I think many of us can agree that the most interesting content on Broadway this season comes from plays, so do we think there will be special presentations of the plays in any way? In the past they have done everything from absolutely nothing to the playwrights talking about their plays to actual performances of scenes. I personally hope they will do recorded or live performances, but I realize that is a long shot.
Two years ago, it seemed that the producers of the telecast were able to come up with the perfect solution in highlighting the Best Play nominees by having each of the nominated playwrights appear on stage individually throughout the night to talk about their work. Though last year, it was completely thrown out the window. I guess they couldn’t find the time to do that.
"Playwrights talking about their plays" is a nice touch, though it felt a little like a book report. I believe they did that in 2014, too. A few years ago, Bryan Cranston said about 30 seconds about each play and showed some b-roll clips when applicable. It was a classy moment helped by an articulate presenter with gravitas.
Mike Barrett said: "With all the financial success on the play side too, I can’t imagine there won’t be at least 1 segment dedicated to it. "None of the nominated Best Plays have been financially successful, so I don’t know why that would be a factor? The most financially-successful plays of the year (Network, Mockingbird, American Son, Lifespan/Fact) weren’t nominated. Constitution is a minor success considering the size of theatre and subject matter, but that’s minuscule compared to the musicals. 2016 and 2017 were also excellent years for plays (I’d argue even better than this year), so I wouldn’t expect them to give a second more airtime to this year’s shows.
But if they allow the plays to present, then where will there be time for King Kong, Pretty Woman, and cruise ship Hairspray?
The Tonys have never found a good way to showcase the play nominees. It would be feasible for them to present short scenes maybe five minutes each, from the nominees -- about the length of time allotted to the musicals -- but you get the feeling they would prefer to do away with the plays altogether. For myself I would rather see scenes from the plays rather than musical numbers from shows that haven't even been nominated but for which their producers have purchased airtime.
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