The Tony Award PUSH
As most of you know, I worked on Broadway for some years in my youth and I watch the Tony Awards faithfully as a result. I understand completely that this is the singular annual occasion for Broadway to establish itself in the rest of the country as a brand worth coveting.
Broadway is really a marketer’s nightmare. Most of the time, it can’t go to the consumer. Instead, the consumer has to come to it. Mountain to Mohammed time. I do get it. (I know there are National and Bus-and-Truck Tours, but it’s not Broadway itself. Only Broadway is Broadway.)
Anyway, this year’s Tonys left me exhausted.
Every dance number was about athleticism or velocity or both. I saw nothing lyrical or restful to the eye or to the heart. It’s happening on television lately too. The advertisers are so hungry to have their seconds in the spotlight that when significant moments occur, the editors don’t let us (the audience) be with the moment, feel the moment, have the moment.
Oh, no, we’re on to the next thing.
That’s why the Tonys felt unbelievably pushed this year. Rah, rah, on to the next thing.
There were some lovely acceptance speeches. Arielle Tepper Madover comes to mind in her perfect red dress. Bebe Neuwith and Nathan Lane put paid to the Tony Voters in their set-up for awarding Best Actor and Best Actress in a Musical—for which neither were nominated. In fact, these were the most graceful moments in the evening.
Except. Except. Except for Marian Seldes, who simply did not give an acceptance speech for her Lifetime Achievement Award. I don’t know if it was a Senior Moment or if she was simply overwhelmed with the sound, the splash, the sophistry, but Marian put her hand over her heart, shrugged her shoulders eloquently and, swinging her cane, walked gracefully off the stage.
Don’t get me wrong, dear one. I love the theatre more than ever. My novels are all set in or around musical theatre performances. And I get what the Tony Awards are doing for the theatre all over this country and the world.
It’s just … well, for a few, lingering moments, I wanted the stillness, the hush, the silence, the wonder, the magic of live performance. Not pulled. Not pushed. Not, if you will, efforted, but here, now, present as genuine theatre wizardry can, and always will, be.
For spiritual nourishment, visit Dr. Susan Corso’s website and blog, Seeds for Sanctuary. Follow her on Twitter @PeaceCorso and Friend her on Facebook. And discover your own Inner Peace at, To Me Peace Is … What is Peace to You?