Andrew: Let's get down to business. Why should we care about the TONY's...or DO we care about the TONY's? That's the topic.
Gemma: So, I personally care about the TONY's because it's like my sporting event.
Andrew: It's your Superbowl.
Gemma: It really is! Like, I don't do the Superbowl.
Andrew: Hahahah. I only do the halftime show, let me tell you, hahaha.
Gemma: I only do the halftime show, and then some of the commercials, but I'll watch the commercials, like, on YouTube.
Gemma: I don't really need to watch it live, but I LOVE watching the TONY's live.
Andrew: Yeah. Why?
Gemma: I don't know... I love musical performances, I love when Neil Patrick Harris hosts, cuz I think we can all agree that the 2013 TONY's was like the best ever. And, oh gosh, what's the name? Of the guy who's hosting? It's... uh, Kevin Spacey, he's hosting this year's TONY's.
Christine: I'm not too opposed to that, because I actually love Kevin Spacey...
Andrew: Wait a minute, I don't even know who that is!
Christine: You don't know who Kevin Spacey is?!
Gemma: Have you seen American Beauty?
Christine: Have you seen House of Cards?!
Andrew: Oh, I know! I know who that is! I actually like Kevin Spacey!
Gemma: No, I think he's a great actor!
Andrew: I see him hosting more of like, you know, something...
Christine: The Golden Globes?
Gemma: Yeah, I agree, I completely agree.
Andrew: Or the Academy Awards.
Gemma: Apparently, he has a TONY, I don't know what for...
Christine: For like a play or something.
Gemma: Yeah, he's been on stage before and ... I don't know, but when I just look at him, I think of film and TV way more than I think of theatre. But, I mean, who knows?
Andrew: Now, I feel like some people don't care about the TONY's because, maybe, they're not into theatre, you know?
Christine: That's true. I mean, yeah, most people don't watch it.
Andrew: Now, how are the numbers? Do you know the numbers?
Gemma: The ratings? I actually don't know.
Christine: I'm pretty sure... It's definitely lower than the ratings for all those other award shows.
Andrew: Why do think that is?
Christine: It's just a niche kind of industry.
Gemma: The NYC theatre community is a pretty tight-knit group.
Christine: It's small. And also most people that are gonna be watching the TONY's are gonna be infatuated with New York life or New York theatre or something. Only shows that are in New York are getting nominated.
Gemma: Only Broadway shows.
Christine: Exactly, only Broadway shows. So there's a lot of other locations being excluded. Like, Chicago has great theatre, Philadelphia has great theatre...
Gemma: Not to mention, like, Off and Off Off Broadway, right?
Gemma: I feel like another factor is that a lot of people can't or think they can't afford Broadway, they feel like it's this other world that they can't even touch, and so maybe the TONY's feel exclusive and like, too elitist. They're like, "Who do you think you are?"
Andrew: Or some people who can't experience going to the theatre watch the TONY's so they can feel like they're a part of it. You know what I'm saying? "OMG, this is so cool!"
Christine: Yeah, I can picture someone in the Midwest..."The lights!"
Andrew: I also feel like the people who watch are like, "I don't know what Broadway show to go see, let me watch the TONY's and get inspired. And OMG, this show just won something? I have to go see it." You know what I'm saying?
Andrew: Like, if they don't even know anything about theatre, when you watch the TONY's, you get a sense of what it's really all about.
Christine: So I just googled the ratings for the TONY's, and of course last year was the highest rating in 15 years because of Hamilton, because everyone was tuning in to see Hamilton win everything.
Gemma: That makes so much sense, because everyone knows that they'll never be able to see Hamilton. They're like, "The most I'll be able to see of the show is the performance they're going to do at the TONY's."
Andrew: What was the rating?
Christine: 4.6 Million people.
Andrew: Okay, let me look up what it was for the Grammy's...
Christine: Oh, I'm sure that's a lot more, because the nominated music is accessible globally (for the most part). I'm sure there's still international viewership for the TONY's, but...
Andrew: You can't even compare. Hahaha!
Christine: What is it, like 11 million or something?
Andrew: 26 MILLION PEOPLE WATCHED THE GRAMMY'S LAST YEAR.
Gemma: So what does that mean? Music is for everyone, but theatre is only for certain people?
Andrew: We do have to acknowledge the fact that Beyonce performed at The Grammy's, so she brought in probably 20 million, you know, she just brought in a casual 20 million.
Christine: But just think about like, the celebrities in pop culture, they get a lot of publicity, you're invested in their lives and all this crap, whereas with Broadway stars, really the only people who freak out are people who live here or actually follow Broadway. But you don't really see them getting snapped by the paparazzi. I mean, REAL Broadway stars!
Christine: Not like when some Hollywood A-lister flies in to do a three-week show.
Gemma: Totally! Fans will wait by the stage door to see celebrities who are on stage, but the performers can more or less fade into the background when they're just walking the city streets.
Christine: Exactly. You see them walk off, and you're just like, "They're normal!"
Gemma: And they have families, and their kids go to public school, and they're just like, chilling.
Andrew: It's like, you were just on stage, but you're so normal!
Gemma: It's the kind of fame I would want, if I wanted fame, because you can still be more like a person.
Christine: Like a normal human.
Andrew: So when are the TONY's airing?
Gemma: Very soon...
Christine: I think it's June, because I remember that the rehearsals are early June, so I assume the live show is later that month.
Andrew: It's always on a Sunday, though, right?
Gemma: Is it June 14th? For some reason, that date is stuck in my mind.
Christine: It airs June 11th at 8:00 PM Eastern time.
Gemma: Well, I will definitely be watching.
Andrew: I won't be in town!
Gemma: Where are you gonna be?
Andrew: In Israel!
Gemma: Okay, that's pretty fun. You're gonna be like eating hummus, riding camels, and floating in the Dead Sea. You can catch up on the TONY's.
Andrew: I'll be on social media, so make sure to follow me, guys!
Christine: We're all gonna get an international text from him, like "Who won?"
Andrew, Christine, and Gemma: Hahahahahah!
Andrew: But yeah, I do think that the TONY's are for a specific group of people.
Christine: It's also because, like we were talking about, these celebrities are celebrities on a much smaller level, and so we care because it's kind of like the only time they get recognition besides in written reviews by like the New York Times or something.
Gemma: Even like Ben Platt, who is the star of Dear Evan Hansen, he's 23 years old BARELY.
Christine: He's a baby.
Gemma: He's super young, and he's already been in shows before.
Christine: Wasn't he in Pitch Perfect?
Gemma: Yeah, he was in Pitch Perfect, he was in Book of Mormon, but he's probably gonna get his first ever TONY for Dear Evan Hansen.
Christine: Oh, yeah!
Gemma: And he was a kid who grew up where all the boys were playing sports and all he wanted to do was be on the stage, and, look at him!
Christine: He better win.
Gemma: I would love it if he won.
Christine: He's actually done a good job of depicting a young person with severe anxiety.
Gemma: Yeah, severe anxiety and crippling depression. He's been with the show since the workshopping stage, so he's been with the show since he was closer to the age he's depicting, which is what, 17? He's been with the show since he was probably like 20, so it's not that much of a stretch. He can recall what it was like to be that age. And every single person can relate to feeling, to quote the show, like you're "on the outside, always looking in." Ugh! It's probably my favorite modern musical. I love it.
Christine: I haven't seen it yet...
Andrew: Me neither! We have to see it. I have a question... Do only new shows get nominated, like can The Lion King get nominated again?
Christine: There's a time frame. If it could, The Lion King would win all the time because it's been running forever.
Gemma: No, because it's the same production. A production of a Broadway show can only be eligible for TONY awards if the show opened on or before the official cut-off date for the year (in 2017, that means April 27th). And it doesn't matter how long a single production of a show runs on Broadway, because it is only eligible for a TONY in the season it first opens. Once you've been nominated once, that's it. Because it's unfair.
Christine: It's like, you have a TONY, shut up.
Gemma: I've even heard that if an actor won a TONY for let's say, best actor/actress in a role, in a production of Cabaret years ago, 20 years later, if the show is revived, they can't get nominated for that same role even if it's a different production.
Gemma: Yeah! Because I think that happened. Alan Cumming won a TONY years ago for best actor in a musical in Cabaret. He was the M.C. And then he came back and did it recently and he wasn't eligible to be nominated for the role again even though everybody thought he deserved it. Even though it's a different production, which I thought was interesting.
Andrew: Do you guys remember the first time you ever watched the TONY's?
Christine: I watched it illegally online...
Andrew: How old were you?
Christine: It wasn't that long ago. I was probably 15, so that was 5 years ago. I watched because of one of my friends. She's really into Broadway because we went to a theatre/arts high school, and her mom and dad are Broadway stage managers.
Gemma: I come from a pretty artsy family, especially on my mom's side. She watched the TONY's and my brother and I were there. And we hadn't seen any of the shows, but we liked watching it because we liked musicals and we liked the performances. It wasn't until I was quite a bit older, like late teens or early adulthood, that I started actually relating to the shows that were nominated because I had actually seen them or listened to the soundtracks. I'm excited, because this is the one year where I've seen all four of the nominated musicals, so I feel like I can actually weigh in.
Christine: I feel like the TONY's are way different, like I do not watch award shows. I don't watch the Oscars, or any of that stuff. I just usually look up on Buzzfeed, "Who won?"
Gemma: You might watch, like, a YouTube highlights clip.
Christine: Yeah, or like if something weird happened. Like, that girl, Auli'i Cravalho, from Moana, she got hit with fabric when she was singing at the Oscars, and I felt so bad. She's a sweet baby angle.
Okay, do we want to talk about who is nominated?
Andrew: Alright, let's hear it!
Christine: Okay, so Best Play.
Gemma: I haven't seen any of them.
Christine: Nominees are 1) A Doll’s House, Part 2, 2) Indecent, 3) Oslo, and 4) Sweat.
Andrew: I haven't seen any of them.
Gemma: I haven't seen any of them either. But the playwright for Sweat won an award, she won a Pulitzer Prize.
Christine: Okay, Best Musical. Nominees are: 1) Come From Away, 2) Dear Evan Hansen, 3) Groundhog Day: The Musical, and 4) Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.
Gemma: So, I've seen all of those. I'm torn between Dear Evan Hansen and Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. I want Dear Evan Hansen to win, but I feel like it'll be close. Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 got the most nominations out of anything this season. They got 12 noms.
Christine: Come From Away...
Gemma: That's a beautiful show. On 9/11, there were 38 flights that had to be diverted and make emergency landings, and there is this giant airport in Canada, and they all landed there.
Christine: In, like, a small-ass town,
Gemma: Yeah, a super small town. And the population was about 10,000, and their population almost doubled with how many people they took in. And for basically a week, they housed them, gave them clothes, fed them, because they couldn't leave since the airspace was closed.
Christine: Because Canadians are...
Gemma: Better people.
Christine: Literally just better people.
Andrew: And they have free healthcare.
Gemma: Yeah, they can afford to be in a better mood because they're not paying for healthcare.
Christine: But yeah, I still want Dear Evan Hansen to win.
Gemma: Dear Evan Hansen!
Christine: He feels invisible.
Gemma: I know, I just relate to the character so much.
Christine: Best Revival of a Play: 1) Jitney, 2) The Little Foxes, 3) Present Laughter, and 4) Six Degrees of Separation.
All I saw was Jitney, and it's one of August Wilson's better plays. It's fine, but it's super emotional.
Gemma: Haven't seen any of them.
Christine: Best Revival of a Musical: Falsettos, Hello, Dolly!, and Miss Saigon. I'm gonna go with Miss Saigon, because that's the only one I know.
Andrew: I feel like I can't comment on any of them because I haven't seen them.
Gemma: I know Hello, Dolly! has been getting a lot of buzz because Bette Midler is in it, so maybe it'll win because of her.
Christine: Okay, so for Best Leading Actor in a Play you have: 1) Denis Arndt, for Heisenberg, 2) Chris Cooper, for A Doll's House, Part 2, 3) Corey Hawkins, for Six Degrees of Separation, 4) Kevin Kline, for Present Laughter, and 5) Jefferson Mays, for Oslo.
Christine: Actress in a Leading Role: 1) Cate Blanchett, for The Present, 2) Jennifer Ehle, for Oslo, 3) Sally Field, for The Glass Menagerie, 4) Laura Linney, for The Little Foxes, and 5) Laurie Metcalf, for A Doll’s House, Part 2.
I didn't know Sally Field was in The Glass Menagerie!
Okay, Best Leading Actor in a Musical: 1) Christian Borle, for Falsettos, 2) Josh Groban, for Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, 3) Andy Karl, for Groundhog Day, 4) David Hyde Pierce, for Hello, Dolly!, and 5) Ben Platt, for Dear Evan Hansen.
Gemma: Urggg, I want Ben Platt to win, guys!!!
Christine: Okay, we've got 1) Denée Benton, for Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, 2) Christine Ebersole, for War Paint, 3) Patti LuPone, for War Paint, 4) Bette Midler, for Hello, Dolly!, and 5) Eva Noblezada, for Miss Saigon.
I'm gonna go with Patti.
Gemma: I'm gonna go with Patti, because I know her name haha.
Andrew: Are you guys into what people wear to the TONY's?
Gemma: They do a red carpet ceremony beforehand, and I'll tune into that.
Andrew: Do you care about looking at the fashion?
Christine: No, I think it's the one award show where that's the least important.
Gemma: Yeah, I think it's the least important, too. What people wear to the TONY's won't make or break the ceremony for me, but if someone is wearing something nice, I appreciate it.
Okay, so the moral of the story is that we all want Ben Platt to win Best Actor in a Musical.
Christine: So... in all, should we give a shit about the TONY's?
Andrew: Honestly, we should...
Gemma: It's up to you, guys. I like the TONY's.
Andrew: We all care, but I can see why somebody wouldn't. If you're not into musicals and plays and that category of art...but to the people who do care about the arts but don't watch the TONY's, you should probably get behind it because you'll probably like it!
Gemma: Yeah, also to the people who have never watched the TONY's, but think it won't be for them, just see it.
Christine: Give it a try.