Tuesday, October 3, 2023

40 Years of Broadway: By Request: Differences of Opinion

40 Years of Broadway: By Request:
Differences of Opinion 

Before we started our celebration I asked you to make suggestions of the kinds of things we should post about. You had a lot of really great ideas! Several were suggestions that I wanted to write about, but couldn't think of enough to say to create individual articles. So, instead, I thought I'd group some of them together. There seemed to be many of you who more or less were interested in how I disagreed with critics or the Tony Awards or other theater fans. Here are the results:

⭐ What are some shows you just don't understand why other fans seem to love?
Well, in thinking about this, the list I came up with is all about recent Broadway shows. I think that's got a lot to do with the emergence of social media. But, really my first experience with that is actually about 25 years old or so, when I worked merch for the national tour of The Phantom of the Opera, and I came face to face with "The Phans," who traveled with the show from city to city. I appreciated their enthusiasm and passion, but not their...militant possessiveness... That said, of course, I support fans and their favorites - I'm sure I am a fan of plenty of shows they wouldn't get my love for!

Fan Favorites, Not My Favorites

  • Be More Chill
  • Beetlejuice
  • Dear Evan Hansen
  • Mean Girls
  • Once Upon a One More Time 

⭐ What are some shows you don't really hate, but don't really love?
Hmm..I took this to mean those shows that are recognized as great, but aren't ones I'd go out of my way to see them again. Here's what I came up with:

Respect It, Don’t Love It

  • Caroline, or Change
  • Hamilton
  • Sunday in the Park with George
  • The Phantom of the Opera

⭐ What are some shows that the critics loved, but you didn't?
Pretty straightforward. There are MANY, so I narrowed it down to one per decade. I didn't know enough in the 80s, so the one I picked for that decade is one I am kinda over all these years later.

They Loved It, I Hated It

  • 1980s: 42nd Street
  • 1990s: Aida
  • 2000s: The Producers
  • 2010s: The Book of Mormon
  • 2020s: A Strange Loop

What are some shows the critics hated that you liked?

Again, pretty straightforward. There are VERY MANY, so I narrowed it down to one per decade.

I Loved It, They Hated It

  • 1980s: Grind
  • 1990s: The Goodbye Girl
  • 2000s: Little Women
  • 2010s: Bonnie and Clyde
  • 2020s: Almost Famous

⭐ Who are some people that you feel should have Tony Awards, but don't have one yet?
Again, there are many, so I narrowed it down to 12. I could probably name 50...

A Dozen In Need a Tony Award

  • Kerry Butler 
  • Charlotte d’Amboise
  • Raul Esparza
  • Michael Greif
  • Judy Kuhn
  • Michael John LaChiusa

  • Terrence Mann
  • Rob McClure
  • Howard McGillin
  • Jennifer Simard
  • Phillipa Soo
  • Mare Winningham

⭐ Have there been times when you didn't agree with the Tony Award winners?
It happens every year. A lot. For the sake of time (I do have a job!), for now, I'll just mention the 14 times in the past 40 seasons I didn't agree with the winner of Best Musical. I'll come back to this in the future regarding other categories!

And the Tony should have gone to…

Best Musical 1988: Into the Woods, not The Phantom of the Opera

Best Musical 2000: The Wild Party, not Contact

Best Musical 2001: The Full Monty, not The Producers

Best Musical 2002: Urinetown, not Thoroughly Modern Millie

Best Musical 2005: The Light in the Piazza, not Spamalot

Best Musical 2006: The Drowsy Chaperone, not Jersey Boys

Best Musical 2009: Next to Normal, not Billy Elliot

Best Musical 2010: American Idiot, not Memphis

Best Musical 2011: The Scottsboro Boys, not The Book of Mormon

Best Musical 2013: Matilda, not Kinky Boots

Best Musical 2014: After Midnight, not A Gentleman's Guide…

Best Musical 2017: Come From Away, not Hamilton

Best Musical 2020: Jagged Little Pill, not Moulin Rouge

Best Musical 2022: Girl From the North Country, not A Strange Loop

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