The nominations for the 2010 Tony Awards came out today, highlighting the best of Broadway in the past theater season. With that setup, you’d think there’d be enough weight in the quality of the season to truly live up to the best that Broadway has to offer.
I haven’t seen many of the shows on this list, but by the looks of it, the season was not too amazing and most of the shows with better reviews and more anticipation came deathly close to the nomination cutoff date. (August Wilson’s classic drama, “Fences,” comes to mind). It seems that this year, possibly more than ever, treaded the thin line between what Patrick Healy of the New York Times refers to as “commercial interest and artistic success.”
For some reason, having “American Idiot” as a contender for Best Musical seems like a sad sign (though I hear some great things). Maybe even worse than having “Shrek the Musical” and “Rock of Ages” in the same category. These more poppy, celebrity-driven shows shouldn’t be shunned entirely — as many of them can be attributed to sustaining box office numbers for several theaters in the city — but one can only yearn for the revival of artistry seen in some of this season’s musical revivals like “La Cage Aux Folles.”
Sometimes it takes a drag queen to make Broadway more exciting for everyone.