The Tony Awards. The theatre kid version of the Super Bowl.
Whether you’re a theatre kid or not, let’s chat about the Tony Awards, and why you should watch them.
Of course, theatre kids like me block out our schedules for this auspicious occasion (unless, of course, we have rehearsal) every year. But believe it or not, the best of Broadway can appeal to both theatre-loving millennials as well as those who don’t cry during the opening overture of any show playing on the Great White Way.
So, why should we all watch?
The Tony Awards are filled with fantastic performances that are sure to entertain anyone. Plus, they’re pretty catchy too! If you’ve heard even one song off the Hamilton soundtrack, you’d know that Broadway is trying to produce shows and music that appeals to a wide audience. Yes, I know, Mike Pence may not have enjoyed this particular show, but Hamilton (last year’s Best Musical Winner) is filled with songs that range in variety from typical Broadway three-part harmony to something resembling hip-hop.
The Venue and the Spectacle
As with any awards show, the lead-up to the Tony Awards is filled with glamour and excitement. There’s a red carpet, there’s pre-awards coverage, there’s beautiful outfits, and so much more. Be on the lookout for those who are lucky enough to attend the live show (who are, of course, regular people like you and me and not celebrities). When the performers are dancing in the aisles, the looks of amazement on their faces are worth the price of admission.
The speeches by both presenters and Tony Award recipients on the Tony Awards are known for their depth, and for the manner in which the stars utilize their platform to make their voices heard. There’s a reason why these people do theatre — it’s because they’re expressive.
A few examples from the past: Idina Menzel celebrated our differences in 2008 when she received the award for Best Actress in a Musical for Wicked. Jonathan Larson’s sister, Julie, accepting the award for Best Musical for Rent on his behalf following his passing — indicating that Larson “dreamed of creating a youthful, passionate piece that would be pertinent.”
And who could forget Lin-Manuel Miranda’s speech from the 2016 Tony Awards, following the tragic Pulse Nightclub Shooting? “Love is love is love is love is love.”