Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Tonys Part 2: Do you get the Classics rule?

"A play or musical that is determined by the Tony Awards Administration Committee (in its sole discretion) to be a 'classic' or in the historical or popular repertoire shall not be eligible for an award in the Best Play or Best Musical Category but may be eligible in that appropriate Best Revival category, if any, provided it meets all other eligibility requirements set forth in these rules."

That directly above is the exact wording of the "Classics Rule" (that is what I call it at least, I am sure it has a longer name in actuality). And, look, it's another thing under the sole discretion of the Tony Awards Administration Committee. In other words, it's another iffy matter.

Is Three Days of Rain a classic? I'm sure my mother isn't familiar with it! But it played off-Broadway and is occasionally done at regional theaters and thus will undoubtedly be a revival. A couple of years ago Assassins was the cause of a big debate--it played off-Broadway, but isn't exactly a common offering at theaters around America. Nevertheless that was deemed a revival. So, I think the rule is basically "if an industry professional has heard of it, it's a revival." I wish they'd just say that. It would be so much hipper. Wouldn't it make you feel in the know if you had indeed heard of the show? I know I'd have a personal sense of worth. Uh, huh.

The big question to me about this rule is what about things like Fortune's Fool, which are old, but have just been plucked from obscurity. Fool was a new play but it was done before this handy rule was created. (I think at least. I've sort of blocked the actual show out...) I'm just saying--if I unearthed a Shakespeare play while sorting through the crap under my bed--would it be a revival? Just cause the man is dead? Does the rule have a living clause?

1 comment:

Jugi said...

You're right. Someone needs to sort this out. The question about FORTUNE'S FOOL should have been, has it been produced in New York within (say) the last fifty years? And by "in New York," I mean, on- or off-B'way in a theater of a certain size. Those should be considered revivals. Older plays like FORTUNE'S FOOL need to be considered in a separate category, and "Classics" doesn't seem to fit. I think they should probably be called, as the French would say, "plays of a certain age."