Move allows perfs from 'Mermaid,' 'Frankenstein'

In a break from Tonycast tradition, eleven of the season’s new tuners will perform Sunday during the 62nd annual Tony Awards ceremony on CBS.

Usually only the musicals nominated for the top tuner trophies get a performance slot, which comes with the marketing benefits of a segment on national network television.

This year, however, “The Little Mermaid,” “Young Frankenstein” and “A Catered Affair” — all of which received Tony nods, but not in the best musical category — will join the lineup of nominated new tuners (“In the Heights,” “Passing Strange”) and revivals (“South Pacific,” “Gypsy”) doing numbers during the ceremony.

Only musical offering from the 2007-08 season to go missing is “Glory Days,” the short-lived flop that closed last month on the same day it opened.

Big-budget productions “Mermaid” and “Frankenstein” received just a handful of Tony noms between them, but they were the two highest-profile offerings of the year, thanks in part to the well-known movie properties on which they were based.

By including segs from those shows — plus excerpts from branded long-runners “The Lion King” and “Rent” — the producers of the ceremony hope to draw eyes to a telecast that has suffered in the ratings in recent years.

“When you’re trying to appeal across America, you want to get as many familiar names up there as possible,” said Ricky Kirshner, one of the kudocast’s exec producers.

“Little Mermaid” star Sierra Boggess will perform “Part of Your World,” and Megan Mullally, the “Will & Grace” alum who co-stars in “Frankenstein,” will sing “Deep Love.” From “A Catered Affair,” Faith Prince will sing “Vision,” the tune about her character’s dreams for her daughter’s wedding day.

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