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Jun 04

Written by: Theatre Under The Stars
6/4/2009 1:28 PM

 

Thea Star here!

It’s Tony time!  This Sunday, musical theatre fans across the country…and the globe, really, will throw parties and perch themselves in front of their TVs to witness the “Super Bowl of Musical Theatre” aka The 63rd annual Tony Awards this Sunday, June 7 at 7 p.m. on KHOU, channel 11.  This week, I reached out to John C. Breckenridge, the President and CEO of TUTS, who just happens to be a Tony voter.  I wanted to talk to him about the Tonys and see what sort of backstage scoop he had for me….read on and you’ll see he did not disappoint!

Thea Star: John, I really appreciate you taking the time to chat with me and the “Blogging the Board” readers!  How long have you been a Tony Award voter?

John Breckenridge:  Thea, it’s my pleasure, I love reading your blog and I know our patrons, subscribers and fans do too…. This is my third year as a voter.

TS: How does one qualify to become a voter for the Tonys?

JB: There are many different ways to become a Tony voter.  Anyone who is a voting member of The Broadway League (as I am) is entitled to be a Tony voter. In addition, members of the Boards of the following are entitled to vote: Equity, the Dramatist Guild, United Scenic Artists, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, the Association of Press Agents and Managers and the American Theatre Wing.

TS: Does one have to see all the shows in order to vote?

JB: In order to vote in any given category, you must see all the nominated shows in that category.

TS: Are the musical and play categories separate...meaning do musical people only vote for musicals and play people vote for plays?

JB: In most cases there are separate categories for musicals and plays.  Since TUTS does not produce plays, I don't always see all of the plays and therefore can't vote in those categories.

TS: What was your biggest surprise (inclusion or exclusion) of the 2009 nominations?  I know what mine was!

JB: The biggest surprise for me in this year’s nominations was the exclusion of “9 to 5”in the Best Musical Category.

TS: That certainly is in my top two or three….don’t get me started on Daniel Radcliffe being left out!

JB: That was quite a shock….

TS: Speaking of surprises….who comes up with the nominees?

JB: The nominations come from the Tony Awards Nomination Committee.  This is a committee of 30 industry veterans that serve for rolling three year terms.  They are selected by the Tony Awards Administration Committee which is made up of leaders in the theatre world.

TS: Interesting!  Now I know who to vent to…I’m kidding.

TS: What's your pick for Best Musical revival? Best Musical?

JB: Oh, now Thea….sorry but I am not going there. ;-)

TS: Finally John, why are the Tonys still relevant?

JB: I think any awards ceremony, Tonys, Academy, C.M.A. helps broaden the exposure of the art form beyond the industry veterans and the traditional ticket buyer.  Plus, who doesn’t like the suspense and occasional upset?  It’s as American as Apple Pie!

TS: John, always a pleasure…thank you so much!

JB: You got it…..see you under…

TS: Hey, that’s my line!  See you under the stars!

-Thea

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3 comments so far...

Re: This Sunday at 7 p.m. on CBS is the Tony Awards. Thea chats with TUTS' President & CEO about being a Tony Award voter.

Thanks for the response. I agree with your idea that time will tell. I watched the awards show last night, & thought it was a fun evening. The opening number was great!. I loved seeing all that incredible talent on the same stage. There was so much history on that stage with Angela Lansbury, Liza, Elton John, etc. All the shows looked so wonderful that it made me start wondering when they will come to the Hooby Center stage. I don't know about Neil as host though. His jokes got old quickly. All in all, the Tonys reminded me over & over why I love the theatre!

By Maria on   6/8/2009 3:08 PM

Re: This Sunday at 7 p.m. on CBS is the Tony Awards. Thea chats with TUTS' President & CEO about being a Tony Award voter.

Hi Maria!

I can't imagine what the nominating folks were thinking leaving out Daniel Radcliffe for his popular and critical turn in "Equus." "9 - 5" is another "Legally Blonde" type oversight I think...as Alison Janney is nominated and the show itself is not (for Best Musical). Clearly the inclusion of "Rock of Ages" took the spot of "9 - 5" and though I am told the show is cute, a jukebox musical being nominated over (IMHO) the more original "9 - 5" (at least Dolly got a deserved nod!) is a travesty! The proof will certainly be in the pudding when both shows (eventually) hit the road. I recall seeing a whole lot of empty seats when "The Wedding Singer" came through town, while when "Legally Blonde" was here it was almost impossible to get a ticket. Ahh, justice prevails! Thanks for reading and see you under the stars!

- Thea

By Thea Star on   6/5/2009 3:04 PM

Re: This Sunday at 7 p.m. on CBS is the Tony Awards. Thea chats with TUTS' President & CEO about being a Tony Award voter.

What a good story! It is insightful to read how decisions in the "Tony World" are made at least by one voter. I was also surprised that 9 to 5 & Daniel Radcliff were not nominated. Thea, do you have any theories for these ommissions?

By Maria on   6/5/2009 10:05 AM

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