For a Broadway Torn by a Pandemic, a Split-Personalities Tonys


PONIEWOZIK Whether the theatre is more “noble” than television or any other form of art is a question I would like to explore. But it’s another day, another argument. To be more specific, if the theatre wishes to honour its efforts and creative spirit, it may do so privately by renting a nice hall. There is no one who is entitled to the attention of millions of people if you expect a broadcast TV audience. Your obligations will be different. It was surprising to me how much more exciting and energising the first, industry-awards portion of the film actually conveyed!

GREEN All of the gains from the “awards” half were wiped out by the “concert” half, which was poorly staged and timed. The last 30 minutes were a train wreck of bad calls: ballads, duets, redundant improv from “Freestyle Love Supreme” — when what you really wanted in that spot was the “Moulin Rouge!” kickline and confetti cannons from the film. The final 30 minutes felt like an extra day.

VINCENTELLI I doubt I’ll ever require anything “Moulin Rouge!”-related. That said, the number worked well on television and may have helped sell tickets.

GREEN In spite of my dislike of “Moulin Rouge!,” I thought the film looked great on screen, with its manic red hotness softened by the cool medium. In the event that it didn’t win ten awards, the most of any show, its performance would have been extremely beneficial.

PONIEWOZIK The CBS segment had a strange flow to it. A half-hour before the end of the “concert,” the final award was given out, sabotaging the momentum of the show. Aside from that, I’m not sure the song selections did much to entice an audience to see new theatre, given the show’s general nostalgia and Broadway’s reliance on jukebox musicals. To be completely honest, I already have tickets to see Caroline, or Change. To put it another way, you’re encouraging me to go to the movies in 2021, and you’re providing me with a list of songs that I might have heard on an episode of “American Idol” back in 2005.

VINCENTELLI In addition, just as on “American Idol,” no mention was made of plays, a subject on which the Tonys are still stumped. Aside from a brief description and a few quotes, there was no attempt to showcase them.