Inside The Tony Awards' Secret Ballots
With the Broadway season officially over, the theater community is preparing for the 63rd annual Tony Awards, and NY1 recently went behind the scenes to find out how the nominating and voting work. NY1's Theater critic Roma Torre filed the following report.
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The nominations for the Tony Awards were announced just a few weeks ago, but the Tony administration committee, made up of over 30 theater professionals, has been meeting since fall 2008 to select the best of this year's crop.
Official Tony voter's ballot.
From the three Billys in "Billy Elliot: The Musical" to the trilogy "The Norman Conquests," it was choices times three for the nominators this season.
"This year we have 43 new productions, which is the most we've had since the 1982-83 season," says Charlotte St. Martin, the executive director of the Broadway League. "The Tony administration committee determines at each of their meetings the categories for eligibility in a given field."
Next, more than 700 Tony voters from across the country - made up of members of the American Theatre Wing, the Broadway League, Actors' Equity Association and theatre critics - express their preferences on an official ballot.
In order to vote in a particular category, the voter must have seen every show nominated in that category. The Tony ballots are due on Friday, June 5, with the winners announced on Tony Awards night - June 7.
NY1 recently spoken with a random sampling of Tony voters to hear their choice.
I think "Billy Elliot," I think it's big and grand and emotional.
Voter Y: "Next To Normal" is one of my favorite shows in many years, and I will definitely vote for it for best musical. I think that it's exciting, fresh and young.
Voter Z: For me, "Next To Normal" was something I admired more than I really liked, so "Billy Elliot" all the way.
Voter Y: I'm definitely voting for "God Of Carnage," it was the most entertaining play by far.
"God Of Carnage"
I think I'm going to vote for "God Of Carnage" as more of a preemptive strike because I don't want "Reasons To Be Pretty" to win.
Voter Z: I'm voting for "God Of Carnage."
Best Revival Of A Musical
Voter X: "Hair" - I think it did that very rare thing in that it made a show that I did not necessarily care about or like, and a lot of people really didn't like, into a really enjoyable new exciting experience.
Voter Y: Having sat through a lot of bad productions of "Hair," and realizing how bad of a show it can be these days, I'm voting for "Hair."
I've voting for "Hair," and I think "Hair" will win.
Best Revival Of A Play
Voter X: "Norman Conquests" three times because, you know, there are three plays.
Voter Z: I think "The Norman Conquests" will win, but I'm voting for "Joe Turner's Come And Gone."
Voter Y: I'm voting for "Waiting For Godot" because I was able to sit through it.
While some winners are easier to predict than others, from now until June 7, it's anybody's guess.