Tony Award Categories We'd Like to See
Excitement surrounds the Tony Awards as we wait to see the "best of the best" awarded for their craft and artistry as it pertains to the Broadway Theatre. The announcement of the return of the Sound Design award for next year is an important victory (the category should never have been eradicated in the first place). We are all familiar with the usual categories, but have you ever thought that there are a few areas that are overlooked? Here are some Tony Award categories I think many of us would like to see.
Best Dance Performance:
Often, a Broadway musical has a featured dancer who executes a very different type of performing than what is awarded in the acting categories. A category for dancing could celebrate their athleticism and artistry, giving dancers their due for their contribution to musical theatre. What is achieved in dance may be designed by the choreographer, but the dancer brings it to life, and a category devoted to dance would allow Tony voters to weigh in on this often underappreciated component of musical storytelling.
Best Musical is an honor bestowed for the overall production, but how about an award for the people making up the hardworking choruses and ensembles of Broadway musicals. These are often the most unsung heroes of theatre, performers tasked with playing multiple roles and/or coming together in complex melodies and intricate dance numbers. Some ensembles do this expertly and seamlessly, a collaborative effort that should not be overlooked.
Best Replacement Performance:
The Tony Committee actually added this category for one season, then chose not to nominate anyone for this category. Mass grumbling and fallout led to the category being eliminated the following year. What a shame, especially when you consider the times a replacement performance is compellingly different or better than the person who originated it. Imagine if we had been able to reward Betty Buckley for her Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, or Marin Mazzie's stint in The King and I?
Best Hair and Wig Design:
I'm always a champion of the underdog and the unsung heroes of theatre. The people who design the hair and wigs for Broadway are among these overlooked artists who deserve to be recognized. All you have to do is see the countless number of wigs for a musical like Wicked or The Phantom of the Opera to understand the magnitude of what wig and hair designers do. It's time to single out the best in this field and give them their own Tony category.
Isn't there one song in almost every season that always stands out as the one we are all listening to? The overall score might not be amazing (or sometimes it is) but the song resonates with us. How about a category that is voted on through social media where we, the public, pick the song we love best and honor it with a Best Song Tony Award. Would Dear Evan Hansen's "Waving Through A Window" be this year's victor?