seating. People are on top of each other. Coughing throughout shows is typical. And you can’t reduce the number of seats. It’s not financially possible. You also can’t put plastic dividers between each seat and row. So no one wants a vaccine more than the Broadway community, and one you can get at intermission with Twizzlers and cheap wine!