The administrators of the Tony Awards have jettisoned the special theatrical event category, choosing instead to funnel eligibility into other categories including best play and musical.
Under the move, all production elements of shows previously classified as special events will now be eligible in all appropriate categories — which had not previously been allowed by the Tony rules governing special events.
The category was instituted in 2001, when “Blast!” won. Other winners have included Billy Crystal’s “700 Sundays” and “Elaine Stritch at Liberty.”
“Liza’s at the Palace,” the Liza Minnelli song-and-dance offering that picked up the 2009 event Tony, would have been classified as a musical under the new guidelines.
Rule change also means, for instance, that Minnelli and Will Ferrell, both of whom appeared in shows nommed this spring as special events, would, under the new rules, have been eligible in lead acting categories.
The admin committee can still bestow a special Tony to any production, or production element, deemed outstanding enough to warrant one.
New kudo rule was approved over the past week by the Tony administration and management committees.
This season’s first new production, a Broadway stint of dance showcase “Burn the Floor,” would probably have been considered eligible as a special event under the old rules. Now the production will likely be considered a tuner.