Kevin Spacey hosted the Tony Awards on June 11th, and his shtick crumbled like a house of cards. On paper, Mr. Spacey seemed like a good choice to host the event. He started his career as a stage actor, won a Tony in 1991 for his work in “Lost in Yonkers,” and served as artistic director of London’s Old Vic for over a decade. The guy has Broadway in his veins. Credentials aside, Kevin Spacey was a terrible host. His performance at the Tony’s was bad enough to make Frank Underwood cringe.
When it comes to determining the worst host of an awards show, the field is crowded. James Franco and Anne Hathaway are widely regarded as being the worst hosts in Oscar history, although David Letterman was blasted for his Oscar hosting skills in 1995. Hosting a big budget, globally televised awards show is a difficult job. It’s a balancing act of likeability, charm, stand-up comedy and cutting-edge provocation. If a host goes too far, the crowd and audience turn on him. If he doesn’t go far enough, critics say his performance is lackluster and uninspired.
Kevin Spacey’s performance at the Tony Awards featured a lackluster opening monologue, outdated impressions, questionable musical numbers, misfiring gags and insider jokes by the dozen. The show was fours hours long and far less politicized than last year’s broadcast, when “Hamilton” won 11 awards and the Pulse nightclub shooting, the worst in American history, claimed 27 lives earlier in the day.
Instead of doing Bill Clinton and Johnny Carson impressions or a song and dance number about his hosting abilities, Kevin Spacy could have cleverly criticized Delta and Bank of America for withdrawing sponsorship of the Public Theater in New York City. The conservative media wrongly accused the theater of advocating the assassination of Donald Trump. It was the perfect time for Kevin Spacey to sing about the value of free speech.
Broadway casting directors have been involved in a fight to form a union for quite some time. They want to formally be recognized as a member of Local 817. Now their fight is getting some support from some very powerful people in the show business industry. Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro and Liam Neeson have all voiced support publicly for the Broadway casting directors. Having such powerful people in their corner should go a long way to helping their attempt to unionize become a success. However, the fight is far from over. The casting directors hope to get a lot more publicity for their cause leading up to the Tony Awards. This is the biggest day of the year for Broadway. Therefore, it is the perfect time for the casting directors to let as many people as possible know about their attempt to create a union.
There are around 40 casting directors that work on Broadway shows. The reason they want to form a union and become a part of Teamsters Local 817 is because they are one of the very few professions in show business that does not have a union representing them. They must work without the benefit of wage protection. They also do not have any sort of medical or retirement benefits. Unionizing will make their working conditions much better. There is no question that things will have to change. Otherwise, nobody will want to become a casting director for a profession. It is a very critical job when it comes to Broadway and show business in general. Production companies rely on casting directors to spot talented actors and place them in the right roles.
There is a group of directors that is known as the Broadway League. These are the people who will need to be convinced to recognize the casting directors as a union. They believe that the casting directors are independent contractors of the shows they work for, not employees.
Jimmy Buffett is probably the wealthiest and most successful one-hit wonder in the history of the music business. He has marketed his 1970s song ‘Margaritaville’ in about every way possible. He has been able to sell his loyal fans a wide variety of products over the past 40 years. They seem to be willing to buy every product he introduces to the marketplace. You might have thought Jimmy Buffett had officially run out of ideas. However, you would be wrong. He has decided to attempt to conquer Broadway with the release of an ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ musical that is set to open March 18, 2018. It will make its debut at the Marquis Theater.
The plot of the show involves a bartender who falls in love with a tourist. Buffet also plans to open the show in Chicago, Houston and New Orleans before the eventual opening of the show on Broadway. Many people might be skeptical about the ability of an aging musician to make a successful Broadway musical. However, you must never disregard the loyalty that Buffett’s fans have for anything he does. These people sell out every show he performs. Therefore, it is entirely possible that the musical will be a smash hit in whatever city it is performed in.
One of the best things about a musical with Jimmy Buffett’s name on it is the fact that it will be totally critic proof. It will not matter if the show gets horrible reviews. His fans will go to see it anyway. Most Broadway shows get very nervous when the first reviews are published because getting bad reviews could hurt ticket sales. This show will not be impacted at all if the reviews are overly negative, which is a distinct possibility. Buffett said that he decided to try a musical because he wanted to do something different at his age. He just wanted to see if he could be successful in a new area of show business.