The nation has voted . . .

Tony Awards Countdown: 8 Days

While my favourite part of the Tony Awards is the performances, theatre producers and companies would probably consider the actual awards to be the most important part of the night. So, today’s Tony Awards Countdown topic is . . . *drum roll* . . . the Tony Awards.


Now I know it doesn’t look like I put much thought into this topic, but just stick with me because I have an idea for a new award!

There are already a lot of awards presented on the night. So many, in fact, that they have to present some of them before the telecast and during the commercials just so they can fit in all the performances.

Now if this is the case, why would you want to add any more awards? Possibly to increase the influence of theatre across America which is the same reason why Neil Patrick Harris is hired to host the event (see yesterday’s article).

The one disadvantage of the Tony Awards in their current form is that they are very New York-centric. In order to have seen the shows that are nominated, you have to either live in New York or have very recently been to New York on holidays. Especially as shows are starting to open right at the end of the Tony Award season just a couple of days before the entries close! As a result, while they act as a good promo for shows that may be touring to other major American cities, most non-New York audiences won’t have seen the shows yet and won’t know who they are barracking for to win.

My suggestion to combat this problem . . . Best Touring Musical and Best Touring Play.

Most of the successful plays and musicals launch a touring company which then tours around America taking the production to people who cannot get to New York to see the original. But these touring companies are launched well after the Tony Awards have been and gone.

If these touring shows could be nominated for a Tony, two new kinds of audience would be tuning in to the event. Firstly, those people who have seen a Touring Tony-nominee in the last year would hopefully have become invested in the show they saw enough to tune into the broadcast and barrack for them to win. Secondly, the cities that the Touring Tony-nominee was heading towards would hopefully tune in to see whether it was worth booking tickets to the production.

Those are two new audience segments that could boost up the Tony Awards broadcast audience to even higher heights. One day, fingers crossed, this broadcast can take on the Superbowl!

No doubt, there are many naysayers out there who believe that they Tony Awards should stay purely New York-centric (and they probably live in New York as well!). But there really is no reason why this awards show can’t open up to the national scale. As we saw last year, the production of Hairspray that was currently playing on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line received a live cross during the broadcast where they performed one of their songs.

So watch out naysayers, the Tony Awards is already starting to move in that direction!

Have you got any suggestions for new awards? Let me know below in the comments section.