Broadway has officially gone Hollywood, folks. I couldn’t help but be more than a little annoyed that most of the top Tony acting honors went to big-name Hollywood stars last night. Denzel Washington took Best Leading Actor in a Play for “Fences,” Catherine Zeta-Jones scooped up the Best Leading Actress in a Musical for “A Little Night Music,” and Scarlett Johansson won Best Featured Actress in a Play for “A View From the Bridge.” Dare I ask … what happened to all the stage actors?I don’t doubt that all three of these celebs gave fabulous performances in their respective shows, but I thought the Tonys were supposed to be about honoring actors and actresses who dedicate themselves to the stage. And there are lots of them who don’t have quite as much of a ticket draw as ScarJo. Sadly, Broadway is becoming so commercialized that the only way to sell tickets is to put a “big name” on the playbill. Pretty soon there won’t be much difference between Tinsel Town and The Great White Way. And now the Tonys are selling out too by giving top Broadway honors to big stars who grace the stage with their presence only when they need to take a quick break from their latest Hollywood flick or need a moment to rekindle their passion for the craft. It’s almost like by awarding Tonys to big Hollywood stars, the Broadway industry is bribing them and their cool friends to stop by and visit again soon. It feels like an “if you come and act on our stage, we’ll make it worth your while”-type of gesture. Meanwhile, talented, hard-working stage actors who make their modest living doing show after show are being overlooked. I call not fair!
So what do you think? Do big Hollywood stars deserve to sweep the Tonys?