Brantley and Green's WILL WIN/SHOULD WIN 2019

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bdn223
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BWAY Baby2 said: "Good to hear- I was very impressed by the reviews when it came out- and I really do not love the jukebox musicals and most comedies- I love drama and serious theater with a message I can think about- have my Hadestown tickets and hope I love it."

Hadestown town does not have a message. Its not a thinkers piece, its a basic retelling of the original myth.  Its also not serious theater, and that the problem I have with it. Its Jesus Christ Superstar, but with a greek myth. 

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leighmiserables
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I am finding myself rather dumbfounded by some of these choices — in what world is Hadestown not the clear "Best Score" winner out of this year's bunch, for example? While I don't have any issues with the other scores, Hadestown's first point of praise by fans and (most) reviewers has always been its music -- and that's in a show which generally has many points to praise! To say it shouldn't win "Best Score" is very confusing. 

I do wonder if it is a generational thing. Many of these choices seem to be out-of-touch with the younger generation of theatre-makers/fans. I'm currently going to college for theatre myself, and I genuinely cannot think of a single fellow student in (or out!) of my school's program that has had any significantly positive feelings for Tootsie. To be blunt, most despised it. From what I gathered, it seems that — no matter how progressively you spin it — the "man-in-a-dress" trope just doesn't play well to an audience in my general age range, and the book that has been so lauded by critics was deemed to be somewhere in the realm of "standard" to "eh, it was pretty funny, I guess," by those I've talked to. 

Another interesting case is The Prom. Most people I spoke to enjoyed it, but I can't think of anyone who would claim it's "Best Musical" material. The LGBT representation is amazing, of course, but (and maybe this is just generational privilege talking) other than that point there was nothing that my peers seemed to think set it apart as a truly great piece of musical theatre. 

Now, this isn't to say every GenZ-er in the world dislikes Tootsie and loves Hadestown, nor do I mean to say every older fan hates Hadestown and bloviates about Tootsie and The Prom, by any means. It just seems, from my viewpoint, that while the younger audience sees a clear winner in Hadestown, the older crowd seems much more divided. I don't think either group has the "better" opinion (in fact, I deplore using any rhetoric that implies some sort of "young folk versus old folk" civil war).

I just wonder what's going to happen when the people writing/directing/designing the next few decades of Broadway shows and those who judge/review them have such a massive generational gap between them.  

Updated On: 5/16/19 at 08:29 PM
magictodo123
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Jordan Catalano said: "BREAKING NEWS - Its possible to love “Tootsie” AND “The Prom”!

We’ll be following this breaking news as it develops, but people on the scene are reporting that in a year, nobody will remember what show wins what award and that they still had a great time at each of these shows. Stay with Broadway World as the story unfolds.
"

I love you for this. 

After Eight
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Leighmiserables wrote: "Completely dumbfounded by some of these choices -- in what world is Hadestown not the objective best score out of this year's bunch, for example? "

Haven't we read a million times on this board that when it comes to art, there is no objective truth? If someone says that Gettin' the Band Back Together is a greater work of art than say, Don Giovanni, well, we're all supposed to just accept it as one person's opinion, as valid as any other.

"I guess it's a generational thing -- these choices seem completely out of touch with the younger generation (by which I mean young adults, not tweens) of theatre fans/artists. "

Wait a minute, now. Why exclude tweens?  They too will be future fans and theatre artists. Isn't it funny how those who demand acceptance of their views are so unaccepting of others'?


"Of course I'm sure there are exceptions, there always are, but I find it very interesting that the 'next generation' of theatre-makers/fans is almost universally indifferent to a show that the older generations seem to love, and find another that these critics seem to be lauding as 'practically perfect' to be 'just good'."

 

I guess the next generation of theatre-makers/fans is just better educated and more discerning, cultured, and enlightened than the sclerotics in thought who preceded them.

"I don't think the young adult opinion should be discounted, especially when there the ones who are going to be writing/directing/designing the next few decades of Broadway shows"

Well, well, karma has arrived. The smug sermonizers, so assured of their superiority to the world at large, are now in turn being told they're passé, and about to be cast to the sidelines! I love it! It's immensely gratifying to see, and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it.

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bdn223 said: "BWAY Baby2 said: "Good to hear- I was very impressed by the reviews when it came out- and I really do not love the jukebox musicals and most comedies- I love drama and serious theater with a message I can think about- have my Hadestown tickets and hope I love it."

Hadestown town does not have a message. Its not a thinkers piece, its a basic retelling of the original myth. Its also not serious theater, and that the problem I have with it. Its Jesus Christ Superstar, but with a greek myth.
"

It’s not at all straight retelling of the myth as they added an entire second plot with Hades and Persephone’s relationship. I’m very confused that you didn’t think it has a message. I would listen to “I Raise My Cup to Him” or “If It’s True” again if you didn’t grasp it the first time. How is it not “serious theatre”? What shows this season are “serious theatre” in your opinion? 

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Updated On: 5/14/19 at 10:59 PM
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As a proud white male theatergoer about to turn 63, I want to proclaim my own abject love for HADESTOWN and all that's contained therein: the score, the cast, the staging, the design, the effortlessly moving story. This show gave us the most satisfying night of musical theater probably since...well, since Act I of AN AMERCIAN IN PARIS 4 or 5 years ago. So no, my friends, HADESTOWN is not just a hit with millennials; it's captured the heart of many of us decades past that designation.

(Oh, and I thought Julie White was astonishingly great in GARY, another play unpopular on this board that mace us incredibly happy.)

Updated On: 5/14/19 at 11:27 PM
NYCblurb
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raddersons said: "Elisabeth Vincentelliworks freelance, and sometimes the NYTimes asks her to review things that are on Broadway but aren't really musicals or plays (ie. Home for the Holidays)."

She is fun, and does the podcast 3 on the Aisle. She hates HADESTOWN. 

A lover of theater for decades. Teacher by day. Family man by night. See more theater than most, oftentimes a hesitant plus one.
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bwaylyric said: "Would the voters give the best score Tony to Yazbek two years in a row? I found the Tootsie score to be weak and would rank it behind The Prom. Of course, Hadestown gets my vote."

Has that every occurred?

 

A lover of theater for decades. Teacher by day. Family man by night. See more theater than most, oftentimes a hesitant plus one.
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Someone in a Tree2 said: "(Oh, and I thought Julie White was astonishingly great in GARY, another play unpopular on this board that made us incredibly happy.)"

Yeah, I'm really confused on how much hate Gary has gotten on here. Personally, I adored the show, and while it's a bit muddy and it probably won't win much as it's a really strong play season this year, I do not get why people on here didn't like it. It's far from a show for everyone, but it seemed to have gotten undercut imo. Again, fine if those here didn't like it, just I don't get the apathy for it, because again the show, for me, was a riot.

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NYCblurb said: "bwaylyric said: "Would the voters give the best score Tony to Yazbek two years in a row? I found the Tootsie score to be weak and would rank it behind The Prom. Of course, Hadestown gets my vote."

Has that every occurred?
"

Looking at the Tony Best Score wiki page, yes. First, Sondheim won 3 years in a row for Company, Follies, and A Little Night Music from 71'-73'. More recently, Cy Coleman won in 91' and 92' for City of Angels and The Will Rogers Follies respectively.

Updated On: 5/15/19 at 12:10 AM
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NYCblurb said: "bwaylyric said: "Would the voters give the best score Tony to Yazbek two years in a row? I found the Tootsie score to be weak and would rank it behind The Prom. Of course, Hadestown gets my vote."

Has that every occurred?
"


Yes, back-to-back wins have occurred in multiple categories including Best Score. Random highlights:

– Sondheim won 3x in a row (Company, Follies, Night Music). Technically 4, because it was separate awards for Best Music and Best Lyrics in '71.
– In 90-91, Cy Coleman won consecutively for City of Angels and Will Rogers Follies, and Tommy Tune won consecutively for Directing and Choreographing Grand Hotel and Will Rogers.
– Just for directing, Hal Prince won 3x in 4 years (1971-74), and then consecutively for Sweeney and Evita.
– Gwen Verdon won Best Actress 3x in 4 years.
– Terrence McNally won back-to-back for Love! Valour! Compassion and Master Class (and Tony Kushner won the previous 2 years for Angels, but that's sort of cheating)
– Susan Stroman won 3 in 2 years (Choreo - Contact, Director/Choreo - The Producers).
– In recent years, Scott Rudin has had the best track record of any Lead Producer, winning in '17 (Dolly), '16 (Humans and View/Bridge), '15 (Skylight), '14 (Raisin in the Sun), '12 (Death of a Salesman), '11 (Book of Mormon), '10 (Fences).
– Judith Light for Best Featured Actress in a Play in 2012-13 (and she was also nominated in '11).

And not quite the same stat, but still very impressive: in 2000, Michael Blakemore won both Best Directing awards (Copenhagen and Kiss Me, Kate). 

Updated On: 5/15/19 at 12:22 AM
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Mike Barrett said: "I am starting to wonder if we have another Kinky Boots vs Matilda scenario with Hadestown/Tootsie. I know its been brought up on here before but as we get 3 weeks away I just feel the momentum hasn't ended for Tootsie like I thought it may. This board LOVED Matilda while they LIKED Kinky, I feel its same thing here where this board is over the moon for Hadestown and in general likes or dislikes Tootsie. Shouldn't surprise anyone that this board is more into Hadestown though. Doesn't mean it'll win necessarily. Im loving how unpredictable this awards season is though, especially after a fairly predictable Oscar season. Nice to have the tony's have some real competition."

The Oscar season wasn't as predictable this year as many others have been in the past- Best Picture was a real race and the winner was a surprise since most assumed the film had faded due to the controversy. Best Actress also yielded one of the biggest Oscar upsets this century when they went with Olivia Colman over Glenn Close. 

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Completely agree. The tide is turning.
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Is Stephanie J. Block as big of a lock as people are saying? And is she a Tony voter herself? At the Oscars you can almost guarantee that all of the first time nominees become voters the year afterwards if they weren't already at least that's my impression. 

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Soaring29 said: "Is Stephanie J. Block as big of a lock as people are saying? And is she a Tony voter herself? At the Oscars you can almost guarantee that all of the first time nominees become voters the year afterwards if they weren't already at least that's my impression."
 

I don't know why it would matter if SJB is or isn't a voter? I don't think she is...but even if she was, she would ~technically~ have to abstain because she's been a little busy 8x a week.

Tony winners don't become voters automatically, unlike the Oscars. There are a certain number of representatives voting from each theatrical union, and the majority of the actors who are Tony voters are not "stars" or even past nominees/winners. Tony voting also has terms that last a few years, whereas Academy membership lasts for life. By far the largest voting block are producers, which account for about 400 out of 800 voters.

Updated On: 5/15/19 at 01:03 AM
After Eight
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DoTheDood:

".I do not get why people on here didn't like it. It's far from a show for everyone"

 

Perhaps people on here didn't like it because it's far from a show for everyone.

Last week's grosses indicate that Gary did 35.5% gross capacity. This after rave reviews from the critics, and multiple Tony Award nominations, including one for best play.

It sure seems to be, as you say, far from a show for everyone.

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SomethingPeculiar said: "Soaring29 said: "Is Stephanie J. Block as big of a lock as people are saying? And is she a Tony voter herself? At the Oscars you can almost guarantee that all of the first time nominees become voters the year afterwards if they weren't already at least that's my impression."


I don't know why it would matter if SJB is or isn't a voter? I don't think she is...but even if she was, she would ~technically~ have to abstain because she's been a little busy 8x a week.

Tony winners don't become voters automatically, unlike the Oscars.There are a certainnumber of representatives voting from each theatrical union, and the majority of the actors who are Tony voters are not "stars" or even past nominees/winners. Tony voting also hasterms that last a few years, whereas Academy membership lasts for life.By far the largest voting block are producers,which account for about 400 out of 800 voters."

It doesn't- I was just wondering. So all the members have to see everything? I don't think we're at the Oscars anymore Toto!

 

 

 

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After Eight said: "Perhaps people on here didn't like it because it's far from a show for everyone.
Last week's grosses indicate that Gary did 35.5% gross capacity. This after rave reviews from thecritics, and multiple Tony Award nominations, including one for best play.
It sure seems to be, as you say, far from a show for everyone.
"

Thank you for repeating what I said but longer. To elaborate what I meant, I get why common audience members wouldn't like it (this is not looking down on common Broadway viewers, those people's opinions are valid too), just this seems like a show meant more for people on here, but it turns out it's not. Just not something I expected.

After Eight
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DoTheDood wrote:

 

" I get why common audience members wouldn't like it "

Mmm.... I wouldn't say "common" is the most felicitous choice of words. In fact, it's highly condescending.

"(this is not looking down on common Broadway viewers, those people's opinions are valid too),"

Well, it's certainly good to know that "common" theatregoers have valid opinions too!

"just this seems like a show meant more for people on here, but it turns out it's not. Just not something I expected."

I guess the people on this board are more "common" than you thought.

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Soaring29 said: "Mike Barrett said: "I am starting to wonder if we have another Kinky Boots vs Matilda scenario with Hadestown/Tootsie. I know its been brought up on here before but as we get 3 weeks away I just feel the momentum hasn't ended for Tootsie like I thought it may. This board LOVED Matilda while they LIKED Kinky, I feel its same thing here where this board is over the moon for Hadestown and in general likes or dislikes Tootsie. Shouldn't surprise anyone that this board is more into Hadestown though. Doesn't mean it'll win necessarily. Im loving how unpredictable this awards season is though, especially after a fairly predictable Oscar season. Nice to have the tony's have some real competition."

The Oscar season wasn't as predictable this year as many others have been in the past- Best Picture was a real raceand the winner was a surprise since most assumed the film had faded due to the controversy. Best Actress also yielded one of the biggest Oscar upsets this century when they went with Olivia Colman over Glenn Close.
"

Best picture wasn't shocking, Green Book was always a serious contender. Olivia winning was a pleasant surprise for sure, but id argue everything else about the oscars this year went according to plan. Tonys it seems like genuinely most categories are up for grabs this year. Id say there are no locks for this awards show. 

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Soaring29 said: "So all the members have to see everything? I don't think we're at the Oscars anymore Toto!"

Yeah, there are a lot of differences between the Tonys and Oscars. 

-- Over the past few years, the Tonys have been trying to take steps to make sure voters see every show. They have to pick up their tickets from the Box Office, and there's an online portal now (which has been described as "Letterboxd for Broadway"Brantley and Green's WILL WIN/SHOULD WIN 2019 where they have to log the date they saw each show.

-- 50-person nominating committee for the Tonys, and the nominators can't participate if they're connected to a show or haven't seen everything. For the Oscars, everyone in that "branch" nominates (i.e. all the cinematographers vote for Cinematography, all the actors vote in the Acting categories), and everyone nominates for Best Picture.

-- 800 Tony voters, but 8,000 Oscar voters.

-- An official list of Academy members is not available (though new members are announced each year, and campaign strategists have cobbled together a list of who they think all the members are). For the Tonys, the list is available to all Broadway League members, so producers can target specific people.

-- Person-to-person campaigning for the Oscars is technically illegal. Yes they can do luncheons and send screeners and take out a lot of ads, but they can't call people or send campaign mailers. For the Tonys, there are very few campaign restrictions, and most shows send the voters big expensive mailers with photo/quote books, recordings, swag, letters, and other stuff.

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I absolutely agree with Brantley the Dearbhla Molloy should have been nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Play.

As for Best Director of a Musical, I haven't seen Oklahoma but I think Daniel Fish will probably win. I love Rachel Chavkin - she should have won for the Comet - but I don't think she'll take it this year.

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Personally I enjoyed all five Best Musical nominees... but think Hadestown should clearly win. I really didn't care that the plot was simple - it's really not meant to be a plot-heavy show. But it gets my vote because it's stuck with me the most. The other four were very entertaining, but Hadestown felt like art. If for some reason it doesn't win, I'm pulling for The Prom. 

It's clear that Ben Brantley didn't like Hadestown for whatever reason... but it's delusional to think it's not going to take Score this year. I usually agree with most of his assessments, but that one is truly bizarre, and just makes him look willfully ignorant, imho. Very few "locks" this year... but to me, Hadestown for Score is as close as it gets. 

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To me, this article cemented my commitment to taking every critical word with a massive grain of salt. I know the the NYTimes is still important in the industry... but the fact that they don't invite more voices into these critical conversation in 2019 is just baffling. Give me Sara Holdren any day, folks. Why wasn't this a conversation between more people?


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