The tony awards continue the charade

By the Tony Awards People
  1. Decide that you feel bad for the three hard-working Billy Elliot Dancers, and say that they all deserve to get nominated.
  2. Notice that you don't want to fill up 3 slots with the little kids.
  3. Realize that you don't want to actually promote one little kid being better than the other, because it's bad for the show's sales.
  4. Realize that you don't want to actually promote one little kid being better than the other, because they're kids, and you're not total monsters.
  5. Finally cement how little value you put in voters seeing shows when you tell tony voters they only have to see one of the three of them.
  6. Forget all about what you did with the Baz Luhrman "La Boheme", where you gave a special group award to multiple people playing the same part.
  7. Feel good that you prevented young boys from winning awards.


Shared nomination slots have been handled almost uniformly badly in recent years. Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner took great pains to portray two very different characters in Side Show and were rewarded with joint eligibility (on the assumption that voters wouldn't be able to tell the difference)...and then Lee Wilkof and Michael Mulheren took equally great pains to play two completely undifferentiated characters in Kiss Me, Kate, only to be forced to compete with each other. Idiotic beyond belief.

I don't know if there's a fair way to consider the kids in this show for awards. But frankly, I'd take that as a sign that none of them deserved one. Two or three shows a week until you grow a couple of inches, and then a one-way ticket to professional obscurity? Why should that ever deserve even a third of a Tony?
I love this statement:

"Shared nomination slots have been handled almost uniformly badly in recent years."
I love Billy Elliot's innate incongruity - a joint nomination for the three actors playing Billy while one of the two actors playing Michael is eligible. Hmm.

My personal favorite of the shared nominations is from the original Broadway production of "The Sound of Music" where all seven von Trapp children were nominated as Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Proud resume moment for the actors playing Kurt and Friedrich. They lost to Patricia Neway as the Mother Abbess.
If they had a decent shot of winning I might care more. Most reports are that their dancing is great and their acting is less great.
I hate the entire idea of two or more people being nominated on the same slot. All performers make their parts their own (at least, they should) and I think it' an insult to nominate them jointly with another person.
You don't think they're going to win? I'd put my money on a kid or multiple kids any day. I call it the Tatum O'Neal/Daisy Eagan phenomenon.

Ken Davenport

P.S. GIL! Have you gotten my emails? Call me today if you haven't . . . 212-874-5348.


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