Producers debate which number sells a show best
First come the nominations, then comes the debate: Which song-and-dance to perform on the Tony telecast?The kudos’ traditional performance segs for nominated musicals rep a major national marketing opportunity for Broadway productions. And so as soon as the nominees for top tuner are announced, producers huddle to figure out which number will make the cut. Different shows have different concerns, of course. With 14 noms, “The Book of Mormon” has to figure out which of its profanity-ridden songs is even viable during primetime hours. (Go to variety.com for a full list of noms.) Other productions are trying to pick a routine that doesn’t too closely resemble “The Brotherhood of Man” — the showstopper from “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and the seemingly slamdunk candidate for that revival’s Tony seg. In fact, there are dozens of lingering kudocast questions to consider. How, for instance, will the show refer to top play contender “The Motherfucker With the Hat”? The nominations listing released by the Tonys referred to the expletive as “Motherf**ker.” And what will Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the “South Park” and “Mormon” creatives who famously spoofed the Oscar rites by arriving in drag, wear to the ceremony? The duo say they maybe, kinda-sorta, might take all this awards attention a bit more seriously than they used to. “I think we’re softening with old age,” Stone says. “We’re getting to be like, ‘Oh, that’s pretty cool.’ ” Adds Parker, “We probably won’t be wearing dresses.”
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