Tony Awards should honor the best of Broadway says author/theatre professor
(Posted on May 06, 2010)
Martha LoMonaco, Ph.D., professor and director for the Theatre Program at Fairfield University and author of "Summer Stock: An American Theatrical Phenomenon," says while the Tony awards ceremony on June 13 will be entertaining, "the TONYs don't actually honor the best of theatre, simply the theatre most likely to attract a tourist audience."
She says, "The sad truth is that actors whose principal careers are on stage - in New York City as well as throughout the United States and world stages - are unknown by the larger populace. As a result, some of our finest stage actors - Marian Seldes, Rosemary Harris, Cherry Jones, Brian F. O'Berne, and many others - fail to be hot commodities to the masses, who will be much more inclined to buy tickets to see Scarlett Johansson, Valerie Harper, or Denzel Washington, who are known entities."
And while LoMonaco acknowledges the financial support such Hollywood laden productions can bring to the Theatre District, she has high praise for Broadway theatre producers who bring major shows from U.S. regional theatres, London and elsewhere for New York City runs. She had high hopes for "the fabulous hit London play, ENRON, with an all-American cast under the leadership of a British-based artistic team." Unfortunately, she says, "these shows tend not to be the names touted for TONY-award Broadcasts," and shortly after the TONY nominees were announced, ENRON posted a closing notice.
To interview Dr. Lomonaco, please write to MLomonaco@fairfield.edu
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Vol. 42, No. 289