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re: NYT: A Chance to Fix the Tonys, and So Many Things to Fix
Posted by: JereNYC (JereNYC@aol.com) 04:41 pm EDT 06/03/21
In reply to: re: NYT: A Chance to Fix the Tonys, and So Many Things to Fix - sirpupnyc 04:06 pm EDT 06/03/21

" I didn't think the phrase unclear. Perhaps inapt for those he was tarring with it. The Sara Bareilles/Josh Groban year might be the closest to passionate-yet-inexperienced hosts...everyone else in recent years has had legitimate stage cred, if maybe not a lot of it."

At the time both Bareilles and Groban had fairly recently been on Broadway, I think. They definitely qualify under the "legitimate stage cred, if maybe not a lot of it" banner.

I kind of assumed that the line referred to Rosie O'Donnell, who, during the years her daytime talk show was in production, was the ultimate Broadway fan. She often promoted Broadway shows on her show and even included a reference to TITANIC, which she'd loved, in the opening credits. Of course, at the time, she'd also been in one Broadway show, the 1994 revival of GREASE. But O'Donnell parlayed her over the top, fangirl enthusiasm not only to hosting the Tonys several times, but also getting the broadcast moved from actual Broadway theatres (the Gershwin or the Minksoff were usually used, but the ceremony was also at the Majestic one year) to Radio City Music Hall and making tickets available for purchase by members of the general public for the first time.

O'Donnell's schtick in her hosting gigs, on her own show, as well as the Tonys, was sort of as the ultimate fan, a surrogate for the audience at home, who couldn't quite believe that she was on a stage with these amazing people. It was great, at first, but she was probably wise to step away from it when she did.
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