The Tony Awards and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle have made nice, with Tony Award Prods. announcing it will allow the NYDCC members to vote for the Tonys after a season of disenfranchisement.
Last year the Tony Award Management Committee angered the fourth estate when it opted to stop sending ballots to journalists, who were voters because of their inclusion on the so-called First Night Press List.
Aside from peeving journos, the move also caused concern among legiters worried that with no disinterested critical voices in the voting pool, the top legit kudo would lose credibility as a reward for creative achievement vs. commercial potential.
Sans the 100 or so journalists who were eliminated, the voting pool stood at about 700, with the majority made up of producers, presenters and promoters who often in some form stand to benefit from a show boosted a Tony win.
It was said that part of the rationale for the severance was that the Tonys wanted to pare back a bloated roster of press voters, since a large number of those journos were from out of town or for other reasons could not be counted on to see all the eligible productions.
Of that longer press list, the 20 members of the New York Drama Critics Circle — who write legit reviews for Gotham papers — are most likely to follow a Broadway season closely.
The NYDCC members get the vote back for the 2010-11 season.