Tony Award causes stir

Play revival honor may be televised after all

The Tony Award for play revival might be handed out during the televised Tony ceremony — following an outcry sparked by chatter that the kudo would be relegated to the list of honors distributed just prior to the start of the telecast.

A rep for the Tonys said a final list of televised awards wouldn’t be available until Sunday morning, prior to the awards that night. But Kevin Spacey — who has a stake in the revival race this year as a.d. of the London theater that originally staged current Rialto revival “The Norman Conquests” — announced via his Twitter account that the revival category is back in the broadcast.

“Got official word that the Tony Awards have reconsidered and Best Play Revival will now be on the telecast on CBS,” Spacey wrote.

In the last few days legiters have been buzzing about unconfirmed reports that the Tony awards for play revival, book of a musical and choreography would join design awards in the untelevised Creative Arts seg of the ceremony.

Dramatists Guild prexy Stephen Schwartz sent out a statement Thursday afternoon decrying the decision regarding book. No update on that award has been given.

Because the Tonys rep a valuable national marketing opportunity for Broadway shows, controversies about which awards are included in the broadcast, and which performance segs are included from which shows, are a seemingly annual occurrence.

With telecast producers Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss aiming to include a broader array of Rialto fare in recent years, producers of many offerings have been concerned about being crowded out of the evening’s national TV spotlight.

Revival contender “Norman Conquests” is one of the shows that could benefit most from a televised win, since the show, like fellow nominees including “Mary Stuart,” has had trouble drawing auds despite strong reviews.

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