As many of us theatre-lovers know, the Tonys will not happen on June 7th this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tony Awards is the biggest night of the year for the entire Broadway industry. Everyone dresses to the nines, shows get a chance to perform a number on national television, and creators get to see their peers win awards they so obviously deserve. Everyone works hard all year long, and often their whole life, for this one incredibly important night.
So what is going to replace the Tony Awards that night? Will they air a “Best of Tonys” special? Or perhaps they’ll show a rerun of the first Tony awards to be televised on CBS from 1978. Heck, just give us more videos of Patti LuPone doing whatever it is she does in her basement. Needless to say, possibilities to showcase the history and importance of the Tonys from the last 73 years are endless!
However, CBS has announced that on June 7th, they will replace the airing of the Tony Awards with a “Grease Sing-A-Long”.
To be clear, this is the 1978 film version they will be showing. Not even a stage version or the live version, the film. Why are we watching a film on the night that commemorates live theater?! Also, not that this is relevant to the film, but the original Broadway version of Grease didn’t even win a single Tony Award! Someone please tell me what the thought process was here, nothing is adding up for me. Has 2020 not already been bad enough, CBS? Stop rubbing salt in our wounds!
Outspoken Broadway power PR pro Rick Miramontez told Page Six of the Tonys being upstaged for “Grease”: “As class president of LA’s John Marshall High School during the actual filming of ‘Grease,’ I feel I need to be diplomatic about this one: Let me put it this way, even during quarantine I expect to have something vastly more interesting to do with my June 7 evening than tune in. “
Thank God we live in a time where Twitter exists. If you’re feeling a bit upset or maybe completely enraged — like myself, take heart in these Tweets from our Broadway community.
Gideon Glick who was recently in the Off-Broadway revival of Little Shop of Horrors tweeted, “@CBS, I’m certain there are a million gays out there who could help you curate a greatest hits of the Tony Awards to air instead!”, and he is not wrong.
Jeremy Jordan had a lot to say on his Twitter account but ended with, “I would rather listen to my tone deaf uncle sing the entire Maltby and Shire catalog acapella than watch a f*#@ing Grease sing-a-long. ” Honestly, Jeremy, if you went live with a video of this, I would also watch it in lieu of the Grease sing-a-long.
“Danny can never replace Tony.”, tweeted Dear Evan Hansen composer, Benj Pasek. It’s true. Antoinette Perry will always be better than Danny. There’s a reason the Tonys were named after her. Can CBS make a documentary on her and her contributions to the Broadway community?! They could get people who work in the Broadway industry to commentate on it and I would 100% watch that.
One of my personal favorites was from another Broadway fan @tylerhecht who tweeted this ironic statement: “I missed the tony awards last year because of grease rehearsal and now THIS??? I’m gonna shoo bop shoo wadda wadda yippity boom de boom myself off a cliff.” I will absolutely join you.
Need we say more?
Francesca Bacardi, makes a very valid point, tweeting, “are they just going to bleep out ‘Greased Lightnin’ entirely or…?”. With lyrics like, ‘You know that ain’t no s**t’ (can they say that on TV?), ‘she’s a real pu**y wagon’ (Trump will appreciate this one at least), and ‘the chicks will cream’ (*CRINGE*), I’m wondering the same thing. This is not the musical we need right now. Or ever again. It is so outdated and so not relevant anymore.
Finally, beloved Tony Award winner Alice Ripley really sums up our thoughts on this whole debacle tweeting, “Hollywood truly believes Broadway = Grease”. CBS clearly does not understand what the Broadway community wants, because Grease is not the one that we want, and thankfully Twitter is here to let them know.