Tony Awards Committee Drops Critics from Voter Rolls


The Tony Management Committee has stopped letting critics vote on the Tony Awards for achievements in Broadway theater, on the grounds that the reviewers have a conflict of interest — as opposed to actual theater artists and producers who, we guess, monkishly abstain from allowing personal relationships to affect their choices.

Even in the Times article that reports this, you can feel the objections straining to get out, and critics and arts reporters have denounced the decision. “We are, in many respects, the least conflicted of the voting block,” says Time Out New York‘s Adam Feldman. Some suggest the producers and trying to weight the winners toward crowd-friendly fare less likely to be approved by snooty critics; others think they’re just trying to save money.

Few are as livid about it as the New York Post‘s Michael Riedel, who today suggests that the “press can take revenge.”

How? First, by ignoring press previews and buying their own tickets. (How his editor must have laughed at that one! The Post has to be a fun place to work.) Then boycott the “crass commercial shows,” and stop going to the producers’ big press events. (But how then will critics eat?) Finally he suggests the critics “beef up” the Drama Critics Circle Awards, “get themselves on cable and put on a show.” Yeah, writers are great at this. Have you ever seen the Drama Desk Awards? It makes the Tonys look like Cirque Du Soleil.

The critics are better advised to take their revenge in the traditional manner: with snotty comments and padded expense accounts.

The Tony Committee also killed its Special Theatrical Event category, which was won last year by Liza Minnelli.