The 2023 Tony Awards, set for June 11 in New York, are in jeopardy.
Unless the Writers Guild of America strike is settled in the next few weeks, the planned telecast on CBS won’t happen.
The American Theatre Wing and Broadway League, two sponsors of the annual awards fest, are huddling about what to do.
They sought a waiver to enable the show to proceed, with no success. If the event is held without some agreement for a green-light, it’s likely that nominees and presenters would not attend, since that would be crossing the line.
No pact, no presence of keen participants. So talks evidently will continue.
The Tonys are Broadway’s biggest promotional opportunity.
So what are potential options and effects?
The strike settlement would mean business as usual.
The Tonys could be postponed till after the strike is over and writers go back…to writing. Delaying the show is nothing new; during the first year of the pandemic, the Tonys were shelved till later. The 2020 event was pushed back to the fall of 2021, after theaters reopened after the COVID crisis.
The Tonys are the Broadway community’s largest promotional tool. Winning shows would see a burst of ticket sales. Winning actors and other aspects of play production would get a boost in popularity and likely a jump in salary.
New plays or musicals, in particular, need the exposure from the Tonys; without the show, the struggling productions would have to shut down.
The New York Times reports that four of the five nominees for Best New Musicals are not filling seats to cover the production costs each week, and all nominees could get a jump in box office sales. Even a nominee that doesn’t win usually gets a boost if a production number performed live on the Tony show connects with viewers at home.
If the strike lingers, theaters would remain dark for the duration of the walk-out; the 2007 WGA strike lasted more than three months, resolved in 2008.
So the stakes are large, and producers are trying to figure out a path to success…or an end to the strike. …
Broadway grosses, week ending May 7
“Sweeney Todd, the Demon of Fleet Street” is moving on up; it’s now in the No. 2 slot of the week’s top-grossing shows.
Thus, the Top 7 rankings look like this:
1 – “The Lion King,” $1.961 million.
2 – “Sweeney Todd,” 1.826 million.
3—“Hamilton,” $1.778 million.
4 – “MJ, the Musical,” $1.653 million.
5 – “Wicked,” $1.484 million.
6 – “Funny Girl,” $1.448 million.
7 – “Moulin Rouge,” $1.250 million.
The weekly list, courtesy The Broadway League:
And that’s Show Biz. …