Should the Tonys Try to Be the Oscars?

Host Hugh Jackman at the 2014 Tony Awards. Photo credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images via TonyAwards.com.

Host Hugh Jackman at the 2014 Tony Awards. Photo credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images via TonyAwards.com.

The fact is many Americans have never seen (and may never see) a Broadway play. Which makes the televised production of the Tony Awards a bit tricky. How do you engage with an audience that isn’t at all familiar with what you’re celebrating?

Neil Genzlinger at the New York Times pondered this question after this weekend’s Tony Awards. The main tactic was to pretend that plays are movies and highlight songs and story lines (think Rocky and Aladdin) that would be familiar to a more mainstream crowd.

Genzlinger has some interesting points on both the effectiveness of this approach and why theater shouldn’t necessarily try to pretend it’s like the movies (mainly because theater is better than movies in a lot of ways).

Do you think the Tony Awards need to re-think their approach? Read Genzlinger’s full piece here for more insight.

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