Tonys ups awareness, study shows

Nearly half of respondents had not heard of 'Contact' before kudocast

The Tony Awards may have tanked in the national ratings on CBS, but their impact among potential theatergoers appears to have rearranged Broadway’s current hit list.

According to a study conducted by Audience Research Analysis, a visual and performing arts market research firm, the CBS and PBS broadcasts were especially effective at raising the national awareness of “Contact,” which received the Tony for best musical.

George Wachtel, president of ARA, said that 47% of the survey’s respondents had not even heard of the dance show prior to the telecast. Only 12% of respondents who watched at least some of the telecast remained in ignorance, naturally enough.

‘Copenhagen’ gains

Similarly, lack of awareness for “Copenhagen,” the best play winner, and “The Real Thing,” winner of best revival of a play, decreased from 46% and 36%, respectively, to 34% and 24%.

Pre-telecast, “Kiss Me, Kate” and “Aida” were virtually tied as the musical potential theatergoers most wanted to see. After the telecast, the Cole Porter show, which received the award for best revival of a musical, retained its No. 1 ranking, but “Contact” jumped from fourth position to second and “Aida” dropped to third, ahead of — in descending order — “Swing,” “The Music Man,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “The Wild Party.”

‘Real Thing’ moves up

As for plays, “Copenhagen” jumped from fourth to first place on the most-wanted list while “The Real Thing” moved from sixth to second place. Post-telecast, they were followed by, in descending order, “Moon for the Misbegotten,” “Dirty Blonde,” “True West,” “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan” and “Uncle Vanya.”

ARA conducted the survey of 975 respondents through the NYCtourist.com Web site.

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