The Tony Awards are coming up Sunday, and I couldn't be more excited. Once a year, we come together to celebrate one of America's longest-standing institutions, Broadway, a magical world where fantasy blends with reality.
In a time where there's so much change and so many things are in flux, it's nice to have a cultural tradition that has transcended across generations where we can turn off our cell phones, turn off our TVs, escape from our worries and focus on having a good time. When you take a seat in one of New York's many iconic establishments, such as The Belasco, The Lyceum (New York's oldest theatre - open since 1903!), The Palace or The Al Hirschfield Theatre, you're taking in something that audiences have been experiencing for almost 200 years.
Not only is Broadway still here, but it's more popular than ever before. It just celebrated its highest earning season ever with grosses of over $1.3 billion! 13,317,980 visitors took in a play on Broadway this past season, proving that there are some timeless institutions in America that will always endure, even as people move from one new, passing trend to another.
I've always been a big fan of musicals, but it's only in the last few years that I've produced them myself. I'm incredibly grateful to Craig Zadan and Neil Meron for getting me involved with their production of "Promises, Promises" which started me on this journey. Now I'm producing "The Color Purple", which is currently on Broadway at The Jacobs Theatre. Being a part of this play is fulfilling for so many reasons - including the fact that it tells an important story that is both educational and emotionally powerful for people.
There are a lot of other great productions as well, and the Tony Awards this year has an incredible lineup of nominees (including The Color Purple!). From new musicals like Hamilton, to mainstays like Spring Awakening, to revivals of classics such as Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge, it's definitely quite an array of contenders. No matter who wins, the Tony Awards serve a very important purpose - to promote a special, unique experience that everybody can enjoy.