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Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Tony Awards...yawn

Yes, the Tony Award nominations for another year have been announced.

A little, unfocused rant to just get it out of my system.

No one cares about these Awards at all. No one worth worrying about anyway. They are meaningless and they are handed out arbitrarily and they represent, by and large, the terrifying trends that pushing the theater as far away from relevance as it can go.

Compared to the number of people who ardently see every movie that opens on a Friday, about 14 saw everything that is nominated for a Tony Award. Including me. I've seen NONE of these performances. And I love theater. The reason: I can't afford it.

One could rightly say: "If you didn't waste your money on cigarettes you might just be able to afford it." Pish-posh. I can afford cigarettes and LOTS of other things. Just not $100 on one seat to see something that resembles Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang, or that is essentially a dinosaur like Twelve Angry Men.

So how does Broadway make up for the glaring lack of possible "eyeballs" as they call it in Marketing: recycling. That's the main issue. If there was anything going on in the big money areas of theater that was remotely experimental, engaging, challenging, bloody, heartfelt, and visceral, we just might have some interest. But this year is filled with garbage like movie retreads, old shows with big stars ("Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf" with... KATHLEEN TURNER...this time) modest, harmless tripe ("Spelling Bee" The Musical!) and worst of all, "On Golden Pond" which is like a terrible combination of film retread, big star and utterly harmless all rolled into one big waste of money.

You want revivals? How about some Brecht in these politically charged times? You want new Musicals? Isn't there a little something more interesting than a Spelling Bee to sing about? You want movies? GO TO THE MOVIES.

Sorry, but this burns me from heel to top hat. Like I said before: Broadway is the Titanic. Hit the iceberg already, or change course.

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