Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Want to Win a Tony Award – Okay – But Be Prepared to Pay Big Bucks

No, Not to Produce the Play, Pay Big Bucks to Get the Actual Tony Statue

Winning something like an Oscar, or a Emmy, or in the case of this Forum, a Pulitzer Prize for Excellence in Journalism (the stuff that dreams are made of) is certainly a great honor.  And if one is lucky enough to win a Tony award for producing a great Broadway play, one is even luckier.

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times
Jamie deRoy, producer, with the
 “The Norman Conquests”
 Tony she bought in
 2009 for $750.

Ah, the good old days when you
won a Tony and only had to pay
Unlike the Oscars and the Grammys, for which actual awards are given only to hands-on producers and artists, organizers sell Tonys to dozens of major investors, which helps finance the multimillion-dollar awards ceremony. This year looks to be one of the most lucrative yet. Because of the proliferation of these investors (who are called producers in Broadway parlance), so many are eligible to buy the silver medallion on a pedestal that the Tonys may pull in $250,000 or more.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous that we’re asked to pay $2,500 when the actual award costs a fraction of that, and part of me doesn’t want to pay,” said Terry Allen Kramer, a veteran producer and investor who put money into “Kinky Boots,” which won the Tony for best musical.

Asked if she was passing on the option, however, she laughed over the phone from her vacation spot in Saint-Tropez, France. “Of course not,” she said. “I figure when I die, it’s something to leave the kids.”

The dream of having a Tony on the mantel is a priceless incentive for attracting investors, according to Broadway business veterans, and $2,500 is a small price for those already wealthy enough to let their money ride on a high-risk venture.

Now those expecting harsh sarcastic criticism of the Tony’s for charging $2,500.00 to get one of their little desk ornaments are going to be disappointed.  Sticking wealthy show producers with a $2,500.00 bill is something we have to admire.  Taking advantage of the greed and vanity of wealthy people, priceless.

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