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Tony Bosses Unleash More Loot, Revival Kudos But Kill B’way Sound Prizes

By | Wednesday June 11, 2014 @ 4:47pm PDT

The Tony Administration Committee, which oversees the Broadway prizes for the awards jointly owned by the Broadway League trade group and the American Theatre Wing service organization, had a busy day. In addition to expanding the roster of the Tony Nominating Committee, they made several rulings in response to this year’s controversial Tony Awards:

Hedwig & the Angry InchBelasco Theatre* Moving forward, the creators of winning play and musical revivals will receive Tonys along with their producers. Had such a rule been in effect for the season just ended,  John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask would have received Tony Awards for Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which won the Tony for Best Revival Of A Musical. Read More »

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DeadlineNow: Will ‘Jersey Boys’ Movie Boost Broadway Version? (Video)

By | Wednesday June 11, 2014 @ 4:28pm PDT
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Four Singers, Two Box Offices

Director Clint Eastwood's appearance at the Tony Awards on Sunday made it clear that Broadway is eyeing a 'Jersey Boys' bump after the feature film debuts next week. Deadline's Jeremy Gerard reports.

Related: Tony Awards Show Sings Hollywood’s Praises

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Tony Committee Expands Nominators’ Klatsch Following Addled 2014 Race

By | Wednesday June 11, 2014 @ 12:19pm PDT

Tony Awards logoThe Tony Administration Committee, which oversees the Broadway awards jointly run by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, has expanded the list of nominators for next season’s awards to 50 people, including two from the administration of former NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The announcement comes in the wake of widespread dissatisfaction with the nominating process that culminated in the Tony Awards on Sunday, notably in the selections of nominees for Best Musical and in the number of stars in celebrated performances who were bypassed. They included Denzel Washington, Daniel Radcliffe, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Rachel Weisz, among others.

Related: Tony Bosses Condone More Loot And Revival Recognition But Kill Sound Awards

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DeadlineNow: Who Benefits Most From Tony Awards Bounce? (Video)

By | Monday June 9, 2014 @ 6:02pm PDT
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Broadway Box Office Report

Big family musical 'Aladdin' saw a big bump in ticket sales without running away with a bunch of awards. Some of the smaller plays might not feel the same surge. Deadline's Jeremy Gerard and Dominic Patten discuss.

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Broadway B.O. Gets Pre-Tony Boost; James Franco, Chris O’Dowd’s Mighty `Mice’ Recoups $3.8M

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Broadway Box Office Report

Big family musical 'Aladdin' saw a big bump in ticket sales without running away with a bunch of awards. Some of the smaller plays might not feel the same surge. Deadline's Jeremy Gerard and Dominic Patten discuss.

Broadway had a healthy runup to Sunday’s Tony Awards, as the total box office hit $28.3 million, an increase of $445,000 over the week before. Disney’s Aladdin took in $1.28 million (and a Tony for Genie James Monroe Iglehart),American Theatre Wing's 68th Annual Tony Awards - Press Room its best week to date, and heads into the summer tourist season with a hefty $18 million advance, according to sources. Producer David Binder also had a great week: Not only did his hit Hedwig And The Angry Inch bring home four Tonys including best musical revival and best lead actor in a musical for Neil Patrick Harris, but his revival of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men, fueled by stars James Franco, Chris O’Dowd, Leighton Meester and Jim Norton, recouped its $3.8 million capitalizations with seven weeks to go on its limited run. Read More »

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NBC Chief Bob Greenblatt A Tony Winner With ‘Gentleman’s Guide To Love & Murder’

Nellie Andreeva

robert_greenblatt_upfronts2014Things could not have gone any better for NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt the past few weeks. Last month, he was in New York to present the network’s fall schedule where he touted his network’s first No. 1 finish among adults 18-49 in a decade. Last night, he was back in the Big Apple to celebrate his musical, A Gentleman’s Guide To Love & Murder, sweeping the Tony Awards with four wins, including best musical. As our Pete Hammond noted in his Tony Awards analysis, the top NBC programming executive is among the producers of the top winner last night. Greenblatt is a well known gentlemans-guide-to-love-and-murdertheater lover who previously produced the Broadway production of 9 To 5. Since taking the reins of NBC, he put on the air drama series Smash, about the mounting of a Broadway musical, and The Sound Of Music, a live staging of the classic musical. The latter drew massive ratings last December, launching a holiday franchise for NBC, with a live production of Peter Pan next.

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Deadline Now: ‘Fault In Our Stars’ Wins Weekend Box Office, Tony Awards, Tonys Vs. NBA Finals On TV (Video)

By | Monday June 9, 2014 @ 11:43am PDT
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Morning Report, Monday June 9

Weekend box office led by 'Fault In Our Stars'; Hugh Jackman and the Tony Awards take over CBS; NBA Finals Game 2 takes on the Tonys on Sunday TV. Dominic Patten reports.

Ratings: Tonys, NBA Finals On Par With Last Year
Tony Awards: ‘Gentleman’s Guide’ Kills With Four Wins
‘Fault In Our Stars’ Slides Hard Saturday But Still Phenom $48M+

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Tony Awards, NBA Finals Game 2 On Par With Last Year

By | Monday June 9, 2014 @ 8:26am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBA Finals Game 2 RatingsThis year’s NBA Finals are starting to feel like a rerun. The same two teams are following the same win pattern last year — the San Antonio Spurs took Game 1, followed by a Miami Heat victory in Game 2 — to the same ratings results. Last night’s second game drew a 10.2 overnight rating in the metered markets households from 8-11 PM, matching last year’s Game 2 overnight rating. Like last year, Game 2 faced the Tony Awards on CBS.

The 68th Annual Tony AwardsThere was a also an element of deja vu at the Tonys, with last year’s host Neil Patrick Harris returning as a performer and a Tony winner for Hedwig And The Angry Inch. With fellow frequent Tony host Hugh Jackman succeeding Harris as emcee, the Tonys posted a 1.2 rating in adults 18-49 and 7.0 million total viewers from 8-11 PM in the fast nationals. That was even with last year’s 18-49 result and down a fraction from 2o13′s viewership (7.24 million in the fast nationals, 7.3 million in the finals).

NBC’s Miss USA telecast (1.4, 5.5 million ), also from 8-11 PM, was up a tenth from last year in 18-49 and 21% in total viewers. On Fox, a burn-off original of cancelled comedy Enlisted (0.4) at 7 PM was even with last week. At 9 PM, Cosmos (1.1) was down … Read More »

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Tony Awards Show Sings Hollywood’s Praises While Oscar Producers Return The Favor At PGA’s Produced By Conference

Pete Hammond

Presenting the two directing prizes on Sunday night’s Tony Awards, Clint Eastwood, who was on the show because he has2014 Tony Awards - Show directed the film version of the Tony winning Broadway musical Jersey Boys (6/20), summed it all up for me. “It seems like producers and directors from the stage and from movies are always looking for good new material, and sometimes they don’t find it. Sometimes they have to take it from one another with The Bridges Of Madison Country (Eastwood starred in and directed the film) or Bullets Over Broadway going to musical plays, and I’m proud to say that we’re bringing Jersey Boys to the movies and that will be after nine successful years on Broadway,” he said in introductory remarks. It was an understatement as most of the evening’s winners, spread among a larger number of shows than usual, have deep ties to movies-jersey-boys-stillHollywood and that included Bridges which picked up a couple of key Tonys for its composer Jason Robert Brown, despite closing last month. There’s also Rocky (Best Scenic Design of a Musical), Aladdin (Best Featured Actor in a Musical), as well as the two big musical winners of the evening (each with four victories), A Gentlemen’s Guide To Love And Murder (winner of Best Musical and which is derived from the 1949 Alec Guiness film  Kind Hearts And Coronets), and Read More »

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Tony Tally: ‘Gentleman’s Guide’ Kills With Four Wins Including Best Musical; ‘Raisin’ Revival Shines On Three More

Refresh for the latest…

Update, 11:20: And here are the tallies: Most Tony Awards for a musical:  A Gentleman’s Guide To Love & Murder (four, including best musical) and Hedwig And The Angry Inch (including best musical revival). For a play: A Raisin in The Sun (including best revival of a play). The night’s biggest losers: Bullets Over Broadway (six nominations, no awards); The Cripple of Inishmaan (six nominations, no awards) Les Miserables (three nominations, no awards).

Update, 11:06: The big lollipop goes to A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder for Best Musical. And that’s all, folks.

Update, 10:54: Jessie Mueller wins for Best Actress in a Musical for Beautiful, and we’re in the home stretch, folks.

Update, 10:43: Another non-suprise: The Tony for Best Musical Revival goes to Hedwig And The Angry Inch.

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Update, 10:31: The real Carole King does an emotional pitch for Beautiful and Jessie Mueller performs Will You Love Me Tomorrow – the best number and the best moment from that show. Then CK joins her for  a bluesy I Feel The Earth Move. And, no surprise, Neil Patrick Harris wins for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical, for Hedwig.

Tonys CranstonUpdate, 10:00: Here’s Sting singing a number from his upcoming show, The Last Ship. A little earlier: Tony has always had trouble making the non-musicals look good on TV. This … Read More »

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Tony Awards: Harvey Weinstein Takes on Pre-Tony Baloney Over Jennifer Hudson

By | Sunday June 8, 2014 @ 3:11pm PDT

TonyAwardsEXCLUSIVE: Harvey Weinstein has some choice words for the whiners who used the New York Post and the Daily News in recent days to complain about Jennifer Hudson‘s appearance on tonight’s Tony Awards broadcast. Unfortunately, he didn’t use any of them when he called me. Instead, he was downright diplomatic. “We are passionate about being involved on Broadway and being a part of tonight,” he said.

On the other hand, he was also passionate in his defense of Hudson’s appearance, responding to the anonymous assertions that he had “muscled” his way onto the CBS telecast to promote Finding Neverland, the musical he has been developing for Broadway next spring and in which Hudson will not appear. One story had him calling CBS chief Les Moonves and demanding a slot on the Hugh Jackman-hosted show. Another quoted Broadway sources complaining that the appearance of a star on the Tonys who isn’t connected to a show is “unprecedented.” Which is, of course, a lotta Tony baloney.

harvey_weinstein“I never called Les, and he never called me,” Weinstein said. Tony broadcast co-producer Ricky Kirshner attended a recent workshop of the show with music stars Alicia Keyes and Taylor Swift present. Weinstein says that the idea of a star doing a number from the show on the Tonys came out of that performance. Hudson, you may recall, played one of Broadway’s ultimate diva roles in the … Read More »

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Hugh Jackman Hippity-Hops Through CBS’ Ruthlessly Upbeat All-Star Tony Show

Tony Awards Show

About midway through CBS‘ live telecast of the 68th Tony Awards on Sunday night, host Hugh Jackman told the audience at Radio City Music Hall that the first show he’d ever been cast in was Meredith Willson’s The Music Man. To prepare, in fact, he’d learned all eight parts to “Rock Island,” the opening number of that signature piece of syncopated Americana, and to prove it, he performed a minute or so, sprecht-singing all eight parts. The first words  are: Cash for the merchandise/Cash for the buttonhooks, which sounds like the beginning of an ode to Broadway, 2014. Then he ushered out LL Cool J and TI, and all three of them rapped “Rock Island,” which sounded a lot like Sesame Street, 1995. It was funny and toothless. Much the same can be said for the most breathlessly upbeat Tony broadcast in memory. Almost nothing memorable happened over the course of just over three hours of good cheer.

Related: Tony Tally: ‘Gentleman’s Guide’ Kills With Four Wins; ‘Raisin’ Revival Shines On Three More

jackman1Jackman looked somewhat raffish and ragged of beard, as though he was coming from an audition for a revival of Sunday In The Park With George. He bunny-hopped bizarrely from the street to the backstage of Radio City Music Hall, high-fiving cast members from shows and stars preparing for their numbers, hopped into the audience and up onto the stage as if he didn’t have a care in the world. Even the edgiest nominee of the evening, Hedwig And The Angry Inch and its star, Neil Patrick Harris, seemed more intent on nuzzling the audience than, perish the thought, shocking it.

Related: Tony Awards Show Sings Hollywood’s Praises While Oscar Producers Return The Favor

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EMMYS: Tony Awards Host Hugh Jackman Is A Magnet For Auds & Emmys

By | Saturday June 7, 2014 @ 1:17pm PDT

The 2014 Tony Awards Nominations CeremonyHugh Jackman will host the 68th annual Tony Awards tomorrow, much to the delight of CBS, which has broadcast the event since 1978. There’s no better superstar than Jackman to entice viewers to the telecast with his crossover, triple-threat appeal.

Awardsline logo_use this oneIf the Tonys have retained their stature as the class act of televised awards events—since 1967, the show has won 27 Emmy awards—much of the credit of late goes to three-time host Jackman and his ability to convey the specialness of live theater to an audience whose actual experience of Broadway is bound to be limited. Read More »

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DeadlineNow: Who Will Dance Away With Tony Awards This Weekend (Video)

By | Friday June 6, 2014 @ 12:55pm PDT
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Jeremy Gerard's Tony Predictions

Deadline's chief theater columnist expects multiple wins for 'All the Way,' 'Aladdin' and a few others when the annual theater awards are handed out Sunday night.

Related: At Sunday’s Tony Awards, Hugh Jackman And Neil Patrick Harris Might Be The Only Sure Things

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At Sunday’s Tony Awards, Hugh Jackman And Neil Patrick Harris Might Be The Only Sure Things

By | Friday June 6, 2014 @ 6:00am PDT
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Jeremy Gerard's Tony Predictions

Deadline's chief theater columnist expects multiple wins for 'All the Way,' 'Aladdin' and a few others when the annual theater awards are handed out Sunday night.

GerardColumn_badgeThe Belmont Stakes and the Tony Awards take place this weekend and in both cases there are significantTonyAwards amounts of prestige and money at stake. There’s even a chance that Broadway will have its own version of a Triple Crown winner, if Mark Rylance takes home both of the Tonys for which he’s nominated (OK, double crown).

Despite strict rules about campaigning for Tonys, producers pulled out all the stops at their disposal to plug their shows, and who could blame them? Even in a season that’s still reeling from the many film and TV stars passed over for nominations, the competition in the acting categories is more compelling than usual, while the Best Musical category is a toss-up among less-than-thrilling shows.

Related: Scott Rudin’s Digital ‘Raisin’ Campaign

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 12.21.47 AMStop by on Sunday night at 8 PM New York time, when we begin live-blogging the CBS telecast hosted by Hugh Jackman. The producers promise more Hollywood firepower than you can shake a stick at. Here’s a preview of what to expect, with no promises at all:

Best Play: Harvey Fierstein’s Casa Valentina should win, but the Tony will go to Robert Schenkkan’s All The Way, a revisionist history of the Johnson presidency.

Director, Play:  The frontrunner is Tim Carroll for Twelfth Night, but I’d call it a tie between Kenny Leon (A Raisin In The Sun) and John Tiffany (The Glass Menagerie).

Best Musical: None of this year’s nominated musicals will stand the test of time, but with Aladdin, Disney delivered the goods with a sparkling, de trop extravaganza. Watch out, though, for a spoiler, A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder, which has waged a great come-from-behind campaign. Read More »

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Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Kate Mara, Will Ferrell, Carole King Sign On For Tony Awards Telecast

By | Tuesday May 27, 2014 @ 8:02am PDT

clinteastwoodWolverine will get plenty of star-power backup during the Tony Awards telecast by CBS on June 8. The 68th ceremony will include appearances by Carole King, subject of Best Musical contender Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Tony nominee Audra McDonald (Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill), Zachary Quinto, the only cast member of Best Revival nominee The Glass Menagerie to have been overlooked by the nominators, and Clint Eastwood, whose film adaptation of "Beautiful" Curtain Call Broadway superhit Jersey Boys is about to hit screens. Other top-tier talent signed for the show: Bradley Cooper, Kevin Bacon, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Will Ferrell, Liev Schreiber, Emmy Rossum, Kate Mara, Zachary Levi, Lucy Liu, Patricia Clarkson, Leighton Meester, Ethan Hawke, Zach Braff, Matt Bomer, Anna Gunn, Gloria Estefan,  Fran Drescher, Wayne Brady, Emilio Estefan, Kenneth Branagh (about to open off-Broadway in the title role of the Scottish play), Tony Goldwyn, Vera Farmiga and Alessandro Nivola. Hosted by Hugh Jackman, the Tony Awards will be broadcast in a live three-hour ceremony from Radio City Music Hall, on the CBS television network on Sunday, June 8.

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Tony Watch: First, Kill All The Nominators – Plus: Eric Bogosian’s Master Class; Opera’s Latest Tempest

By | Friday May 23, 2014 @ 4:38pm PDT
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Too Ambitious For Tonys?

Deadline's chief theater columnist Jeremy Gerard discusses why he believes 'If/Then' was overlooked by Tony nominators.

GerardColumn_badgeUPDATE: On the subject of Violet as revival (see below). If/Then should have received a Tony nomination for Best Musical. Sure, it’s thankless to parse the politics, prejudices and caprice of the process by which Broadway shows are deemed eligible by the Tony Administration Committee (Violet Idina-Menzel-in-If-Then-photo-by-Joan-Marcus-0299r__140523175200-275x183is a revival?) and then competitors by the Nominating Committee. And I run the risk of looking like a booster by emphasizing one major omission over others, but the truth is, I have no dog in this hunt other than -– OK, I’ll say it -– an ethical one. The Nominators went out of their way to snub the Broadway season’s most original new show, rubbing salt in the wound by leaving blank a slot in the Best Musical category. So the score (by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey) and star (Idina Menzel) of If/Then were deemed nomination-worthy, but not the show itself. Wait, what?

First, a word about Violet. I’ve pointed out a couple of times that its nomination for best musical revival strikes me as odd, if not punitive, and a number of readers have called me wrong (and worse) on this point. If Violet was eligible in the Best Musical category, they say, then Hedwig And The Angry Inch should have been eligible as well, since both shows previously ran off-Broadway. True fact, uneasy logic. Hedwig opened off-Broadway in February, 1998 and ran for 857 performances before closing more than two years later. It was a huge hit. Violet, by comparison, opened at Playwrights Horizons in March, 1997 and closed three weeks later. It’s not a classic and, to all intents and purposes, it’s essentially new to New York. I’d have argued to bend the rules, and damn the complainers. It would hardly have been the first time the Tony rules were jiggered to accommodate the peculiarities of a season.

I caught up with If/Then this week and personally, I think there should have been separate nominations for Idina Menzel and her mouth, the most arrestingly expressive lips this side of Sandra Bernhardt. That aside, I didn’t love the show, for reasons well-rehearsed elsewhere, mostly having to do with its confusing dual storyline. But guess what? Tell me the plot of The Magic Flute or Arcadia in 50 words or less and you get the Cracker Jack prize. Confusing is hardly the worst offense in art.
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Broadway B.O. Looks Up For The Season, But Is The `Honeymoon’ Over?

GerardColumn_badgeThe Broadway season will end next week with some good news: The total box office will be up about 11% and $100 million over last season, closing at around $1.27 billion. Attendance will be up, but not as much — about 5%, to 12.2 million customers. Those numbers won’t mask some of the phenomenal losses, led, of course, by the January closing of Spider-Man "Big Fish" Broadway Opening Night - Arrivals And Curtain CallTurn Off The Dark, to the tune of  $70 million or $80 million or $85 million, depending on who you believe and the current status of various lawsuits. But there were smaller, sadder flops, notably the Susan Stroman-led Big Fish, which left most critics (not me) cold and, despite a gorgeous production and a terrific lead performance by Norbert Leo Butz, closed at a total loss.

Related: Broadway B.O. Rebounds; Bryan Cranston, Mufasa Holler With $200,000 Gains

And of course there was the closing this past Sunday of Jason Robert Brown and Marsha Norman’s adaptation of The Bridges Of Madison County, at a loss of $8 million. The question is, will the failure of Bridges affect the future of Brown’s other new show, Honeymoon In Vegas, co-written with that 1992 movie’s screenwriter Andrew Bergman.

Honeymoon — complete with a phalanx of Elvis impersonators, a charming performance by Tony Danza in the key of Sinatra and a career-restoring lead performance by Rob McClure — tried out last fall at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse. Unlike the Williamstown Theatre Festival, which asked most critics not to come, the Paper Mill wanted the reviews. After all, the critics had shlepped out to Millburn, NJ for the tryout of Disney’s Newsies, turning what was supposed to be the dry run for a tour into a Broadway-bound hit.

stevejasonkelliI reviewed both Bridges and Vegas. The producers of Bridges might have been better served by more, not fewer, reviews; though I admired Brown’s score, the book was in trouble and the show was only sporadically involving, problems it never overcame. Like most of my colleagues, I thought Honeymoon In Vegas had hit written all over it: “Honeymoon in Vegas doesn’t always know whether it’s comedy or parody,” I concluded in my review, “But Gary Griffin’s fleet staging, Denis Jones’s stylish dances and a fabulous big band conducted by Tom Murray come alive in Anna Louizos’s typically cheeky settings and Brian Hemesath’s spot-on costumes. Honeymoon is a winner.”

And yet Bridges came in, while Honeymoon cooled its heels. Lead producer Roy Gabay said at the time that there was no theater available, though I now hear the real issue is that the theater owners weren’t convinced — reviews to the contrary notwithstanding — it would be a hit. Read More »

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Scott Rudin’s Digital `Raisin’; Disney’s Underdog `Aladdin’; Jane Fonda’s Fringe `Trial’

By | Friday May 16, 2014 @ 9:59am PDT

GerardColumn_badgeEXCLUSIVE: Times Square is teeming this week with out-of-town producers who descend each year in the weeks before the Tony Awards to see shows and sit through seminars run by people who think they know their business better than denizens of the flyover. They’re an important block among the 860 Tony voters and courting them during the confab, run by the Broadway League, runs hot and heavy. Jon Stewart and Tommy Tune made heartfelt keynote speeches; producers worked the crowd. None more avidly, even passionately, than Scott Rudin, whose powerful production of A Raisin In The Sun – starring, as you may have heard, Denzel Washington — is in the running for Best Revival of a Play. If you’ve seen those ubiquitous ads for The Book Of Mormon, you know that Rudin goes his own way in promoting his shows; Raisin is no exception.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 12.46.52 PMThis week, the visiting producers began receiving what ticket buyers will have on offer starting next week: The first-ever digital souvenir booklet for a show. Instead of a cheesy oversize booklet, they’ll get a pocketable flash drive with a 68-page program. I have it (Tony voters will also be getting it next week, gratis) and it’s exquisite.

raisinThe Raisin presentation includes photos, both archival and from the production, along with extensive interviews with the entire company, plenty of commentary from Washington on the play and on his colleagues, and essays on the significance of Lorraine Hansberry’s accomplishment by such luminaries as novelist Jeffrey Eugenides and Veep executive producer Frank Rich.

“We felt we couldn’t do what we wanted to do in a short printed book,” Rudin told me. “We wanted the amount of content that the play demanded and this satisfied that. We also felt that the audience receives information differently than they ever have, and that with a few rare exceptions, most sophisticated theatregoers would rather take home a USB key they can put in their pockets instead of a printed book of an inconvenient size and minimal content. I hope we’ll do this for everything now. It’s got wonderful material — why would we ever now do anything else?”

So: Rocky may have the championship fight, but Raisin has the knockout. And look for another one this fall, when A Delicate Balance brings Glenn Close back to Broadway. No word from Rudin on whether a digital booklet is in the works for Mormon.

Related: ‘Kinky’s’ Booty & ‘Rocky’s’ Knockout Punch Raise Bar In Broadway Ad Landscape

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